Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Body is Gone, but the Facebook Profile Remains

I don't really know where else to express this thought, or how I'm feeling. I suppose the internet is a suiting place considering the subject matter.

I've twice been confronted with this oddity: someone dies but their Facebook profile remains. It first happened with my dear friend Jason, and again recently with someone I only knew in passing.

With all loss, there is that horrible, aching hole. The sadness. The missing. I suppose this feeling is not new to humans, just to me. This feeling of, "You're gone but the things you did in life are still lingering." With any loss, people leave things behind that must be dealt with. Clothes to be given away or sold, effects to be distributed amongst friends and family.

But Facebook has brought something weird to the traditional process of loss.

On Facebook, I can visit my dead friends' profiles, look at pictures, and even write on their wall as if they might actually see what I wrote. Facebook gives me the facade of interaction, but I never get a response. Still, it soothes me to be able to tell my friend I miss him.

In the real world with tangible assets, you have the choice to get rid of things. Some people need to move on by dispensing with those items linked to strong memories or feelings. But you cannot get rid of Facebook. The pictures will remain forever. The profile will stay unless a friend or relative knows the password. And it seems that Facebook doesn't has a system for dealing with their dead users.

Perhaps this is a way to preserve human history. Perhaps no one will be lost to time this way. Still, periodically I go back to my friend's page and reminisce. Even today, it had me shedding tears. I don't want to ever forget Jason, but I'm not sure I want this heavy-heart anytime I start typing "J" on Facebook.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Help me Take my Girlfriend on Vacation!

I submitted a photo into this contest and could win round-trip tickets to take Hannah and me on a vacation. Nothing would make me happier then being able to share a relaxing time with her after a stressful six months apart (she's been in Yosemite, CA. I've been in WA).

So, what do you do? Rate my photo (preferably a 5 star rating)! Click the link below. It should take you to my picture. The star ratings are off to the right hand side of the page. In this contest, you only have to vote once ;)

Historic Schooner Adventuress & Mt. Baker - 2010 SCA Photo Contest

If you feel inspired, please share this with your friends!

Thank you & Much love,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Post nubila Phoebus

The above phrase has entered my life through the book The Nelson Touch: The Life and Legend of Horatio Nelson. Nelson's translation is, "After clouds come sunshine." Another translation that I have found online, one which I prefer, is, "After clouds, the sun." Nelson sent the phrase in a letter to his wife after he was awarded a ship from the Admiralty.

I have found myself clinging to this phrase recently, saying it out loud randomly and telling others about it. To me, it is in contrast with Carpe Diem, which means seize the day. Post nubila Phoebus expresses more patience; tough out the hard times, and the sun will eventually come.

Without question, the clouds are my schoolwork, and the post-graduation decisions about travel and work. With only two and a half weeks of instruction left, my assignments seem disproportional to the remaining time.

Interpersonal Communication requires 9 more critical reflection essays (luckily they are short) based of 9 required readings, a research paper and presentation due this upcoming Monday, and the final exam.

Interviewing requires just as many readings, a 30 minute interview, a 10 page research paper, a quiz, a resume, cover letter, references, a portfolio, and a final exam interview.

Public Relations and Society requires a 20 minute class presentation and 2 more quizzes. Luckily, no final.

I also have agreed to give a presentation to a local school about Sound Experience and the Adventuress on Monday after school. Along with ship-related things, we will be putting holiday lights on the ship this Sunday, and will be having a very cool Historic Ships Holiday Open House next weekend, which I am a volunteer for as well.

The above have been things pertaining to the here and now, but many questions have recently developed about what I am going to do in the future. Hannah, my darling girlfriend, has been accepted to Yosemite Institute and will be going there in January. I have already agreed to work on the Adventuress for the first 2 months of her winter mainenance. So the question was, "do I stay and see the project through, or do I go and support Hannah with her new job?"

The answer should have been easy, but I have been selfishly holding onto the hope that I would get to see the entire ship-project from start to finish. Or perhaps is was fear of the uncertainty surrounding a move to the Golden State. It does not matter. Last night revealed some deep emotions, and the answer was made clear: I'm going to California.

