ROCK ISLANDS, Palau Sun bakes the turquoise and jade right out of the ocean. We paddle kayaks through a horizon of pure heat.
The cave takes the edge off. We loiter in the cool, reviewing the old schoolyard knowledge: Stalactites cling tight. Stalagmites might grow.
"Is kayak towing adventurous?" I sass, when he corks upward.
"I meant to unclip the lead," red-faced, he disappears into the dark water.
I follow. Daddy didn't raise no chicken...
"Up here," Ron calls. He's scaled the cave's arch, maybe 20ish feet above the deep channel. "Wanna jump?"
My last cliff plunge was into the Colorado River three years ago. I lost a contact lens, which spiced the remainder of the whitewater rafting trip: lo-fi, 2-D nonstop action!!!
But Palau is storybook, start to finish. I push into space, streaming downward, then blast into the fishbowl of the Pacific. I surface with full vision and a wild monkey grin.
"How was it?" a voice dopplers across the cave.
"Beats a cubicle any day!"