Monthly Archives: June 2010
Powerful lecture from the TED series just received and I will attempt to post it. New technologies of the human brain showing misdiagnoses of ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Leaning Disabilities. This seems to be true science and not the unproven, extremely expensive scams of several “experts” that often receive TV interviews on the popular Networks. This research TED lecture on video re: Developmental Learning Disabilities and rationale is well worth viewing the 7″ TED video.
I see far too many single parents or traditional parents with the mother doing practically all the work, while the father – if he is at home – is just another one of the children. The role models are so powerful that there is a very strong chance that the children will follow those same stereotypic roles as they grow up and have children.
I have been able to experience some “birding” this Spring and early Summer and capture photos of a hummingbird in flight, Orioles, Bluebirds, Pine Siskins, Robins, and have heard a great many songbirds. One unique project still ongoing has been having the privilege of viewing a pair of Tree Swallows that have nested in a box equipped with a small digital camera and cabled to the house to a HD Flat Screen Monitor. Watching the pair work seemingly day and night building a nest, hatching the eggs, and observing their 5 chicks be fed and grow so fast over the past few weeks has been an inspiration. True teamwork. Male and Female seem equally committed to raising their young…working ever so hard 24×7. Using a Flipcam on a tripod, the action inside the nesting box has been captured by filming from the monitor, then transferring the videos to YouTube and burning them onto DVDs. As most of us matured, the question of when to be talked to about the “Birds and the Bees” was often mentioned, but so often trivialized. If the average human family could raise their young like these Tree Swallows, I am certain there would be far less dysfunction.
First video on June 26th, 2010
Second Video taken on June 29th, 2010 5 chicks
Found a Super 8 film I had taken from June 1977 and filmed the film to digital camera. Uploaded it to PC. Viewing that primitive video brought back some powerful memories and reminded me of how inexperienced I was as a captain in those cold, unpredictable waters in Lake Superior, sailing with an inexperienced crew without many of the now necessary safety devices. No back up equipment, single anchor with no chain link…just nylon line tied directly to a Danforth. From Bayfield, WI, one could easily believe you were in a small fishing village in New England. The closest island is La Madeliene and is inhabited by several hundred year round islanders. Beyond that is now National Lakeshore as one ventures further out to the primitive islands. Stockton is the most popular for anchoring out overnight, with sandy bays and protection from the cold winds. To ever consider an overnight anchorage beyond Oak Island is risky. But in 1977, having sailed most my life..often in the protective waters of the Virgin Islands, Lake Superior and its sudden storms did not seem risky at that time of year. Most sailing is July, August,and early September. June is still ice cold and many risks. (Large floating debris, sent adrift from the bays and harbors losing their winter ice) What started out as an exciting, carefree adventure quickly changed as the winds picked up. 1977 was the last year of manning Devils Island with Coast Guard. 3 men would handle the lighthouse with its Freznel lens, Fog Horn, and radio weather reports to larger CG stations and passing ships. No automatic sensor Buoys like today. Captured on the very end of the video is the CG Commanding Officer stating to come up to their lighthouse. He reassured me the boat would be safe, in a snug indentation along the rock hard shore. He said we were welcome to stay overnight there and he was not concerned about the weather. He had a “State of the Art” weather station and how could one not feel safer than being with 3 seasoned ‘Coasties’? I had a crew of 5 and all were excited to be at the outermost island, with its magic caves and incredible hx. The lighthouse was there for a reason. The major shipping lanes would pass from Duluth to the Souix Locks(About 400 miles) and the lighthouse was the assurance that the captain was on course. Fog was a major danger, anytime of day – particularly in June. So if you could not see the beacon, you would listen for the Fog Horn.
I had never ventured out so far from Bayfield. I had made many crossing to the North Shore and aside from Isle Royale, there were no structural navigational risks…..huge waves and motion sickness with the crew, but no fear of running aground on the rocks of the Apostles.
Viewing the 1977 video, brought home how ill prepared we were. Also how we allowed the sails to luff and so many errors of navigation.
