Friday, February 13, 2009

BritOps

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.

4 comments:

Bell said...

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laura said...

Ben, seems like you're well taken care of there ... and having a blast. I'm a bit envious of the gorgeous weather.

Karen said...

:) This makes me smile. Now convince all the guys to make it happen in their shot hots (yes, that mispelling is on purpose). Our arch won't be the same without everyone! Any ideas for stand-ins if Daniel or Himm can't make it?

chris said...

Ben - fantastic photos of the BritOps mission! Glad you got a chance to get off the island for a few days. Hope all is well...