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Seven Wonderful Days at Sea: Pohnpei to Palau

Posted by Keith on June 17, 2007 at 5:13 am  

It is with great pleasure that I share with you my log of the most pleasant seven days I’ve ever spent at sea. We are working diligently to download all four videos mentioned in the article. Connections from Palau are very slow, so please be patient!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

At 10:00 we hoisted our 5×8’ American flag up the rear halyard on our stack, and departed the dock at Kolonia Harbor, Pohnpei, bound for Palau, about 1450 NM away. A large container ship had just docked nearby and we powered past her in our beautiful Nordhavn. The ship’s Chinese crew waved, admired our boat, looked at our flag, and gave us the thumbs up.


We passed the 150-foot Thorfin, still stuck on the reef at the mouth of the harbor, officially sunk, but clearly visible. She had run aground two days ago. We are extra cautious on our way out. The reefs here are tricky.

The Night Shift in Kolonia

I was up all night last night trying to find high-speed internet access for both my HP laptop and my Mac. I had many photos, a video, and a couple of dispatches I wanted to post to the website. Generally, I keep our videos and most photos on the Mac, and prepare our dispatches on the HP. Usually it’s easier that way. But not last night.

No one location could accommodate both computers. Throughout the night I visited two flea-bag hotels (the only type available in town) and an all-night telecommunications center in Kolonia. We’re talking the wee hours of the morning along dark streets, with only the final partiers from Saturday night around and looking for whatever one looks for at those hours. When I did get online, the connections were painfully slow. However, at 06:00 this morning, I was finally able to return to the ship, dispatches, video and photos successfully sent and posted to the site.

Fixing the KVH

Unfortunately, using the boat’s SAT-COM system to access the internet at this time is not an option. The GPS antenna inside our KVH dome suddenly died on us a couple days ago. KVH walked us through a thorough diagnostic by cell phone, and when it became apparent that a part in our dome had failed, they did not hesitate to offer a new part. But priority shipping from the U.S. to Pohnpei takes six days. We opted to do without the SAT-COM system this week while at sea, and to meet up with the part in Palau. We will use our Iridium phone for calls as needed, but the phone, and our SSB and VHF radios will be our only communications tools. These are more than adequate for a safe passage.

Their Tax Dollars at Work

The customs official who swore he’d show up at 7 AM today to process our departure arrived two hours late this morning. We took advantage of the delay to thank a nice man named Gibson, the dock manager, for his many courtesies, and to settle up for our use of dock space. Gibson is now the proud owner of a Global Adventure golf shirt. With all paperwork done, we are now on our way to Palau.

Today at Sea

Today at sea has been most pleasant. Waves have been no more than 2 feet, with swells, three feet at most. Skies were clear except for the occasional gentle shower passing by. We were out of site of land in no time, set on a course of 268 degrees – almost exactly due west. We’ll pass several islands on our way, but the plan is to get to Palau as soon as possible.

Wolf and I each did fuel calculations and agreed to run the Lugger diesel at about 1450 RPM, to push our cruising speed to about nine knots in these ideal conditions. This is important because without the SAT-COM unit, I must get to Palau in time to broadcast our next radio show, Sunday night at midnight Palau time. At this speed we should arrive Sunday morning. Plenty of time!

I caught a few hours sleep before my 18:00-21:00 watch. After flying back and forth from Majuro to Honolulu to Phoenix to Cleveland to LA to Honolulu to Pohnpei (with the last leg involving four stops), and after a full day of touring the island the day before, and staying up all night last night, I can sleep standing up. My biological clock has no clue where it is.

All other onboard systems are working beautifully. The AC is on, the stabilizers are working, and – as my watch comes to a close, I know I will sleep well tonight.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I awoke at 05:15, showered, grabbed a breakfast bar and relieved Alida of the watch. The sun rose at 06:25, seas are calm – and warm – at 86 degrees. Wolf also awoke early to tutor Alida on taking a morning fix with the sextant. At every turn Wolf has been willing to share his extensive knowledge with the crew and me.

After my watch I called home on the Iridium and spoke briefly with my wife, Lynn, and our ten-year-old, Mac. But the connection was problematic. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Without the ability to send daily website photos, videos or dispatches, I feel like I’m on holiday. I spent a couple hours reading, took a nap, and when a couple small yellow fin tunas took our lures, I brought one in.

