November 18, 2008

A gold mine in Mexico

Old Mexico

We crossed the border in a convoy of delapidated trucks and freshly painted mining equipment, heading for the sonoran moutain desert. funny as it works this time I was waved through, while everyone else had to dig for their wallets. A hundred bucks here a thousand bucks there a few days later and we evenually got all our gear through. I was pit crew for our mecanically feable fleet. It seemed as though from Colorado to base camp we experienced it all, from broken windows flat tires, trailers jumping off their tow hitches while cruising down the highway, fuel problems, new pumps, compressor problems, two new compressors, running out of gas, locking the keys in the car, paying road side tire repair guys to watch our trailers, getting totally separated with no means of communication and camping along the side of the road in dangerous parts of Mexico.
The adventure of gold minining in mexico has long begun.

Once we arrived with our pile of gear we rounded the troops for a meeting with the owner of the ranch where we would hopped to set up this mine. The ranch owner happens to live in a hacienda style compound with gaurds and surveilance cameras on the alleys that border his estate. Why all this? he's got alot to loose. Most mafia familes do. when we arrived We were expected and were ushered within the thick compound walls single file into a large air conditioned meeting room with marble floors, leather chairs and a surveilance monitor with my car awaiting out in the alley front and center.

Our host was unlike the weathered sunglassed faces that possed around his property. He was middle aged, well groomed, and greeted us each with a bottle
of water and a soft skinned hand shake. He smiled with perfect teeth
a perfect mustache and stood short but tall in a perfectly pressed shirt. we were tired, dusty and sweaty palmed. An hour before we had had breakfast
with a local that had filled us with horror stories about this man and his connections and other possible businesses. Our meeting started casually and
revolved around the interpretor. When it was discovered that we would need a document, Castro would pause, make a call and moments later a courier would be
at the door panting with a freshly typed up document.

We discussed legistics, partnership details and the use of Castro's planes. Yeah of course this story wouldn't fit the bill if it didn't involve a
private air strip and planes awaiting. We concluded the meeting and on our way out admired his car collection and reconveined in the alley. In mexico there are many
parties struggling for power and pilaging or taxing the people. The government patrols with the military. Federali cops patrol with little oversite.
Local cops patrol with even less oversite. then
there are mafia types and militia gangs. Who's on top, who knows? Our association with Castro keeps everyone away. Who is he? Thats not our business, our
business is to find gold, and keep our promises. I am kind of intrigued by him, but I figure it wouldn't pay to dig for anything around here other than gold.

What am I doing down here?
Sitting on a gold mine by my self with a bunch of rusty equipment. I play around on it till my imagination runs dry or I get embarassed
because I think someone is watching me pretend to drive tracktors that are not turneed on. I can hit a pop can with my sling shot from ten yards and I know
where a den of jack rabbits are come thanksgiving. I learned "G, D, C and E'm" on my Mandoline. I tarred the roof of my trailer this morning and just
climed the highest hill in the area. Its beautifull down here. The moonhas been bright at night and the sunsets on the desert landscape are always

I found a local cheese maker and a tortillaria, so I pretend I am in france. Instead of being close to everything, I am fifty miles from the nearest gas station
and twenty two kilometers from the nearest street light. I made pinto beans yesterday, and it took all day. I am reading Down the River by Edward Abby.
Talk about coincidence, Abby left the day he cast his ballot for the 1980 elections then went on yet another river trip. The story is in journal form and its
the same calendar day as the day I started this trip the day after I cast my ballot. You guys know more about him than I do, but he talks alot about mining
and industrialization, mexican labor and ruening the earth with our urban foot print. Its easy to come to the same conclusions as he does when I look out
across the beautifull desert from the top of a hill. I see the magnificence of the desert vegitation, sense the struggle for life, admire the hillsides,
and then contrast it with the view of a fifty year old pit mine that looks like a wound that has never healed. I look at the power lines and dirt roads
that bisect the landscape. I view the trash we leave and listen to the heavy trucks rattle back and fourth. I imagine all the open pits that we created,
so that we could make those trucks, and the fuel they consume so we can make more pits, and I close my eyes and imagine them all gone. You can't have to
much of a concience and carry on being human. Even the most fervant environmental lawyer drives a Toyota Tacoma. Its all hypocracy. Where do we begin?

It would help though if we all realized that gems and gold only hold the value we place on them. Gold makes things shiny, and has a few electrical applications.
what else does it do? What do dimonds do on our fingers mounted in gold. Its simplifies the human race down to that of a hungry fish that strikes at a shiney luer.
We like shiney things, and are enamored and estemed by glitery objects. They cost lives and create huge holes in the earth, reck landscapes and waste time, the only true gold we will ever have.

