Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What can I say about being back home here in Shangri-La? I love the birds, the mountains, the sea, my trailer....well, you know.

Had my palapa roof covered with Hurricane netting yesterday and have arranged for a safe haven for my kayaks so that I don't have to remove them from the beach when one comes. I like being prepared.

This morning I went out to the "Whale Zone" to see what might be going on there (not expecting any whales of course). A fair number of Man of War jelly's (one about every 50' or so) but easily avoided so I was prepared to go in if anybody showed up. Didn't take long before I spotted a herd of maybe 20 Bottle Nose dolphins feeding nearby. I was able to get into the middle of them and then dove out. Water was pretty clear and after making lots of sounds myself and diving around enthusiastically they started coming in to take a look at what this creature was. About 6 of them came in close to take a look and then a mother with this tiny baby came over real close and took a long look. At that point they all dove deep and I with them.....glorious! No pics of course, sorry.

The picture above is of a French Canadian (Quebecois) family who have not only become my dear friends but are now my land partners. From back left, Antoine, Brigitte, Jean-Luc; from front left, Quentin and Tristan.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Arrived back at my trailer around 8:00 pm after the flight, a walk to the bus, a walk from the highway into Los Barriles, a walk (attempting to hitch hike) out about 3 miles, started getting dark so hitched back into town and finally found someone to drive me to El Cardonal; my village.

Up this morning to tranquil seas, sunny skies, light velvety breeze and warm temperatures. My village friends all glad to see I was recovered and ready to Rock and Roll. Many laughs describing, in Spanish, my recent adventure.

Will start posting more interesting stuff as soon as I get out to sea again...etc. Oh, the village did bite the bullet on Hurricane Anderes. Went back out to Sea and dissipated.

Another pic of my corner of El Cardonal. That's my palapa with trailer underneath and bodega to the left.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just thought I would show you a pic of my daughter Kersti (indulge me please). She is The Activities Director at Trilogy Rio Vista and honored me by asking me to lecture there over the years. She is my first born and joined her brother Zack in visiting me on Father's Day here in The States this year. Just as with her brother, I couldn't be prouder of the person she has become.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This picture is of my son Zack and me at The San Francisco Peace March before the invasion of Iraq. That's my boy!
After watching the news last night I felt a deep need to write something about the “Iranian Situation”. I am still a political activist and Whales or not I will use this blogspot to speak what I feel needs to be spoken. The street scenes in Teheran reminded me so much of The Chicago Convention and the police riot that took place there in 1968 that I felt the need to speak.

Then I read my sons blog (http://kaldveer.blogspot.com) and found he had already articulated it beautifully. So here it is. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

American Sanctimony and Hypocrisy on Violence in Iran

I’ll be the first to say, I adamantly stand behind the protesters in Iran, and am disgusted by the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the government. But enough with the Republican (and to a MUCH lesser degree Democrat) sanctimonious bullshit and hypocrisy! Listening to McCain and Graham lecture the world about human rights, freedom, and American superiority is starting to make me nauseous.

Especially ludicrous is some of their calls for intervention on behalf of “democracy” in Iran when just last year they were calling for its bombing! If they had had their way then, all those that we are celebrating today would be strewn across the streets, missing arms and limbs and heads, just like the million or so we murdered in Iraq. On that note, how convenient for McCain and his little band of scum bags not to mention that atrocity (Iraq) as they preach to the Iranians about brutality.

Another couple points on the hypocrisy tip. What about the gross abuse of human rights STILL TAKING PLACE IN AMERICA? I’ve seen – on cable news no less - the tazering of old women, children, teenagers, peaceful protesters, again and again. And more and more Americans are being KILLED by this apparently humane, democratic practice.

I won’t go so far back in our history to get into what we did to blacks and Native Americans, but its not even necessary to make my point. How about the police brutality at the 1968 Democratic Convention? Or what about police treatment of blacks in the South during those peace protests for justice? Any worse than what’s happening in Iran?

Hell, did anyone see what the police did just at the last GOP convention to protesters AND reporters? Aside from beating them with billy clubs, arresting them without charge and for no crimes, wiretapping their phones, and illegally searching their homes and seizing their property...I guess our police and government's treatment of "the people" was yet another paragon of virtue.

Oh, and I get a real kick out of all this GOP crying about “stolen elections”. Two of our last three elections were f****** stolen in THIS COUNTRY BY THE GOP (if not for their incredible unpopularity it would have been 3 for 3)!!

Our global torture program used to rape and kill muslim and arab men, women and children - many innocent, without a trial, and without charges ever made against them - also might stick in the Iranian peoples craw just a bit. Particularly in light of the fact that we aren't prosecuting anyone for those crimes against humanity. Worse, we're actually having a "debate" in America whether such a global torture program is even wrong at all.

The most we could do to help those in Iran fighting for the same freedoms that we’ve had to continue to fight for here (and have been losing ground on in recent years), is to support those ideals, relate with them through admitting our own similar experiences here, and identify with their complaints against their government's abuse and corruption by denouncing OUR GOVERNMENT’S wars, global imperialist aspirations, and wholesale slaughter of people around the world.

