Repeating the Past?

This adventure is somewhat different than our first time out, but every bit as exciting. Am I afraid? No. I’m only afraid to die just sitting around waiting for the inevitable end while dreaming about the past.

Can a person repeat a grand experience?

 Absolutely… sort of…depends…it may be a bit different the second time around, but it can be just as good as the first time, perhaps even better.

Too often as people grow older, they remember with great nostalgia an event or a time in their life when their world could not have been more perfect. Well, it can be that way again if they dare. A few people do so.

 About a year or so ago I was reading an article that asked me to close the page and answer this question: when was I the happiest? In an instant I recalled the joyous seven years my husband and I lived aboard our Cal 2-34 sailboat and traveled 25,000 miles. I even wrote an award-winning book about it: Life Was a Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, a Boat and a Big-A** Ocean. (Cabaret was the name of our boat.)

When I returned to the article, there was a another question: “Why aren’t you doing that now?” Instantly I knew that I had to return to the sea.

Our move, like most relocations, was very  difficult and complex, but once I’d realized when I had been the very happiest in my entire life, I had to proceed. We had no reason not to. Our children were grown and had established their own lives; we were retired, and we had no real ties to the town we’d been living in for the past 15 years. My husband was 100 percent in favor of the whole scheme and had talked many times about “living aboard” again and traveling. (That helps a lot!) Maybe he had long ago planted the seed that burst into bloom when I read the article!

The day our house sold we left Arizona bound for the Pacific Northwest where we’d both grown up and had started off on our early adventures. After 3 months of searching we finally found a boat we could afford that had ample room for us to spend lengths of time on it and that was sea worthy enough to make long passages. Although tempted to buy a sailboat once again, we debated the pros and cons many times before we decided to buy a “stink pot” power boat. I’m glad we did! I feel like we live in the lap of luxury compared to the small quarters of the adorable vessel that had pleased us immensely when we were younger. Sailing is, to be honest, more of a young person’s “gift,” not so much people in their 70s.

Differences? Too many years have passed to name them all, but mainly we are older by 40+ years now than our sailing days. We’re living in a different type of boat altogether than previous. But I will say our excitement, plans, and adventures are every bit as good. We may not do ocean passages again, but we can do Alaska to South American with stops along the way with no problem.

We spent this summer upgrading the boat with new electronics, replacing the propane stove (which I loved) with a diesel cook stove that will help with keeping the boat warm. (We had another boat with a diesel cook stove and I actually liked it!) We made many changes and additions. We also did some trial runs and got in lots of island hiking.

Next summer we will at long last head north and explore the Broughton Islands and then circumnavigate Vancouver Island. We plan to return to Alaska the following year and possibly spend two years there where I hope to explore all the places we missed out on the first time. Then perhaps it will be a long haul to Ecuador, Peru, Chile and on to the Straits of Magellan and Patagonia. In these travels I hope to share what knowledge I’ve gained as a Certified Marine Naturalist with others and to invite people to join the JUST ONE THING Alliance.

Perhaps we’re more audacious than a lot of people because we’ve been boaters for many years and kept a small tugboat in the San Juan Islands that we spent summers on. What we’re doing obviously won’t work for many people, but everyone has a time in their life they can in some fashion “re-experience.”

We will absolutely miss our small family, but we definitely plan to return at regular intervals and wear out our welcome. Perhaps they will join us on occasion!

This adventure is a somewhat different than our first time out, but every bit as exciting. Am I afraid? No. I’m only afraid to die just sitting around waiting for the inevitable end while dreaming about the past.

Where Are the Whales?

People are hungry to see the orcas!

Despite being situated in the Salish Sea for the past six months, it’s been difficult to keep track of the whales this year! I thought that since I was an official docent at the Friday Harbor Whale Museum, I’d be more up-to-date…this has not happened. Reports from the Center for Whale Research, however, have been super informative, but being in the right place at the right time to actually see a whale is infrequent.

