Under a statute dating from 1324, the Queen — and her successors — own all sturgeons, whales, porpoises and dolphins swimming within three miles of the United Kingdom's shores. They are referred to as the Fishes Royal. Any found stranded may be claimed by the Crown.

In 1904, Capt. John Voss completed a three-year voyage half-way around the world, from Vancouver to England via the Cape of Good Hope, in a modified dug-out sailing canoe, the Tilikum.

His 1913 book, The Venturesome Voyages Of Captain Voss, can be read here: gutenberg.ca/ebooks/voss-ventu

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Pussy Riot: cutting works by Russian artists (as a sort of cultural punishment for the invasion) is "just stupid".

I agree - it is weak of heart and mind. The Russian people are not attacking Ukraine. Putin and Imperialism are. A dangerous and slippery slope to mistake a people for their government https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/21/cutting-works-by-russian-artists-is-stupid-says-pussy-riot-member

"Freedom is a constant struggle."

– Angela Davis

'Right to life' — newspeak of a misogynistic white Christian Nationalist gerontocracy.

"How was it?"
"The world? Oh, very nice."
"Any trouble?"
"No trouble, no accidents, no sickness, a few gales."

– French-American Jean Gau, chef, artist and one of the first men to sail alone around the world, aboard his 30-foot wooden Tahiti ketch, Atom, designed by John Hanna.

[via the New York Times, 1957]

From my piece, Sealand:

"...the very notion of territory is born of settlement. It is necessarily somewhere defined not just by boundaries but by claims of ownership."

[first published by @GriffithReview, 2006]

“There are, I sometimes think, only two sorts of people in this world — the settled and the nomad — and there is a natural antipathy between them, whatever the land to which they may belong.”

– Freya Stark

[from A Winter in Arabia, 1940]

There are named winds all over the world but in the Mediterranean, every wind has a name. The names are similar (with some linguistic differences) in every Mediterranean country and are used more commonly than compass points. They don't just indicate direction but also express, poetically, characteristics.

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‘Several people have looked at me with mild desperation and disbelief in their eyes, at the mere thought of not knowing when to expect delivery, and although it sounds like a logistical nightmare to have a fluid ETA, allow me to make the argument that it is the opposite. When we can’t participate in the ever faster moving treadmill of capitalistic supply and demand, when everything is not just a ‘click’ on a computer away, we are set free.’



Another extraordinary voyage in a very small boat:

In 1972, Englishman Shane Acton, aged 25, bought Shrimpy, a tiny, 5.5 metre plywood yacht designed by Robert Tucker, for £400 and set off around the world. A Swiss woman, Iris Derungs, joined him.

They got back to England 8 years later. Shane wrote a book, then sailed to Central America.

"There were no clear skies, fair winds or landfalls on palm-fringed cays in the voyages I made in my imagination; instead, the coasts were tree-less, steep and rock-strewn, beset by fast-running tidal streams and angry seas..."

[from Northing, 2005]


Below: a 1914 French chart of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Through the heat of a southern Italian spring, I've relished these pre-dawn hours when the temperature drops below 20ºC. The northern summer solstice, this morning, will mark the end of them until late September.

An 18th century 'masseria' (fortified townhouse) east of Ostuni, on the Adriatic coast of Puglia, southern Italy, not far from where we live now. Roughly 90 sea miles due east is Albania.

At the end of 2019, my wife and I ran out of money and luck. An Irishman I'd never met offered us shelter for the winter. We borrowed the money to fly to Ireland but arrived with nothing but our bags. It was the nadir of our wandering years.

Over the next three months, this man looked after us — bought us staples, gave us money, kept us sheltered. I won’t embarrass him by giving his name but our debt and gratitude to him are profound. We won’t ever forget his kindness.

“There are two terrible things for a man: not to have fulfilled his dream, and to have fulfilled it.”

― Bernard Moitessier

[from his book, The Long Way, 1971]

Wake late from a long siesta to stillness and heat.

Every door and window is open to draw in the weak scirocco.

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Through the early morning shadows of the old quarter of our town to sit on the marble steps of the 16th century church of Maria Santissima Assunta and sip decaf’ coffee.

The piazza around us still looks like this — no bus, parked cars, but otherwise the same.

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Great short read from Emily M Bender, Prof. Linguistics, Washington Uni on the real danger of Google's LaMDA - a mass ontological capture of our relationship to knowledge, deepening Google's self-framing as the all seeing and 'computationally-neutral' source for information https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/14/human-like-programs-abuse-our-empathy-even-google-engineers-arent-immune

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