GIBAS I Captain's Logs
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Before the light of dawn, Coach Becky Chmielewski and I left for our 3 hour drive to Washington. It took us over an hour of driving through Washington to find an approximate location, including a short hike through the wrong yard. It was once again cold and raining as we frantically searched high and low among the trees.
Clearly in need of help, we pulled into a long, paved driveway that we believed to be on the correct street. It is nearly Halloween, and a sign in the window said “Beware of Grandparents.” A man named Sam answered. He looked over our maps, and helped us to orient ourselves toward the correct yard.
As we thanked Sam and left, he told us, “If you don’t find it, let me know. I’m retired. I’ve got some time on my hands.”
Down the road, we pulled in to a long driveway with several houses that faded into a dead-end yard. The house at the end of the street had no answer at the door, only a barking dog tied up on the porch. Coach C and I spent the next 30 minutes in the rain, trespassing in the wooded lot behind the house while getting stabbed by thorns and thistles. We were sure that the Gibas I had landed somewhere nearby.
And suddenly, in the midst of our frustration, we see it, 50 feet above us in the tallest braches of a tree. We tried desperately to shake the branches, pulling on vines and throwing objects, but it was no use. There was nothing we could do but watch as the camera barely teetered on the edge of the wooden base, teasing us with the potential to fall.
We were able to recover the case containing the GPS devise, but only after we had returned home to review our footage did we realize we had caused it to fall from the branches through our seemingly futile efforts.
Ill-equipped and with heavy hearts, we were forced to abandon our recovery efforts- but we still have Sam. On our way home we stopped to update him on our sighting and leave him with our contact information. With the strong winds and rain, our hope is that the over the next day or two the camera will be knocked down and easily retrievable.
I will surely be driven to distraction until the Gibas I is recovered. In the morning I will begin preparations to return to the landing site with proper equipment and a stronger crew.