0500, raining. Got up,
ate some oranges and a candy bar. Daybreak. Raining harder so heading for the
aviation gas hangar. Ate a sandwich w/cheese, green peppers and cucumbers.
Note: In addition
to the military MREs we had brought along for provisions, we had two huge
coolers of cold cuts, veggies, cheese, etc. provided by the good people at
Air Kiribati/Aloha Airlines who catered our charter. We asked for enough sandwich
makings for lunch on the flight down. What we got was a flying delicatessen.
truck broke down (fuel pump?) so we all started walking toward the old dump
area at the end of the runway. Everyone except Bruce and I walked down the
runway. We walked down the road between the runway and the lagoon. We lost
sight of the others.
0905 hrs. We came to two 2x4s approximately 1 foot apart being used as
posts just off the edge of the road. Bruce stopped. He thinks this is far
enough. I walked toward the ocean and came to the rusty bulldozer seen yesterday.
There are auto/truck engine blocks, heads, pistons, rear ends (differentials),
rotted wood, barrels, etc. laying around. Ric walked back out to meet Bruce
at the road. Bruce then led Ric in and they ended up at the old dump/bulldozer
site. From Bruce’s description, this seems like a likely spot.
are not doing an organized grid search. Everyone is basically wandering around
looking for signs of an aircraft engine. It is not too hard to cover a large
area fast. The bushes have spaces betwen them and there is a lot of bare
ground or ground covered with crawling vines. Bruce is very sure we are in
the right place.
1145, raining, fairly hard – driving rain, windy, everyone is soaked.
People are scrambling to get into bushes for cover – no use – soaked
to the skin. Ric announced that anyone who wants to go back can (the truck
is here now). Some are cold. Only Ric, John C., Russ M., Tom K., Johnny Johnson,
and I stayed behind. I ate an MRE. Chicken stew.
The rain let up so we went to a pile of coral rubble just east of the bulldozer.
The pile has chunks of iron sticking out. Motors, rear ends, etc. We started
uncovering some of the stuff by hand. John C. uncoverd some airplane parts.
I looked around some – it is clear that a bulldozer has been all over the
area. You can see where the blade has left ridges and low berms of coral.
Other than the rusty bulldozer, 99% of the stuff is half buried. It is obvious
that someone came in here to purposely bury the junkyard/dump.
Still raining, so we gave up and are heading back to the airplane. Very
wet out. Sat around in the fuel shed and wrote notes. Ate another MRE.
Dick Reynolds, Veryl Fenlason, Sam Painter, Russ Matthews,
Bruce Yoho, Tommy Love, Lee Kruczkowski, the aircraft pilot, Tom King.
Heather Gillespie, Ric Gillespie, John Clauss, Kenton Spading