Even in the calm bay of Stockton (Mid video), failure on my part to caution the crew about the shock of sudden cold water immersion. I need to research it more, by I was told there was a “mammalian drowning reflex” that kicked in when one suddenly would dive into ice cold water. The laryxn closes – preventing inhaling the water and no water in the lungs. As the person surfaces, they cannot breath for several minutes, but it saves life. That is what happened to the 3rd person who jumped in…with assistance from others, she was safely assisted back onto the sailboat. I had to stop filming, once we were “snuggled in” at Devils Island – when light rain gave way to a major North Easter. The sailboat took a terrible beating with each huge wave, slamming her against the rock shore. But the Commanding Officer said he thought we should stay on the island thru out the night,even if the ship sank. I did follow his advice, but felt so terribly helpless not sleeping at all that night and hearing the loud noise with every wave. My close friend and first mate, was an experienced Navy Air Force Fighter Pilot. He hoped he and I would “Heave to” leaving the rest of the crew on the Island. But we had no working radio, only a storm jib, no radar reflector, etc. From his experience of flying mutimillion dollar fighter jets, he believed one saves the ship or jet, at any cost. Fortunately, the CO said it would be too risky. By daylight, the water was so flat – no wind – and the boat did not sink. Long cracks all along the port side, but we were able to sail back to Bayfield with primarily my self esteem in 200 feet of water. I could not help but think it was entirely my fault. BTW That film – with the CO stating to come on up – was the most important point in defending my decision to not go out into the storm to save the boat. After Devils Island, there were many more storms and close calls. The Bayfield-Copper Country Regatta was in 1982 or 83 and I will post that at a later date.
Having viewed with great interest, fear, and utmost respect the challenge for Abby and her rescue at Sea, I finally discovered her online blog and could receive information without the filters of major media or the judgmental input for adults as to whether or not a 16 yr old female should be allowed to attempt to solo circumnavigate the globe.
Abby’s Blog is at the following http://soloround.blogspot.com/
Such a relief to read her most recent blog aboard the French Fishing Boat.
The story struck home, it would seem, for millions around the world. For me, it brought back so many personal memories of experiencing the often unforgiving power of the sea – or in my case- The Great Lakes.
Remember “HOMES”-Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
My first 10 years of life, my summers were at Lakeside, Ohio along the South Shore of Lake Erie. Our Maternal Grandfather was there, having come over from Wales as a Welsh Hymn Writer. At his cottage, my brother, cousins, numerous relatives would gather. Lake Erie is where I learned to swim (Before the Cayuhoga River Fire – Erie was polluted, but not flammable at that time) Because it is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, the waves really roll. And as a young child, watching the NordEasters making navigation so difficult for the big freighters. More shipwrecks in Erie than any of the Great Lakes. But when the water was flat, My Uncle owned a Lyman ‘clinker built’ inboard that was his pride and joy. We could fly across to nearby islands such as Kellys or even Put-In-Bay. I was too young to be allowed a voyage to Pelee Island, in case the weather changed. It is in Canadian Waters and probably over 50 nautical miles from Lakeside. I often hoped to go there, but was never old enough to make the trip. My Uncle was extremely safety conscious and knew the Marine ‘Rules of the Road’ well. My father – having spent 5 years in the Navy as an MD during WWII in the South Pacific was not quite as enthused for obvious reasons. Many boat rides on Erie in cruisers, some big ones. A Mr Mason had a 40′ twin engine Chris Craft and would take any of us Lakesiders out for the thrill of ones life time. If the seas were too rough, I would sneak over to Browns Marina with what seemed like hundreds of new cruisers being built or stored. We could ‘play pirates’ climbing on board these magnificent crafts ; hope not to get caught.
Then, all changed as my older brother and I were sent to Interlochen Natl Music Camp in the late 1950s. Great Camp, incredible musicians, great inland lakes, and trips to Lake Michigan by the Great Sand Dunes, sleeping in bags on the beach. Michigan was colder than Erie near Traverse City. But a very warm, clear river ran into Michigan where we camped and the difference was amazing…not unlike moving from a Hot Spring (Alberta-Radium Hot Springs or Banff – then into the ice cold water) Like Saunas, suppose to be healthy??
