Saturday, June 30, 2012

Marlboro Caves and an eventful day

This morning I got up early and hung out in the living room while Mitchell was sleeping. In an hour (I got up at 7), the little kids came out to watch their daily fill of Aladdin. Then Kristyna came out and we waited while Kurt began making a breakfast of pancakes and sausage.

Next, Kurt invited his friend Joe, who happens to be the anti-terrorism officer of Naval Base Guam and his family to have breakfast. Then as we ate breakfast, we planned the outing for the day; going to a cave where we could swim called "Marlboro Caves."

The caves are located on the southern half of the northern part of Guam. After a short drive and a hike through the jungle to see the cliff side, we made our way down to the cave. It required careful clambering down the steep descent. Also, both on the trail and cave there were were very slippery mossy rocks.

Jack and Kurt
I was very thankful for my water shoes, which my Mom so thoughtfully packed for me and had excellent grip and were very comfortable.  Finally, we made our way down to the cave and prepared to swim.
The water was about 85 degrees, extremely comfortable, and I swam for a little bit. Then Kurt and Joe asked me if I wanted to explore the other side of the cave which required getting out of the water and climbing up the rocks in the cave, which, like early mentioned rocks, were very slippery and required careful navigation.
In the deeper cave,  Kurt suggested I jump off the ledge of the rock, which was roughly about ten feet. There were rocks on the ceiling that I had to be careful not to hit when I jumped. The first time, Kurt shined a flashlight so I could see when to jump.
Jumping Jack, not much of a flash!
I did not hesitate and after judging my jump, I took the step off the rock and leaped with my head down as not to hit the rock on the ceiling. I cleared the rock and soared towards the pool at surprising speed which was quite exhilarating indeed.

Before I could think anything else, I impacted the water and soon swam up to the surface, pleased that I had my first cave rock jump.  I did this jump two more times then swam a bit.
For lunch I had an orange and a granola bar to satisfy my appetite, both of which were very good. After lunch, we swam some more or in my case explored another, smaller cave with Joe, and lounged on a rock.
Then we got the startling news that Joe's and our cars had been broken into. We quickly got up and ran up the steep hill to assess the damage. The back left passenger windows on both of the cars had been smashed.

After trying to figure out who had done the deed, we made our way to the police station, filed our report and made our way home.


Sent from my iPhone

Sumay Bay Bunkers, the River and More

This morning Kurt and his friend Joe went down to Gab Gab Beach, to go scuba diving and I went along to hang out on the beach. I also got to see some Japanese bunkers/pillboxes in Sumay Bay off Orote Point. I explored a little bit inside them and then walked along aside the beach. 

Then we went home and left to get a new bumper installed on Kurt/Kristyna's Jeep. While we were at the place, I saw two wild boars that they had captured recently.

Then we got to witness some actual cock fighting, though no cocks got hurt badly.

Then our young guide took us on a hike through the jungle to the river. While on the hike, we had an alba fruit which tastes like a strawberry and lemon combined.

Then we made it to the river, where there was an old Japanese machine gun outpost. And then Mitchell and I swam and had fun swimming in the river.

We then had a delicious lunch consisting off halibut, marlin, rice and steak, with the friendly locals. Then, we left and with Kristyna driving the Jeep, we are on the way home.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 29, 2012

Exploring Apra Harbor

Today Jack appears to be exploring Apra Harbor in Guam.  Apra Harbor is a deep-water port on the western side of the United States territory of Guam in the Mariana Islands. The harbor is formed by Orote Peninsula in the south and Cabras Island in the north. To the south, the harbor narrows and then widens again to form an inner harbor. The southern end of the harbor is the location of Naval Base Guam. The northern end is the commercial port, which handles about 2 million tons of cargo a year. Coordinates: 13.44°N 144.67°E 

So far he has sent these photographs.  We look forward to narrative.

Apra Harbor North Pillbox outside 
 Apra Harbor North Pillbox outside
 North Apra Pillbox Inside
 North Apra Pillbox Inside

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tons of fun at the Base Gym and a Movie!

Today, Mitchell and I went down to the Naval Base Gym and played basketball on the half size and full size court. We were mostly practicing our shots and Mitchell and I did amazingly well considering I have never been on a real court.  I even got a few two pointers in the full size court, where the Harlem Globetrotters have played sometimes.

Then, Mitchell's friend Melissa met with us at the basketball court and played a little bit with us. We got drinks and then headed back home and Melissa left to go back.

After resting a while, we decided to head down to Mitchell's friends Kayla and Austin's house and go down to gym and played racquetball.  Turns out I am way better than I expected for the first time at racquetball!  Had several intense matches while the others watched.

Then, we headed to the mini-mart and got refreshments and hung out at the Subway next door to the NEX Mini mart. And I mention it was about 98 and very humid out while we walked about a couple of miles each way!

