G'Mawnin' Folks and Folkettes, or G'Day, Mates & Matettes, as the case may be. While Chairman Strike is frolicking or frothlicking at the Great Barrier Reef, I have a mini-news that will undoubted delight Andy and Strike. :-) First, the news: Barbara and Dick, on the last line of the Strike's Attendee list, >Non-NED's who have expressed interest:- > >Barbara and Dick Stewart USA Yes wrote, without solicitation I should add, in response to my question to Barbara about her travel/lodging arrangement status, >Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 17:41:23 -0400 >Please count on us to provide 2 cases of cervesas for the penthouse party. That should take care of Andy and Strike for the first 15 minute anyway! Some of you might have wondered who Barbara and Dick are, from having seen their names on the Attendee's "yes" list for awhile. Sue and I met them in Yap, the last week of 1997. They made their optional stop at Yap after diving a week on the Ocean Hunter liveaboard, while Sue and I made the same stop after our week on the Sun Dancer liveaboard, both in Palau. For three days and every one of 5 dives, we were on the same boat of the Manta Ray Resort hotel, spent 45 minutes hidden behind the same spot of some coral heads, waiting and watching Manta Rays swim by in formation, to those "cleaning stations" in squadrons, as planes approach to land on an airport landing strip. As interesting an experience that was, I was sick of seeing the Mantas, by about halfway through the second dive, doing the same thing at the same location. Alas, that was all we got, without having seen any of the walls or open ocean at Yap which we would have much preferred (after ONE obligatory Manta dive there anyway). The Manta Ray watching at Yap is now the third on our list of "must see" dives in the world (after the Belize Blue Hole and Stingray City of Grand Cayman): first time -- exciting, exhilarating; second time -- okay, been there, done that; thir time -- big yawn. At any rate, I learned that they are experienced world-travellers to dive locations! So, when the NEDfest talk began last year, I mentioned to them that they might want to consider spending a week there meeting (krazy) divers from all over the world ... :) They'll be staying at the Presidente hotel from May 21-27. -- Bob.