West Bay, Grand Cayman Island, BWI –
If you’re reading this, it means that Grand Cayman’s telecommunications infrastructure has somehow come back from the dead. As I type these words, at 14:10 hours, there is no internet, no phone ( our phones are internet phones) and no mobile telephony. All gone.
Out here in the northwestern hinterlands of the island, there won’t be any explanation, either, at least until our overdue away team returns.
The athletes (Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Doc Lopez and Martin Stepanek) are all on a scheduled rest day. Doc disappeared earlier in the morning, no doubt seeking a bit of private time, and Mandy is running errands with the team van. She’s delivered one of the AIDA judges (Cedric) from the airport, and raced back out to collect the oceangoing brigade. And they’re overdue.
Martin is actually resting. His body, anyway. I stalked through the deserted base camp, laptop in hand, searching for WiFi signal, and came upon young Mr. Stepanek reclining on a leather sofa, studying a Rubik Cube with mild curiosity. Turns out this is not a regular 3×3 Rubik Cube but rather the advanced, 4×4 Rubik Cube, with many zillions more possible combinations than the original.
Martin: “ I’ve been working on this one since I got here, to Cayman. Tec Clark gave it to me. When I was house-sitting for him, I solved a 3×3 Rubik Cube that I found in his house. I guess he thought I need more of a challenge.” Martin mostly studies the cube, flipping it around, rotating it, peering at the faces. He doesn’t move anything, just looks and thinks.
HD Odyssey engineer Tad Masek has had to fly the coop, rushing home to California and a newborn daughter. Congrats, Tad and Mrs. Tad. Welcome, Baby Masek ! The underwater HD video setup is, nevertheless, in another field test today even as Tad jets westward. Connor is extremely capable, though, and the inventory of talents and skills in this crew is absolutely astonishing, so I’ve no doubt but that some sort of Virtual Tad will provide whatever support Connor needs. These HD video images are a big part of this project.
The video looks great. Another camera crew landed a few hours ago from the USA – they look pretty serious. Some people know who they represent. I might even know who they represent, but if that were true I’d be sworn to secrecy until a meeting taking place this very moment in Cayman’s poshest hotel concludes successfully. For now, I’m silenced, too, by the internet blackout. We’ve reason to believe it’s localized, though, and so we’re going to mount an (unwelcome) nighttime expedition to the Cobalt Coast Resort, where WiFi and internet are rumored to be up and running.
As I’ve said, things are happening fast here. Rumor just reached me that I’ll be airborne for one of the next few training sessions, shooting stills of the team boat and crew while Grant Graves does his High Definition aerial video.
Not tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is a full-out boat day. All hands mobilized for a full-scale exercise of the Game Day configuration, including training dives by all athletes. I’ve got my assignment – in the water as a freediver.
Bad, bad news. It seems that some crew member due to arrive tomorrow has dibs on my air mattress. I’ll be back to the tile floor. A shame – I was so enjoying my new, elevated station in life.
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