Tag archive for "scuba"

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.


Chasing Science at Sea

No Comments 22 June 2011

Chasing Science at Sea  is a good read.  Ellen Prager certainly has all the credentials.  The book is not too deep nor too weighty.  The targeted audience would seem to be  High School students pondering the wide world of career choices. 

The stories and anecdotes are wonderful.  I began to think she must have lived her life in double-time to collect so many.  From living in undersea habitats to ooids, to sea slugs, Ellen Prager emphasizes that science can be both really interesting and really fun. 

At the end of the book there is a section titled, Related Web Sites and another section titled Recommended and Related Reading.  Either one of these sections is worth the price of admission.  Having both is a bargain.

Don’t miss this book, even though it seems targeted at the younger audience, it’s good stuff.  Read it then pass it on to your favorite student; in particular, your favorite student fishing for a career path.


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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