Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hurricane Isaac from space - NASA

An animation of the storm's progress from NASA

Friday, August 24, 2012

Armstrong’s White Flag Says What He Won’t -

Armstrong’s White Flag Says What He Won’t - "Now he is for the ages, in his own Lance way. Lance Armstrong has joined the legion of the lost, the great athletes who were barred or exiled for sins admitted or charged or suspected."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

雪龙 Xuelong heads for north pole

Xuelong to sail through future central route
Xue Long at dock in the ice-free port Akureyri in northern Iceland 

The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong 雪龙 (Snow Dragon) - having completed the northern passage  over the top of Russia - has left the northern Iceland port of Akureyri and is headed north - true north to the north pole. The website Arctic Portal reports that the Chinese expect that by 2020 global warming will make the straight line "central route" feasible for ice-hardened sea traffic.  You can follow the ship in real time HERE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life aboard a McAllister tug - NY Times

For twenty six years I have watched the tugs and barges moving silently below my apartment overlooking the Hudson or North River.  I don't know where they're going or what they are pushing - except for the football field size arrays of blue stone barges.  Others are pretty obviously fuel carriers.  They've got a red flag in front to show combustibles. One of these days I'll somehow get aboard one.  Meanwhile I check out Tugster, who reports from his Kill van Kull perch on the Bayonne Bridge.  And occasionally we get a piece like this Times article.

Maine is troubled by too many lobsters - The Washington Post

Nothing special here - I just thought it was interesting that the writer lives in Friendship near the Friendship Lobstermen's Co-op.

Maine is troubled by too many lobsters - The Washington Post: "By Joanne Omang, Published: July 20

Joanne Omang is a writer and former Washington Post reporter. She works in Maine during the summer. Her e-mail address is

At 4 a.m. I knew something was wrong. It was too quiet. The pickups weren’t arriving outside; the lobstermen weren’t getting out and joking their way to the docks that flank our house; the lobster boats that crowd lovely Friendship harbor weren’t chugging out before sunrise for another day’s haul. At 7 a.m. the boats were all still there."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Esalen at 50

the Pacific shoreline at Big Sur as seen from Esalen Insitute
The Times frets about whether Esalen is getting "too corporate".  I don't know about that.  I do know it is one of my favorite places in the world, that it was a transformative place for me twenty two years ago when I spent a week there at a Joseph Campbell workshop with my friend Robert Walter of the Campbell Foundation.  And it is stunningly beautiful as this slideshow demonstrates.  And, yes, the massage practitioners at the tables above the rocks are wonderful.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Elephant herd rescues drowning calf

Riverkeeper Boat Blog: Gowanus Patrol 7/2/12

Riverkeeper Boat Blog: Gowanus Patrol 7/2/12: "Gowanus Patrol 7/2/12
We patrolled the Gowanus Canal using an aluminum skiff which we carry aboard our “Mother Ship” patrol boat, the R. Ian Fletcher.

The Feds, the EPA, are mandating a massive Superfund cleanup on the Gowanus. NYC and NYC Department of Environmental Protection continue to resist, “don’t worry, trust us, we’ve got a plan, we’ll take care of it.”

This is what we saw on the July 2nd. Just my opinion, but I don’t think we can leave it to NYC anymore. We spent the day taking educators, local bloggers and activists on patrols in the skiff so they would have these sites, and smells, firmly in mind when they went to a public meeting on the proposed EPA cleanup that evening in Brooklyn.

Message to the EPA…please BRING IT, and thanks."
'via Blog this'

