Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

A new word for me: Southeaster! #13

Being a southern Californian throughout my childhood, and a New Englander most of my adulthood, I'd certainly heard of a Nor'Easter. But we weren't in the Northeast, we were in the middle of the frigging ocean of the coast of California. And we were experiencing what the natives like to call a Southeaster. According to one expert on the Channel Islands National Park:

Southeasters are one of the most dangerous weather patterns in the Channel, and were written about in Henry Dana�s famous book, Two Years Before the Mast in the early 1800s, before the gold rush. This is an event where the wind shifts suddenly, and then rips so forcefully through the Channel that it can tear masts off boats. The wind starts by coming down into the Channel from the Northwest, blowing to the Southeast. Then it rotates around and when it comes in from due West, there is a silent lull that sailors know means trouble ahead. Then it suddenly shifts all the way around and blows from the Southeast to the Northwest, having reversed itself a complete 180 degrees. As it whips around, the sudden powerful gusts can grab a ship's sails and tear the sails and mast right out of the deck. To compensate, when the winds coming from the Northwest suddenly drop, the sailors know to quickly lower all their sails and tie everything down tightly. Then when the wind whips around from the opposite direction, the masts have a better chance of staying intact since there is not the surface of a sail to catch the wind and tear it from the deck.

Yup, that just about covered it. It was windaliciouis. It sucked sweaty goats balls. We were not having fun anymore.

The adorable ranger actually ventured out of his ranger station to come and tell us we could move to the other ranger housing for interns and rangers in training. They had real bathrooms, a kitchen, and beds. Bunk beds. One each for 4 person all in one maybe 10 x 10 room. Oh, and there was a table to eat at. Not that we had much food or anything, but....

So once again we pack up and struggle up a hill to get to the temporary station. The ranger opens it up for us, and tells us the rules. No hot water. No showers. No potable water. If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down. OK. We can all handle that. But then he says the words that strike fear in our hearts, "YOU MUST NOT TOUCH ANY OF THE FOOD IN THE CUPBOARDS." Now we know that they have food, and that food is just sitting there just our of reach. How cruel can they be? Turns out, pretty damn cruel....

Remember, I'm blogging for Children's Hospital in Boston. Please sponsor me and help Childrens continue to offer first class medical care to all children regardless of the ability to pay.

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Blogger jen said...

when i lived in northern california, we used to get the pineapple express.

khouria jen out!

28/7/07 1:54 PM  

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