Thanks to my good friend and Messing About In Ships podcasting partner, Captain John Konrad, the founder of gCaptain.com, I had the opportunity to interview Captain Alwin Landry, the master of Tidewater Marine’s OSV Damon Bankston, the first vessel to respond to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire. Captain Landry and his courageous crew rescued all 115 survivors of the fateful oil rig’s crew. Here’s his story from Weekly Leader podcast episode 68.
Congratulations and thanks to Admiral Thad Allen who retired during today’s Change of Command Ceremony. But don’t expect Admiral Allen to be sunning himself on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. President Obama had other plans when he appointed Allen to be the US government’s point person for the Deepwater Horizon sinking and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen does not shy away from tough assignments. (Remember Elián Gonzáles and Hurricane Katrina?)
You probably remember Captain Richard Phillips, he was the master aboard the Maersk Alabama who sacrificed himself in order to protect his crew when Somali pirates tried to take over his ship. Jon Stewart does a great interview with him.
Here’s an amazing video of a tug capsizing in the Skookumchuck Narrows, a tidal rapid at the head of the Sechelt Inlet in British Columbia, and Kayaker Dave Fusilli of Team Demshitz paddling out to assist. You’ll have to put up with an annoying watermark but it’s still worth watching. Miraculously, no one was killed.
Just over a month ago I wrote a post about the loss of an American sailing icon, Walter Cronkite, and tonight it’s sad to think about the loss of another, Senator Edward Kennedy.
The above photo was taken in 2004 aboard the schooner Aurora in Newport, RI when I was executive director of the American Sail Training Association. We arranged a morning sail for a youth group from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center and invited our local Congressman Patrick Kennedy to experience sail training first hand. Without advance notice Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy showed up at the dock too. He came aboard to meet the young people and share his enthusiasm and passion for sailing. As we departed the harbor, he sailed passed us at the helm of his beautiful schooner Mya.
Over the years I had several occasions to meet with the Senator and every time impressed me more. They say this about all great leaders, but when you were in his presence you really felt that he was totally focused on you and what you had to say. Of course, our brief meetings were always about tall ships and sailing, topics that were very important to him. As a student of leadership, I often reflect back on my very short, yet impactful experiences with the Senator and am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time with him.