I am back at the house and waiting to go to the 4:00 showing of Avengers at the base theater

Sent from my iPhone

Good Morning from Guam

Orote Airfield today
The Thomas' house is just feet from where the World War II Orote Airfield flight line.   There is also a mass burial site for the Jap defenders of the island.  Quite an interesting area.
The first US aircraft to land at Orote Airfield, a Marine TBF Avenger

The Saga of Flight 201

Today, I had a delicious breakfast at the Like-Like Drive Inn, with Patrice and Zack, her youngest son.  My breakfast consisted of French Toast and bacon.  It was a delightful breakfast, I talked to Patrice about many things, about Hawaii, the office, and Guam amongst other things. Then I was dropped off at Honolulu International at 1105, and by the time I made it through the rather efficient security line, it was 1125, well ahead of schedule!

Then, I made my way to Gate 8, where I found that our flight from Guam would be coming so that I would've ready. I received a constant stream of updates from Mom on the standby by seat openings before the flight arrived. I sat next to a friendly older couple who were going to Guam who I learned their names later, and talked to them for a bit a out Guam.

Then, they started giving out seat assignments to passengers after the regulars had boarded and I eagerly watched the United mobile site for seat assignments and then when my name slipped to number one, I was called up. Then I boarded the flight and proceeded on my eight hour epic journey to Guam. The service was decent and the food was actually pretty good. I spent my time listening to music, sleeping, playing games on my iPhone.

I had a good flight, and now am safe at the Thomases, hanging out with Mitchell and Kristyna.


Sent from my iPad

Made it to Casa del Thomas!

After the 8 hour flight from HNL, I landed at PGUM at approximately 1745 local. I debarked the 777 and entered the airport and quickly went to the baggage claim area/customs area and sorted things out with the customs officer, who was surprisingly friendly. After a bit of confusion, I finally got in contact with Kurt and Mary and arrived at their home at about 1845 local time, passing Asan Beach where one of the Marine groups landed, and witnessed a beautiful sunset. Sadly, no pictures of said sunset, but I will get one in these two weeks.

I am happily rooming with Mitchell.  Kristyna is currently attempting to be IT Assistant to Mitchell who is trying to get on the Thomases Wi-Fi on his Kindle Fire.

Well, talk to you guys later!


Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Board, headed to Guam

Jack reports having had a great morning, a great breakfast at the Like Like Drive in Restaurant in Honolulu with the Li family.  He is grateful for their kindness and hospitality.  He hopes to see them at the End of the Year Party.  He made it out to the airport safely and this time managed to get a very nice aisle seat, 31H, on the starboard side of the aircraft.  The seat is reported very comfortable, which is good because the programmed flight time is 07+14.  All seems to be well.  He will land in Guam according to the flight plan at 1731L on Thursday, which is 0131PDT on Thursday.

His flight can be live tracked RIGHT HERE ON FLIGHT AWARE.

Sitting on the Balcony watching the subs go by!

I got to watch Atlantis Submarines taking their boats out for the day off Waikiki!

Balcony view, morning drinks!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dinner at Da Kitchen

I just got back to my hotel room after a delicious dinner with the Li Family at "Da Kitchen." Which, according to Patrice, is a prime example of local or "Hawaiian" food. For dinner, I had Fish and Chips "Hawaiian style.”  This is Mahi Mahi in the breaded form of the English "Fish and Chips."
For dessert, I had Banana Cream Pie, pictured above. It ties with the Fat City version, in my opinion and that is saying something.

The Plan of Tomorrow, I will go to breakfast with the Lis at the famous "Liki Liki" Drive in, then head over to the airport to try and catch my flight to Guam.


 Sent from my iPhone

Bumped on the way to Paradise

Due to overbooking, I failed to get on United 164 at 0830 and the 1000 United 3 became a 1210 departure. So, I found myself anxiously awaiting my name as the boarding progressed for United 3. Just as I gave up hope, I heard "Final Call for Passenger Arnold." Several things registered in my mind, one was that I had never heard them calling out my name, having paid close attention to the gate announcements. Second, I heard my name being called and rejoiced, for I finally was going somewhere other than Los Angeles. So I grabbed my backpack with iPad, and carry on bag and strode quickly to the lady at the gate. "Arnold you say? You are Jackson? Alright, you will be in 14D." I smiled warmly and thanked her and boarded. The flight proceeded nicely, as I had a nice aisle seat close to the front lavs and door of the 757-300. I had a nice old couple next to me in the middle and window seats, who I later learned were Diane and Jerry. I did not talk with them much until an hour out from HNL, but we discussed our vacation plans and flying experiences. After landing at 1540 local time, and passing a couple of Hawaii F-22s in revetments and F-15s holding by the runway upon which we just landed, we made our way to the gate and deboarded afer exchanging well wishes with Diane and Jerry. After getting a hold of the local A&A (Arnold and Arnold) adjuster, Patrice, who Mom had arranged to pick me up and take me to the Ala Moana Hotel where I currently am writing this post. After a successful pick up, Patrice dropped me off at the Ala Moana, and will return in an hour or so, with her family so we can go out to dinner. Well, it has been a long day so I wish to tell you readers, Mahalo! Jack


Finally off and enroute!

Monday, June 25, 2012

On the way to LA

My trip is beginning, with our drive from the office to Los Angeles, with a stop to have dinner with Lauralee in Long Beach at the Yard House restaurant. Then it is on to our hotel at the airport! Phase 1 of my voyage to Guam is underway! More updates as the journey progresses.  Just saw some AH-1 Cobras practicing on the Assault Landing strip near Camp Pendelton. Jack