The tremendous cost of a miner to aquire and a consumer to buy a piece of gold. What do I do if I find a nugget of gold, should I smile? should that make me happy? I'm not sure what I am supposed to do. What a miner can find in one life time amounts to a small pile of Gold. How much promise does a pile of gold yeild, and how big a pile would you trade your life for?Its an easy annology. What are you trading your life for right now? A garage full of stuff from Walmart, a car that people esteme? Its all worth thinking about, what are we exchanging our youth, vitality and life for? Is it the promise of something in the future, like freedom in retirement? All in all I still think the promise of retirement is a crazier idea than looking for gold in mexico.

November 05, 2008

Hundred things to do in on a political campaingne


If you were bugged to vote and received piles of handbills on your doorstep in the last month it could have been me. Funny how it works, I hate to be harassed my self, I resent being invaded with phone calls and junk mail and yet I jumped at the opportunity to work with a political organization for this election. Why was it so easy to be a pest and pass out alot of stuff that goes straight to the bin? Well,i figure that its unacceptable that half of Americans don't bother to vote, and under this current administration we have dumpsters full of metal and usable lumber.

The efforts by the politicians may be annoying to us, but our lifestlye and foreign policy has become life threatening to the world and our greatest threat to national security. I was ashamed to fly my American flag while sailing around the world. I am not ashamed of our ideals. I am not ashamed of where I come from. But those stars and stripes have a different meaning today. I am ashamed that we have insulted world leaders and not done our part to move forward on world wide issues where the rest of the community has.

I had a blast. As you can see I got to see a life long hero up close and almost shake his hand. John Elway was the Denver Broncos quarterback while I was a kid and in love with football. Seeing him in person was really cool. He is a big human, bigger than I thought. I had to wait through a few speakers, but I got to hear him, and it was for me a life time opportunity.

One of my favorite memories was running into an old college alum, while wearing a pink cowboy hat and a pair of retro roller skates. Yes I was a paid goon, and I probably contributed to how annoying this last campaign became.

Funny, I learned nothing about politics, but not because I didn't ask questions, all was not lost I had day after day of opportunity to observe America. I learned that if you ask someone how the electoral college works, they typically recite a few of the same text book answers then realize there is a gap in their own understanding and they reach for a friend, the friend provides justification for the electoral system yet the gaps remains. Its one of those issues that most people have a question about, but no one follows it to the end. Nodding and assuring understand is less painful and gets most people by. Who is the electoral person in your area? Where are they, and do they have to vote with the people? That depends on the state. Its great, it makes no sense, but that confusion incites nothing.

If you were a Martian you would scratch your noggin at this. In America we turn lights on during the day even though we have the sun. We have this idea that our personal freedom and Independence is tied to driving in a car alone even though it means we spend hours of our own day in the trafficked jammed lanes, side by side with other solo drivers who feel they are exercising their freedom and rights while the four passaenger cars jammed with two humans fly by at top speeds in the empty carpool lane. Who's free? This is the most impressive behavior: we travel the earths surface and bore its depths with tremendous equipment sourcing out various metals.
We capture those metals, refine them, use them for some human purpose for a short while and then we discard them and they are mixed back up with other materials and we try to then put them back into the earth. If you could watch us, there would be a few obvious ways to make our existence alot easier. Let me tell you that if a mining operation found this much resource in an area the size of a dumpster every employee in the operation could retire rich.

We need a leader. This new guy brought more people to the streets on a Sunday than any football game, and the world was dancing all at the same moment for the first time in history. Hes going to bring us together. I'm not talking about the suburbs and rural America, if you think Obama is a terrorist, or your still nervous around black people, well frankly we cant afford to wait for you at this point. I'm talking about making america and its ideas popular again. Its not about us its about war, genocide, tremendous waste and we do not have the right to waste the worlds resources.
Ignore the news and take a look around, while I was a away I heard horror stories of depression but my observations are that we are not in desperate times over here. The carpool lanes are empty, and people leave their lights on all day and there are dumpsters full of resources.