This afternoon we practiced with, and I cleaned, our counseling tools.

We continue on our westerly course of 268 degrees. Early tomorrow morning we’ll pass near Chuuk (Truk) Island, and even closer to a small island southwest of Chuuk. We have two independent navigation systems working, plus redundant radar systems. We must be very careful not to accidentally run aground on one of the many low-lying atolls in these waters.

We’ve seen three fishing boats since our departure from Pohnpei. Our maps show us where the seamounts are – in fact we caught our fish today over one such mount; and in each instance it is in the vicinity of these mounts that we’ve seen fishing boats.

18:00. I’m on evening watch now. We’ve had some Omaha steaks in the fridge for a few days, so we really need to cook them up tonight. Dinner will be surf and turf – featuring not only the steaks, but also our fresh-caught fish. Not too shabby!

I graciously offered Alida some steak broiling tips: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, have all other dishes about ready, and be prepared to pull the steaks after as little as six or seven minutes. I could tell she was deeply grateful for my sage advice.

As I write this entry on my HP laptop, Bryan Wallace our newest crewmember is sitting here with me, trying to selectively download some songs from his IPOD onto my Mac. They don’t make it easy to share!

Sunset was at about 19:00 tonight. Cloud cover made it difficult to pinpoint the time. I could check the charts, but what fun is that? But it is time to check the engine room and to walk the boat. More tomorrow…

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

08:00. Another very calm, hot and beautiful day. Again Wolf rose early to instruct Alida on the use of the sextant. He also called our weather routing service for an update. Looks like clear sailing all the way to Palau! As I took the watch at 06:00, Chuuk was about forty miles to our north (starboard).

The Friggin’ Frigate

Many birds fly out to sea. The number and variety of them even thousands of miles from shore are amazing. But there is one bird in particular that likes to hitch rides on passing ships: The Frigate.

A frigate is sort of a cross between a vulture, an albatross and a duck, not that any of those families would claim kinship. This butt-ugly creature is grey-black, has a long wing span, a long beak, and stands about 18 inches high. Unlike most ocean-going birds it is not at all shy about making itself at home aboard passing ships.

Late last night one such bird made our aft boat deck its home. Bryan was on watch. In the dark of night, as Bryan made his way aft from the pilot house along the port walkway, the bird jumped out in front of him, nearly giving Bryan a coronary. And the bird wouldn’t budge. He held his ground on the deck, and Bryan, not wanting a fight with a frigate at 2 AM, backed off.

When Alida began her watch at 3 AM, she, being the soft-hearted type, gave the bird a bowl of water and a bowl of cereal. It drank the water, ate the cereal, and pooped all over my deck.

Shortly after I began my watch at 6:00 AM, I strategically approached the upstairs aft boat deck, and thus the bird, from the aft steps that lead from the lower deck (the fishing cockpit). I must have startled him because the moment he saw me he hurled himself over the rail.

Thinking I was done with him, although not the slippery poop he left behind, I made my way to the flybridge to enjoy the sunrise. There is a canvas canopy atop the flybridge. It ends just a few inches forward of the control panel there. I was sitting at the control panel when a huge wing dropped down over the side of the canopy right in front of me. The frigate must have been standing directly over my head.

His wing was within easy reach. Knowing that once one bird soils your canvas, others may also feel right at home, I was tempted to grab the wing and fling the bird Frisbee style off the boat.

Not knowing whether I’d succeed, or even if I did, whether the bird would just return, I adopted a secondary, less risky approach. I repeatedly tapped the underside of the canvas top until the frigate had had quite enough. He finally flew away in search of friendlier environs.

Calculating the Cost of Speed

As I mentioned yesterday, we are running the ship’s engine at about 1450 RPMs to achieve an average hourly speed of 9 knots. Because the KVH SAT-COM gear is temporarily down, we must attempt to make Palau in plenty of time for next Sunday’s (Phoenix time) radio show. This RPM is definitely more than we would prefer, but as long as the weather holds we need to beat feet toward Palau.

