Thursday, May 1, 2014

Evanston: soot; Climate Earth 3D; losing a step; training

        After the last entry, Dick sent me a link to video of the boat fire at Driscoll’s, for which I thank him. 
        There can be no doubt that everything that happens in public—and perhaps private— is now recorded.  Be warned. 
        As he noted, the boat does not seem to have a mast.
        I have no recollection of her and may never have walked to the end of B dock.
        All that smoke is blowing directly toward GANNET.
        There may be a lot of scrubbing in my future.

        I thank James of the eastern mountains for the Climate Earth 3D app for iPad and iPhone. 
        This is the World Wind Map in app form.  I don’t see that it does much more than the free site, beyond being a little easier to switch from wind to ocean current view.  But I think the developer deserves to be supported for creating a most interesting and useful visualization, and hope others with Apple devices will buy the app for a very modest $1.99.  


        Last evening we rewatched BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which was as excellent as the first time, maybe even better for I noticed and appreciated camera angles and other directorial details that I had not before; and the night before rewatched SKYFALL, the latest and one of the best James Bond films.  
        The pattern here is obvious.  I am rewatching and rereading because my mind is too preoccupied with preparing to be away for six months to deal with anything new.
        If you’ve seen SKYFALL you will recall that Bond is shot unintentionally by another British agent, and later told that perhaps it is time that he give up field work which is a young man’s game, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in ‘losing a step.’
        Although I feel strong and, other than turning into a cyclops, have kept my health, being almost thirty years older than the current James Bond, I’ve certainly lost more than a step.
        I couldn’t survive some of the situations I have in the past.
        I couldn’t bail seven tons of water out of GANNET every day for months.  But then considerably less than seven tons of water would sink the little sloop and I wouldn’t have to.
        Without doubt I couldn’t swim for twenty-six hours as I did after I sank RESURGAM.
        Being adrift for a couple of weeks as I was when CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE pitch-poled west of Fiji, starving and living on six sips of water a day, doesn’t require much more than lying down and suffering and I can probably still do that, counting on adrenaline to row the last few miles to land as I did before.
        There is no conclusion here, only elderly musing.  
        I truly hope not to be put to the test, while yet wondering how at my age I would fare.
        My experience of life is that consciousness resists unconsciousness, which is perhaps odd for unconsciousness is peaceful and consciousness fraught with the possibility of pain.
        What I have called the animal always wants to live.  My animal is strong.  It is all that has kept me alive at times.  And I don’t believe that it weakens with age, until perhaps the very end.
        That is what is great about a voyage:  it is real, as so much of modern urban life is not, and filled with the simple, fundamental, beautiful, and true.

        I do not expect to write again before we board the Southwest Chief Saturday afternoon.  Homing again to the sea.
       Thanks to Bill for that line written during WWI.