Monday, June 15, 2009

Escape from Alcatraz

EFA09_SwimStart_Upperdeck from Rick Gaston on Vimeo.

My eldest daughter has been doing triathlons for a few years now, and yesterday she did her third Escape from Alcatraz. I think. It might be her fourth. Her friend, Rick Gasto, took the video featured here from the top deck of the barge all the swimmers use as the starting point of the race. They all leap into San Francisco Bay and battle the strong currents to a specific landing point on shore. The race date moves around each year as the organizers try to pick a day when the currents will be as gentle as they ever get. The entire race consists of a l.5 mile swim, an 18 mile bike ride and then, an 8 mile run.

Just a little training day for an Ironman Triathlon, my daughter said. You see, later this month she is off to Nice. Yes, that's Nice, in France. She will be competing in another Ironman there. (She completed Ironman Coeur d'Alene last summer.) The Ironman course consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon---all in one day. And she really is my daughter. Who would have thought it?

Jen is amazing!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Dear Reader, I have been off the "map" lately as we are gearing up for the Edmonds Arts Festival. Yesterday and today we took in the pieces of art that have been juried into our show. Tomorrow is the President's Reception for the juried artists. I am editing the program, helping the volunteer director with last minute chores. I work at all of these things and they are taking up all my time---time I would otherwise be using to upload more of my Caribbean photos. Please be patient. I am fully booked through the 22nd with Festival chores. I will be back. I promise!Both photos are of last year's Festival.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Ship

The second in a series of posts chronicling my Caribbean sojourn in March, 2009

No, silly, not that HUGE white thing, but off to the left, that one! The one with the three masts. YES! That one! That's the Caledonia, my home for two blissful weeks. She's not very big (compared to a big cruise ship), but big enough to house more fun than I thought possible.

The SV Caledonia is the best ship on which I have ever traveled. From the Captain and the crew, the accommodations, the daily special afternoon cocktail and the food, the itinerary, and the sheer joy of a sailing ship beating downwind with you aboard, the wind singing in the rigging, it was a non-stop perfect trip from start to finish. There were great shore excursions. On board you had the opportunity to learn a bit about sailing from the boson, there were talks about islands we would be visiting, we enjoyed several musical nights (reggae and ska)and for the bold, you were allowed to climb up into the rigging as far as your nerve would let you.

Nonie and I both climbed up to the first yardarm, but being short, we were sort of stymied at that point as old knees and legs don't like to make the convolutions required to climb higher. It was much easier to climb out into the nets on either side of the bow sprint. What an amazing way to travel-----the waves breaking at the bow, the wind, the view! We were even blessed with dolphins riding out bow wake while we were in the nets. Magical!

Nonie, my traveling buddy.
Everything was ship shape, clean and comfortable. I spent countless hours just sitting on deck, watching the deck crew, looking for flying fish, watching the clouds and the moods of the Caribbean. Although our cabin had a DVD player and there were many DVDs in the library from which to choose, we never even thought of watching something. There was simply too much to do just being aboard the Caledonia.

If you get the chance, be sure to sail a week or more aboard the Caledonia. You won't be sorry!

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Many Moods of the Caribbean


I know, I know, it's taken forever for me to get any of my photos from the Caribbean cruise I took in March posted to this blog.....

It took me a looooooooong while to edit all my 1500+ photographs. I have culled and tweaked and cropped and now they are ready to share. I hate photo editing. It's boring. It takes forever----but it makes such a difference in the final product that it is worth the effort and time required. Even so, I hate it. BORRRRRRRRRiiinnnnnngggggggg......

The above photos are of what is known in my family as God Light. I love the way the beams of sunlight stream down through the clouds. It's dramatic. Very diva-ish. "I'm ready for my close up, Mr. de Mille."
Then we have the sunset section. The Caribbean does offer up some truly spectacular sunsets. I found the the deck of a three masted sailing ship was the perfect place to appreciate the varied sunsets in all their glory. I even saw the green flash three times in two weeks! That's my personal best. Three times!

And then, the lovely nights when the moon was visible. Most nights the moon shone brightly on the Caribbean waters. It was heaven to see stars and the moon and clear skies after months of the Pacific Northwest gloom and gray and wet.

I will be posting many more photos in the coming days. I'm going to try and put them into groups so it will make some sort of sense without having to drag you, Dear Reader, through a day by day tour. I hope this is more interesting. That is my intention, but should this seem unorganized and confusing, do let me know and I'll try sharing my photos and memories with you in another way.