So a new burden is weighing on my mind. Where will I stay? What will I do? I could apply for Trail Crew at Yosemite, which would be an amazing opportunity, but the application is due Monday. Yet another thing for me to do in so little a time. What about some boats in the Bay area? In this economy, I believe every Tall-Ship is hurting and I doubt very much my services would be utilized.

Post nubila Phoebus. There is sun behind all this, and surely my efforts will dissipate the clouds. I predict a ray or two around Thanksgiving, and a full summer by December 16.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Impressions from a Tall-Ship

A thunder clap shook me from sleep. It must have been directly above this ship for the noise was tremendous. It got me thinking, "What do we do in case of a lightening strike?" That is a question I intend to get answered soon.

Last night, as I was drifting in and out of sleep, the rain was drizzling in waves over the deck. It would start on starboard and race to port, then ease for a moment before doing it again. Then there came a resonant tap from the overhead, followed by many of its friends. The hail had come to beat furiously at the deck, looking for ways to enter. But there were none; our ship was closed up tight.

Around 09:00 I went to meet Sāādūūts who is the Center for Wooden Boat's canoe carver. Sāādūūts is Haida, a first-nations people that reside north of Vancouver Island, Canada. Their art is one of the most famous forms of Native American art. That morning, I got to know him better. He also told me how he hopes to enhance his canoe and take it to Neah Bay; how his tribe used to use fish oil and pitch to preserve their canoes; and how if you ask the spirits for something, they will make it happen.

After that encounter with Sāādūūts, a rainbow appeared over the Adventuress.

Two mornings ago I awoke to the sound of claws. For the most part, little birds are not interested in our deck and stay up in the rigging. Their tiny feet make the cutest, albeit unobtrusive sounds so it couldn't have been them. No, these claws must have belonged to a monster of a bird. A goose perhaps? More likely a seagull. It stomped over my cabin and tip-tatted with its claws until I was forced into awareness. Something always rouses me before my alarm here on the ship.

That very same morning, as I climbed the main companionway hatch, the most delightful chirping struck my ears. As I looked up I was astonished to see at least 500 birds gracing our spreader stays and cross trees. "Chirp, chirp, chirp" they cried merrily to me and I hollered back, "what about your poo on our deck!?" They took no notice of me or my complaints, and I must confess they made me smile.

There was a day when I hadn't any obligations until the mid afternoon, and was able to enjoy the deckhouse in the morning. I cracked the window to let the fresh breeze sweep through. Coffee was within arm's reach, the sun blanketed my back, and I was on a historic wooden ship. Three years ago I would never have even dreamed of such a situation, now it's my life for the next month and a half.

The very first morning of my security duty, I emerged to find a brilliant sky. The square hatch at the top of the companionway ladder framed it like a picture. The deep blue was sliced by cirrus aviaticus; clouds formed by airplanes. Cumulous clouds, those puffy white ones whose name means "heap," splotched the spherical expanse.

The weather has been changing a lot. Today I've seen rain, sun, rain again, and now, sun again. When I need to surface from below, I pop the collar on my P-coat and put my head into the wind. It's refreshing and I haven't yet resented it.

AH! Even now, the droplets that are clinging to the upper edge of the windows in the deckhouse are shimmering like light prisms! The sun is being refracted through them and they're glittering like distant stars: yellow green red blue white and everything between. It's hypnotizing. Their flashes make me think of Morse code. Perhaps the sun is communicating.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bizarre Dream - Life Update to Come

I can tell you what I know.

I know that there was a horrible storm. The dream took place on a brig that was sailing on a vengeful ocean. The swells were the largest any of us had ever seen, some easily the size of our ship -- if not bigger. But that was all apparent to the eye, what I knew, in the way that you innately know things in dreams, is that the sea was angry.

I could feel her down to my very bones, and indeed her rueful emotion permeated through the entire crew; it cut into our souls. Every face was a solemn ghostly white. Our bodies were exhausted and sopping from our feeble attempts to master Her will. She sent the waves pounding against the hull a fitful desperation. To me, the feeling I got from her was that of a scorned lover, and at the same time, that of someone who was stuck in a difficult position. She lashed out in blind pain-filled passion, but it also felt as if she was running from some thing, and the best reprieve was by taking the "fight" reaction against our ship.