However, that being said, there are still whales around! In fact, we were excited to see a small pod of orcas pass by the Anacortes Ferry terminal yesterday when we returned from an outing to Friday Harbor. Unfortunately, whale watching boats were NOT keep the required distance from the whales. Bottom line: People are hungry to see the orcas! A small pod swam along and you’d have thought that a miracle had occurred by the reaction of the onlookers…and perhaps it was a miracle.

There have been a number of sightings of the Biggs Transient Orcas, but the Southern Resident Pod (the northwest fave) has been a bit more secretive. J-pod has recent been seen in the area, but K and L pods have pretty much stayed on the west side of Vancouver Island. Smart move, really: more fish and fewer boaters there by far. What pod was seen by the ferry terminal, I have no idea. I love the whales and worry greatly about their well-being, but I do not have the wherewithal to memorize their dorsal fins, saddles, scars or other markings to recognize individuals.

However, both my husband and I were thrilled upon seeing two orcas just a short distance north of the Columbia River Bar as we headed north from Astoria, Oregon. In fact, I even forgot how majorly queasy I was felling when I sighted the two. The next day we saw a small group, probably Minkes, about three miles off the Washington shoreline north of West Port. I wasn’t seasick that day…the ocean was like a lake, and the whales were happily spouting as they likely gobbled silver salmon which seemed to be plentiful in the area judging by the number of fishing vessels. Honestly, we’d never seen so many whales in our sojourns up and down the west coast. It made me feel hopeful for these amazing fellow mammals.

We’ve now been in the Northwest for six months and on our newest vessel for three months. The rains have started…that means a lot of boaters have retired their boats for the year and anchorages will be far less busy. This could also very likely mean that more whales will be around. Perhaps we’ll get lucky more often!

I encourage you to join the Center for Whale Research located in Friday Harbor, Washington. It is also a 501c3, so your donations and membership are tax deductible, and you can be kept completely up-to-date on the whales. Also, check out the Friday Harbor Whale Museum gift shop for unique gifts. This is one way to support the only whale museum in the United States!

Covid and Hearing Loss

Many who’ve had Covid have their own tale to tell…regardless of science.

So much speculation about covid! The more the scientific and medical community dig, the deeper the mysteries of this virus. There will likely be studies into the next century trying to determine the cause and effects of Covid 19 and its offspring variants. Many who’ve had covid have their own tale to tell regardless of the “experts.”

I can tell you with certainty that because of my bout with covid I now must wear hearing gizmos (for some reason I can’t bring myself to call them hearing aides.)

Let me be honest…my hearing before my covid experience was not ideal. Occasionally I had to turn up the volume on the television, okay? That was about the extent of my problem. This is a common issue nowadays due to most programs, other than news and programs of that ilk, being filmed on site…and not in a studio. In addition, actors whisper or speak in low voices. Often there are sirens screaming in the background or dramatic music of some sort playing. Plus, in all honestly, women’s voices being at a higher pitch than men’s are often more difficult to hear with all the background hub-bub. But my hearing pre-covid was acceptable.

I was down with the virus for about five days (although it took me about two more weeks to get my energy back full force). However, to the point: upon my “return” I immediately noticed that I could hear people on television talking but I could not understand a word. Not a word. Just voice noise. Naturally I blamed the television acoustics. “We need a new television with speakers.” Then I repeatedly told my husband to speak up and to quit slurring his words. “Tom, your speech is really getting slurry. Are you okay?” Then I noticed I often had to ask people to repeat themselves, or I just guessed at what they said. I even tried to read lips sometimes. This was far more difficult than I imagined. “People need to learn to enunciate!” I exclaimed. Worse yet was when a person wore a mask AND cowered behind a plastic barrier. Occasionally, someone I could understand came along. I noticed it was usually always a male and we’d be outside – not in an indoor setting.

After four months of asking people to repeat themselves or guessing at what they said, or saying “what?” continually, I had my hearing tested. I thought I was doing quite well in the little booth…until human voices became part of the test. I had to repeat what a woman said at a social gathering…each time the gathering grew louder. It was a pointless test…I could only detect one or two words when at the quietest level.

