Songs of the Sea: Changes in Latitudes

I listened to Jimmy Buffett all the time when I was growing up. He used to come around and play at some of the little dive bars I used to hang out in and I loved his music and his happy go lucky style.

I was never a real ‘parrot-head’, even then, but I did totally relate to his music. He’s still one of the best songwriters for this kind of beach-centric, boat loving, party hardy, sailing lifestyle I grew up living.

I’ve been reading a lot of travel books lately. They’re making me remember all the great times I’ve had growing up in Florida and all over the world. I miss it so much! This song fits perfectly with what I’ve been feeling.

God, I wish I was sailing again! ๐Ÿ™‚

“Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes”

I took off for a weekend last month
Just to try and recall the whole year.
All of the faces and all of the places,
wonderin’ where they all disappeared.
I didn’t ponder the question too long;
I was hungry and went out for a bite.
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum,
and we wound up drinkin’ all night.

It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

[Chorus:]
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
Nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands,
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I’ve been.
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again.
If it suddenly ended tomorrow,
I could somehow adjust to the fall.
Good times and riches and son of a bitches,
I’ve seen more than I can recall

[Chorus]

I think about Paris when I’m high on red wine,
I wish I could jump on a plane.
And so many nights I just dream of the ocean.
God, I wish I was sailin’ again.
Oh, yesterdays are over my shoulder,
So I can’t look back for too long.
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me,
and I know that I just can’t go wrong
with these…

[Chorus]

Thursday Treat- Turtles!

I had a real treat yesterday! I got to go to NOAAs research facility in Galveston and learn all about what they’re doing with the sea turtles there.

I only found out about this whole thing last week. I happened to Google ‘things to do in Galveston” and one of the things listed was a sea turtle tour. I had known about the turtles in the back of my mind, since I’ve known about the turtle patrol and the efforts to protect the turtles along our beaches.

When I heard of this tour, I thought it would be interesting, so I called and signed up.

They only have the tours on Thursdays, and you have to make an appointment beforehand. It’s free. ๐Ÿ™‚

Apparently I got there a little late (tho not by my watch). The room was full and they were already discussing all sorts of things about the program. Tip: Arrive early!

The tours are put on by volunteers. Thursday’s presentation was led by the team of John and Lynn Wright- “master naturalists”. They did a great job of explaining the situation with sea turtles today and what NOAA is doing with them in Galveston.

They started with a slide show explaining the facts that there are 7 total species of sea turtles and 5 of them can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. Those include (from smallest to largest): Kemp’s ridley, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback.

They showed us how to tell what kind of turtle we see (if they have 4 ‘scutes’ they’re either green or hawksbill, if they have 5 they’re either Kemp’s ridley or loggerhead- leatherback doesn’t have any).

They described turtle life cycles and what kind of food they liked to eat. They showed some amazing movies of the arribada from the late 1950’s. Thousands of female sea turtles arriving on the Texas beaches.

Then they showed a slide telling the sad story of their decline since we’ve become more ‘advanced’. Decimating all 7 of the turtle species, by eating their eggs, catching them in nets while fishing for other species, killing them with our pollution (especially plastic), destroying their habitat…

They also mentioned a few things we can do to help protect the turtles. Mainly- reduce your use of resources, especially plastic. Dispose of trash properly. Reuse and recycle. Help clean up the beaches and waterways. Take care with your fishing gear. If you see a sea turtle, its tracks or nest on the beach call 1-866-TURTLE-5ย 

I learned yesterday that the Kemp’s ridley has been designated the official state sea turtle of Texas. The Wrights informed us that in 1985 there were 400 nests after a large drop in numbers, in 2017 there were 353. They found 3 right here in Surfside (and 1 on Quintana)! They said there’s been some recovery. I hope so.

After the slide show, the Wrights led us over to the turtle barn where we could see all the little turtles. First, we got a chance to see how a TED (turtle excluder device) works. The kids were happy to run through the net and escape- acting as surrogate sea turtles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

NOAA has kind of a conflict of interest here. They are supposed to help the fishermen, and they are supposed to help the sea turtles. They are doing a lot of studies to try and come up with answers to solve many issues surrounding our ocean resources.