October 13, 2008

Wow, hitting the news stand makes you wonder. The year has passed; cruising through the Bahamas was great, the Caribbean was worthy, crossing the Atlantic was once in a lifetime, the Azores was an undiscovered paradise, Spain lax and dreamy, England rainy and unwelcoming but worth visiting because there are so many Kiwis. Then France was heaven with Angels and all the rest. It has been such an inspiring year! The world seems so accessible now, people seem so welcoming and life seems harmonious.
But what’s this, the world is in turmoil. I’m not sure what is really going on. One phenomina seems blantant: TV and the periodicals have a lot to do with it. The media perpetuates these catastrophic events by spreading the fear. Shut it off.

The first newspaper I see shows this:

The Magazine underneath it shows this:

Both are illustrating what’s going on in the world. Yeah the rich are having a ball still and we are in turmoil. But I am poor and I didn’t feel the world shake. The Financial times said the world shook. Well, not enough to rock my boat, nor the rest of the boats and these guys seem to be carrying on as planned.

It's time to go sailing. Its really time, maybe the promises of retirement that we live for, won't exist in ten-fourty years. What if you lived your life based on a promise, and it turned out to be a lie? You might be reay to kill, eh?. Well its nothing new, if you planned on retiring with your "investments" in realestate or the stockmarket, its not time to retire its time to go back to work.
If you would rather not get caught up in all the doom and gloom, and jobs seem hard to come by,or the pay is not worth your time even, then do what you can to get a sailboat. Get a small one, put this lie to rest and start the dream. It would be hard to convince me that this was'nt the greatest year to have gone by. As the news pumps this demoralizing saga and the dark clouds of depression loom ahead, the world of sailing is beeming. The wind will always blow and exploring this earth will always be fantastic. I've got pictures of more smiles and magic moments this year than any other. I missed all of what happened on TV but I am soo excited about what lies ahead.

October 10, 2008

Notes from the Streets abroad

London never rests; its streets display the worlds latest fashion trends and its buildings house an epicenter for a globally linked financial system. It might be safe to say it’s not the best time to seek a job in finance, but gearing up with the right threads is as cheap now as it will ever be at fifty percent off in this shop. This would indicate that the need to go out and get that suit and tie has dropped in half according to the invisible hand of Economics. While underneath it all there seems to be an investment opportunity in the manufactures of “manikins in despair”.
Shopping remains a dominant activity in western culture, and in these slow times shops are plastered with discount signs. “No one’s buying anything, so everything’s on sale”, that’s the word on the streets, from Shane Smart a London Civil engineer. How long does fashion hold on as a “need” in such uncertain times? In England, for those keeping it fresh, the trend is to style up at the second hand boutiques called “opportunity shops”. These boutiques are registered charities that receive donated clothes from various department stores. They sell the clothes, generating funds for the blind, the homeless and others in need. It’s recycling, its charity, it’s cheap and it’s called “opshopping”.

October 05, 2008


Putting the boat away :(

September 29, 2008

La Rochelle

Delicatessens and Pardon my “French” :)I arrived in La Rochelle late Friday evening.  It was a long sail in the sun from dusk to musk.  My face was caked with salt and pink from baby sun screen.  The customs agents were waiting at the dock for me as I pulled into my slip.  Flying the American flag as you go about the world these days raises flags of other types .  They were great, they asked me, “Obama, or McCain?”  I said “Obama”.  They said, “Se bon, enjoy your stay.”  It seems to be on everyone’s mind.  They are worried we won’t make change, and the World, from what I have seen is losing or has lost its endearment for America. We have an important role in the World, and our leader affects everyone and They realize it.  But this journal is not a political forum, it’s just an observation.  I am asked three times a day and even told I need to go home by November to vote for Obama.  I found a pair of scissors in the shower and there went all my hair. Se bon.I get a lot of attention for being an American.  Not a lot of us travel.  The Canadians travel.  The Australians  and New Zealanders, they travel.  Americans, we drive cross country, go to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.  There is so much to see without needing a passport.  In the Marina here, there must be one thousand boats.  There are three Canadian boats next to me.  I have looked, and you know I am desperate for another American right now, because everyone here speaks French but me.  No, the biggest marina in Europe and little Noche’s flag is the only stars and stripes I have seen.  You guys owe me, I could be a big jerk right now and that would make you guys all big jerks too.  At ease, please, I am rebuilding the faith in America over here. Today I took some friends sailing. It was sunny, warm with light winds and three Frenchies.  One was Christian, one Atheist, one Muslim and me. We had a ball and we worked well as a team.  Sailing is not accessible to all, but it is hugely dominant in the media and culture here. It was a treat for them.  Anyway France has such a multi cultural history, I forgot beer, and the wind was slow so we had to touch on religion.  We all connected in that little microcosm.  At that moment we felt like we were all in the same boat; hey! We are all in the same boat.I am so amazed by the French demeanor.  I used to think that they were rigid, stuck up and particular.  Now they seem gentle and focused on the finer aspects of life.  When you walk into a store they say “hello”.  When you leave they “say good bye”.  When you see someone you know, man or woman you kiss both cheeks.  If you come across a group of your friends, look out, it can be very time consuming just doing the kiss greeting to each person can hold you up for a while, so you have to pick your route through town.  The guys kiss each other too.  I have never seen a gentler group of people.  There is so much kissing going on all the time. Everyone is always kissing.  A pub is more or less a kissing booth.  If you are a bar tender you know a hundred people and those hundred people stop in everyday to say hi, and saying hi, means doing the double kiss thing.  For us the bar tender might get the nod, or a high five which is my arm and your arms length away.  Our greeting is two arms length away. What does that mean?  For me, now, here, I have to shower, and maybe consider using soap now because my bubble is no longer two arms length away.  But really, I see how close these people are and it blows me away.  You ride in a little car and your shoulders are touching.  How could you ever get into a fight when you were busy kissing everyone you were talking with. Laugh out loud, check this out, they really don’t understand why we say “Pardon my French” when we say a bad word.  I guess I don’t either, besides the roots of our language, but they get a kick out of the idea that somewhere else in the world when un couth language, fesses or vulgar terms for the act of love are mentioned, it must be excused for being “French like”.  How’s that supposed to go over? :)Can you spot Noche?

