Monday, December 22, 2014

This is just to get your attention! I haven’t blogged in over 3 months due to medical reasons but am now back in my home in Mexico and working on recovery. It has been one of those years where lots of things hit at once or at least within weeks of each other and you just can’t seem to get ahead of the health game. I’m hoping that The Great Mystery will give me a break for a while.

I have lots of people to thank for helping me get through this latest episode but the star, and my chief angel, was my daughter Kersti. Had it not been for her and her truly heroic husband Bill Evans, things could have been real dicey. Here’s a picture of us at “The Oasis” in Palo Alto (one of my high school hangouts) the day before I left her care and started back home to El Cardonal.

Dad and number 1 Angel Kersti

 Here they both are a few years back in Hawaii. Thank you both for being there right away and looking out for my every need for 3 ½ months.

Bill and Kersti Evans - my recovery team

I’m not going to run through the whole litany of my years saga, suffice it to say that it has been way more than I expected and not at all WHAT I expected. I must thank the quick thinking of the folks at The East Cape Med Center and my neighbors Luis Rochin and Vicente Lucero for their immediate response to my emergency situation in September – gracias mis amigos. And to my dear Dawn Pier from Vinorama, a special thanks for coming to La Paz to hold my hand when most needed.

With that said I am anxious to begin another whale season and with a little more financial help it will be a good one. There was a whale here the day I arrived so I’m looking at that as a very positive sign indeed.

Here are the last two whales from the past season: a mom and calf heading for the cape on April 19th.

 So many things going on in or world that it’s difficult to choose what to talk about. I have been introduced to a very interesting online news sight unlike most if not all others. I recommend checking it out: (“Signs of The Times” – no, not Armageddon stuff)

Actually I think I prefer to concentrate on just the “good stuff” for awhile because much of what I am seeing initiates the response so well exemplified in the picture below.

                                              My sentiments exactly   
 I think I will focus on this however:

Two quick thoughts. Years ago when I first started appreciating the natural world around me, primarily San Francisquito Creek in Redwood City, CA, I was never able to put into words the delight I found in my discoveries. Someone else has and the book is titled: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard – a joyful read!

Of course I continue to read The Durant’s classic series, “The Story of Civilization” VII, The Age of Reason Begins. SO MUCH INFORMATION and SO WELL WRITTEN!!

                                                     Ariel and Will durant

And here’s a site to visit to view the natural beauty of some of our indigenous peoples of planet earth – one planet but many world realities.

That’s it for now – short but a “restart” of my mental batteries. More to come as the new season approaches.

In the meantime: best of health to you all and thanks again for being such a wonderful and caring community.


Friday, August 29, 2014


I find that at this point in my life, if I get two consecutive years without a major medical or emotional emergency I am doing good. 2014 has already provided enough of both for a few years to come......but somehow I don’t think that’s the way it’s going to play out. My personal paradigm has shifted and I have to draw on all my previous learning to “surrender” to what is. Below is a picture taken of me on my first trip ever to Baja. We (Susanna and I) were camped on the little island off of the main beach at Concepcion Bay south of Muleje and I was working on unburdening myself of some baggage – still working on it!

Concepcion Bay 1988

So, I am on Vol. Vll of Durant’s epic “The History of Civilization”. Thankfully I am out of that period of European History that was dominated by the church and all the ludicrous, hateful and mindless ignorance it has always perpetrated. When one reads of the endless machinations of the church (Judean, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Puritan etc, etc) to maintain the human population in a state of ignorance, poverty and fear it’s enough to raise the hackles. The present volume deals with the “Age of Reason” and the beginnings of THE ENLIGHTENMENT – logic, reason, humanism and science. And still today The Church in all it’s guises is a force to be reckoned with. Not because of it’s innate wisdom or goodness but because of it’s jealous hold on the Spirit of humankind. You see, that’s the problem with reading, evaluating, analyzing and “connecting dots” ......the TRUTH eventually emerges and THE TRUTH sets one free, and that’s exactly what they don’t want! And they are still at it, indeed fighting WARS over it – PURE insanity!

Whew, that’s a load off! More to come I'm afraid!