One of those studies is to do with testing TEDs. The objective is to find a way to increase the survival rates of any sea turtles (and other by catch) that get caught up in a shrimp boats net. The turtles in the turtle barn are all about 1.5 years old. They’re raised in Galveston til they get to be about 2. Then they are sent over to Florida for the tests.

They’re placed in larger tanks and allowed a few weeks/months to acclimatize themselves. Then they’re taken out to sea and working with a team of shrimpers, divers, and scientists the turtles are run through the nets, out the TEDs and collected again afterwards. After the turtle finishes its run through the TED, it’s released to the wild. The scientists will use the data to refine the TEDs and other fishing gear.

The barn was full of turtles (hawksbills), at least a few dozen, all about 1-2 ft long. They swam around in small plastic containers set inside larger tanks of filtered seawater. We were warned not to touch the turtles or put our hands in the water (it’s a ‘federal offense’). If something fell in the water, they would have to drain the whole tank and replace the water due to concerns about contamination. ๐Ÿ™

I felt kind of sad for all those little turtles, swimming around in their tiny little tanks, but they told us that if they were all allowed to swim together they would fight and/or eat each other. They said the turtles didn’t notice or care that they were stuck in such small containers, they would circle around forever and never know the difference. I suppose, but I still felt bad for them. ๐Ÿ™

I also wondered why they weren’t raising more turtles- in a breeding program. Like they did with the whooping cranes down in Port Aransas. I’d hate to see the turtles go extinct. With only 353 nests (of Kemp’s ridleys) on the Texas beaches last year it wouldn’t take much to wipe them out. I asked John about it. He said in Texas the focus was on finding nests and moving them to Padre Island which was safer for them and where they’d be released to return later. There were other programs around the world that raised the turtles for a higher survival rate on release.

I recommend the turtle tour for anyone interested in marine science or sea turtles. The Wrights were very knowledgeable and great with answering any and all questions. Hopefully the research done there at NOAA will help more sea turtles survive (and also help the fishermen with better results and less bycatch). I’d love to see more turtles out at sea and maybe even find a nest on the beach one day. It would be fantastic to see an arribada like the one in the film they showed us. Let’s hope we can make that happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

This looks like the video they showed, but there was no sound and they said the video was taken in Texas. This video is from Mexico it might be a different one. I found it on youtube.

PS- This is my Just Jot it January post for today. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Today’s prompt is: memories. Well, they’re only a day or so old, but I think they count. ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World Jan 1 2018

Cee always has such interesting challenges. I haven’t participated in this one for a while, it’a always fun to see what everyone comes up with. So here’s the challenge for this week and my answers…

I’m also counting this post for the Just Jot it January challenge for today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What one word describes you best?ย Hmmm, good question. Hard to chose one word. I considered: inquisitive, curious, friendly, loyal, adventuresome, well-traveled, freedom-loving, passionate, open-minded, outspoken, righteous, sovereign, capable, stubborn, tenacious, fun-loving, crazy, lazy, and more. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I finally settled on ‘frustrated’. Why? I guess because I am all those other things. Also, fairly obsessed with the ideals of freedom and justice for all. This is my main passion: freedom! I love it, I want it, I desire it, I need it! It’s incredibly frustrating to be raised in a country- (and so to believe what we’re all taught in school)- that constantly insists its onlyย legitimateย purpose is to guaranteeย (not to provide) the inherent rights and freedoms that we’re all born with– (re-read the Declaration of Independence again for proof)- and yet continually violates almost every one of those rights every day. It drives me absolutely nuts that so many ‘freedom-loving’ Americans really could care less about even a single one of those supposedly guaranteed freedoms. For just one (of too many to mention) example: TSA robs us of our right to travel freely all day long, every single day. Millions of people violated daily and all I hear every time I stand in that line is “I don’t care what they do, as long as it keeps me safe”. Reaaaally? Absolutely nuts!ย 

