Yesterday’s relief over the solution to our disrupted schedule did not last; we are delaying more, waiting for the pilot to arrive. This time the fun is provided by United Airlines, which delayed his flight out of Denver. So we are sitting in Kona, working on instruments and jumping up and down because we should be going, going, going! Our work has been cut out for us and there is no slack built into the deployment schedule. Dozens of arrangements are in place and we need to stick to our obligations. I think I wrote and read over 50 E-mails today and drove back and forth to the airport 4 or 5 times. I have to say that the drive has by now lost quite a bit of its original colorful originality and become more like a commute – what a sad statement, being in the island paradise. I am doing my best not to get so dull to where I am not noticing the beauty of the surroundings. If only we had a little more free time.
We finished work on the airplane at 4 pm today. After a quick dinner, some housekeeping and buying a few groceries for tomorrow’s flight, at 6:20 pm there finally is an hour to get out and enjoy Hawaii. Even at this evening hour there are things to see: blooming plumerias, one of the most photogenic flowers I have photographed; Myna birds fighting over some crumbs in the parking lot and making silly noises at each other, just like a band of teenagers who found their dad’s stash of beer; people walking around and looking distracted, which I guess is the proper state of mind for self respecting Hawaiian vacationers. Even a lone turtle swam up to the shore to pick up a few shreds of algae off the steep lava rock wave breaker wall.
We are still hopeful that the pilot will get here tomorrow morning. Our next scheduled stop is Rarotonga, Cook Islands.