On our return train trip from from Interlochen to Springfield, Illinois,in 1957 my dad seemed unusually serious. After we shared our excitement about our summer at Interlochen, my father informed us we would be leaving our small town of 2,000 where he had been a GP for 14 years and moving to a state called Minnesota. We both were so shocked. My father had decided to enter a residency in Psychiatry and that meant Minnesota. Lakes were everywhere. We moved to South Minneapolis overlooking Lake Nokomis and soon learned of algae, sinus infections, ear aches, but we swam. We were introduced to inland sailing with a folding boat with Lateen Rig, then an X boat with sloop rig, and finally an Oday Daysailer. Winters were unique if not too much snow, since our neighbor had an ice boat and the Babcock Family knew speed. Nothing wind powered faster than an ice boat.
Summers now switched to Northern MN as staff members, eventually for many summers during Jr HS and HS. John & I were soon teaching canoeing, water safety, rowing, and evenings we were obligated to do “Water Patrol” Lake Many Point was clear and clean, but water patrol was ‘serious business’ -making sure campers were not tipping over in their canoes or getting too far out in their rowboats. Our Patrol Boats were 14 ft Alumacraft with a 5 1/2 Scott-Atwater outboard on them. They often did not start for a long while, but once the engines were running, you’d think were in the PT 109–we even wore special Pith Helmets. Then there was the excitement of guiding the canoe trips about every other weekend. For being in our mid teens lots of responsibility. Most canoes were alumacraft, but as counselors, we needed the speed of a Gruman…not a floating barge at all. And we needed the strongest scout in a troop for the bow, We – as staff- had to be in the stern; no-we worked hard…didn’t just stay in the rear of
the canoes and rudder from the stern…Well, maybe once in a while.
Other lakes, rivers, of which the favorite was Ice-Crackin lake..following the Ottertail river, then the Snake; putting up with too many mosquitoes and blood sucking leeches just like the scene out of the African Queen. Ice Crackin was special, because – unknown to the campers – there was a Lodge across the lake where we camped. Once the camper were sound asleep, there were rumors than certain counselors would quickly paddle across and have fried hamburgers, fries, and many even a sip on a beer or two. After 5 summers at Many Point, I graduated to Camp Pennington out of Ann Arbor Michigan. A very unique camp for over-privileged coed HS students. With 3 buses and about 100 campers, we would spend the summer traveling West. First thru the mountains, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, Utah, Vegas (it still is staying there as to what staff did in Vegas)…cross the desert at night into California with the usual icing on the cake..Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studeo, then Disneyland. Quick high risk trip with the campers to Mexico, turn around and up 101. Campers were getting more and more appreciative of the true nature of the West, so Coastal Oregon (Coos Bay, I think) – salmon fishing with most campers getting seasick. onto a mountain climbing camp before Seattle, then inland to Eastern WA, Idaho, crossing up to Canada at Bonners Ferry. Goal for the highlight of the summer – Banff, Lake Louise, Columbian Ice Fields and then thru the Sulfur Mtn Range…Deception Pass on horseback. Unbelievable for campers and staff alike. The ultimate in tranquility, beauty, and adventure. Trout fishing for Cut Throat, fresh trout meals. Then all too quickly, the summer ended. A super fast drive back to the States, onto the highline (Hwy 2—runs across the Dakotas, Grand Forks to MN, Bemidji, Grand Rapids Duluth, UP and a few final painful days at the Pennington original base camp – Interlochen..Prepare to end the camp season and down to Ann Arbor. Campers had bonded so strongly by then, their parents were shocked. Many had driven from the East Coast to pick up their students and where thoroughly perplexed by the fact their camper/children were too busy crying and sad, trying to say good bye to their fellow summer new friends, parents must have been thoroughly confused.