What is set as the background on your computer?ย At the moment it is a gorgeous picture of a mountain scene. There is snow on the mountaintops, but it’s still green lower down. The sun is glowing brightly golden on the left side. Clouds are touching down off in the distance. I think it might be in Yosemite somewhere. Last time I had a photo of a snow covered town (I think in Norway somewhere), with little red houses and fishing boats, calm waters surrounding. I have not changed it since I got this computer.ย 

If you have been to a foreign country name those you have been too?ย I’ve been to a lot of foreign countries! How about I list the ones I haven’t been to and still want to visit? First off: Antarctica- it’s not a country, but I really want to go there! Then, India, South Africa (planning a safari there asap), Botswana, Chile, Romania, Belize, Philippines, Panama, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Austria, Hungary, and more I’ll probably think of later!ย 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? ย Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.ย I very much appreciate that I was able to get a relief so I was able to get off my last ship before it left the country. I was really looking forward to the trip across the Atlantic and visiting the ports around Northern Europe (Bremerhaven, London, Vlissingen), but I learned once I got on board that I physically just wasn’t up for the job. ๐Ÿ™ I also appreciate very much, that I was able to get that job in the first place and so sorry I had to put my health first and leave the ship without completing the voyage.ย 

One Liner Wednesday

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. โ€”Les Brown

Todays post is a One-Liner Wednesday (also continuing on Just Jot It January). Lots of interesting posts from everyone. Makes it much easier to do just a short post like this!

Here are the ‘rules’ of the challenge:

(i) Make it one sentence.

(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.

(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

(iv) Enjoy yourself!

(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge.

Thanks Linda!

JusJoJan: Boisterous

Day 2 of the Just Jot It January challenge. Today’s prompt is: boisterous. Click on the link to see how it works here.

You can chose to use the prompt word- or not. Yesterday I used the prompt of ‘drama‘, and got off on a tangent. I’ll try to stick to it better today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m having a hard time thinking of anything boisterous around here lately. ๐Ÿ™

I’ll have to go way, way back. Yeah, I admit, years ago my life was a lot more exciting. I was much more rowdy and I did enjoy going out, having a good time, partying every weekend. I was pretty wild myself and liked to hang out with other weird and wild folks. Sadly, I’ve had to give all that up.

I’m too paranoid to go out anymore.

They’ve pretty much broken me. Not completely, since it still angers and frustrates the hell out of me! But I can’t take the chance anymore of getting arrested, just for going out and having fun. I used to love going out to all the little dive bars around the county. Stopping in for a beer or 2. Listening to music, playing pool, talking to interesting people from all over.

I enjoyed the boisterous crowds, the (sometimes drunken) conversations, the crazy drama. I never was much of a dancer, but I always loved watching people dance. I liked to sing karaoke and cheered for everyone else (no matter how awful they might be).

Now, I’m getting too old to enjoy it. I can’t really enjoy myself when I’m worried about getting arrested. I don’t know how so many people can think its a good thing to make everything ‘illegal’.

Instead of hanging out with friends, having interesting discussions about what’s going on in the world, I’m sitting at home watching Law & Order: SVU reruns and blogging for a connection to the world.

Maybe it’s just that I’m getting old. Too old to take chances anymore, but I think it’s more than that. I think the world is changing. Our country is changing, and NOT for the better.

Nothing to do with Trump or Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or whoever might happen to be president. It’s way beyond that. Trump’s right, it is the swamp and it needs to be drained! Other people call it the ‘deep state’. Whatever, it is reality and it is a big part ofย what’s wrong with this country!

Seriously, do we really need so many thousands of ‘laws’? Obviously, NO, we DON’T! We got along perfectly fine for the first 200 years since the foundation of this country without 99.99999% of the laws on the books today. This country used to be much more free (and boisterous- it was good for us!).

Today, everyone wants everything to be ‘safe’. Everyone wants ‘security’. No one wants there to be any chance, or risk to anything. Look at all the warnings on everything, everywhere. It’s absolutely stunning to me that the USA, the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave”, has degenerated to such an extent.