Hurricane Marie went by last week without making landfall or leaving us with much in the way of rain. The mountains to the west got a bunch however and that’s good – that’s where the aquifers are.

Did you know that the Earth is hit by lightening 50 times every second? That’s eight and a half million times a day!

 Not my pic

Now that you do, can you imagine the power that represents and why the genius Nickolai Tesla suggested we harness the energy in it for unlimited FREE electricity for everyone...and why the government went with the inventor Thomas Edison instead entrapping us in this oil/coal burning dependency. I wonder how long we, the human race, will put up with the agenda prescribed by the military, industrial, RELIGIOUS complex before throwing off this yoke that has kept us on our knees for so long. Isaac Asimov said it best.

 ONE of my favorite authors

Here’s something cool as a breather.

Spacecraft "Rosetta"

This is a spacecraft that has traveled billions of miles for the past 10 years and will rendezvous with a comet, eject a soft landing probe on the surface of the comet and begin telling us things we never knew before. Practical? Who gives a f**k – it’s knowledge!

We have had a number of potential rain giving tropical storms pass by and one “Chubasco” (a short but violent squall), but nothing yet. Marie looked like a possibility but she passed us without a flurry, great surfing on the Pacific side though. This is what one looks like as it approaches from the south. This was hurricane “Rick” last year.

 Approaching hurricane "Rick" from last year

I am always, always awed by the image of an approaching hurricane – it’s NATURE in the raw, magnificent.

I have mentioned before that The Vaquita, the smallest of the porpoises, and found only in The Sea of Cortez, is rapidly becoming extinct. At best there are just 250 left and I happen to be lucky enough to see them regularly (not many, maybe a half dozen a season) while on my whale expeditions. The picture below is not mine but this is how they appear in the wild.

A vaquita "logging"

They do not put on much of a “show” and they spend a good part of their day “logging” (just lying quietly on the surface) as the picture indicates. I was out in my kayak some years ago and decided to lie back, close my eyes and just drift.  I was awoken by the sound of some gentle blowing near me. I slowly opened my eyes and without moving scanned the surface around me. Not 20 feet away were three vaquitas taking a breather. I knew that I shouldn’t move - they are very skittish - so I remained partially reclined and just watched them breath. We remained like that for a number of minutes and then they slipped by me to take a look and dropped into the deep.

The problem is that The Chinese pay premium for them to sell their bladders on the food market so they are caught by drift nets north of me. We are quite certain that they cannot survive this hunting and there is simply nothing we can do because though there are laws against it - money talks and we also simply do not have the boats or personal to enforce those laws – same old, same old.

We are having similar problems (stupidity) in The Gulf of Mexico where a huge “dead zone” has developed and will one day soon have very serious ramifications on that entire bioregion.

This "dead zone" is completely depleted of oxygen

Here’s a bit of interesting trivia and a relevant follow up.

Nickolai Copernicus (Kopernik), yes, the man who tried so hard to open the eyes and minds of a bunch of religious loony tunes who demanded that the whole universe revolved around the earth, never published his great work, “On the Revolutions of The Celestial Orbs” for fear of being burned at the stake (no surprise there). However, on his deathbed on May 24th, 1543, a group of his devoted followers had the book published and brought it to him. He read the title page and died one hour after. 

Mikolaj Kopernik

I think he would have loved how far we have come:

A team of astronomers announced April 17, 2014, that they have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the so-called "habitable zone" -- the distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface. That doesn't mean this planet has life on it, says Thomas Barclay, a scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames and a co-author of a paper on the planet, called Kepler-186f. He says the planet can be thought of as an "Earth-cousin rather than an Earth-twin. It has many properties that resemble Earth." The planet was discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. It's located about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. 

While swimming my laps the other day I ran into a really strong current over the reef. Nothing dangerous I assure you but unusual to be that strong. As I turned against it to start back to my haul out I saw a large Green Panamic Moray coming straight at me being pushed by the current. He sees me and opens his jaws to frighten me and I decide to turn and swim with him rather than into him. Works great, we both settle into a neutral zone and just enjoy the drift. I also saw three sea turtles while kayaking the other day – always a treat. No close encounters but just damn nice to see.