Let’s also urge McCain and the GOP to remember what happened when George Bush Senior meddled in Iraq’s politics and urged that its people rebel against Saddam: countless numbers of Iraqis lost their lives because we didn’t actually have their back (as we don’t now with the Iranian people), as Bush said we did. The Iranian regime probably is hoping for the same thing to happen again…if only Obama would listen to idiots in the GOP and the media and start acting as war monger and cheerleader and Chief (thankfully he's not)! So far, though he’s started to come nearer to that line, the Obama administration seems to have read its history. McCain and company seem to literally be living in a parallel universe.

And let’s PLEASE NOT FORGET our own government’s role in overthrowing the democratically elected leader of Iran (and other democratically elected leaders around the world for decades!) only to install the oppressive Shah (because we could get more oil that way…wonderful).

In other words, is there anything WORSE we could do for this movement than have our politicians identify themselves and American's interests with it? How about we give them the ultimate respect by demonstrating our committment to THEIR efforts and sacrifice by simply asking them what they want from us! Newsflash: they don't want us turning their movement into another American war cry. It's not about us...its about them. We should show just a bit of humility once in awhile and remember that fact.

Chris Hedges sums up this hypocrisy coming from the American media and our elected officials (f*** McCain) nicely:

Washington has never recovered from the loss of Iran—something our intelligence services never saw coming. The overthrow of the shah, the humiliation of the embassy hostages, the laborious piecing together of tiny shreds of paper from classified embassy documents to expose America’s venal role in thwarting democratic movements in Iran and the region, allowed the outside world to see the dark heart of the American empire. Washington has demonized Iran ever since, painting it as an irrational and barbaric country filled with primitive, religious zealots. But Iranians, as these street protests illustrate, have proved in recent years far more courageous in the defense of democracy than most Americans.

Where were we when our election was stolen from us in 2000 by Republican operatives and a Supreme Court that overturned all legal precedent to anoint George W. Bush president? Did tens of thousands of us fill the squares of our major cities and denounce the fraud? Did we mobilize day after day to restore transparency and accountability to our election process? Did we fight back with the same courage and tenacity as the citizens of Iran? Did Al Gore defy the power elite and, as opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has done, demand a recount at the risk of being killed?

We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the dictatorships that dot North Africa, is withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in their crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence. The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds supporting Ahmadinejad call us “the Great Satan,” but there is a very palpable reality that has informed the terrible algebra of their hatred.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For those of you who know me personally and have been following my blog you know that I had to return to The States for medical reasons. I would like to report that I have been cleared by my doctor here (Santa Rosa for convenience reasons)and the condition (kidney stones) that brought me has been resolved without a great deal of money or pain.

I am flying home on Friday and hope to be back in my trailer by early evening in time to catch some of my bird friends. For those of you who have been sending energy my way....thank you. For those of you who helped me throught the process, my eternal gratitude.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am back in The States for a bit (hopefully a very little bit) to take care of a medical situation....not an emergency. It will mean that I probably won't be posting for a while. I will resume my updates as soon as I return to Mexico. In the meantime think reef protection.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

No Orcas today but I did get out bright and early (7:30 am) and proceeded to the "whale zone" in my trusty kayak. Spotted a Bryde's whale passing through but a close encounter was problematic. Then I saw a herd of Long Beaked Common Dolphins feeding nearby and kayaked into their midst. Damned if they did not scatter as usual and when I dove in amongst them they stayed around. I got to swim with one for a while (another first) and when we dove down together a California Sea Lion joined us. What fun!!

It is now 6:00 pm and my kayak is ready to go if the Orcas show up. Will try again tomorrow morning too.

The pics are of a Bryde's Whale that I took some years ago and of course a drawing to show you what they actually look like in total. The dolphin is a Long Beaked Common dolphin often found here and in large numbers. I took this picture from my kayak two years ago.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I need to return to The States soon to have a medical procedure. Nothing life threatening but necessary nonetheless. In the meantime I am thoroughly enjoying the summer so far. It is hot, no question (mid 90's) and humid but the sea is like a lake, the water is warm and clear, there are soft breezes in the late afternoon and the shade under the palapa gives me a place to siesta.

Few tourists left in the village and only one last Ukiahian.

Rumor is that there is a pod of Orcas in the area and I think I may have seen them this morning from the bluff. I didn't have my binocs so couldn't be sure but they were too big for dolphins. There are however at least two species of false Orcas that inhabit our waters. Naturally I will go out to the whale zone in my kayak tomorrow and see if I can arrange an encounter. That would be ssoooo cool! I may try this evening too. My equipment is all ready to go. I could be launched in 10-15 min.

I took a walk along the beach this afternoon and decided to go in for a swim. There was a good sized dog where I was and he decided to swim with me. Great fun, he stayed right with me and when I turned so did he. At one point as I was swimming he ran right into me and I began laughing so hard that I had to get out. What a deal. I get run into by a DOG while swimming laps in The Sea of Cortez. I guess you had to have been there.

The pic of the little tree is my version of creative planting. That's the view from where I like best to sit under the palapa. The big house is to give you an idea of the level of development in our village. The shot down the beach shows the "bluff" I sometimes refer to. You can see my palapa roof and the trailer underneath just to the left of the big white house on the left of the pic.

I will report on any and all Orca doings.