Captain Don – Aug. 6, 2012

The work week began today in spite of the Civic holiday back in Ontario. Apparently I won’t get a day off until Sept. 6th, which is Flag Day in Bonaire. As usual, Bob dropped by for the devotions. When he saw my Tilley hat, he asked me if I knew the famous story of the elephant who ate a Tilley hat three times, and, after a wash, it was just as good as new. I actually had the owner’s manual for the hat, so we passed it around. I was also able to take a photo of the group after devotions, but Bob had already left.

 Photos here 

My first order of business was to resume work on the new website. I was working on the Site Map when Laura shared a Google Doc of the site map with me. I guess she likes the collaboration feature of Google Docs. I think the staff here are quickly becoming fans of Google.

Next I finished reading all the Policies and Procedures of Trans World Radio. I must say, they are very thorough, but it all made good sense. Unfortunately, they are not in the public domain, or I would share them with you. Maybe I can work on that, as I think it is a model for any Christian organization that others may want to copy.

During lunch, I munched on my sandwiches while updating my blog. I’ve been fortunate to be able to enlist Brandon to proofread my blog before we make it public. He has helped me quite a bit with names and places, etc. I usually save it online as a draft, and notify him by email. Then he edits it, and hits the Publish button, which is when you guys get to see it. I’m finding that the iPad is not very WordPress friendly, so I have to tweak things on my lunch hour.

I’ve also had the help of my mother, keeping things looking word-perfect.

I  took a run to the hardware store with Dave during my lunch. It is a very large, professional looking store, much like the Home Hardware stores at home. It is just up the road from the graveyard. Right across the road is a Kentucky Fried Chicken. My, how things have modernized here!

Back at the office, Laura, Brandon’s wife, and I dove into the site setup again. We are both still working through the manual, and ran into some design issues. We will have to submit a tech support request to the U.S. office to see if we can get these worked out.
At the same time, we discovered some really great functions, such as scrolling banners for the front page. We also consulted amongst the staff on a few other content options. In order to keep track of the questions and issues we are working through, Laura asked me to create another Google Doc and share it with our team.

I got email responses from the local dive instructor at the Divi Dive Shop. We will be doing the first of my deep dives tomorrow night after work. I’ll be diving the Hilma Hooker, which is a former drug boat that sank just off of the transmitter site.

I also heard back from the Gypsy Divers’ dive group that is staying at the Flamingo resort. I had been looking for early morning dive partners, and they fit the bill perfectly. I am to meet them at five in the morning at the dock with my gear. We may be able to get two dives in before I go to work. This group does six dives each day, and uses Nitrox to do it. I am Nitrox certified, so I may do that, too. Nitrox is oxygen enriched air that has a 32% oxygen content. The result is only 68% nitrogen, which enables the diver to increase their bottom time on repetitive dives.

It was Monday, so Donna, of the finance department was in. She dropped by and gave me a tip that because it was Monday, Captain Don would be holding court at Captain Don’s Habitat. This is just the kind of local information that I need. That would begin at six.

When I left work, I decided I needed more photos of the island. My first stop was next door to the former Activities Building. It has now been sold to the Basisschool de Pelikan, or Pelican school (http://www.pelikaanschool.com) The building has been very well maintained.

Next, I drove back to my former home in Antriol. I walked up on the porch and knocked on the door. A nice Bonarian lady answered the door, and I explained that I used to live here over thirty years ago. She graciously let me take photos outside the house. It is rather overgrown, but the house is still in good shape. She is renting from an owner who lives in Curaçao. She is moving at the end of the month.

Then I drove down to Captain Don’s Habitat, which is half-way between the studio and the water plant. I noticed a fellow sitting in a wheelchair with a line of people waiting to talk to him. Sure enough, it was Captain Don. He is in his eighties now, and is missing his right leg. Apparently it never healed properly after he broke it during a salvage operation on a beached ship.

Don’s own ship sank off of Bonaire in 1964, and he decided to stay. He is mainly responsible for establishing the Marine Park that has preserved the coral reef surrounding Bonaire. The reef is now the chief source of income for the island in terms of scuba tourism.

We chatted  briefly, and I asked him if he knew Denny Hogan. Denny was a former TWR tower rigger, and an accomplished scuba diver. Denny still comes to Bonaire and climbs the towers, even though he is retired and in his seventies! Yes, Captain Don knew Denny Hogan very well. He said, “He has been trying to get me saved all these years. But I’m an hardcore atheist.” I said that hopefully Denny would succeed in influencing him to become a Christian some day. Then captain Don asked who was bringing him his drink.

I wandered off to the patio restaurant and ordered some fish Pizza. It was actually rather good. I took lots of photos, including the huge Tarpan fish that were cruising right below the terrace. Apparently they get the scraps at night.

Well, it is time for bed, as I have to get up before the birds tomorrow. The ocean is calling my name!

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