Needless to say I was shocked at the hearing test results. But the other shock came when I was told that both my eardrums were riddled with scars. I have never had an ear infection. In my entire life no one, doctor or nurse, has mentioned anything about scars on my eardrums. How do eardrums get scarred? Could it be covid?

Everyday that I put my hearing gizmos in, I pray this is just long covid or a temporary loss and that one day my hearing will be back, but my hopes for a recovery are fading. Even though I feel very sad about all of this, I know I’m lucky not to be totally deaf.

This is not definitive proof for a scientist that covid caused my hearing loss, I know that. But it’ll be hard to convince me otherwise.

My Gizmos…

When Will We Come Roaring Back – If Ever?

It has become fairly obvious that most big government legislators have never owned and operated a small business. Why else would their rules and regulations favor big box stores and not the small, backbone businesses of America? Unless they forget all this once in office.

This is the question teasing many businesses now that they have been finally allowed to “open” for business. Already, though, some are beginning to worry about possible “restrictions” again. So far, we’ve actually not heard of businesses being shuttered, however we think many may be cowering in anticipation of the next blow. Interestingly, defiance to this possible threat seems to be growing.

This applies to most small businesses, including the smaller independent publishing companies. There is no predicting what months books will fly out the door, and what months inventory doesn’t move. Indeed, last summer (usually our slow time) we had two outstanding bumper months and one month that saw all of 3 books sell. Conversely, usually winter months are our ticket to staying open, yet winter months this year were mournful. Books are, however, a “luxury” to many – not a necessity.

So what gives? We have no idea. That being said, it’s become clear to us after enduring this past year that the westerns and nonfiction have overall at least survived covid. Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride, an awarding winning biography, out of the blue had a shockingly successful month after a dismal spell. To be fare, Casey Tibbs sells every month, but every year come rodeo time this award-winning biography sees a surge in sales. This year was no exception

And we are continuously stunned when, month after the month, the small, unassuming A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule outsells all other books combined. Who knew people wanted to know about mules? Not that we’re complaining!

The latest books to jumpstart again are the Jere D. James westerns. This 7-book series waxes and wanes. Unfortunately, we withdrew two of the books from Ingram’s catalogue because of low sales and now regret doing so. Looks like we may be adding them back into Ingram’s inventory.

Book 5 in the Jake Silver Adventure Series

C.L. Lee Anderson’s newest book, The View from My Old Saddle, was released right before the big lockdown. Lee’s first book, Developing the Art of Communication, is a fairly consistent seller, but the second one has not had a chance…yet. With things now opening up, it too should take off among the equine folks. It’s dynamic, infuriating, true, and controversial. It’s great, in other words.

Lee on his horse Concho – The View from My Old Saddle

Sadly, The Littlest Wrangler, J.R. Sanders award-winning young reader book, is not currently available and the orders are stacking up. Due to a publishing snafoo it won’t be available until late, late fall. Some Gave All, Sanders’ award-winning, biographical account of Old West Lawmen Who Died with Their Boots On continues to receive wonderful reviews.

All in all, we’re not totally discouraged here…but just after things started looking up we’re concerned they may falter. Maybe when everybody returns to work we’ll have a better report.

It does seem fairly obvious, that most big government legislators have never tried to own and operate a small business. Why else would their rules and regulations favor big box stores and not the small, backbone businesses of America?

“All who wander are not lost”

I am finally home.

The above quote, or something like it, is generally attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s an apt quote, however, for the last year or so of my life, or so it seems.

My last blog in April somehow got lost while I was on the highway heading home. I guess it did anyway. However, I’m now mostly settled and back in business.

I’ve traded in my adorable 26′ tugboat for a 43′ craft that is more suitable for the lifestyle I plan to live from here on out to the very end of my years. My husband and I have resyned our nomadic years. Our children are grown adults with children of their own. My animals are gone, except for my dog. There was no reason to continue the status quo.

