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August 15, 2007

I crossed the Tropic of Cancer at noon yesterday.  This is the farthest north point that you can look directly up and see the sun once a year.  There is also a Tropic of Capricorn, which is a similar point to the south.  We call the space between these two points the Tropics.  So this is now a Tropical journey!

The last few days, the winds have rocked my boat a bit.  These are leftover from Hurricane Flossie.  After consulting with my friends, I want to row the boat farther south sooner.

My radar was chirping loudly on Monday morning.  I applied some special goop to seal it against moisture, so there was hope that I got it to work.  However, when I looked outside this morning, I couldn’t see a ship.  I happily rowed all day.  Then I noticed a ship on the bright horizon two hours before sunset.  It was almost impossible to make out, so I had to stop rowing and stare into the bright sun.

I figured out soon that the ship was approaching and the wind was carrying me into its path.  There was no response to my emergency call on the radio.  So I turned my boat around.  I called them on the radio once more and this time there was a response.  I asked if they could see my boat on their radar screen.  They replied, “Let me turn on the radar and I will confirm.”  I couldn’t believe they were cruising around with no radar!

I wasn’t surprised by the fact that my radar was not chirping during this conversation or afterward either.  So like the storms, I just hope the ships stay clear of my boat.  I don’t have much control over that.

In the early evening on Wednesday, a large earthquake struck Lima, Peru.  A tsunami alert was issued for the eastern Pacific Ocean.  A tsunami is a huge wave that is caused by the movement of the Earth during an earthquake.  Hawaii could get waves within 12 hours.  I should not feel any big waves out here in the deep ocean.  I hope the towns on the seashore are OK.

I saw my first school of flying fish yesterday.  A school is a group of fish that travel together.  Today, 30 or 40 of them flew out of the water like a curtain.  They glided about 30 or 40 yards and dropped back into the water.  “It should not be long before I see the mahi mahi,” I thought.  And there it was: the first mahi mahi leapt out of the water.  Mahi mahi have a blunt nose and are blue, green and yellow.  They have a large fin on their back.

I had two fishing lines on either side of my boat.  My first catch was today, but I couldn’t eat it.  It was a small piece of fishing net.  There must be so much litter like this in the ocean.  Nets are bad for turtles and dolphins.  They can drown when they get tangled in them.

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Flying Fish

Tsunamis

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Erden's Travel Journal for Gr. 5-8
Erden's Dispatches for Gr. 9-Adult
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