Quote of the Month
"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954.
“We must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it … Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean’s existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories.” Jacques Yves Cousteau, 1910-1997.
"It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head." Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1894.
"It is with you as with the sea: the most varied names are given to what is in the end only salt water." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, 1833.
Monday, April 20, 2009
On Easter weekend, April 10-13, 2009, three sailboats from the Caribbean Sailing School & Club set sail from Fajardo to Culebra. I was onboard Lolita (30’ Benetau, cream and crimson colored tiller boat); the other two were Bébé (41’ Benetau) and Bébé II (32’ Benetau). The first day, eleven souls set sail under a small craft advisory, winds from the east accompanied by strong currents and occasional rain. We set sail due east early in the morning. Tacking and tacking, we made little progress and arrived at Dewey in Culebra at night. The second day, we sailed our fleet to Culebrita for an idyllic stay. The third day, we sailed to Ensenada Honda in Culebra, repairing a torn sail in Lolita. The fourth and last day, we sailed back to Fajardo with following winds and sunshine. I was inspired to write the following lines.
The Neverending Sail
It starts in-between somewhere
It starts in-between somewhere
sailing into Culebra
sailing into Culebra
passageway of the Tradewinds
currents churned to Fajardo
our sails beat winds and currents
to the islands of dreams we dare
Darker than dark our sailboat
Yemayá may protect us
Virgin of Cobre guides us
into light and dark Dewey’s
moonrise reflected waters
cream and crimson, blinded by night, float
Sunrise to Culebrita
filling our sails with whispers
sea songs, lullabies, chanteys
Silencing motors, cities
and other modern slavers
unreal, alien onboard Lolita
The degree, the right angle
that corner in the ocean
when all the sails must dance, tack
to Culebrita’s lighthouse
no signal, no service, bliss
full tango lines or lines that tangle
Captain Bob, soaring eagle
harp strings on vertical wings
Puff the magic dragon kite
caressing corals and rocks
with keel vibes, bubbles and foam
spirit dancing midst cloud and seagull
The lighthouse, the hill, the trees
white beach and gracious palm trees
moment of beauty, Earth sings,
“Love me, don’t disturb me, you’re
embraced in my arms of blue.”
Siren voices greening skies and seas
Predator, victim, Earth shares
life, death, live neverending
man, woman, turtle, stingray,
barracuda aft sailboat
Do I, do you, does Earth—who cares?
It ends right where it started
same island but wilder side
castle rocks shield the lighthouse
gusty winds on bimini
memories of rainbow flights
sailors’ souls soared while minds just farted
Thursday, April 9, 2009
My boat-stuff bag has a life vest, first aid kit, Swiss army sailing knife, binoculars, bits of rope, handheld compass, wind speed measuring instrument, GPS, sunscreen with zinc oxide, fit overall polarized sunglasses, VHF radio with weather band, depth sounder, marine chart, flashlight and 8 extra AA batteries.
-- Post From My iPhone
Thursday, April 2, 2009
On Friday, March 27, 2009, two sailing vessels, Bebe (41' Benetau) and Bebe II (32' Benetau), sailed from Fajardo to Palomino with 12 first-year University of Puerto Rico students and two professors; Dr. Angel Olivares and Dr. Eva de Lourdes Edwards (me). Olivares teaches Biological Sciences and I teach Basic English at the College of General Studies. We named our adventure with students, SCI-LITE (science and literature). Olivares was working with coastal conservation and I with the novel, The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Michael Barnick and Felix Garcia, from the Caribbean Sailing School & Club, both American Sailing Association Instructors, captained the sailboats. Prior to this event, none of the students had ever been sailing (the natural mode of transportation used by Santiago in the novel). They sailed to an "uninhabited" island where they were able to witness first hand the human impact on distant coastlines. On September 12, 1950, Santiago sails his skiff off the Cuban coastline, witnessing the onset of industrial fishing, motor boats, noise pollution, over fishing, and in the last scene, tourism. These and other related issues were discussed on the island and midst humming winds and following seas on the sailboats. The event, in a most natural classroom, was sponsored by the Student Support Services Program (Programa de Servicios Académicos Especiales), College of General Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.