Wondering if we’d ever find anything we could afford was often depressing, but the idea of buying yet another house when we returned to the Pacific Northwest somehow seemed anticlimactic…”Let’s buy another boat! One we can travel farther on and live longer on!” My husband took no persuading.

After spending four months searching for the perfect craft, we found it. I confess I also bought a tiny house in Arizona so I could escape the rainy, windy winters here in Washington State and see my family during the holidays…besides my grandsons, ages 3 and 6, still think we’re the greatest thing since popcicles and I don’t want to miss out on that.

Moonlight Mesa will continue to operate – just from afar. Any books we publish from here on out will probably be ebooks. I’m still waiting for the one manuscript from “Barbara” that sounded so enticing three years ago when she queried and teased me with four finished chapters.

Book sales, unfortunately, mostly languished during the pandemic months, with the exception of A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule. Ingram sent out 159 copies of the book one month alone.

But the best news of all…I can now begin earning my Marine Naturalist Certification. Currently I’m being trained to work as a docent in the Friday Harbor Whale Museum. Ever since I took the Marine Naturalist class two years ago I’ve wanted to complete it by becoming a Certified Naturalist. Hard to do in Arizona! I’m on my way now! I’m incredibly happy that my husband and I are back among people who also love the water, whales, and sea life.

Indeed, I am finally home.

Going Home

It’s been a long time since any of us have sat down to blog. Ironically, this was everyone’s first choice to do…but now there is only one of us. For starters…the house (home office) sold and we are in the process of relocating our business to Washington State. Yes, we finally came home. The move was not easy , however. Both of us came down with Covid in the process of packing up. I think it was from the people traipsing through without a mask. I recovered in about 5 days. Unfortunately, my husband developed Covid pneumonia…an emergency room visit complete with an experimental infusion likely saved his life. Recovery is a bitch, though, but it’s far better than dying.

So, after several years of wanting to “go home” we finally have done so. However, these things aren’t always easy. Currently we are living on our small Nordic Tug, and by small I mean 26 feet long. Cozy.

However, we surprised ourselves by waking up one morning and thinking, “We need to have some adventure while we still can,” and so we set off in search of a “bigger” boat we could live, travel, and work on instead of buying yet another house. Mission accomplished, and we are now waiting for the boat’s survey to be completed and we’ll be moving aboard a 39′ Kadey Krogan. It will seem like a mansion compared to our tug. I figure we have about two more weeks of waiting until the boat is ours! (Assuming it passes the survey.)

So, where does that leave Moonlight Mesa Associates? Moonlight Mesa will become a DBA (Doing Business As) instead of an S Corporation. That way we keep our name, email, accounts, etc. Officially it will be Becky Coffield DBA Moonight Mesa, or RLCoffield DBA etc. You get the idea.

For two years we’ve been planning on moving north from Arizona, but I got hung up because of the mules we owned/rode. I just couldn’t see moving them to Washington. They got a new zip code, however, after my mule launched me onto a pile of rocks, nearly killing me. Then, after spending months cleaning up the three fires we had at that location, we finally got on the market, sold, and got out of town as soon as my husband was well enough to travel. It’s been grueling. We’ve been in Anacortes, WA for a month now but it still doesn’t feel real…like this is really home. Maybe once we’re on the new boat…

Meanwhile, books have sold, primarily the Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule, but all of the nonfiction titles have been active. I have my work cut out for me, however. Now that I’m finally here, I want to start on getting my Marine Naturalist Certification, working with the Whale Museum, and doing what I can for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. Not to mention, the JUST ONE THING Alliance has come to a halt with all the uproar in our lives. And we have books to promote.

Top of my list, however, is to get a laptop for the boat. Running a biz with my tablet and tiny keyboard lacks efficiency to say the least.

So until next time, stay safe. Thank you for your support. Hopefully Washington will prove to be more supportive of our goals and interests than what we had before where we were truly fish out of water.

