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.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Neverending Sail

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

The Neverending Sail

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

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

interspecies communion

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

Sailing Tomorrow

I am packed and ready to sail tomorrow morning. We (Caribbean Sailing School & Club members) are sailing to Culebra from Fajardo where we plan to spend the weekend.

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

Sailing, Science and Literature

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.
The Old Man and The Sea