Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DAY 3 KWAJ- day off!

Day 3 Off in Kwaj
In their first amphibious attack, the new 4th Marine Division landed on Roi and Namur Islands on February 1st 1944, while US 7th Division landed on Kwajalein. At the time this was the longest shore to shore amphibious assaults in history. The lessons of the bloody fighting on Tarawa had been well learned and the successful attack on the Marshalls set the pattern for future amphibious operations in the Pacific War.

 ABOVE LEFT: Coral at low tide so we can get to the "Pools"
ABOVE RIGHT: Snorkel area
BELOW: BBQ by Family Beach

Early up, Downey and I went to the Japanese swimming pool. Japanese/American "pools": The "pools" at high tide, can't see them at all, which is why you go snorkeling in them at low tide. Coral is very dangerous if you get cut by it, apparently wants to grow in you.  This is an area that the Japanese bombed the coral to make giant swimming pools and when the tide was low the water would get trapped in these 30 foot deep swimming pools and trap fish in them and you can swim in these warm underground swimming pools.
When we finished we went to the real beach and started swimming there. Swimming there the life guard explained sea cucumbers and how they ate sand, saw tuna school swim by and enjoyed the water. She is in High school and grew up on the island, never been to the states but is going to college there next year. Can you imagine the culture shock- she never seen a car! We were stalling for 1 in the afternoon to go for a scuba boat ride and by the time we did all this it was only 11AM.
BELOW LEFT: is just normal crabs. Coconut crabs are huge! (and I hear delicious) 

 Load on the boat and Downey and I do our best impression of a Duran Duran Video. The water  was so clear but it was bumpy.

I called Angie as soon as we got back from a swim. She is at my buddy Mark Harris’s wedding. I am sad to have missed it. We went out on a boat and the water was so crystal clear it was amazing. While on the way to the scuba spot we drank beers and DAYTONY drinks (named after Tony from Dayton, our guide) we saw so much amazing coral and sea life. The fish are so bright and tons of different coral. On the ride back from Bigej the waves where HUGE! We bounced all over the place. BELOW: Bigej

We are getting ready to drop anchor and get in the water. BELOW: Someone got to get it started!
 Snorkeling and drinking just go together. We had to wear shirts- the sun is 4x stronger because we are by the equator. And another 4x because we are in water.

Bigej Island is part of Kwajalein Atoll in the Ralik Chain in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), 2,100 nautical miles (3900 km) southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Japanese fuel tanks from World War II are still present on the island. Bigej is not part of the Reagan Test Site.
Sam Adams- the only was to Snorkel.

Right: DOWNEY pissing in the wind!
BELOW: Sea Turtle swimming under dock

LEFT: Get home and clean up. Stephen and Carol Rock!
HOLY SHIT I am Burned!

RIGHT and Below: Went to BBQ by the water at what they call the boat shack. They fix there boats here, but i would just call it beach front bars! We drank and ate steak and all the booze you can imagine, I drank absinth. And ended up sleeping early I was drunk, full of food, sore, and sun burned. Downey wanted snake whiskey!
-The Battle of Kwajalein was a battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, fought from January 31, 1944, to February 3, 1944, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Following the capture of Tarawa in November 1943, American eyes turned to the Marshall Islands. These were the next vital stepping stone across the Pacific towards Japan, and would bring the islands of Guam and Saipan within the reach of US forces. Employing the hard-learned lessons of the battle of Tarawa, the United States launched a successful twin assault on the main islands of Kwajalein in the south and Roi-Namur in the north.The Japanese defenders put up a stiff resistance though outnumbered and under-prepared. The determined defense of Roi-Namur left only 51 survivors of an original garrison of 3,500.
For the United States, the battle represented both the next step in its island-hopping march to Japan and a significant moral victory because it was the first time the United States penetrated the "outer ring" of the Japanese Pacific sphere.

By the time U.S. Troops landed on the islets of Roi, Namur, and Kwajalein the Navy had laid on a non-stop barrage of 2655 tons of ammunition.