Looking ahead: the Northern Trek 2014

This week, instead of a sea story, I lay out the Northern Trek 2014 in broad strokes. If I will be passing through your neighborhood, I invite you to contact me off-line (freewheeling@scriptorservices.com).  Continue reading

What to leave and what to take: testing a new paradigm.

Trip update. The Northern Trek 2014 started on Monday with a 110-km ride to Richmond. 2014-05-12 departingI enjoyed the hospitality of Couchsurfing host Jessica on Monday and Tuesday nights, allowing me to recover from my first century ride in more than two months. Wednesday, I rode to Williamsburg (85 km), and Thursday to Norfolk (42 km), where I stayed with my niece Clara and her husband Ben for two nights. Today, I am attending a mini-reunion of friends from the US Naval Academy Class of 1969, and enjoying the hospitality of Dennis and Emily until I catch the shuttle over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel next week. Continue reading

Sea story: Disappearing in Mombasa (1982).

Mombasa gleamed under a brilliant sun. As USS Coronado tied up to the pier, the officers and crew repaired to the wardroom, mess decks and berthing compartments, where they would watch a live broadcast of the port briefing by the ship chandler’s representative and then call in questions. Continue reading

Backups: cloudy and cloudless.

Trip update: I am still in Old Lyme, Connecticut, visiting some cousins whom I have not seen in years, my aunt whom I have missed seeing for what seems like forever, and training in the hills by riding metric half-centuries, so that the riding will be more manageable when I resume the Northern Trek 2014. I have also been translating, writing and revising. I have even been fielding a request to present a class in July, which would test my responsiveness on the road.

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Sea story: Daggers in the desert (1982)

Muscat mosque

Muscat, Oman

Late in the winter of 1982, the Great White Whale (USS Coronado) eased into Muscat, Oman, the next port visit on our semiannual swing around the Indian Ocean. Blue-gray mountains ringed the harbor and towered over our ship. Nestled at the foot of the hills and ringing the bay was a brilliant, white, low-lying string of houses and buildings. Continue reading

Ferries: why aren’t there more of them?

Trip update. Last Sunday, I rode out to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme to sing with the choir for the last time. We celebrated my brother William’s birthday that day with steak and cake. 2014-06-23 detailed bikeMonday, I rode to Niantic, where Shawn at Niantic Bay Bicycles detailed my bicycle, and cleaned the chain. It looked like new!

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Sea story: Shaka, bra! Salt in my lungs and “shave ice” on the beach (1979).

The only time that the Navy sent me to the Pacific for duty was 1977-1981, first on board the USS Reeves (CG-24), then as the Logistics Plans Officer for Commander-in-Chief US Pacific Fleet. 1977-12-01 Reeves ParkingReeves was in overhaul for my entire two-year tour, so in effect we lived in Honolulu for four years. This was my first shore tour, and my wife and I dived into the local scene as if we were going to live there forever. A bicycle was probably the most intelligent and easiest mode of transportation on the island of Oahu. I rode mine everywhere, in uniform and in civilian clothes. Continue reading