September 24, 2008

September 23, 2008

Bon Apetite

“France”. I grew up with the idea that to go to this place it calls for a distinguished and well cultured, even wealthy individual. lol... I also remember from our own history that they gave us a statue, taught us about liberty and helped us fight for our independence. These days they have a reputation for being rude when you don’t attempt to speak their language while in their country, and they turned on US recently when they didn’t believe in the fight. hmmm... A good old traveling friend of mine, “English Owen” and I set off for France from the south coast of England last week after being refused entrance to the UK. In the mariners world the “French” are sticklers for safety, insurance, and paperwork. In the English world, the French are traditionally second best and overall rude. Owen and I set off with low expectations for the crowd ahead. We crossed the channel, dropped anchor, and slept till a squad of customs duardos knocked on the hull. We endured an exhaustive but friendly shake down, and then set foot in the land of tiny coffee and fresh bread. We walked around the old Napoleonic streets and grinned at the refined cafes that stretched out onto the sidewalks and into the public squares. Owen tried his luck with the native tongue and instantly this older couple was walking us around the town in search of the best Creperie. We were on our heels how nice everyone seemed. Then we sailed to the next town… where a local drove us to a Saturday Farmer’s market to do our shopping, bought us coffee and toured us around an entire Island. At our next destination upon landfall we were invited to a potluck and disco party by a stagecoach driver. Then in the next town we met a large group of air traffic controllers who were unexpectedly interesting and fun. The next day a bicyclist in full leotard zoomed past as I stood on a foot path admiring boats in the bay. He screeched on his breaks and came back to enjoy the view and have a chat. It worked great; since I couldn’t speak he would! Shoot you don’t both have to speak French, just one, and he was able to keep the “conversation” going the whole time. I learned all about his bike schedule and the walking trials around the town of Brest. That evening Owen and I met a group of students who entertained us for hours singing and humming hundreds of songs that we all knew from the eighties, nineties and today till the Bars closed down. The day after that a couple of organic farmers picked me up hitch hiking and we ended up going out for dinner, playing pool and having drinks till two in the morning. Owen, being full blood English is particularly upset. Day after day were having astonishing ease with travel. Without coming here it’s easy to boycott French fries and generalize about a people. Having this past week’s experiences we would say that the Frenchies are lovely. These folks will stop what they are doing and spend their entire day with you. I guess a snear in Paris is the same as a honk from a New York cabby, don’t take it personal, go beyond Paris when you’re in France, and get out of the way when you’re in New York. Renewed and excited about the French, Owen took a bullet train to Paris and then a flight back to London and I caught some easterly winds around the Finistair peninsula to Belle Ile. Today I discovered I am living my dream. I look out at my view of the world and I want for nothing. Maybe its because the people I often meet are on their dream vacation. Sailing is a lot of work, I put in more all-nighters than any sixty hour a week guy on Wall Street, but the reward is direct and intrinsically evolving. Sailing offers little control, and it’s the slowest means to do anything, but somehow I feel I get to go directly for what I am after. It’s a lifestyle where one doesn’t have to wait fifty one weeks doing something unrelated in exchange for a week of the dream. Every day is a view that a camera cant capture and my big screen comes with all the sensations of smell, temperature and emotion. Now I am dead broke but I feel like I am the wealthiest guy on earth. I hope to avoid the lifestyle of buying a car to get to a job that pays my car payment. Please help to remind me of all of this if I get lost because it’s time to get a job, so I can afford to buy some time off again.