However, even slight increases in RPM above 1200 profoundly affect fuel consumption. Wolf compiled the following table, based on the ship’s actual fuel usage at various RPMs since our departure from San Diego April 1:

Sea State Engine RPM Fuel Consumption Rate – Gallons Per Hour Speed Per Hour Over Ground in Nautical Miles (NM = Knots) Gallons of Fuel Consumed Daily
Calm 1450 9.0 9 216
Calm 1350 7.0 8.5 168
Calm 1270 5.3 8.4 127
Calm 1200 5.0 8.3 120

You can see from this chart that running the engine at 1450 RPMs consumes exactly 80 percent more fuel than running the engine at 1200 RPM (216-120)/120. Yet we only pick up .7 knots/hour (that’s seven-tenths of a knot per hour). However, over six days, that .7 knots/hour extra hourly speed puts us exactly 100 miles ahead of where we’d be at 8.3 knots/hour.

Although a higher speed consumes much more fuel, we also spend less time on the water burning fuel. At 1200 RPM (8.3 knots) the 1450 NM trip from Phonpei to Palau would take 175 hours. At 1450 RM (9 knots) the trip will take 161 hours. We save 14 hours of fuel consumption.

A comparison of total fuel consumption is also instructive:

@ 1200 RPM: 5 GPH x 175 hours = 875 gallons
@1450 RPM: 9 GPH x 161 hours = 1,449 gallons

We will therefore consume 574 extra gallons of fuel.

The Lloyds/ABS standard for fuel reserves is 25 percent. We began this leg of the trip with about 2000 gallons of fuel onboard. Even while consuming 1449 gallons to reach Palau, we should arrive with about 500 remaining gallons onboard. Obviously, 500 is 25% of 2000, so our reserves should be spot on.

With so many islands scattered along our route to Palau, should we run into weather, or for any other reason consume more fuel than planned, we can duck in and fill up.

A VHF Hello to Alex

Just after sunrise we spotted a carbon-mast 46’ sloop heading south off our starboard side. We hailed her on the VHF and had a pleasant visit with the skipper. The boat’s name is Alex.

Alex had apparently just won the Hobart, Tasmania, to Osaka, Japan, double-handed race. The skipper we spoke with was taking her toward New Guinea and then to Australia. He said there were Spartan accommodations onboard, but they were very pleased to be on their way in such excellent conditions; and we were pleased to make their acquaintance.

Heading south, Alex crossed our course about four miles off our stern, to the east. She was quite a sight against the rising sun.

Marlin!

18:45. Despite the air conditioning, I’m sitting in the pilot house sweating bullets. My arms ache. My shoulders ache. My lower back aches. I can barely get my fingers to work the keyboard. I feel wonderful!

Wolf and I just pulled in a 180-pound marlin!

Man, did he fight! Three times he almost spooled the line. He flew across the water again and again, in all directions, bending left and right in mid air, trying to shake loose the same lure he had found so appealing. He flew. He just flew across the water.

For the first ten minutes, Wolf worked him. After the second time the fish ran the line, Wolf offered me the pole. For a long while we fought and fought. Twice the fish went straight down, down, and twice, little by little we pulled him up.

The final ten minutes found Wolf pulling the line in with his gloved hands, while I worked the reel. Inch by inch, foot by foot, we wore him down.

Finally we brought the fish to the ship’s aft swim platform. After several attempts, with me working the rod to keep the Marlin pressed against the platform, Wolf and Alida managed to unhook him. Upon his release he floated away, upside down; but not dead. Unless another predator got him while he recovered during those first few minutes, we’re confident he’ll live to fight another day – a right he more than earned today.

Swimming on the High Seas!

The marlin episode makes this next report sound tame: The seas were almost flat today, and it was hot. At about 1500 our location was 6.36N/150.21E. Middle of nowhere atop 2,000 feet of water.

I said, “Wolf, why don’t we…”

“Absolutely,” he said. “Let’s jump in.”

Great minds think alike. We stopped the ship and started swimming off the aft deck.

Wasting no time, our newest crewmember, Bryan Wallace, jumped from the loftier aft boat deck over the port side into the water – about a ten-foot leap from the top of the rail. We kept one person on the ship at all times, but we rotated, and all got wet. The water temperature was 87 degrees.

Using our snorkel gear, Wolf and I examined the underside of the ship. It had been cleaned in Majuro. Both the underside and the zincs looked very good.

No sea creatures nibbled our toes, and no marlins mistook us for bait.

Alida is now preparing a “Hawaiian Pizza” for dinner. Good. I’m starved. All this swimming and fishing works up an appetite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

09:00. It’s been a busy morning. Shortly after 6:00, Alida helped me set up the tripod and our big Cannon HD video recorder on the aft starboard corner of the flybridge. We captured this morning’s sunrise on video. I will put he event to music and to post the result on the website once we arrived in Palau. Be sure to check the website for the result!

