Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Five essentials of fly casting

from MidCurrent
Audio interview with Nick Lyons
Five essentials of fly casting

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The storm merely "grazed" us

That's what the National Weather Service says. But it's 23 F and wind is gusting to 48 kts. here in Friendship on the Muscongus Bay with waves 5 - 6 feet.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Debate Over How to Help Massachusetts Fishing Towns - NYTimes.com

Debate Over How to Help Massachusetts Fishing Towns - NYTimes.com:
Can we still save the ocean food supply?  Gloucester - our iconic fishing town - has been declared a disaster area.
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Paying respects at grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton

The crewmen who repeated the Shackleton Antarctic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island paid their respects to The Boss.  At the start I was impressed by the handsome replica of the 22' loa lifeboat which Shackleton desperately prepared for the early winter 800 mile last chance mission to get help.  But I was skeptical.  They were navigating by sextant, yes, wearing traditional clothing and using traditional gear like a spill-prone primus stove, huddled under the surely more watertight than Shackleton’s canvas deck cover. But the re-enactors  hadn’t lived in a tent on an ice floe for six months, drinking weak tea, eating penguin and seal, burning blubber for fuel, with an occasional cigaret for a treat, had they?  

But when they got to the desolate cove on South Georgia huddling in a cave two of the crew had “trench foot” (think WW I) and had to be med evac’ed rather than hike over a mountain range.  Tim Jarvis - an Everest vet - and his navigator took off and - still in original gear - had to be re-supplied (by their rested mates) when they were in a tough spot on a ledge above a glacier in a storm.  I’m a believer now.  They gave us a glimpse into what Shackleton and his men endured. - GWC
Alexandra Shackleton, expedition patron and grand-daughter of Sir Ernest, with Australian expedition leader Tim Jarvis at Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave, Grytviken, South Georgia. Photo by Jo Stewart
Expedition leader Tim Jarvis  with Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest,
and patron of the lifeboat voyage from Antarctica to South Georgia Island, at the grave of The Boss at Grytviken

Shackleton voyage: story ends with visit to Shackleton’s grave | Classic Boat Magazine:
"It was a fitting tribute to conclude one of the most gruelling expeditions in recent times.
A mug of Shackleton’s favourite scotch, a toast raised to ‘the Boss’ and the last dram of Mackinlay’s poured onto the gravesite in an offering to his legendary achievements.

Today the six members of Shackleton Epic crew met with their Patron and their boat’s namesake, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton at the grave site of Sir Ernest, who is buried at Grytviken, South Georgia, where he died in 1922."

h/t Jesse Fradkin

Monday, February 11, 2013

Axe Handles

 poem by Gary Snyder from Axe Handles (North Point Press, New York, 1983)

Axe Handles
One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
     the pattern is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We’ll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with—”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It’s in Lu Ji’s Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”—in the
Preface: “In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.”
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

After the Storm - NEMO 2013

Striped bass seem down for the count in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

 Striped bass seem down for the count in Maine | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram:
 "Catches of striped bass have declined drastically from a high of more than 4 million in 2006, said Linda Mercer, director of marine science for the Department of Marine Resources.
In 2012, only about 224,000 striped bass were caught here.
Mercer said striped bass were overfished in the 1980s, prompting a moratorium in the early 1990s."

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Friday, February 8, 2013

`Shackleton' re-enactors, stranded, are resupplied

After six months on the ice Ernest Shackleton and four members of his crew crossed the southern (Antarctic) ocean in a life boat.  Landing after 800 miles of misery on South Georgia, Shackleton and two others (Worsley and Crean)  crossed the mountains and glaciers to reach the whaling station at Stromness.

Today's adventurers, in athletic trim, found the sailing journey taxing.  Suffering from "trench foot" three of them were unable to attempt the mountain crossing.  Two set out wearing traditional clothing.  They found themselves stranded and had to be resupplied. - GWC

Shackleton Epic | Official Centenary Expedition:

