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Yvon Chouinard tags a Moi at the Oceanic Institute as practice for tagging Bonefish in Palmyra.

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Preparations — Page 3

To test our camera gear underwater, Russell arranged for the Aloha Dive Shop to take us on two dives, one to a submerged crater to swim with turtles, and the other to a place with sandy canyons between reefs where white-mouthed eels hid. The cameras worked perfectly, none of the housings leaked, and nobody drowned.

Franklin Viola, who will shoot video, seems to have spent more of his life below the surface than above it. I feel that Frank must have been to every exotic island on Earth, and his experiences gave us more to anticipate-bugs and thirst and infection and more moisture than we'd previously anticipated. This meant a shopping trip to K-mart for Ziplocks, Heftys, water bottles, insect repellent, Neosporin, and car wash towels (for cameras). That was our third and hopefully our last shopping venture.

Terry Tempest Williams arrived just this morning from Utah. She is here to see the bristle-thighed curlew, a relative of the long-billed curlews living at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on the shores of Great Salt Lake. She believes that as long as there are curlews in the world, there is hope. Due to our severe weight restrictions, our challenge is to keep Terry from convincing us that her twenty-five pounds of field guides, binoculars, hand lenses, watercolors, candles, and Milton's Paradise Lost, are more important than food. Terry, known for writing that bypasses the brains of her readers and lodges in their hearts and bones, will write about what she sees on Palmyra.

My job will be to tease from these people some of the many dimensions they represent. The team is complete. We've exhausted our capacity to anticipate and our expectations have taken flight. We leave tomorrow. The going will be over. The getting there will begin.

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