An Estonian friend sent me this picture taken at a wedding in 1923 on the small island of Vilsandi (off the western coast of the larger Estonian island Saaremaa)  in The Baltic. This is the island where my mother’s ancestors pioneered and where a small community of hearty seamen evolved – many to become ship’s captains like my grandfather. He and my grandmother (who raised me when we emigrated to The United States) are in this picture as well as my mother (ten years old) and at least one and maybe both younger sisters. Just for fun for those of you who know me more closely, see if you can identify any of them.

Better chance below

Here's a little more current history - a shot of me and my trailer shortly (2001-2002?) after Susanna and I (with the invaluable help of John Hensley) hauled it down here to El Cardonal. You can see the difference that time makes.

I have to include something political but I don’t want to rage though there is SO MUCH to rage about! Now this man was not perfect and he may not have been the best and wisest president but he was a good man and cared for The American people. He is also responsible for a big part of my radicalization in the 60’s when I read his memoir and he discussed South East Asia. I am paraphrasing here: “The United States should at all costs stay out of the affairs of South East Asia. There is a man there who is equivalent to our George Washington (Ho Chi Min) and he will be DEMOCRACY’S strongest ally in that region. I suggest we support him for he is supported and loved by all his people” (well, until the CIA got into the picture anyway, right!). When I was drafted for Viet Nam in 1965, these words helped form my decision as to how I was going to relate to that war.

I had a strong reaction to Robin William’s death as did so many others. When he and Jonathan Winters would do their shticks together I was in hysterics and the tears flowed both from the hilarity of their antics and the release of pain from my own soul. I do not begrudge him or judge him for taking his own life – I consider that a right and privilege of anyone. I would nonetheless have liked to have been by his side to talk while he imbibed any number of painless terminating liquids. I am a strong believer in the absolute right of anyone to take their own life when THEY see fit. A terrific loss nonetheless!

This post has been a bit on the dark side I’m afraid but I don’t write these to be necessarily entertaining. This past year has been a bit of a rough one for me and I have had much to contemplate. We are living in difficult times, the old paradigm is shaky at best (thank the Gods!) and when it falls it will usher in even more difficult times. But as an old Indian friend once told me, “life is not unlike a river Urmas, there will be areas of turbulence and swift current. Do not try to hang on, let go, allow the river to take you to where it is peaceful and still again, the river never ceases to flow - and it could be a good time”!

In the meantime I’m going to keep swimming with my “critter” friends and let go.

Swimming with a group of Orcas a few years back - incredible experience!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This is my most recent “rock painting”. It is an ancient Aztec symbol for night and day. Definitely taxed the steadiness of my hand but great fun to attempt. I have been "re-inspired" to do these due to my son Zack’s creations while here.

The one below I completed shortly after he left and represents to me our mutual experiences with the dolphins. It comes from a Minoan wall painting on Crete.

It’s all about recognizing the truth of things isn’t it. All my life the same message runs clear – connection to Nature and the simple things is where my peace lies.

This too is a simple thing and part of the quest to connect and appreciate. Telescopes, microscopes and all the other scientific technology we have as tools for discovering the “nature” of our universe.

Saturn as never seen before

Not only was I blessed with a scientific education that allowed me to FULLY appreciate the scope of the universe, now I live in a veritable garden of delightful life forms. These are some of the critters I spend my days with intimately.

Spiny Tailed Iguana

Desert Iguana

Walking Stick

Greater Road Runner

Unfortunately I cannot dismiss what is being done to our planet. This is a visual of the North Pacific Ocean Gyra of plastic debris collecting off our shores.

This is very serious! You can see that the gyra is beginning to impinge on the migratory route for the humpbacks between Baja and Alaska – these are my OTHERS “The Whale People” and I am angry! In my darker moments I feel an intolerant disposition towards all those who could not truly care and I feel combative.

Personal and otherwise!

But then my daughter Kersti posts something that brings me back to my center and I know that if I stay in my core, then and only then am I living my “I Am”.

Here’s the young lady (center) that always, always finds the exact right words to bring her father a greater peace.