Whales, Dolphins, Salmon and Dams – Great News!

The best “feel good” item told about the successful response to the entanglement of an Arabian Sea humpback whale.

Just when I start becoming very discouraged about the total lack of interest regarding whales and ocean health in general since Covid has reared its ugly face, I seem to receive heart-warming communications. It’s always enough to enliven me for days if not weeks to come.

Just yesterday I received a truly nice, hand-written thank you note from Joseph Bogaard of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition located in Washington State. I do my best to help support this and other northwest groups engaged in the fight to save wild salmon…and “wild whales”…and to restore the sad captive ones back to freedom. Receiving Joseph’s note when I did was a terrific boon to my flagging hopes of relocating once again to the Pacific Northwest where I lived for over 50 years. (Yes, I know. I can hardly believe I’m that old!) Joseph and the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition were early joiners of our JUST ONE THING Alliance. Then, like magic, a message from our realtor followed today suggesting an offer for our home might soon be in the works.

There’s more: to top things off, I received communication from the International Whaling Commission today with updates on whale related topics of interest.

Photo of Elwa Dam by Seattle Times

As for the wild salmon issue, since Washington State has torn  down a few dams (and have more dams on the drawing board for destruction) salmon miraculously seem to be showing up, navigating the now free-flowing rivers long blocked off. And in the not too distant future, Oregon and California have agreed to tear down some dams that will also help promote salmon restoration along with Native American rites.

Photo by John Boyd

As for the IWC, their work is so incredibly important. For example, in September (2020) the Conservation Committee met (virtually) to discuss the management plan for South American river dolphins as well as a plan to mitigate measures regarding bycatch of cetaceans. Many seabirds, turtles and sharks are subject to being caught in fishing nets and traps. There is now growing awareness and concern to protect marine mammals. “Measures for reducing bycatch include spatial closures, the use of acoustic deterrents or alerting devices, modifications to fishing gear, and changes in fishing operations” along with “awareness-raising.” I think sometimes devastation ecological things happen  because people are simply not aware that what they are doing is deadly for whales, fish, and other sea creatures..

Finally, the best “feel good” item told about the successful response to the entanglement of an Arabian Sea humpback whale. Many groups came together (the Oman Environmental Authority, Five Oceans Environmental Services, LLC and Future Seas Global SPC) to free a humpback whale from entanglement in a gill net. (IMO net fisheries absolutely must be abolished.) This particular humpback species is in extreme danger of extinction, largely due to ship strikes, fishing bycatch, and other threats.

So, I’ve had happy, inspiring news, and I’m also still covid-free. Who can ask for more nowadays?

Don’t be fooled about your “grassfed” beef

I think people have the right to know the truth and not be hoodwinked into buying a product that is not truly what it implies.

For those who still eat meat (and I do three nights a week I will admit) buyers need to take heed that the supposedly “grass fed beef” they pay premium prices for at the grocery store is likely not necessarily grass finished beef.

Eating grain makes my head spin!

ALL beef eat grass. ALL. However, most commercially sold beef is fed grain to be fattened up before slaughter. (Graining supposedly improves the flavor of the meat.) But the package doesn’t tell you this, does it? So, here you are spending extra money and feeling so healthy about eating  beef that is sold as “grassfed” when the beef is actually grain finished either while in the slaughter yards or before shipment to the slaughter yards. IMO this is a terrible disservice to consumers.

ALL COWS EAT GRASS. ALL. But beef that is TRULY grassfed, is NEVER fed grain or other fillers before being butchered. It is sneakily deceptive to use the “grass fed” label, unless the beef is grass fed and grass finished!

So, how do you know which of the many packages of beef are in fact “organic,” grass fed and grass finished all through their lives? It takes just a bit of research because despite how packages may be labeled in supermarkets, the beef may well be grain finished. Yes, the cow was grass fed – up to the very end. I have found the best way to insure that I’m getting grass finished beef is to buy it directly from the ranch/producer or from a certified, verifiable source.

