Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MIT Student hiking the Appalachian Trail

Gabe, known as 3 Stoves on the trail, every through hiker gets a trail name, is hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine for charity; half to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and half to the choice of the largest donor (an excellent way to motivate givers). 

Gabe has taken spring term off of schooling at the famous MIT to have the adventure of a lifetime with a cause in mind.  What's  more exciting  is he is an excellent writer and tells wonderful stories of the trail and his experience.  Following Gabe's trip will be one of the things on my to read list this spring and summer.  If you would like to follow you can click on the link here:  Gabe's Blog.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Climbing over the bones of the earth

I have often thought about what the mountains are.  In scientific terms they are the result of plate tectonics.  The pressure of one section of earth pushing upon another.  This fact I have never disputed.  But science is limited in its ability to understand the past because it requires observation and an eye witness account.  I do believe there is an eye witness to the formation of the mountains and that it has been written down his name is Noah and the Bible is his account.  We talk about the theory of uniformitarianism as if it was a fact, but this fact precludes the idea of cataclysm.  Even scientists believes there were cataclysmic events in the history of the earth, meteor strikes, great floods, history altering volcanic eruptions and so on. 

What I want to discuss is not really about how the mountains were made but what they represent.  Before the time of Noah the earth was more than likely rather flat and one large continent, Pangea.  During the world's greatest cataclysmic event, a world wide flood, the continent was broken into smaller ones, the crash of those smaller continents forced mountain ranges up.  The cause of this great destructive event was the evil of man kind.  All cultures would agree with this.  Read their ancient legends; the tale of Gilgamesh from ancient Sumeria, the Popol Vuh of Ancient South America, the Hiking of Ancient China, and last but especially not least the Bible.  

Because the mountains arose as a result of the  great flood which was cause by the evil of man kind the mountains are a reminder of our evil, what is more accurately termed sin.  Our sin broke the earth and caused the rocks of the earth, its bones, to rise up into mountain ranges.  So every time we climb upon the bones of the earth we should be reminded of our evil and hopefully repent.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Men and a Monk Cirumnavigate Korean Peninsula

On March 14th Marin Medak of Slovenia and Simon Osborne of England completed a 21 day 746 miles circumnavigation by kayak of the Korean Peninsula. On the fourth day at Yammi Island Hyocheon, a Buddhist monk, joined the expedition.  

Simon Osborne
Along the way the threesome were "escorted" by the coast guard and police, whether this was for their protection or the prevention of spying was not noted on the Yonhap News Agency web site.  The only time they were not shadowed was while kayaking through seaweed plantations.  
Marin Medak

Along the way they discovered the grand hospitality of the Korean people who put them at night and feed them.  What a great way learn about another people and culture than to do it by kayak.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aleksander Doba Kayaks the Atlantic

Alexander Doba a 60 something Polish man just completed an almost 99 day kayak across the Atlantic ocean.  He left Dakar, Sengal, that is one of the western most point of Africa and kayaked to Fortalez, Brazil, a trip of a little less than 2000 miles, not trying to under state the mileage here because this is a long way to go in open seas.  Because of ocean currents and weather, Alexander ended up paddling for 3352 miles, that is a difference of at least 1352 miles.  
The Atlantic is not the first long trip Doba has paddled  Previously he did 2600 miles around the Baltic Sea, 3300 miles from Poland to Norway, and 1200 miles around Lake Baikal.  In all has has kayaked more than 40000 miles. 

What a grand accomplishment and what I would call an extraordinary feat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paddle to the Sea

Back in the 1970's this video was a classroom favorite, at least among Washington State Schools.  The story is about a Canoe called Paddle to the sea, hence the name of the move, carved by a young boy  and set into the Great LakesWatershed which traveled to the Great Lakes and then to the Sea.  Truly the video reminds me of the dreams of a young boy wanting to get out and go places and see things.  In some ways I would love to make the same trip as Paddle did and dream of those same simple days.

The video comes in three parts each about 10 minutes.  So watch and dream of great adventures.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Friday, March 18, 2011

Circumnavigating the World by Human Power

Demitri Keiffer
Yes you read the title correctly, Dimitri Keiffer is attempting to Circumnavigate the globe by purely human power.  Dimitri began his adventure in February of 2005 and is currently in Vernhiy Paren, Magadanskaya Oblast.  His goal is not only to circumnavigate the world but also to connect with the peoples and societies he crosses paths with.  