Most recent photo with a couple of dear friends.
Speaking of young ladies:

Some years ago this young lady (then Kirin Riddell) joined me for a magnificent day with The Whale People – 11 Blue Whales and 2 Humpbacks. Recently she was married in Alaska where she now lives. This is a picture of her “running the bases” the day of her wedding. I love this picture! “Good on ya”, Kirin!

The other day I was out in my kayak and decided to paddle north close to shore to see how far the reef extended in that direction and if there were any especially good dive spots there. I passed the northern edge of our reef and continued further because I had been told by Nantzy Hensley that there were some good spots in front of her place. The water was especially clear so I could see down a good ways. Almost exactly in front of her place I saw a deeper crevice in the reef and many, many fish. I dove over the side (my kayak is always tethered to my ankle and my paddle to the kayak so that I am free to dive anywhere without needing to worry about drift) and was treated to one of my best reef experiences ever. Part of it was due of course to the clarity of the water but man was it great. I counted at least a dozen different species of fish - and in really large numbers. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!

On the 29th of June I came across turtle tracks on the beach about ¼ mile south of my place.

Hoohah - turtle tracks!!

It must have been a good sized female because the track was wide and deep.....and new. She probably came up in the very early morning. I followed the tracks to her nest, marked it (unobtrusively) and then covered her tracks from the water and back (some poaching still goes on down here so I do what I can). I peed all around the nest and peed again later to deter local dogs. The eggs should be hatching right about now – hope some make it - it’s a tough life journey for the little ones.

A few days earlier the Red Skimmer dragon fly migration began. It’s hard to capture the extent of it but here’s a try.

They were passing at about 2500/minute (very, very conservative estimate) within 30’ of my trailer.

I volunteered to play on the local baseball team next season but then promptly twisted my neck and re-evaluated the offer. I’m going to the itinerate chiropractor (used to be the team chiropractor for The 49er’s) in Los Barriles in about 10 days and I’ll see where I stand. The local “jock” is Nelson Verdugo Angulo and he and I have become friends due to both of our intense interest in sports. He always joins me at Alfonzo’s cantina for 49er games and I join him for soccer and baseball.....or anything else sports-like. While talking to him at the cantina the other day I found out that he has been a professional boxer, a jockey, and had been a pitcher for the semi-pro San Jose Del Cabo baseball team. He now drives the school bus, works with our local carpenter and does any kind of pick work including of course fishing. Then we started talking about various sports injuries we had sustained over the years. What a hoot! The guy is a walking physical witness to what the body can endure. He even showed me all the surgical scars to prove it – I was absolutely amazed. He is also one of the friendliest and most courteous men I know. Truth of it is – just about every male in our village is like that. I am really proud to be part of this community.

"Nelson" Verdugo Angulo at short stop on the local Cardonal team

On the 19th of July I made a dive (snorkeling only - I have become more cautious about SCUBA diving alone) on the reef and got into a large (30-40) school of King Angel Fish. They are one of my favorite fish and though I see them often I have never seen a school like that. Shortly after I spied my old friend the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and swam with her/him for a while.

Not my pic but exactly what it was like

Some Trivia:
I may or may not have been inspired to write a children’s book. I am struggling to get started but I have gotten some words on paper. 
I saw this in a book I’m reading, can’t remember which one now but I thought I would share it.
I am the Wind that blows over the Sea;
I am the Wave of the Deep;
I am the Bull of the Seven Battles;
I am the Eagle upon the rock;
I am a Tear of the Sun;
I recently discovered that 20% of Estonians prefer to embrace ancient Pagan concepts (nature worship) than Christianity etc. Hoohah! 
NASA is 12 billion short on the funds needed for the development of a deep space rocket. This rocket would help open up vistas undreamed of in space before. That’s the cost of 6 Stealth Bombers – WTF!
Check out this sculpture by John Lopez of Eagle Butte, South Dakota. He creates these from pure junk found in his area. Google him – you will be amazed.

Here’s a great shot of a Gannet I saw the other day on FB. Not my photo!

And it reminded me of a pic I got of a pelican at about the same moment early on a beautiful morning down at the bluff.

What an innocent child I was, but Mother Nature has remained the same – always healing.

"Keep on truckin" folks