I think it’s incredibly sad. We’ve ignored Franklin’s warning. We have thrown away our freedoms in hope of security. What a sad shame. ๐Ÿ™

JusJoJan: Drama

Starting out the new year without all the usual drama. Why? Mostly because I’ve been staying home, sticking to myself, too paranoid and depressed to go out to celebrate the holidays with everyone else.

I decided to join in on Linda’s Just Jot It January challenge again this year. The idea is just to write something (anything) every day during January. Hopefully it will be enough to start a good habit that will continue.

I’ve been trying to transition from working on the water to a more sedate lifestyle. Not by choice, but only because there has been approximately ZERO work for the last 2+ years! I’ve been trying to make a living with a more creative focus. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, photography, painting, etc.

I’d love to be able to just relax, chill out and stop worrying about all the ‘drama’ going on around me. Crazy issues always coming up with tenants, roommates, family, work (or lack of work/finances) and just the normal everyday shit going on in the world.

I wish I could just focus on one thing. Writing, for example. I’ve started a book, I’m on the last chapter, but haven’t worked on it in a couple of months now. I just can’t get motivated to write when I’m trying to deal with all the rest: how to pay the bills, crazy woman in my house (she’s gone now), finding a job, city sending me threatening letters about my properties/tenants, getting income taxes sent in, brakes gone out on my truck in the middle of Houston traffic!

Oh yeah, I’ve been having a wonderful life these last few months. But you know what? I think I would get so bored if I didn’t have all this shit going on around me. I do bring a lot of it on myself.

I grew up in a crazy house, two of them. I’m sure I would’ve been taken into protective custody if any of that had happened today. Both my parents houses were pretty wild. Constant drama at both places. My brother was lucky, he could pick and choose. He could stay at Dads where he was treated like a king, until he wasn’t. Then he would go home to Mom’s where he could do whatever he wanted.

I was stuck at my Dad’s most of the time. He was really strict on a lot of things, but very open about a lot of others. He ran a pretty strange household for back then. First of all, he didn’t work anymore. He retired in his early 30’s. Bought a bunch of property and a sailboat and got out of the rat race. I’ve always admired him for that.

He worked on his boat and rented apartments to all the ‘poor’ people in town. Our apartments were full of the local fishermen, bartenders and drunks. We had parties on the shuffleboard courts every weekend and big pig roasts in our empty lot every couple of months. Dad would have me play the piano upstairs for his drinking buddies.

Moms house was a whole different adventure. We were allowed to keep pets over there and have friends come over. We had cats, dogs, fish, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, turtles, parakeets, even a kinkajou once (that only lasted til it bit my mom real bad one night). My stepfather would hang out drinking beer and making crude comments all day while we tried our best to ignore him and stay out of his way.

Between the two of them, there was always some drama going on. I think in a way I miss all that. I try to keep my life interesting and not boring. I’m not bored often, but that’s because I always have something I should be doing. Most of those things are only because I say so.

I don’t have to write, work on my photos, paint, blog, etc. But I like to do those things and even tho they’re a lot more work than I ever imagined, they keep my busy and I still enjoy messing around with it all.

I’ve actually cut down a lot. I hardly even go out anymore. That eliminates a lot. I miss out on all of my friends, but I can’t take the chance of going out to see them any more. It’s sad, but this place is not the same anymore.

They’ve taken all the fun out of life here. All in the name of ‘safety’. Screw safety! I’d rather have a LIFE back! Stop shoving us all into tiny little perfectly ‘safe’ boxes and let us enjoy our lives. So what if we screw up occasionally? So what if we have a little accident every once in a while, that’s how we learn! That’s all part of LIFE!

Stop pretending life is about being safe, or secure. It’s NOT! Life is about taking chances, experimenting, seeing the world and everything in it, meeting new people and learning new things. None of that is about being ‘safe’!

I could do without all the drama around the issue of safety! The theatre they put on at the airports with the TSA. Geez, how long are they going to keep that up? How long is it going to take for people to wake up to the fact that none of that is anything BUT a SHOW?

I’m so tired of other people trying to control me! Aren’t you?

Happy New Year 2018

Here’s to hoping 2018 is a better year than the last one!