Sounds like a very exciting and educational long walk.  You can follow along with his trek at his blog Nexus explorer

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Around the world in less than 80 days?

Thomas Coville has set his sights setting a new solo circumnavigational record under sail. He started on Jan 29, 2011 aboard his trimaran, Sodebo, off Ushant, in front of the Le Creac'h lighthouse and made it to the Cape of  Good Hope in 17 days 5 hrs 54 mins and 32 secs.  That is a distance of 8054 miles at an average speed of 20.31 knots.  He has currently had a small setback, collided with a pilot whale and broke a portion of his pontoon.  On the positive side the broken piece is designed to protect the ship from fatal damage like a car bumper.  Tho follow Thomas's quest you can go to his website:  Sodebo

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pygmy Kayak Build Slide Show

For those who have followed the Pygmy Kayak Build I am added a slide show below with a number of pictures which sadly do not have captions. One thing that really helped me was to look at pictures of other peoples builds. So if you need some visual help I hope this will be of some use.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Appalachian Trail in 4 minutes

In 2005 Kevin Gallagher set off to hike the Appalachian Trail with a film camera and six month.  Each day he shoot off 24 slides, yes I did say slides.  Eventually he put the slides into a short video which I have embeded here.  It sure makes you want to take six month off work and go for a merry jaunt over the hills and through the woods.

Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

British Medical Student to explore Remote Venezuelen Rapids

Arthur Norton Navigating Rapids
Arthur Norton, a Medical student at Brighton Medical school, will be traveling to Venezuela with five other team members to take on rapids that have never been done before in the remote areas.  They hope to do rapids of class IV and V.  The expedition will take about six exciting weeks in the Jungles.  Not only will they be combating the rapids but camping along the rivers shores with the snake, bugs, and other jungle nasties.  

Arthur is very excited about the trip but worries about South America's largest slithering reptile, the Anaconda.  After watching Marlin Perkins and Stan Brock wrestle with one I would be worried too. Arthur's attitude when it comes to Kayaking is, "I'm into throwing myself off waterfalls and big drops," maybe he should make that his Mantra.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cycles of the Moon

Every year there are 13 full moons and each one has it own names among the Eastern and Northern native tribes of North America.  Their calendar was actually lunar in nature, in other words, they tracked the months of the year by the cycles of the moon and not as we do today with a solar calendar.  

When out exploring in other cultures and places it is useful to understand this concept of the year.  Here is a great example.  In Samoa the new year used to begin when a certain species of sea worm would swim to the surface of the ocean and wiggle its tail in the air, it is actually the worms mating season.  But it is also a great time to scuba dive around the local coastlines and watch this new year starting event. 

For your enjoyment and understanding here are the 13 months of the year.
January - Wolf Moon
February - Snow Moon
March - Worm Moon
April - Pink Moon
May - Flower Moon
June - Strawberry Moon
July - Buck Moon
August - Sturgeon Moon
September - Corn Moon
October - Harvest Moon
November - Beaver Moon
December - Cold moon
And once every year the full moon rises twice in one month and is know as a blue moon. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Skier falls from mountain and survives

Here is an exciting video of a skier who accidentally falls off the back side of  a mountain he was preparing to ski down.  Be aware that this video is not for the squeamish, no blood or broken bones, but the sense of vertigo you will get will push any armchair adventurer over the edge.  As a precursor the young man did survive and even got up and walked away with little or no injuries. This video definitely stresses the value of being cautious when at the top of any very narrow peak.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Iditarod Begins

This Friday March 5 one of the greatest adventure races begins, the Iditarod.  Man and dog versus the arctic climate of Alaska where the wind chill can drop to -100 F (-73 C).  The race course travels through mountains, across tundra, and along the coast in some the very scenic Alaskan wilderness.  

The race began in 1973 as an endurance challenge and has moved to a all out competition with the winner becoming an Alaska hero.  The 1150 miles 9 to 15 day of race is certainly not for the faint of heart but makes for exciting drama.  To watch the progress of the race visit the official Iditarod website.  You can even track the teams along the course by GPS.

This year there will be 62 mushers 16 of which are foreigners.  The most exciting musher, however, is the Jamaican Oswald "Newton" Marshall this will be a man to watch.