Bear Aware Day
(May 20, 2020) At 10 on a Saturday morning folks were lined up two or three deep on the platform above one of two large brown bear habitats at The Fortress of the Bear, a bear rescue center for orphaned … Continue reading Bear Aware Day
Swim Little Fishies, Swim.
The little girl said a prayer over her fish before she released it into the Pacific Ocean. The baby coho, part of the Sitka Sound Science Center Hatchery class of 2023, had begun it two year Odyssey around the Pacific … Continue reading Swim Little Fishies, Swim.
Name that Species!
It’s Earth Week. All week Sitka’s kids have been making costumes portraying their “favorite” species to prepare for the Parade of Species. The Parade starts at Totem Square and ends at the Fine Arts Campus with games and face painting. The event is sponsored by Sitka Spruce Tips 4H club, part of University of Alaska Cooperative Extension and run by the Sitka Conservation Society. Sometimes I am not so good at recognizing the species. I suggested that I may post some pictures on iNaturalist, the citizen science app of the National Geographic Society, to see if anyone could identify what … Continue reading Name that Species!
A Coda of Sorts, Lessons Learned
The ambulance hit every speed bump between the port and City Clinic. Lying on my back I felt every jolt. There was nothing to look at to distract my attention so with each jolt I wondered “how much is this … Continue reading A Coda of Sorts, Lessons Learned
Blessing of the Fleet, 2023
On a beautiful Sunday when our Orthodox neighbors are celebrating Easter Sitkans gathered at the harbor for the annual “Blessing of the Fleet.” A service of thanksgiving, supplication and a memorial for those lost this year. From God comes every … Continue reading Blessing of the Fleet, 2023
Taking the Great Circle on a single heading.
…actually it was two, but more on that later. Six years ago I had just completed major surgery in Seattle and was staying in a hotel waiting to be certified “fit to fly” back to Sitka. (This was not my … Continue reading Taking the Great Circle on a single heading.
Getting Excited about Colored Dirt.
… and tasting tea. Colored earth may not seem that exciting but it fascinated me. Between a million and three million years ago volcanic activity drove minerals to the surface, specifically iron and aluminum. The two minerals repel each other … Continue reading Getting Excited about Colored Dirt.
Port Louis, Mauritius
Wedged between the Indian Ocean and some impossible looking peaks, Port Louis (pronounced Louie by the locals) is Mauritius’s capital city. The town has about 150,000 residents. The Caudan waterfront, on a peninsula, is where Zuiderdam’s shuttle dropped off passengers. … Continue reading Port Louis, Mauritius
Mauritius has miles of clean and shaded beaches. Ian, Zuiderdam’s Cruise Director, suggested several beaches and told us that some of the beachfront hotels may offer a day pass. I called around and did not find one that was willing … Continue reading Mauritius Beaches
One of the tours offered by HAL was entitled “Multicultural Mauritius.” Before I was released for day trips around Mauritius, I experienced that multi culturalism. The staff of the hospital reflects many of the communities of Mauritius, Hindu, Moslem, Catholic … Continue reading Multicultural Mauritius
Mauritius, Our Final Port of Call
Holland America listed 6 tours of Mauritius in its shorex brochure. Ian, the Cruise Director suggested at least two other activities. One advantage we had, being let off the ship in Mauritius is that, in one way of the other, … Continue reading Mauritius, Our Final Port of Call
Right now it is snowing, but it’s too warm for it to stick. Before that it was rain, hard rain and before that drizzle. It’s overcast with occasional bursts of sun through the clouds. It is 40 degrees but feels … Continue reading Herring Weather
The Camera You Have With You.
Yesterday was a magic day. Our son, Brian, came to Sitka to visit and Sitka obliged. We were watching Jamestown Bay when a pod of whales exploded from a bubble net. Then there was a beautiful sunset, but the best … Continue reading The Camera You Have With You.
Is it Cyclone Freddy Kreuger?
On my fifth day in the City Clinic’s High Dependency Unit, (HDU), March 7, I was moved to a regular hospital room across the corridor from where Suzi is staying. My room has a window overlooking a park strip where … Continue reading Is it Cyclone Freddy Kreuger?
Imagining John Cage in a Mauritian Hospital
I‘m lying in an HDU (High Dependency Unit, one step below the ICU) of City Clinic in Port Louis, Mauritius. Different machines are whirring at slightly different speeds and frequencies, every so often they converge, sing in harmony, and then … Continue reading Imagining John Cage in a Mauritian Hospital
Well, At Least This Time We Made It Past Fremantle
On Tuesday afternoon the Zuiderdam’s Staff Captain made an announcement asking for anyone with a blood donor card. A+ or O- who was willing to donate blood to help a critically ill passenger to come to the front desk. That … Continue reading Well, At Least This Time We Made It Past Fremantle
Several cruise mates who had been on the 2020 world cruise expressed strong feelings on leaving Fremantle. Some expressed a sense of closure, some that they felt that they were continuing their interrupted journey. I examined my feelings and realized … Continue reading Remembering 2020
Several folks who had been on past HAL Grand Voyages, couldn’t make this one, but are planning one in the future, have asked me “How is it post covid?,” or “Is the Grand Voyage any Less Grand?” This is a … Continue reading Jammin’
Looking for the Tooth Fairy
In Fremantle, “Freo” the port for Perth, we started looking for stamps for our postcards and the perfect beach and ended up looking for the tooth fairy. Along the way we found a delightful small city, some nice beaches, and … Continue reading Looking for the Tooth Fairy
Perth with People!
The simple reason we wanted to go to Perth is to see what the city looked like with people in it. We had been in Perth in 2018 and it had people but was largely under massive reconstruction. In 2020 … Continue reading Perth with People!
Not a Rats’ Nest
A Dutch Sea Captain (Not Captain Friso of Zuiderdam) named Willem de Vlamingh “discovered” an island about 12 miles off the West Coast of Australia in 1696. He said it was infested by giant rats so named the island Rott-Nest … Continue reading Not a Rats’ Nest
An American River on Kangeroo Island
The first ship built in South Australia flew the Stars and Stripes. She was the US Schooner Independence, built by American sailors from the brig Union in 1803 on American River, which is not actually a river but a long … Continue reading An American River on Kangeroo Island
Suzi and I have a generous taste from a $1,000 bottle of wine!
In 1844 Doc Christopher Penfolds and his wife Mary arrived in South Australia on the ship Taglioni with some vine cuttings from the South of France. They bought some land outside Adelaide and named it “The Grange.” Doc Penfolds prescribed … Continue reading Suzi and I have a generous taste from a $1,000 bottle of wine!
Before the Fringe — Adelaide
Objectively speaking I should like the Adelaide cruise terminal less well than the White Bay terminal in Sydney. It is at outer Harbor, which is further from downtown Adelaide than White Bay is from Sydney. There is no shuttle bus, … Continue reading Before the Fringe — Adelaide