Final Countdown to 1,000 Days at Sea

About 4 years ago my friend Rick Scarano introduced me to Reid Stowe. This Saturday, April 21st after many years of careful planning Reid will sail out of New York Harbor for an epic voyage of 1,000 days at sea.

Reid likens this adventure to space travel and I think that is entirely appropriate. He’s had a few similar trips aboard his schooner Anne although none of this duration. The press release states:

“…Stowe and Ahmad will have lived on the sea for a period longer than anyone has before: continually traveling in a high-impact, isolated environment while extending the limits of human endurance to promote a global message of inspiration, perseverance and human ecological self sustenance.”

For some interesting pictures and posts about schooner Anne check out one of my favorite blogs tugster: a waterblog. (here, here, here and here

Also be sure to check out the 1,000 Days at Sea website and blog.

I look forward to following their adventure and wish Reid and Soanya fair winds and following seas.

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The Tabor Boy Project – Storytelling and Living History

The Tabor Boy Project

I just launched a new website called The Tabor Boy Project. 

Part storytelling project, part social network, all experiment!

As long as humankind has gone to sea, incredible stories have been told upon a ship’s return to port.

A community is an accumulation of stories told. In keeping with this long maritime tradition, The Tabor Boy Project is an online community that invites you to tell your sea stories, photos and videos.

Please visit and join in the conversation. If you have EVER sailed aboard the schooner Tabor Boy in any capacity (student, crew, parent, guest, Sea Ranger, etc.) you MUST tell your story. 

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"Green is the New Red, White and Blue"

On January 6, 2006, Thomas L. Friedman wrote a New York Times editorial about the lack of national leadership regarding environmental and climate change issues. (You can read a copy here thanks to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s website) 

In yesterday’s New York Times Magazine’s cover essay “The Greening of Geopolitics: The Power of Green” Friedman built on his earlier editorial.  

The essay’s subtitle reveals his premise: “What does America need to regain its global stature? Environmental Leadership”

It’s an interesting, and simple piece, that presents his theories on petrodollars and democracy, the “China price” of energy, green patriotism and the incredible scale of the challenge to create an emissions-free energy infrastructure for the future.

Friedman writes,

The only thing as powerful as Mother Nature is Father Greed. To a degree, the market is already at work on this project – because some venture capitalists and companies understand that clean-tech is going to be the next great global industry.

This follows pretty closely what I have recently written about here, here, here and here

While in the past thinking and acting Green may have been considered a fad or trend, that is no longer the case. There are no simple solutions to the challenges that we face; however, smart business people are thinking and working hard at trying to capitalize on these new opportunities. Ultimately this can be a win / win / win situation for the economy, environment, and our children and grandchildren.

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The making of the "Deadliest Catch" – Avid Podcasts

Check out this interesting interview with one of the executive producers of the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”  (click here for audio file download or webpage.)

From the Avid website:

Jeff Conroy takes us behind the scenes of the Discovery Channel’s reality show “the Deadliest Catch”.  Jeff shares the trials and tribulations of capturing the worlds most dangerous job, catching Alaskan King Crab in the Bering Sea, on tape and delivering one of the most engaging reality shows on television.

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At Sea Reality TV – “Deadliest Catch”

Anyone interested in modern maritime culture should check out Discovery Channel’s reality TV show “Deadliest Catch.” The 3rd season started this week. It has a loyal viewership and has developed into a cult hit. Tuesdays at 9 PM EDT and PDT (8 PM CDT). Like most cable channel shows, it repeats often over the weeks following each new episode.

To get flavor of what its about, check out the show’s website where you can watch select “webisodes” and read crew bios and the show’s production diary blog. There is a weekly poll where you can vote for your favorite boat and crew and a game (reported to be coming soon) where you will be able to see if you “have what it takes to skipper a crab boat on the Bering Sea.”

The show’s website also has very active and interesting message board where viewers discuss everything from professionalism and decision-making to who’s the hottest captain. It makes very interesting reading. Here’s a sample of a message that has 77 replies:

“I am slightly disappointed in the Discovery Channel for glorifying some of these “Captains” who by all professional standards are not setting a good example. The Discovery channel would do well to ask other professionals there opinion of some of the things that they are glorifying. Often, “joe blow boater” follows the example of professional Captains. I have seen a few series where my stomach cringed at the statements and decisions made by some of the “Captain’s”.

There are many things these Captains can do to make their occupation safer, there are many decisions these “Captains” can rethink to make sure their crew gets home safe.

Just an opinion from an old salt for what its worth. Many of us (licensed) Captain’s sit around and watch the series together and just shake our head. Not trying to be harsh or derogatory, Captains have a bad habit of just being truthful. We are just telling it like it is.

Capt. Phil – you are well liked and respected here even when your decisions are unpopular where you are.

Captain of the Rolo – all we can say is, well , you might want to go back to school. Not a good idea to go into it here, but hopefully you are aware of how bad you looked as a Captain.

This is all meant in the form of CONSTRUCTIVE critisism.”

On the lighter side, hyannisgirl wrote:

“I have to post this because I am addicted to this show and love to watch Captain Sig! I get all hot and bothered watching him…..Any other fans of Sig out there?”

While I enjoy watching the Amazing Race, The Apprentice and Survivor, these shows cast the characters and manufacture the “reality.” You might get Fired but you won’t die. On the other hand, Deadliest Catch is real Reality TV. The crew members (and production crew) put their lives at risk to make this show. These are real people doing real jobs with the added complication of having cameras recording their real life challenges.

It’s amazing television.  These guys risk their lives to feed (and entertain/educate) us. The least that we can do is watch!

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NY Times – Follow up on Global Warming and Battles over Water

windowslivewriternytimesfoll0wuponglobalwarmingandq-b697j0430849.jpg In a follow up to his Sunday’s NY Times article, Andrew C. Revkin wrote another interesting article in Tuesday April 3rd’s NY Times entitled The Climate Divide – Reports from 4 Fronts In the War of Warming. It includes a great multimedia presentation narrated by the author and some interesting graphics.

On Wednesday the battle over water comes home with a front page article entitled No Longer Waiting for Rain, An Arid West Takes Action – Battles Renewed Over Pipelines and Treaties written by Randall C. Archibold and Kirk Johnson. (Slideshow)

The scramble for water is driven by the realities of population growth, political pressure and the hard truth that the Colorado River, a 1,400-mile-long silver thread of snowmelt and a lifeline for more than 20 million people in seven states, is providing much less water than it had.

Everywhere in the West, along the Colorado and other rivers, as officials search for water to fill current and future needs, tempers are flaring among competing water users, old rivalries are hardening and some states are waging legal fights.

 The impacts of climate change will be disproportionately felt by those who can least afford to do anything about it; however, the entire globe will be effected to one degree or another. Sounds like its time to for some transcendent leadership

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NY Times – Funding and Remedies for Global Warming Challenges Not for the Benefit of Those Most Effected

On the front page of yesterday’s Sunday NY Times there was a very interesting article by Andrew C. Revkin about the costs and exposures associated with climate change. Poor Nations to Bear Brunt as World Warms.

No matter what side of the fence you may sit on (man-made or natural phenomena), the fact of the matter is that global warming will have a disproportionate effect on people who can least afford it and “those in harm’s way are beginning to speak out.”

“We have a message here to tell these countries, that you are causing aggression to us by causing global warming,” President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February. “Alaska will probably become good for agriculture, Siberia will probably become good for agriculture, but where does that leave Africa?”

It’s not difficult to see why many believe that the next major war in the world could be fought over water.  

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