The ocean is only slightly choppier this morning than it has been the past couple of days. The wind has shifted. It is now from the northeast.

Moments ago, Wolf and I experimented with various RPM settings. Surprisingly, in this particular sea-state, we make just as much headway at 1350 RPMs as we do at 1450 RPMs – but we consume two gallons per hour less fuel! Great! This setting will save me about $1,000 between here and Palau!

With the wind at 14 knots off our starboard quarter (back right-hand side of the boat), and with small waves and swells from the same direction, we found that by synchronizing the speed of the boat with the elapsed time between swells, we actually create a surfing action that pushes the boat forward more efficiently.

By contrast, yesterday we had flat seas, or modest following seas almost exactly off our stern. Under those conditions 1450 RPM took us to 9 knots. But today, under these conditions, at least for now, the best we will do is 8.2 knots. At least we’re saving fuel – and money.

There’s nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.

Fixing the Elbex

18:00: As I begin my watch, Wolf and Bryan are here in the pilot house systematically diagnosing the unit that controls our eleven onboard cameras. It’s called an Elbex, and all of our fixed cameras tie into it. It then forwards whatever image we select to one of our Furuno screens here in the pilot house, or to one of our video cameras for recording.

Having “eyes” all over the boat (except in personal quarters) is a luxury to which we had grown accustomed. It’s great for security, and an easy way for whoever is on watch to monitor fishing and other activity on the back of the ship, and to monitor the engine room.

We know that one camera is not working – the one on the aft side of the stack looking down on the boat deck. But it appears that something else is not only causing the Elbex’s alarm light to appear, but also causing all camera images to disappear.

Our night vision camera, mounted on the top of the ship’s forward brow, can be especially valuable when making landfall at night. But the camera routes through the Elbex. Bottom line: We need to get the darned thing fixed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

07:00: How’s this for cool? We are 600 miles east of Palau, 400 miles south of Guam, and 600 miles north of New Guinea. You doon’t wake up every morning at that location!

Our heading is 273 degrees (due east is 270 degrees), our speed is 8.6 knots, engine RPMs are at 1350, skies are partially overcast, and everyone aboard but me is asleep. There are no other boats within sight or on radar.

For the moment I alone enjoy it all: Seeing the gentle showers falling around us, the sun rising, the small waves on calm waters; smelling the fresh clean ocean air; touching the warm tropical breeze; and hearing the soft hum of our diesel below deck and the gentle whoosh of waves along our bow.

Chef Wallace

18:00. We have a guest chef this evening, direct from Ireland, via Her Majesty’s Royal Navy: Bryan Wallace. I have no idea what he’s cooking up, but he calls it “Chicken Surprise”. Bryan is a great sport, an excellent seaman, and a delight to have on board. In fact, our entire crew – Bryan, Alida, Wolf and I – have bonded exceptionally well.

Exercise

It was another very pleasant day at sea. Alida, Wolf and I each used the elliptical trainer that sits on the centerline looking aft, at the very back of the aft boat deck. It’s a great view from there. Just strap on the IPod and start pumping.

Even in gently rolling seas, using the trainer produces an infinite-motion exercise. I would estimate that ten minutes on the trainer while at sea is equivalent to nearly 30 minutes on land. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

We also use an “ab-cruncher” machine we installed just forward of the elliptical trainer. My six-pack is still a keg, but I’m working on it!

Finally, we have on board a set of two very clever square weights. You can quickly adjust each unit to produce from six to 25 pounds. I usually put a couple of the foot stools together in the salon and use them as a weight bench. Again the rolling of the ship adds excitement to every exercise!

The One That Got Away

But the best upper-body exercise comes from trying to reel in the monster Marlin that keep taking our lure! We took a video today of our effort to land yet another fish so large we finally just cut the line. Remember, Tuesday, we landed and released a 180-pounder with the same fishing gear. But the monster today was way too large for us. Again, we only keep what we can eat, and we only eat what we can store. Our freezer space is limited. When you watch the video entitled “The One That Got Away”, be sure to check out the bend in the rod. This was a serious fish!

