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!