Tag archive for "scuba diving"

San Juan Islands, Velkommen

CGAUX Drysuit Exercise

No Comments 14 January 2013

On Saturday, Jan.12, 2013 I participated in a Flotilla 17 (Coast Guard Auxillary) Drysuit exercise at Campbell Lake.  The temperature, for coastal Western Washington, was chilly:  25º F.  Water temperature, perhaps:  40º F.  My suit worked well, although the zipper needs some lube.  Wool gloves, when wet, are almost worthless.  I wish I had brought my neoprene scuba gloves.  The sun shined on us, geese flew overhead honking at us and a single-engine plane gave us a close inspection.  It was a good time.  Afterward, breakfast at the Bowling Alley in Anacortes was manditory.  The french toast was delicious!  BIG Fun and…..not your usual Saturday morning.

Books, Velkommen

Deep-Sea Detectives…..marine mysteries and forensic science

No Comments 20 February 2012

Peter Limberg is a good storyteller. Deep-Sea Dectctives looks at the sinkings of a number of vessels and the methods used to discover the cause.  Some of the stories I was familiar with but many of them were new to me.  The writing style is a pleasure, just as if Peter were sitting in the living room telling the story.   Especially nice is the way the facts are presented, with the value judgements left to the reader.  Often there are multiple causes:   a storm, a rogue wave, an error in judgement, lack of maintenance.  Maybe insurance fraud or just plain bad luck.  Some will forever remain mysterious.  The technology used for underwater forensics is changing rapidly in favor of remote controlled unmanned submersibles.  But even the finest technology is often no match for the sea.

Read the book.  You will enjoy every page if you are intrigued by the depths.  The indie bookstores have it for bargain prices.  Buy two and surprise a friend.


Sex, Drugs and Seaslime

No Comments 27 July 2011

What a great attention grabbing title!  Ellen Prager is at her best when describing the ocean’s oddest creatures and why they matter.  Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime is hugely entertaining, and it’s educational and informative, too.  Some of the ocean’s odd creatures seem like they should be on another planet when Ellen Prager describes how strange they really are.  Her explanations of these unique creatures elevates them from mere curiosities to creatures that have a direct impact on our lives.  Much more than you might suspect.

Especially nice is a more scientific, data based approach, with only a tiny amount of begging for increased funding and a tiny amount of liberal eco hand wringing.  (I’m a global warming denyer, and references to Obama and AlGore definitely turn me off.)

Ellen has lived Marine Biology, and she has all the credentials, too.  Don’t settle for a book by a stuffy desk jockey.  This is the real deal.

Don’t miss it. Order it together with Chasing Science at Sea. Tell your friends……read it twice before you pass it on.


Shadow Divers

1 Comment 01 February 2011

Wow!  What a story….but it’s so much bigger than that.  Shadow Divers is the true story of a German WW2 U-boat and it’s crew.  A true story of two divers, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, chasing discovery and adventure.  Although it’s unspoken, both are chasing their future.  The future that brings them face to face with death and forges a bond with an encrusted sub and it’s entombed crew lying 60 miles from the New Jersey coast.  The mysteries and twists could only have been unravelled by Schicksalsgemeinschaft – a community bound by fate – in which each man is dependent on the other.  Only Gandalf could have forseen how this story would unwind over the course of more than 50 years and in two parellel universes:  one below the waves and one above.

Adventurers that dive deep wrecks are preparation freaks.  They have to be or they don’t last long.  The preparation must be so thorough that all the correct choices are habit and no aspect of research is left to chance.  Those characteristics are so dominant that a casual view might only see obsessive/compulsive behavior, but that would be myopic.  The bigger picture is what eye-widening revelations are made of. 

The currents running through the book are contagious.  The author Robert Kurson became caught in the thrill, too.  Lucky for him and the readers.  The book becomes a destiny, revealing the glue that binds humanity, revealing how history works its magic over time.  It is the human experience; to live is to seek…..running for the meta.  But the metaphor is much more total.  We, yes we humans, crew a boat called the Seeker; we are a community bound by fate.

Don’t wait.  Buy this book immediately.  Don’t miss the interactive NOVA site, either.  John Chatterton’s promotional vid is nice, but I can so relate to Richie’s vid.  And I love how he ends it:  “Why do people ski between the trees and go off the rocks……because they feel it’s something they have to do.  That’s why I do it.”  Hey Richie….enough said.  SFD.

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