September 14, 2008

The First Flight Across the Atlantic!

Here’s a bit of forgotten history: Eight years before Lindberg’s solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Franklin D. Roosevelt while serving as assistant Secretary of the Navy persuaded the Navy to fly an aeroplane from the Eastern Seaboard across the Atlantic. The Navy built four planes, the NC-1, NC-2, NC-3, and NC-4 for the mission, and stretched a fleet of naval ships every fifty miles all the way across to England. The ships were to aided in navigation, provided weather and stand by for rescue. Four planes set out, one made it. It was a primitive era for flight: 60-70mph navigating by sight, compass and new prototype aerial instruments. To cross the ocean at low altitude meant big waves and dangerous fog. The NC-2 never made it off the coast of North America. NC-1 and NC-3 were disabled by rough seas near the Azores, embarking on adventures of their own. While the one remaining NC-4 meandered out of contact lost in the fog. The mission had seemed to flop when through the fog the NC-4 sighted the high volcanic landscape of the Azores, the group of Portuguese islands in the mid Atlantic. The NC-4 landed safely in Horta, on the Island of Fial. From there they flew to Portugal, Spain and then to Plymouth England! They flew Across the Atlantic. It wasn’t solo and it wasn’t continuous but it was a first for the times. In Horta I found a propeller from the NC-3 hanging on the wall of a museum. It was there as a memento, from a failed attempt to cross the Atlantic by plane. The rest of the story went untold. It looks as though along the trail I am the only one who talks about the first transatlantic flight. As Morning Glory and I sailed across the bay in Ferrol, Spain, public television in America flashed a clip of the story on TV. But in 1919 the streets were parading as these guys approached. They went on a victory tour after the flight and it lasted for days. My Great Grandfather Jim Breese was on that party tour, because he was the Co-pilot and Engineer of the NC-4. But it seems like the party began before the crossing because before the planes set out from Rockway, NY, Breese and his ‘boyhood friend’ Roosevelt, rigged an extra seat on the NC-3 and went for a fifteen minute ride.

September 11, 2008

Deported from :)

Catchy title eh? We made it to England!!! You have to read through all my stories to get to the deported part.

So the trusty I-touch got us into Sunny England where we found red carpet and never ending hospitality(I don't want there to be any confusion, England was wet and grey, the only reason I would ever go back is because there are people from New Zealand there.) Jon, Smarti, Jas, and Nae (All Quiwis)gave us a roof over our head, transportation passes for our pockets and a cell phone for our social lives. It was great, they invited us to parties and one social event to the next for our entire stay.

We had some adventures to note:
:)Twenty miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight the back-stay from Noche landed in a nice coiled pile on deck, disrupting my movie and waking up Glory. This could have ruined the entire day, but the mast stayed up and we were able to reinforce it with two spare halyards and motor the rest of the way into Brighton.
:)Jon and I caught wind of a wedding happening some three and a half hours drive away so we got our dancing shoes and a tent and fully crashed it. We got to see some really good friends from Habitat for Humanity Ireland, all the bar peanuts we wanted and a full half days worth of dancing. We were the last men standing, in fact it was so chaotic, I woke up in a field with some tee-pees and a Gypsy caravan next to Jon, and there was only one shoe between the two of us with our car keys in it. Smiles were glued to our faces the whole time.

:)Jon brought a life raft to the River Thames,(the river that runs through London) and set it off. He Smarti, and Jas jumped in and floated away... for about twenty minutes till it sank!!!! Life rafts provide too much piece of mind and in fact this one was worthless. It was the best possible use of one. The whole stunt was awesome and would probably have made the news if three people hadn't parked their cars below the tide level for the Thames to take away on the same day.