In one of the most dramatic days of the Shackleton Epic expedition so far, two men are stranded on the plateau above Shackleton’s Gap, while four other members of the expedition crew and film crew have evacuated themselves from the mountain to escape the extreme weather conditions.
While their goal of re-enacting one of the greatest survival tales of all time lies just over the other side of the mountains, reaching the old whaling station at Stromness, South Georgia just as Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men did in 1916, the extreme conditions have put a halt to their plans – at least for the time being until the weather breaks.
For British/Australian expedition leader Tim Jarvis and mountaineer Barry ‘Baz’ Gray, Mother Nature has unleashed her full fury and stranded them on the plateau above the glacier at Shackleton’s Gap.   Wearing only the traditional gear of early last century,  for over 12 hours they have ‘hunkered down’ in a tent to ride out the ferocious storm which has seen wind gusts of 45knots that have knocked the expeditioners off  their feet, ‘horizontal’ driving rain, sleet and snow, freezing temperatures and zero visibility.
In a courageous act to help their fellow adventurers survive, the expedition’s navigator, Australian Paul Larsen and British cameraman Joe French returned to the mountain today, braving the extreme conditions wearing modern climbing gear, to re-supply the two intrepid adventurers with food and other essential provisions. 
When they returned to the support boat Australis, anchored in Possession Bay, after their brave 1.5 hour mission, they were cold, wet and relieved to have been able to re-provision the pair.   Larsen, who safely navigated the James Caird replica, the 22.5’ Alexandra Shackleton across 800nm of the treacherous Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia less than a week ago, said that Tim and Barry intended to continue their crossing when the weather breaks.
“They are both experienced mountaineers and they’ve said they will continue with the expedition unsupported when there is a break in the weather, carrying a rucksack with the tent and provisions – which they must do for their own safety,” Larsen said.  The provisions will last them until Monday.
In a radio sked with Australis, seasoned polar adventurer Jarvis said that both he and Royal Marines mountain leader,
Baz Gray were “doing OK” and would wait-out the conditions in order to complete the crossing and their goal of re-enacting Shackleton’s legendary expedition.
Yesterday, Larsen and fellow crew member Seb Coulthard along with experienced expedition cameramen Si Wegan and Joe French evacuated themselves from the mountain during the height of the extreme conditions.
“There was no point us risking our lives by staying exposed on the mountain in those conditions.  We left the tent and sleeping bags for Tim and Barry so that they could continue on when the weather improves,” he said.
‘The double’ of successfully completing the boat journey and the mountain crossing in traditional gear as Shackleton did, has alluded many adventurers who have tried to emulate Shackleton’s feat.   The success of the crossing now rests upon how long Jarvis and Gray are prepared to wait for the weather to come good.
Once underway in improved conditions, they could complete the crossing in as little as 24 hours, arriving at the old whaling station at Stromness.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Iceberg Alley

by Jo Stewart - an

Shackleton Epic blogger Jo Stewart

London to Istanbul by dinghy via rivers and canals | Classic Boat Magazine

"London to Istanbul by dinghy part one"
Over the rivers, through the canals and tunnels - rowing, sailing a small boat from London to Istanbul on inland waterways.  Giacomo deStefano and crew  did it all.  Curiosity rather than grandiosity seems to drive him. - gwcFull sail drifting on the French water waysThe lock at Richecourt in Lorraine, France, was 50ft 6in (15.4m) high with a 30-minute rise

h/t Jesse Fradkin
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Alexandra Shackleton Lands on South Georgia Island

Tim Jarvis and crew have landed where Sir Ernest Shackleton and crew landed in 1916 after an 800 mile journey from Elephant Island, Antarctica Shackleton and crew were half starved and met conditions almost unimaginably worse than those Jarvis, et al encountered.
Now that they have landed the next step of the re-enactment is to hike across the mountains and glaciers of South Georgia Island to the old whaling station at Stromness Bay.

What does your desk look like?

Linked In had this cute series today of some famous people's desks.  None appealed to me.  Not Branson's palm trees, not Pickens busy desk, and certainly not Deepak Chopra's private temple.  Here's my hero's - Shackleton's cabin aboard the Endurance. Thanks to Royal Geographic Society.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Alex Thomson Tells it Like it is - Vendée Globe 2012-2013

Arrivée Alex Thomson - HUGO BOSS
finishing at les Sables D'Olonne, France
Alex Thomson, the engaging British sailor took a third in the Vendee Globe - Around the World in 80 Days, single-handed, non-stop, no outside assistance.  Plague half the time by problems with his hydrogenerators, the gregarious slo sailor had to operate under minimal power.  Very tough for these racers who spend a lot of their time peering at a computer screen to study the weather and plot their courses. - GWC
Alex Thomson Tells it Like it is - Vendée Globe 2012-2013:

Wednesday, January 30 2013  Alex Thomson sailed into the legendary canal, the artery into the heart of Les Sables d’Olonne this morning at typically breakneck speed. With more than 30 kts of wind and mountainous seas Thomson was in no mood to hang around.Taking third place in the Vendée Globe, the solo non stop race around the world which has dominated his life for the last ten years and which he had twice failed to finish, Alex Thomson set a new non-stop round the world record for a solo British sailor, smashed the existing race record set by Michel Desjoyeaux in 2008-2009, and became only the third ever British skipper to finish on the podium.His result exorcised many of the ghosts of his past failures, most particularly abandoning his Open 60 in 2006 in the South Indian Ocean when his keel feel off during the Velux 5 Oceans, retiring from the last two Vendée Globes – the 2008-9 edition after just 24 hours – and retiring from the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre after hitting a floating object.After 80 days at sea Thomson finally enjoyed the traditional Vendée Globe welcome afforded by the thousands who lined the banks of the canal. Three times he has loved the rousing send off on start day, but at last this was the welcome back that he had craved since he first set out on his Open 60 ocean racing career back in 1999.In a warmly received press conference Thomson was thanked for his recent actions in moving to stand by friend and rival Jean-Pierre Dick, shepherding the French skipper who has lost his keel off Virbac-Paprec 3, through a night of brutal winds and big seas before heading north to the finish.He spoke of the vital repairs he had to make to his hydrogenerators which kept his hopes of finishing alive, of the pleasure in staying with the faster, newer generation of IMOCA Open 60’s, doggedly hanging on the leaders. And at the end of it all, having finally realised his long held ambition, he made his French hosts smile when he confirmed that he had arrived dreaming only of ‘the golden arches’ longing for a Big Mac and lots of mayonnaise!

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