Elbex Update

It’s fried. Circuits burnt inside. I’ll be on the Iridium phone tomorrow morning trying to reach the vendor who installed the expensive unit. I’ll try to get a warranty replacement sent immediately to Palau. Having use of all the Elbex-controlled fixed onboard cameras is more than just a luxury. Especially when anchored or sitting dockside in faraway places, they greatly enhance security. And as I mentioned yesterday having use of the night vision camera is particularly helpful when negotiating unknown shores after dark.

Time Zones

It’s time for an engine check, some chicken surprise, and the continuation of my watch until 21:00. Palau is two hours behind Pohnpei, so this morning I took an extra hour on watch and set the clocks back; and tomorrow someone else will do likewise. This will put us on Palau time by tomorrow night.

Friday June 15

14:00. We’ve been busy today. I spent almost my entire watch on the Iridium phone taking care of various business matters. Still no word on when or even whether a new Elbex unit will be sent to us. I’ve been promised an answer tomorrow morning.

Wolf and I spent time this morning reviewing our upcoming plans for keeping the boat in the Philippines while giving the crew an opportunity rotate home for a couple of weeks. This will work out especially well as I will be in China most of July with my family. However, however, all such arrangements will be made with the security and safety of the ship a foremost concern.

Update on Chef Wallace’s Dinner

It was very tasty: Chunks of chicken breast in a bowl of sticky rice. We ate almost all of it and used the rest for caulking.

Tonight Chef Wolfgang “Puck” Petrasko will prepare dinner. He has not yet announced the menu. I promise an update.

Video: Life Aboard the Global Adventure

Had some fun today putting together a video about life on board while underway. Be sure to check it out on the website.

The Stars

I’ve not made enough of how spectacular the stars are, night after night. We are always greeted by the “evening star” – Venus – so bright upon the water that she lights a path to the east-northeast. Even before Venus sets, the Milky Way explodes all around us. Then constellations I’ve never before seen decorate our southern horizon. At this latitude, even the Southern Cross is high in the sky.

Sometimes at night we’ll turn off the running lights, stand on deck and let the immensity of it all sink in. We marvel at the cacophony of those brilliant white stars that are set apart, some into constellations, and of the Milky Way’s billions of suns so densely packed they form their brilliant white trail across the sky – all from one unbroken horizon to another; and all set against the limitless jet-black dome of our universe.

The Vast Pacific to Our West

We’re now about 350 miles due east of Palau – about 800 miles due east of the Philippines. Already, every few minutes we see small pieces of natural shore debris, and some indications of the vast population centers just ahead: Cut bark, bamboo, kelp, and even logs.

And we’ve seen a few man-made items as well. Yesterday, a volleyball floated by. Quick — call Tom Hanks! We may have spotted Wilson!

I’ll do the exact math later, but we’ve now traveled about 6,700 nautical miles since we departed San Diego April 1 – all of it across the immense and spectacularly beautiful Pacific.

However, if I’m not mistaken, our trip across the actual Pacific will technically end in the Philippines since that body of land is separated from Asia not by the Pacific, but by the South China Sea which opens into the Pacific. However, like most people, when we think of the Pacific, we think of that body of water(s) that extend from the Americas to the Asian mainland, and we won’t claim to have crossed it until we dock in Hong Kong, Xiamen, or wherever we first make landfall there.

Regardless, the seaways will become increasingly busy now, and I’m a bit sad that our days of being thousands of miles from the works of man, alone day after day atop God’s pristine largest ocean, are nearly behind us.

Other adventures await. But I will always remember the Pacific – not just as the largest ocean I will ever cross, but also as the first.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

11:00. It’s been a very busy morning.

I couldn’t sleep past 05:00 so I got on the Iridium and confirmed shipping arrangements for the Elbex. Looks like it won’t meet up with us until we arrive in Cebu, The Philippines, in two weeks. It least we’re getting the matter resolved.

New Videos!

I spent most of the rest of this morning editing and compressing some new videos. I look forward to posting them on the website as soon as we arrive at Palau. Here are their titles:

• May 4, 2007 Arrival at Majuro (belatedly)
• The One That Got Away
• Pacific Sunrise
• Life at Sea Aboard The Global Adventure (FIVE STARS!)

Hope you enjoy them all!

