Friday, September 20, 2019

Evanston: plane crashes; hurricanes; biked

        The NY TIMES has a long article by William Langewiesche about the crashes of the Boeing 737 Maxs in Indonesia and Ethiopia earlier this year which provides insights into airplane manufacturers, pilots and their training, and low cost airlines of interest to anyone who flies, which includes almost all of us. 
        While I could not pronounce the author’s name, I recognized it, having read articles he has written in the past about other airplane crashes.  From those earlier pieces I learned that there is seldom a single cause of a crash, but rather a series of minor failures that build into a disastrous cascade.  This is true of boats as well.  I felt it as GANNET and I neared New Zealand in a gale.  All the tiller pilots were dead.  The cabin floorboards were broken.  One of the pipe berths had jumped out of its grove.  Fortunately we reached Opua before the little boat unraveled further.
        The Boeing 737 Max crashes were unusual and tragically easily preventable as you will discover if you read the article,

       From the historian David Cecelski via Barry and Steve Earley comes a link to the journal of a young woman who was visiting Ocracoke Island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks during the hurricane of 1899.  
        Steve managed to get to Ocracoke while covering Dorian and found the devastation much worse than he had expected or ever seen before.  His photo above shows the level water reached during various severe storms.  You will observe how much higher Dorian was than any other.
        Perhaps what is most interesting in the woman’s account is what is not there.  In 1899 no mandatory evacuation order.  No advance warning of any kind.  

        I rode my bicycle to the grocery store yesterday for the first time since my fall.  I was not certain how it would go, but I was fine.  Leaning forward onto the handle bars and going over bumps caused no distress.  Sailing will be rougher, but I have a few more weeks in which to continue healing.