Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Back in the USA
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Leaving the crew at Bamburgh was a little sad, more so than I expected. But I'm also happy to be headed back home because I miss my girls! I think next time they should come too... but of course that was the original plan, although we couldn't make it work given schedules and costs and budget and vacation time.

Given that I already had the time off from work for this week, it's a good opportunity to get out to the Shoals Marine Lab to make a virtual tour for them. Lo-res copies for their web site, high-res copies to be sold to people on CD-ROMs. It's really hard to do that on a weekend from LA because of limited boat runs to and from the islands, and incompatible plane flight times, plus it's risky for so short a time with regard to agreeable weather. Trying it this way offers almost three whole days for photography, so maybe it will work out that I finally complete this long-to-do-listed project.

Last night it finally rained in camp, so I had to pack my tent in a wet condition. I'm not sure what to do about it at this point, since I don't want to drag it out to Shoals, and am worried that it will mold if I leave it in my rental car for a few days, especially given the heat. Perhaps I'll take it into my hotel and spread it out or hang it on the shower rack.

Speaking of hotels, I am looking forward to a nice bed tonight and a bath in the morning! My boat to Shoals isn't until about 3 pm, so I'm planning to sleep late, then go visit a WW II submarine and make some panos of its interior before going out to the islands.

The flight across the Atlantic wasn't much fun. On Sunday night I contracted a cold and it's kicking up to full strength now. As we descended, I had an almost complete loss of hearing until I could get to the restroom and have a good nose blow. The rest of the flight my nose dripped continually. No fun, that.

Plus, the eight-hour flight found me seated next to a professional golfer, who seems to be as vapid as one might expect from someone who spends his life hitting little white balls around with fancy sticks. After about 10 minutes of initial conversation, with him talking about himself and asking nary any return questions, I turned to my books. Thenceforward, he frequently interrupted me to draw my attention to the progress of the little plane on the world map, tell me how the flight path was going *directly* over this or that city (when it clearly wasn't), and ask me whether the St. Lawrence Seaway ALWAYS had 100% cloud cover (when he knows I'm from California). Sigh.

But wait, there's more. The flight started poorly when it turned out that my seats and two others nearby had been double-assigned. We had duplicate seat assignments on our boarding cards. After some 15 minutes of working it through, I kept my seat, but the two behind me and one over to the left became occupied by two parents with toddlers and another kid with a third (all one family). Anyway, the lot of them kept up a racked the entire time, with the little kids variously making many loud and annoying sounds and kicking the back of my seat, with the parents continually "shhhh!"ing them, which quite OBVIOUSLY had no effect, and was more annoying than the kids in the first place!

Anyway, I hope they keep the light on for me tonight at Motel 6. There was one good thing about the long flight: GORGEOUS cloud formations over upstate New York. Tall, billowing clouds formations and large anvil-shaped ones too, rising up to use at 38,000 feet. Very impressive!

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