A Surprising Counter Current

Late yesterday we encountered the Equatorial Counter Current. As its name implies, instead of heading east to west with the prevailing winds, it heads in the opposite direction. Usually it does not come this far north this time of the year, but it did, and it knocked almost two full knots off our speed for 12 straight hours – even at 1475 RPM.

Fortunately, the seas flattened out nicely today and we have resumed a speed of about 8.6 knots. Still, losing two knots per hour for 12 hours will push our arrival time back about three hours. Instead of arriving in Palau around 8 AM, we should be there between 11 and 12.

Normally, this would be of no concern to us, but since we’ve been out of touch due to the failed KVH Sat-Com part all week (again, KVH has been great about rushing us a replacement) I’ve really got to hustle once we arrive tomorrow to prepare for the midnight broadcast (8 AM Phoenix time) of our live three-hour radio show.

Elliptical Training in the Rain

Just as I jumped on the elliptical trainer this morning a squall swept through. It was a blast: Rain in my face, the ocean everywhere, Bobby Darin on the IPod, and me just pumping away. I highly recommend it.

Working in the Rain

Wolf and Brian took advantage of the rain by scrubbing down as much of the ship’s outside as possible. The crew has a great work ethic, and although we all look forward to sight-seeing and scuba diving around Palau, none of us will do any of that until all work is done aboard. This includes a total ship cleanup, and, among other things, the installation and successful testing of the KVH part that, we are told, is now waiting for us in Palau.

A Sense of Sadness

20:30. My day is almost over. When I awake tomorrow we will be within sight of land. Palau is a beautiful tropical island and I’ve looked forward to seeing it for many years. But unlike the other places we’ve visited so far – Hawaii, Majuro and Pohnpei – it is not surrounded by thousands of miles of pristine Pacific Ocean.

No. Palau is about as far from The Philippines and its 80+million population as Phoenix is from San Diego – about 450 miles..

I have loved this journey. I am very sad to see this part end. After all the planning, the work and the expense, it has been worth every moment. And we still have about 2/3 of the globe to cross! Our ship has performed splendidly, and I hope our crew can stay together for many, many more miles to come.

But it won’t be the same. From now on, except when we cross the Atlantic, we’ll always be within a few hundred miles of land, of people, and of the mess they usually make of things.

For two and a half glorious months this trip has been mainly about the wonders of nature. We have seen God’s hand everywhere, undisturbed by the hand of man.

But now our focus will shift to the people we meet, the things we learn about how they live, how they do business, how they get along. That’s OK too. It’s not worse, just different.

But after all this time alone on the sea – especially after this particularly comfortable and pleasant seven-day, 1450 NM passage from Pohnpei – there is a part of me, a big part actually, that just wants to keep sailing, away from whatever we might find ashore, and as close to nature’s undisturbed majesty as possible.

But I will settle for this: There are few people indeed who can say they’ve crossed the Pacific as have we.

We are beyond lucky. We are blessed.

–Keith


Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. William R. Smith on June 17, 2007 8:38 am

    Keith, Just like everyone else who have sailed the oceans, You have fallen in love with the sea. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog of week June 17. Keep up the writing. It is excellent. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Sincerely, WRS

    William

    Kind words, William. Thanks.

    –Keith

  2. dlblanton on June 17, 2007 10:22 am

    Hi Keith,
    Your writing is wonderful! (Were you planning to write a book?) Your descriptions of your journey are priceless; you can’t imagine how much I appreciate your comments about the crew! Thank you for keeping us informed!
    Dixie

    THANKS, Dixie!

    –Keith

  3. Dermot Keane on June 19, 2007 8:26 pm

    Hi again Keith!
    Just finished reading your Pohnpei-Palau trip report. What a great read! Informative and humorous! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Keith and crew aboard The Global Adventure during their visit to Palau and do indeed agree that they are very pleasant individuals. Bryan and I have hit it off as we are both from Ireland… or maybe ’cause misery loves company….. we’re both missing those nice creamy pints of Guinness! Mmmmmm!

    I was chatting with Bryan, Wolf and Alida at bar at Sam’s Tours and we all had a good laugh as Wolf (Austrian) first poked fun at Bryan and I by insisting that the Irish were in fact descended from the Austrians! Got even better when in a most serious and convincing manner Wolf almost had some of the locals buying his story that Palauans descended from the Austrians!

    They are a fun bunch on The Global Explorer.

    Cheers!
    Dermot Keane
    Sam’s Tours Palau
    http://www.samstours.com

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