We are all finally here. There were lots of weight limits to contend with as well as supply drops. The camp`` organization team is struggling, I can just tell. The last personnell drop was just me and Kevin. The pilot let Kev do most of the flying and he did a good enough job but I was very happy that the pilot took over for the landing part….down a WW2 runway that is cut short by a big field (and 10+ ft wall) of black lava. Camp is hardly set up – totally bare bones. There are not enough cots or tents and there is no food to speak of. The cook and some camp guys went fishing so that we could have something for dinner- boiled fish and white rice with onions. Kinda nuts. Fearless is pissed and he has been here the longest. Most of us helped erect a really big canvas tent that we can sleep under and we found a bunch of wooden pallets (2 each) that we can push together to sleep on. Hopefully it is not terribly uncomfortable. Also, hopefully, it does not rain.
Animals today: LOTS of spiders with huge web nests (orb spiders I think)
Black butterflies with lavender spots (milkweed butterfly?)
An insanely toxic looking caterpillar
May 7th 8 PM
This is a pretty amazing place.
The beach is a crescent of black sand- quite stunning- the water is warm and you can see areas where the warm fresh water from geothermal vents mixes with the sea. The coral heads looked great from the plane and we are all looking forward to exploring. There are only about 15 people here- one guy lives here and monitors the active volcano, Mt. Pagan. It has been smoking since April 21.
There are almost no mosquitoes.
The little flies are worst in the hottest part of the day but they don’t bite and are only active from about 5:30 AM till dusk.
We ate granola bars, beef jerky, and M&Ms for breakfast- all stuff we had brought along, and there was not much of that.
We waited for the helicopter for a long time- finally he came and took us in separate teams to 2 gulches on the south side of the island. We worked through the intense heat in long pants, long sleeves, hats and boots but both teams found snails and collected some genetic samples. Have I mentioned the spiders? TONS of them.