If at all possible, start by finding out if there are local ranchers that you can buy grass fed beef from directly. In doing so, however, you may be required to buy a large quantity of beef, such as a 1/4 beef or a 1/2 beef. The product most always comes cut, packaged and frozen. Sometimes you can specify how you want the beef cut: steak, roast, hamburger, etc. Even 1/4 beef will require a lot of freezer space. Remember you are paying for the beef and the butcher fees, which is one reason why the meat is more expensive.

There are other places you can find organic, grassfed beef also. Americangrassfed.org has a great map of the United States on their website showing the locations of members who belong to this organization. There’s also a site called Grass Run Farms (grassrunfarms.com) where you can find producers.

If you don’t have the time or wherewithal to pick up your product, check out Root and Revel (rootandrevel.com) for meat delivery services. I myself have never used these services, but the website lists the top 7 online sources for organic, sustainable grassfed meat delivery.

Remember that 100% grassfed/finished beef is going to cost you more than the store product. If you have storage, though, and can afford it, the price per pound is usually lower the more you purchase. Also, you will likely notice a difference in taste between grain finished beef and the grass finished. You will quickly adjust to the new flavor.

In changing from grain finished to grass finished beef, you are reportedly getting far more Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (both are considered good fats) than omega 6s. It also has less saturated fat if that is a concern for you.

And, according to American Grassfed Association, grassfed beef is far better for ecosystems and wildlife habitat. It greatly reduces the use of petrochemicals, improves the soil with organic matter and reduces greenhouse gases, especially CO2. Also remember that cows, goats, bison, etc. evolved to eat GRASS, not cereal grains which can upset their digestive systems and lead to disease which then forces ranchers to have to use antibiotics. When these animals are given antibiotics, you end up with these in your system also when you eat the meat.

I urge you to check out these resources. Perhaps you eat so little meat (or none at all) that it doesn’t matter. And that’s okay, but I think people have the right to know the truth and not be hoodwinked into buying a product that is not truly what it implies.

For expert information about your beef, visit riverwatchbeef.com. It is shocking what you will discover.

Time to Call it Quits?

It’s time for a new adventure, and I want to go home.

It seems like ages ago we moved to Arizona – actually it’s now been 16 years. I’ve enjoyed it here in many ways…but I don’t think I’ve ever really been happy-happy here. 

What do I like about Arizona? 

1. Winter weather here can’t be beat. Maybe Florida’s, come to think about it. 

2. Our properties have been large enough that I’ve had chickens, horses, mules and dogs during this period. (I had the same in Oregon though.)

3.  I started a small, traditional publishing company and published a number of award-winning titles and terrific westerns.         

 J.R. Sanders’ two books, Some Gave All and The Littlest Wrangler, both won awards;   

Lee Anderson’s equine books, Developing the Art of Equine Communication and The  View from My Old Saddle, were both award winners;                                                                                    

Rusty Richards biography of Casey Tibbs  has been a best-selling title and won an award;    

Historian Robert Walton’s civil war book, Dawn Drums,  won a total of 5 awards;   

Three of my own publications have won awards: Life Was a Cabaret, Sam’s Desert Adventure, and Northern Escape.                                                      

There were other books that often out-sold the award-winners, such as Jere D. James Jake Silver Series.

During this time I also learned some hard lessons: 

  1.  Insufficient funds for marketing pretty much killed me.
  2.  Often I worked far harder at personally selling authors’ books than some of them did.
  3.  Selling books is the hardest part of the whole publishing business.

