Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Evanston: critics of The Gettysburg Address

        The Gettysburg Address was given 150 years ago yesterday.  
        In President Lincoln’s home state, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s editorial response:  The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as The President of the United States.
        Immediately after concluding his short address, Lincoln said to a U.S. Marshal who often accompanied him, “Lamon, that speech won’t scour.  It is a flat failure and the people are disappointed.”
        So much for the judgement of critics, even self.

        From the Civil War Today app, I also learned that the President had small pox when he was at Gettysburg, which may have been true.


        I am in the process of ordering a Jordan drogue from Oceanbreak in England.
        Because the smallest size they show on their website is for vessels of 10,000 pound displacement, I emailed asking if they would make something GANNET size.  They replied offering a 75 cone drogue suitable for vessels up to 6,000 pounds, which is what I am ordering.
        Of all the various types of sea anchors and drogues, I find the science behind the Jordan to be most convincing.  I also find the car salesman-like claims of some alternatives objectionable, as well as one site trying to sell for almost $50 a book about how to use their gear that they should be giving away free.
        Based on my experience, I am not among those who think that any type of drogue is essential for a trade wind circumnavigation.  Nor, obviously because I’ve done it twice around Cape Horn without one, essential even for the Southern Ocean.  But I believe it possible that I might have fared better in Force 12 storms down there had I deployed one.  Jordan had not done his research until well after my EGREGIOUS voyage.  
        I expect that some of the storms I encountered in the Southern Ocean, which capsized EGREGIOUS and rolled THE HAWKE OF TUONELA’s masthead into the water, would skip GANNET across the waves like a smooth stone across a pond.  Thus, a Jordan drogue.  A piece of gear I hope never to use.


        An article in THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN states that the Forties are going to roar louder, with winds increasing by 15% over the next seventy years.  Not my problem.
        I also read that researchers have obtained a grant to track the PIG iceberg with GPS and that, as Larry predicted, the berg is expected still to be in existence in two years.
        The claim that the tip of South America is “one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes” is absurd.  Perhaps the researchers needed to say so to get the grant.


        Last Sunday’s storm stripped most of the remaining leaves from the trees.  Spring and autumn do not last long.  In much of North America and Europe, winter is by far the longest season.  One day last week, a hedge beside our building was flaming red.  Two days later it was bare.
        The sun is low and the slanting light of November afternoons elegiac, as though reaching back across the ages, we know cold and dark hunger will follow.