Stuck in Truk - Part III
Isolating in Truk Lagoon - (Continued)
Part I of "Stuck in Truk" Here
Part II of "Stuck in Truk" Here
As I live isolated in a virus free part of the tropical north Pacific in relative comfort and safety, the hardships many face in the outside world is not lost to me. Maybe some have battled illness and recovered or experienced the tragic loss of someone close to them. Others may be dealing with financial stresses or living in confined conditions that test the love of family like never before. My heart goes out to all of you. I wish there was something more that I can offer to alleviate the stress other than mildly entertaining imagery and a few kind words. Forgive me for my shortcomings.
As the realty of CV-19 became apparent and engrained in our psyches, I began seeing a wide gamut of behaviors on social media from the inspiring to the heart-breaking and even despicable. I discovered some people showed their best when times are worst while others do not. It is the person who can rise to a challenge and see it through with dignity that I admire. I'm moved by those who overcame the virus itself and literally sing, dance and smile after their recovery. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the self-centered who have little regard for the safety of others never mind themselves such as the protesters preventing health care workers from entering hospitals. I believe that adversity is a part of life. It is how a person deals with it that will define their character. Apparently not everyone agrees with this.
Diving and photography is my method for maintaining positivity during these trying times. When I need a fix, I visit one of the two dozen wrecks to recharge. Last week I made a few dives to the Nippo Maru (see top photo) and one on a rare plane wreck, a Kawanishi E15K "Norm". This Japanese aircraft along with two others was discovered by the Project Recover organization that was here last year searching for downed US aircraft. It is interesting to detour from the shipwrecks and explore the various aircraft. They are steeped in history and worth a few dives.
At present, I am grateful that I am not lying in a hospital bed fighting for my life and my family and friends are safe. Prior to this crisis I was at times feeling melancholic and run down. The routine of my job, albeit an exciting one, was wearing on me. Sadly, it took a pandemic to snap me out of it. I am now re-energized, taking on new projects and making new friends including a tennis ball named Spalding. I still struggle with the social isolation out here every day and lose sleep due to the stresses of the times but, if loneliness and boredom are my biggest enemies, then I'm not doing so bad.
I don't know when I will be leaving Truk Lagoon nor do I know when the country will open back up allowing tourists in. I look forward to that day so I can once again receive passengers on board the Odyssey and share the therapy of wreck diving with them. In the meanwhile, please be safe, stay healthy and encourage others to do the same. We are in this together.
Top: Suke poses for a photo beside the main gauge panel in the Nippo Maru.
Middle: A composite image of the Japanese float plane "Norm".
Third down: My newest friend Spalding at the helm.
Bottom: Dive buddies Suke and Eri gathering deco bottles on the Nippo Maru.
It’s great to see your pics. I live to see what you see. It is awe inspiring to me.
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