Reflections On Turning 70

This is supposed to be one of those “milestone” birthdays.  Even the Bible mentions it, ominously. “Three Score and Ten” is the measure of man’s life.  But I’m not feeling like I’ve passed a milestone.  Other birthdays were different. When I turned 7 I felt that I had finally made it, out of first grade, into second.  I got a Roy Rogers sweat shirt for … Continue reading Reflections On Turning 70

20th Sitka Whalefest.

For 20 years Sitka’s Whalefest has occupied our town during the first week on November.  The festival is centered on a science symposium but integrates the performing arts, visual arts, education and outdoor adventure into a package that engages the community and brings visitors from as far as Australia and New Zealand. The Symposium dove into topics ranging from harpoon heads found bowhead whales captured … Continue reading 20th Sitka Whalefest.

Havana Night

We stopped back at the ship for a quick run to the buffet before heading out for the 9:30 show at the Café Taberna.  The Café serves dinner but Lonely Planet warned us off the food there.  But the mojitos were good, as was the beer and especially the music. The band was of mixed ages, races and musical styles.  The trumpet player was blonde, … Continue reading Havana Night

Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

October 4, 2016 Much of our trip to Cuba is defined by conditions set by the late Senator Jesse Helms in the Helms-Burton act.  The act limits the conditions under which Americans can travel to Cuba.  We are here on a Person to Person, p2p, program.  Technically we cannot come as tourists but must come on an approved p2p itinerary.   It used to be that … Continue reading Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Our bus tour took us through different neighborhoods of Havana, through the Miramar and Vedado neighborhoods and we arrived at the pier in time to do a little shopping.  At each place we stopped the seller said “See you Saturday.”  We are not scheduled to return to Havana but Hurricane Matthew is headed toward Santiago in Eastern Cuba so it seems reasonable that we will … Continue reading Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

October 6 In many ways Cuba is not the type of Communist country I am used to.  I have traveled in the Soviet Union before the collapse and have visited various parts of the old Soviet empire both before and after the collapse. Cuba is not colorless gray world we encountered in, say, East Germany.  It is colorful and vibrant.  The customs and immigration people … Continue reading Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

After the cooperative farm we are supposed to have lunch at a restaurant between the farm and town, about 20 km out of town.  When we get there two other buses from our ship are at the restaurant.  There is no room for us or the passengers off the bus that pulls in right after us.  The guide tells us we will have to wait … Continue reading Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

October 7 This is our second sea day, but I have more time to write and process today, there will be three Sea Interludes today.  So all told we will have 4 Sea Interludes, just like Peter Grimes.  Today’s first, and the trips second, is about graphic art.  We saw a lot of revolutionary graphic art on our travels around Havana and Cienfuegos.  In this … Continue reading The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

Our Third and Fourth Sea Interludes

My third Sea Interlude is about music.  There is live music wherever we go in Cuba.  There is Cuban music on the ship, at every restaurant where we ate, on the streets, in cafes and music to welcome us to las Terrazas (although not at the cooperative farm.)  Much of the music is new to me, some I know from listening to recordings of Chano … Continue reading Our Third and Fourth Sea Interludes

We Flee the Ghost of Jesse Helms, in a Studebaker

On Saturday, our final day in Cuba the “Impact” team had organized another p2p event for our extra day but Suzi and I both decided that after Cienfuegos we had enough of buses, even very nice air-conditioned Chinese buses, so we set off on our own “self guided” p2p tour.  I intend that this blog be part of the documentation in case the feds question … Continue reading We Flee the Ghost of Jesse Helms, in a Studebaker