My position on the ship was a little less clear. I can tell you that I was far from a Captain, and definitely not an officer. But men thought well of me, and would follow me if I asked. There was also that inherent dream-knowledge which told me I had much more skill than that of the lowly sailor. Were I to guess my position, I'd say I was a Boatswain.

If I were a believer in auras, I would say that there were two being felt. The ocean's was powerful and overwhelming. It was the green-blue flame like Saint Elmo's Fire. It lashed out, it flooded over the decks, over the crew, and dampened our already ebbing flame. Our aura was white, pure white but fading. It was not muddled by any other colour because in that situation, there was nothing to cling to besides memories of good times and blind hope. That hope was rapidly being smothered by the greatness of the sea.

The other thing that was striking was the apparitions on the waves. It seemed as if wolves were rising from the sea and their heads formed the crests of the waves. They would rise and howl then dive back into the ocean. There were whole packs of them, off in the distance, we could see them breach then dive on every wave's crest. The highly superstitious sailors regarded it as the worst of omens, and to be honest, I did as well.

Then it happened. A mammoth wave, one that epics are derived from, came from the darkness off our starboard beam. It was not seen, for all the hands were looking at the wolves off to port. With a deafening crash it plowed into us. Our ship trembled and shuddered. Then my legs wavered under me as the wave lifted our ship with astounding rapidity, the force pulling my body down towards the deck. At the wave's peak we hovered for a moment, then came soaring down. That prior weight turned into weightlessness as we fell into the trough. There the ship was thrown over until her spars were in the water and the masts nearly parallel with the sea. I ran to the foremist shrouds and climbed to the tops'ls (presumably to bring them in so the ship had a chance of righting herself). I looked aft and saw two topmen on the mainmist doing the same. The ship felt heavy and bogged down, as if some invisible hand was holding her, but even that hand was straining to pull her under. Then there was a shift, we could feel the ship under us change and come alive. With the sails in, she began her roll back! I knew what was coming up in the rigging, I knew the momentum would try and throw me, so I held on tight and wrapped my arms in the lines closest to me.

Then in a flash the mast swung back upright, the force was dizzying, but all the while my eyes stayed open, staring aft. It was to my horror that I saw the topmen on the mainmist were less fortunate and with a terrible force they were flung from their lofty duty. I saw the splashes in the bulk of a nearby wave, I pointed to them with my both my arms, while wrapped around the foremist. I felt that if I could just keep pointing, if I could keep sight of them, that they would be ok. The deckhands below saw me pointing, and starting pointing themselves, but the next wave came and swept the men away.

Back down on deck, the crew was clearly broken. Those topment must have been favourites on the ship. The officers just stood on the afterdeck looking dully into the roaring sea. The din and noise of the storm seemed to die away and a silence took the crew. I left them to sulk, and grabbed the wheel. There was safety in sight, a bunch of island nearby would harbour us from the wind, and slowly we began to make our way to them.

Out momentum, when we entered the islands, decreased substantially. There was still quite a current tearing through the islands, and it swept our ship around an island and into a very protected cove. That was miraculous.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

These are things I've done, and I want to write more about them but I don't have the time! Hopefully later!


Walking the spars
Towing Adventuress in Ayashe
Finishing my rig
Aubrey as PC
Talisail/comments at the end
Sailing through Wasp Passage

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ship Stuff!

Hello all!

I'm alive. I wish disparately that I could write one of my epic blogs as it's been ages since the last one and SO many cool things have happened. However, I'm in the Friday Harbor library and they have a time limit on their computers!! I'm already 5 minutes over mine so any minute now I'm going to get the boot!

This is what I'm going to do. I'm going to make a list of things that stick out in my mind and hopefully that'll suffice.

1. Watching the Tacoma fireworks from atop the main mast
2. Pranking other tall ships at the Tacoma Festival
3. Building connections with other tall ships, their crew, and ASTA personnel
4. Hugging a maple leaf mascot in Victoria BC
5. Bonding with our crew
6. Making the lashings for the mainsail when we had to put a reef in
7. Being the Bosun while our bosun was on leave (I bought a spike!)
8. Sailing at 10 knots across the Straights of Juan de Fuca in 30 knot winds!
9. Getting ill in rough seas from Port Townsend to Friday Harbor
10. Stitching the main sail

There are so many more and maybe I'll be able to get on later! I miss you all dearly.