I saw a story in the press today about a shipload of soybeans, which loaded in Seattle June 5th or so, probably at the grain terminal up by Pier 91, which is now circling in the Yellow Sea, doing doughnuts as they say. During its voyage across the Pacific, China and the US started placing retaliatory tariffs on trade items, among them soybeans, so the ship chose not to unload and pay the higher rates. Instead it is circling offshore while the owners decide what to do. There is even a picture in the attached article of the track the ship has been taking, around and around. Not a word, though, about the people aboard that ship, the sailors, the deck officers, the engineers, the cook. I have been on a ship doing doughnuts, circling, only we did it for four days, not over 30, and we had an end in sight. Thee poor souls do not. They are in motion, at work, food and stores running low, milk going bad, supplies disappearing, fuel perhaps running low, unable to guess what will happen – will they choose to unload? Will they head somewhere else? I imagine tempers are growing short. Perhaps they are out of toilet paper, or laundry soap, or fresh water. Now tempers are really short.
But still they circle, around and around.
“From the first page, Adrift swept me away to an adventure. Anchored in the hands of a great storyteller, the characters come alive on the pages making me care about them, the sea, the future and the past. I read every word. Get on board this truly fine novel!” Jane Kirkpatrick, best-selling author of All She Left Behind.
“As a mariner who has spent a bit of time in the Bering Sea, North Pacific Ocean and Northwest Coast of North America I can tell you that Charlie Sheldon captures the essence of the hazards faced by mariners in those waters. His time sailing on large ships provides accuracy that any mariner can envision while reading his works. What I find most engaging is the character development and interaction. Charlie captured not only shipboard human interaction and relationships, but those we witness in everyday life. Adrift is a stand alone sequel to Strong Heart and a very good read. I recommend reading Strong Heart to fully appreciate the back story.” Captain Steven A. Palmer, Master M/V APL Saipan
“Adrift weaves a compelling tale of one ships’ crew having to face an ordeal that all mariners never want to experience. A shipboard fire and subsequent abandoning of their ship turns into an arduous voyage to salvation inside two small, cramped lifeboats in a stormy and unforgiving cold North Pacific. Interspersed with the people ashore who respond to this disaster, this is one compelling novel. Having spent over 40 years working on ships I can honestly say this is very well written mariners tale. It is a definite page-turner.” Captain Hans W. Amador, Master Mariner”
“As a Merchant Seaman for 44 years, many of them in the brutal, cold Northwest waters and islands, and also a former shipmate of Charlie Sheldon, I can totally relate to this seeming true to life adventure. I’m just glad it didn’t happen to me. A stand alone sequel to Strong Heart, the story flows excitingly from character to character. It is a great, fast paced sea story from the first page to the very last.” Richard Sanderson, SIU Chief Steward, over 10,000 days at sea.
Grab a cup of coffee an watch this interview with a candidate for Congress in New York City. I worked in NYC 1984-1990 and while there spent a lot of time in Brooklyn and the Bronx. I thought when I left in 1990 I was done with reading about Trump and Guliani, which clearly was not the case, and while there I had some exposure to city political machines and I also spent a lot of time at the Fulton Fish Market (another long story). I came to love working in New York, the people, the energy, the scandals, the…life! And, for all the articles we read and hear about how today’s youth are spoiled and entitled, this interview demonstrates there are those now coming into their power who should give us all reason to hope. It will be interesting to see how she does on the June 26th election, coming up. I know this, if I were registered in New York, of whatever party, she’d get my vote….
Spent a week at the Toklat Cabin at Mile 53 inside Denali National Park to complete, edit, and finalize Found, book # 3 in a series about the Olympic Peninsula and North Pacific Coast, which started with Strong Heart in 2017 and will see Adrift in September 2018 (copies now sent to reviewers!). The cabin, used by the Toklat Ranger in the summer (the park road is closed 30 miles away until later this month) and by Denali dog sled teams in the hard winter, is 14 by 16 feet, one room, simple, quiet, and perfect for working on tales.
Two articles here, demonstrating that we think we now so much more than perhaps we do. The first discusses the recent discovery of a second type of DNA, just found, quite different from the “standard” DNA first found in the middle of the 20th Century. The second article discusses how an entirely new organ has been found in our body – this after how many centuries of robbing graves and dissecting cadavers?
This article from Nature, which is really a plea to maintain and increase funding for ocean current research (and in my view a worthwhile plea to make), touches on an interesting dilemma. One impact of rising temperatures, at least in the northern hemisphere, is the dumping of enormous amounts of icy meltwater into the Atlantic from the Arctic and Greenland. This water sinks to the deep ocean, but if enough pours into the Atlantic it can push aside the warm Gulf Stream, push it south, weaken its flow. This, in turn, means that Europe is not warmed, and this in turn means that snow doesn’t melt, forming the basis for the growth of ice sheets. And, whether the weakening of the Gulf Stream flow started at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 when the earth warmed, as one model suggests, or started in the mid 1900s due to human impacts, as another model suggests, the outcome is the same – a future of cold, not warmth. And, it seems, a future that might fall upon us very rapidly, once it happens.
This video is long but well worth it as a detailed and easy to follow summary concerning the current state of our economic health and status. Worth watching, I think.