Sep 10, 2007

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.

"Who's feeling adventurous? Follow me!" our guide Ron shouts, then dives off a stalagmite nubbin. His boat slingshots into motion, a small Mary Celeste ghost ship.

"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?"

"H#ll yeah!"


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!"


  1. Great photo. Happy to hear that Palau was a front-to-back success.

  2. I'd move there if I could.

    And I darn well might...

  3. Well, if you do move there, I'm definitely coming to visit.

  4. You're always welcome. Though I'd hate to ponder the airfare from Stockholm...

  5. Don't worry about me - if need be, I can find myself a Swedish sugar mama.

  6. But, wait, they're like Pringles. You can not have just one...

  7. Can't just have one - isn't that Lays?

    In any event, prices for Pringles in southern Sweden are borderline extortion. Better find myself that rich, beautiful Swede fast ...

  8. I'm not really up on my crisps ... nor should you be, if you're gonna score a Swedish Sugar Mamma!