Sonny Rollins - Road Shows, V. 2

Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, with Christian McBride and Roy Haynes, at Rollins's 80th birthday concert, Beacon Theater, New York City, September 10, 2010
We heard him on his 80th birthday at the Beacon. With Roy Haynes, Ornette Coleman and other stars. He came on stage slowly, with a wide gait - and then began to blow like a 20 year old guy. His new album Road Shows Volume 2 is reviewed by Christopher Carroll in the New York Review. click through to the original for the hot links to tunes and other commentary. - GWC
No one knows why exactly Sonny Rollins, the tenor saxophone colossus, hasn’t recorded a good studio album since the 1960s. Though he ranks alongside Charlie Parker and John Coltrane as one of the greatest jazz saxophonists in history, some say that his style was irreparably damaged by years spent experimenting with funk, disco, and fusion in the seventies and eighties. Yet anyone who has seen Rollins perform on a good night knows that, even at eighty-one, he is still capable of playing with the same brilliance that first made giants like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk take an interest in him in the 1950s. And if there were any lingering doubts, the news that Rollins won three major jazz awards this summer should dispel the notion that his best years are behind him.
In spite of his advanced age, Rollins remains one of jazz’s most talented improvisers. He has almost inexhaustible stamina, complete control of his instrument, and a seemingly bottomless reservoir of musical knowledge (ranging from jazz standards and pop, to folk songs and classical music), to say nothing of his decades of experience playing with almost every major figure in jazz. More important still, he has an impish sense of humor. He also has a keen appreciation of his audience; when performing he often walks into the crowd as he plays, hoping to draw inspiration from them.
In his newest album of live performances, “Road Shows Vol 2,” there are moments when you can hear all this firsthand. A compilation of two recent live shows, including his 80th birthday concert at the Beacon Theater in New York, the record captures Rollins playing with the energy of someone half his age. Particularly noteworthy is the twenty-minute version of his classic twelve-bar blues, “Sonnymoon for Two,” on which he is joined by the multi-instrumentalist genius Ornette Coleman. This is the first time the two have been recorded together, and to hear Coleman’s chirping free jazz side by side with Rollins’ more swing based playing is a historic occasion.
Perhaps more remarkable simply for the quality of playing is his performance on “Rain Check,” an old Billy Strayhorn song. As he and the 42-year-old trumpeter Roy Hargrove begin to trade fours—that is, exchange four bar improvisations—Rollins’ relentless exuberance overtakes the young trumpeter, whose playing improves audibly the more he interacts with Sonny.

NASA: Sea Ice Retreats in Northwest passage

Sea Ice Retreats in the Northwest Passage : Image of the Day: Acquired July 17, 2012, and August 3, 2012, these natural-color NASA satellite images show the retreat of sea ice from the Parry Channel in the Northwest Passage.  The Canadian Ice Service reported that ice cover in Parry Channel began to fall below the 1981–2010 median after July 16, 2012, and the loss accelerated over the following two weeks. On July 23, the percentage of ice cover in the channel was roughly 67 percent, compared to the median of 80 percent. On July 30, ice cover was roughly 33 percent, compared a median of 79 percent. For an interactive map click HERE

The Canadian arctic.  Cambridge Bay is the south east corner of Victoria Island - the world's eight largest, it is bigger than Newfoundland click to enlarge image
Sea Ice Retreats in the Northwest Passage

Sea Ice Retreats in the Northwest Passage
July 17, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mucscongus Bay - Franklin Island Lighthouse and Harbor Island

The Muscongus Bay is the body of water between Pemaquid Point and Monhegan Island.  Bounded on the west by the Pemaquid peninsula and on the east by the Georges Islands, it is where Maine began in 1605.
Franklin Island  lighthouse click on pix to enlarge

Harbor Island

routes through Muscongus Bay . The star above Allen I. is Georges Harbor - site
of the first sustained anchorage in Maine - by Capt. George Weymouth in 1605

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flying Passage and Bremen Long Island

Marilyn's longest voyage - circumnavigating Bremen Long Island via Flying Passage and the Hockomock Channel was a good one until that beam sea as the wind kicked up from the southwest.  Fortunately we had installed the "oh my god" grab handles, as there was plenty of that.
click on pictures to enlarge and for slideshow
Flying Passage

Osprey guarding the nest

navigator - voyager

Muscongus Bay sloop (aka Friendship sloop)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Homeport: Hatchet Cove

Feeling at home on Brian's wharf, Hatchet Cove, Friendship, Maine
click on pictures to enlarge and for slideshow

me aboard my skiff - soon to be renamed 

The Winfield Lash

The Winfield Lash