Wow, did I digress. Back to the Great Lakes. Bayfield WI became my summer home away from home. First Chartered 30′ sailboats to sail the Apostle Island National Islands, weather permitting. Then in Spring 1979, bought my first sloop – a C&C 34 sloop. Winters, I would join sailor/scuba diver friends and we would charter thru the BVI – The Moorings – and be in paradise. By contrast, Lake Superior Sailing was much more of a challenge with rapids changes in weather, few safe harbors, and to cross to the North Shore, one needed to be informed and inform the Coast Guard. My most challenging storms were out on Lake Superior – with ice cold water, even in August. To cross to Grand Marais was a major accomplishment. To head for Rock of Ages Light House on Isle Royle and navigate by dead reckoning was insane. Radar reflectors were typically run up the mast, but no guarantee the freighter would spot you, as they ran from Duluth or Two Harbors to the Souix Locks to pass onto the next Great Lake-laden with grain or taconite (The Fitz buckled and sank like a rock on Nov 10th, 1975 ; Gordon Lightfoot chronicled that cold, tragic demise. The captain and sailor are still down there with the site before Whitefish Bay the official burial ground.) Too deep to scuba dive…I think it is in abt 1000 feet on the bottom. The Ballad is still sung and the bells ring every year – overshadowing 11/11 Veterans Day all around the Lake Superior area.
As for Lake Superior, it still has a mystical appeal for me. In spite of being far too cold underway, or far too hot with thousands of black flies on board with the water flat, It is my favorite body of water.
I cannot explain why, but when I learned Abby was in big trouble, I assumed the worst for her…to be in huge, unforgiving seas, one must be able to head into them and not let them broadside you. It is so much work. How she could not have hypothermia amazes me. She had a space heater, but we needed oil furnaces with duct work to the cabins below. She had no enclosed helm, no dodger, and then when I learned of dismasting, I feared all was lost. A fixed mast with powerful stays cannot be repaired solo. And if she had carbon fiber unstayed mast, that would have done her no good either (carbon fiber-like the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner—I sure hope there is the same strength or more than aircraft aluminum) But for now, too many memories…great and also distressing related to sailing in large bodies of cold, heartless water. I need to blog about the Devil’s Island shipwreck some time soon. And foolishly agreeing to serve as a Committee Boat for the Bayfield -Copper Country Regatta in my Grand Banks 36 – heading into 8-12 waves in total darkness to Isle Royale to determine if the Rock of Ages lighthouse light was extinquished. If is was working, 60+ nm on the South Shore, the Coast Guard would have allowed about 20 sloops with families to proceed. Thank goodness for radar..No visibility. only the radar allowed us to enter Washington Harbor without ending up on huge ship eating rocks. This was in August and it was snowing in that storm. My youngest brother took over and delivered us safely into the harbor. We were awakened very early by the voice thru a bullhorn from the park patrol, telling us we had dropped our hook in the midst of a seaplane landing area. We relocated very, very quickly.
Given the condition of the Seas, her location, being dismasted; it is nothing short of a miracle she appears to be safe and awaiting rescue.
Video update of Rescue Process of Teenage girl circumnavigating globe 2007june01moore17callingallangels
A Tribute to this safe outcome via Audio of live performance of Brandi & Tiffany Carlile singing :Calling All Angels. Brandi was 26 & Tiffany 22 when this was recorded.
My favorite musicians/singer/songwriters who spend most of their years on grueling tours across the USA, Australia, & Europe have found a ‘venue’ to get together once a year, by ‘signing on’ to a pleasure cruise ship for 4 – 7 days, perform for the passengers, and experiment with singing “covers” together….lots of ad lib, lots of fun, and laughs.
Thanx to world travelers like Marina from the U.K. , she often captures these session on her camcorder, posted them on YouTube & allows the rest of us ‘landlubbers’ to have an inside view of what goes on at Sea.
Vienna Teng & Brandi Carlile – two seemingly opposite styles of songwriter and upbringing – are spending more and more time performing together. Last week, VT performed with BC on the East Coast. This video from a UK fan will hopefully play and not be pulled by the YouTube police. VT & Alex Wong break out of their usually serious performance mood and clearly appear to be having fun.
After being overwhelmed with all the media coverage of the Gulf Oil BP disaster, it becomes so easy to overlook other global risks. This photovideo presentation from TED.com was emailed today & is well worth viewing. Both breath taking and overwhelming.
http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_skerry_reveals_ocean_s_glory_and_horror.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2010-06-02&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=emailTED.com Photo Journalism of life under the oceans