Friday, February 13, 2009


I recently joined the crew of the Pacific Marlin when they went on one of their routine patrols of the BIOT. The mission is fairly simple - mainly a customs check of the few visiting boats in the area and cleanup of some of the islands. Free time was spent snorkeling, reading, and eating (lots). This was my first time away from Diego Garcia in 6 months, so the change was welcome.

Île Poule is one of the smallest in the Salomons, so we were able to pick up all of the sea trash on the beach - mostly flip flops and water bottles.

On Île Poule, Salomon Islands. As it turns out, the mandatory swim test was a good idea - swimming the last 400 meters against the tide with all of the gear was a little hairy.

Post cleanup: Lt Andy Mowat, RN, LT Ben Crowley, USN
Île Sud-Est, Egmont Islands, with the landing party. There was once a coconut plantation, and its ruins can still be seen. Very creepy when exploring alone though.
Chow time. The food served on the ship is deserving of the excellent reputation, but the volume seen here is equally impressive: steak, eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, chips, and a fresh baked dinner roll. I think I blacked out before the apple crisp was served for desert.

Enjoying a few cold ones with the Master and Chief Engineer at end of another great day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coconut Plantation

When the boss is away, Branch Health Clinic Officers play. These are pictures from a recent trip out to the plantation that was in operation some time before Diego Garcia became a Naval Support Facility. Many of the buildings in the area have been reduced to little more than their foundations, while others are still in pretty good shape and have been barely touched since they were last used.

On the front steps of the Plantation Managers house

Nothing special here, I just thought the tree was interesting

A cocoanut crab, eating his namesake