So good times and here is the chase. We entered England by boat and with out a conventional set of answers for the bureaucratic block heads at the gate, we were turned away. We had no return tickets, so "no plans to leave".Well we don't print tickets for passages on the sail boat, I never thought about it. They didn't seem to understand why an American couple would sail to England. We tried to explain that for us, when crossing the Atlantic, England happens to be on the other side. Its an English speaking country and London being progressively vibrant and the transportation hub of the western world, is an ideal place to land and leave ones boat. Nothing got through. They didn't believe a word of what I said. In our experience the immigration officers were not well trained, lacking continuity in the information they provided us, and carelessly un-thorough. In the end during our third meeting they were so shifty and un-professional that when they tried to finger print us and take our photos, we thought they were being abusive and stepping out of protocol. Morning Glory lead the march right out the door. On the day of my departure they delivered my passport to the boat with a two stamps in it. One with a subtle hand scribed "+" across it and one with a larger hand scribed "+" across it. What daunting technology.

Morning Glory flew back to Colorado, and I sailed to France with an old friend from England. The food is once again inspiring, and the French immigration welcomed us upon arrival, saying "thanks for having all your paper work in order and in 18 months if your still in EU waters, send us a check for the tax on your vessel". The greatest part about all of this is the great ideas that come out of it. Now I am going to drop the mast and cruise through the French canal system across France to the Mediterranean.

August 29, 2008

Ive been touched.

I'm a PC guy. But on the day we departed to cross the Atlantic a trickle of rain shorted out my trusty laptop. On that precious laptop, were five years of pictures, journals of adventures, all my music, and Nautical Charts of the entire globe. At fifty bucks a chart in the store, my routine up untill that point was to print off my own charts as needed, as I went. So with my trusty printer and a reem of paper I was set for the world. Well, now chartless, we set off anyway. What the heck do yo need a chart of the open sea for? Well you dont untill you get to where your going, well that was a month away. ahhh young cruisers eh? So a month passes and we are marking our progress on a weather pilot and the GPS Satelight photographs. And it was untill we began to see Azorian light houses at night, that I began to freak out. You'd be surprised really how hard it is to see how far away a flashing light is. It can be ten miles away or fifteen feet when your eyes are tired. Anyway we made it fine as the sun rose, and my strategy became no need for maps (you cant buy maps if you wanted to where we were) just day time arivals and nightime sails. Sweet right? Well that worked for the next two months.

One day we left in the late afternoon for a random cove along the North Spanish coast. It was thirty miles away and I figured I could navigate in by lights. Ha! more often than not I find my self navigating in by lights and waking to discover a new beautifull place the next morning. Its great. Well the wind picked up as it does in the Bay of Biscay, along with the swell. So we rounded the last cape and found our selves in a confused swell, overcast dark night and the sound of breakers on both sides of the boat and no channel lights! No green and red! Or Red and Green as they do here. The depth sounding was eratic and the fun seemed to have left stage right. I remembered that my I-touch had a google maps program on it so I started to fuss around with it. Zooming in and in and in and in I found where I was heading and got a good look at the harbor. I switched on the Radar that I hate soo much and I matched up the out line of the satelite photos with the radar image. I continued to zoom in on the i-touch untill i could clearly see the channel and what appeared to be a trail of bubbles!!! I zoomed back out to see that that trail of bubbles lead to a boat, in the satelight photo that had just navigated the channel and was rounding into the harbor! HIS TRAIL WAS THERE. Again THERE WAS A BOAT in the photo and his trail of bubbles lead all the way back to where I was. Sorry for the reapeat, its for effect. There we were huddled over an glorified ipod following a bubble trail around rocks and safely into an unlit channel. I am still blown away. The photos on that itouch were in its memory and they were soo good that I could see rocks in the water and felt there was no need to get out and explore when I got there. ha!

Here is where it really gets good: We are sailing up the English channel on our way to Brighton. The English channel is littered with traffic from ferries, fisherman, pleasure cruisers to huge freightors bound for Panama, The coast gaurd is constantly on the radio warining people of weather and sea conditions. We even heard maydays as we were passing through. Well back in St. Thomas I got a huge cell phone bill. If anyone knows me really well this is a frequent occurence, but this time it wasnt my fault. Being on a sail boat my cell phone was picking up cell networks from passing cruise ships at a rediculous rate and its un beknownced to the user. Well its a flaw, but so uncommon that its not worth fixing, the cell companies just rebate the money. Anyway since my itouch is the most amaizing savior now I pull it out as I am getting passed port to port by a cheesy cruise ship. Poof I've got wi-fi in the English Channel.
Un freaking beleivable, I upload the local google maps, and write my Dad an email. One more Cruise ship bears down on us and it picks up its signal and sends my emails. If I were going the other way I would have had more time and could have downloaded all my emails.