We are now at a crossroads, and some of our frustration may indeed be due to Covid, but perhaps most is just due to the fact that my husband and I can no longer ignore that we are fish out of water in the desert, something we’ve both known for a long time but never discussed much. So, we’ve listed our home for sale, even though we just moved to this new location a year ago. Since our mules are now gone, we’ve come to realize even more that we don’t “fit in” here (our license plates even say “We Row”) and we never have been very good members of the cowboy-horse culture here in Wickenburg. We tried, but…

Moving is not easy, but I came to the conclusion that going back to the northwest is what we needed to do after I read an article that asked readers to think of where they’d been most happy in their life…and if they weren’t there now, why weren’t they? As retirees, we don’t have jobs that hold us down; our children are both approaching 40 and are well-established here, so no kids to fuss over. My husband is particularly not happy, and neither is my dog Holly (a Chesapeake Bay Retriever). We instantly realized that where we’ve been our happiest is in coastal environments: Newport Oregon, Wrangell Alaska, and cruising on our sailboat decades ago. I know the winter weather will be a shocker…but we lived in the northwest for decades before we moved and it never seemed to bother us then. I miss snow-shoeing, Nordic skiing, ice skating, the beautiful smell and sight of fir trees, and fall and spring weather (you don’t get much where we now are). We’re homesick.

So what do I do about Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc., my little S-Corporation? I think it’s time I dissolved my corporation and became a sole-proprietor again. I’ll certainly keep an account with the printing company so authors can still get their books and the books will still be available online or with vendors, but I just feel like throwing in the towel, going back to free-lance writing, getting my Marine Naturalist Certification, and focusing on sea life, whales in particular – especially orcas. I might even become a radical about plastic pollution and protecting our oceans, and saving our wild salmon! I can spend more time on JUST ONE THING. That would be fun. What I’m doing now no longer is.

I’ll keep my website…I think…maybe. And I’ll be blogging less about books, and more about LIFE. I’m ready. It’s time for a new adventure, and I want to go home.

Time for an About-Face for Shirking

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

I declare I do think some people have minds like traps…something gets in it and it doesn’t go away. Once again I’ve been caught.

Here’s some facts I’ve been called on:

In September I declared I would row 500 miles before the end of the year. Didn’t quite get there – actually I was a long way from 500 miles. Try 189. Well, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak! Besides, the north ramp at Lake Pleasant was closed and that is the BEST, most scenic area for rowing, kayaking, and swimming.

And I’ve been asked where JOT has disappeared to and what’s going on with it…It’s been so long since I’ve talked about JOT (Just One Thing) that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve done little to nothing in recent months. I think the pandemic wore me out. I was too busy reading Fox News and the New York Times email articles to pay attention to much else.

For those with short memories, JOT (Just One Thing) is a grassroots alliance encouraging people to forego one single-use plastic item to help with plastic pollution and wastage. There are a number of people who have signed up to participate in the JOT movement, however, but I’ve failed to do much communication since I failed to keep their email addresses. Again…likely a pandemic fault. However, JOT is alive and well and will be energized again…Care to join? Send me your name and I’ll add you to our list. No fees or dues or donations ever. Just a commitment on your part to yourself.

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

A new pod of Blue Whales has been discovered in the Indian Ocean. In addition, Blue Whales are once again being detected in the Georgia Island area (north of Antarctica) after 50-years of absence. These whales were hunted almost to the very brink of extinction by money-driven cretins. (Please don’t tell the Japanese or the Norwegians since they have a penchant for slaughtering whales.)

And, there have been numerous sightings of the northwest’s Southern Resident pod of orcas this fall and winter…likely this is because there are far fewer boaters plowing through the waters disturbing them.

So…I’m seriously back to work even though I don’t plan to publish anything this year. Despite having become a bit of a hermit, I aim to live with gratitude and enthusiasm. No more shirking, procrastinating, and negativity. I’m tired of that.

 Besides promoting JOT and trying to sell books, I’ll  be blogging about the NRDC and their successes in sustaining the environment (like helping defeat the Pebble  mine in Bristol Bay), along with the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and their efforts to revive wild salmon stocks (yes, more bridges are now being torn down), as well as other marine and nature organizations issues (like closing Marine World and getting those poor whales out of swimming pools!). I’ll be heading to Washington State in February for a month of resuscitation. I know I’ll come back fired up – and probably be yearning to move north…again. 

Check out Saving Our Oceans or any of our other scintillating titles!