Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sailing

A project to reconnect the next generation with sailing has brought the opportunities for young boys and girls here to learn to sail. The lead instructor is a Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteer.

Role call
Role call

The students set up their own rigging.

Setting up the sail
Setting up the sail

The young women above are already qualified to skipper their own sail boat on the waters of the lagoon.

Completing the rigging
Completing the rigging

The boats are Toppers, a globally popular boat for learning to sail with over 50,000 models sold over the past three and half decades.

Coming in as a passenger
Coming in as a passenger

At present the fleet is four boats. A fifth boat has lost its boom. The boats are stored in an open area that is difficult to completely secure.

Heading out as a skipper
Heading out as a skipper

I remain unable to determine the source of the boats. While a JICA volunteer is the lead instructor, I am informed that he took over from another instructor who was not likely a JICA volunteer.

Returning to dock
Returning to dock

Thus I am unclear how the boats will be kept in commission. Above a young  Kapingan skipper brings her boat in to the dock to switch off with the next skipper. The youngsters of Porakiet, Kapingan and Nukuoran children, are the real focus of these lessons.

Dockside discussions on a good day for sailing
Dockside discussions on a good day for sailing

The project has a goal of re-introducing these young Polynesian outer islanders to sailing on their ocean. For all these children sailboats and sailing are activities beyond anything their families could begin to afford, even if such lessons were available here on Pohnpei.

Heading back upwind
Heading back upwind

The young sailors have only a few months of training, and yet they are already very skilled at maneuvering their boats on the water and near the dock.

Heading in to dock
Heading in to dock

A Kapingan skipper brings in a Kosraean passenger. The Kosraeans lost their oceanic sailing canoes and navigation skills over 150 years ago. There are only left the legends that suggest Kosrae may have sent 333 men, women, and children to Pohnpei using canoes.

While some variations of the legend attempt to argue that the lead warrior was of Pohnpeian descent via divine intervention of the Pohnpeian thunder god Nan Sapwe, ultimately a fleet of canoes with that number of passengers would have been commanded only by a Kosraean royal of the appropriate clan, possibly Ton clan – the eel clan of the king. The other passengers, maybe 332, were also Kosraean. These were Kosraean voyagers.

Whether the canoes were paddled or sailed is unknown, but the existence of oceanic sailing canoes in the Pacific, the distance to be covered, and the number of people being moved argue that sail power was likely deployed.

Dreams of larger boats
Dreams of larger boats

Inevitably skippers dreams of captaining larger vessels. A Kapingan and a Kosraean reconnecting in a modern way with a piece of their own ancient history.

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The ides of March

March saw a day time visitor become an occasional overnight visitor. Partner

The little guy seems to like me, even letting me be is prime caregiver for one evening. And I enjoy his company as well. Our sleep schedules are well synchronized – I wake up in the middle of the night when he does.

Sleeping handsome

Early in March a touch of a cold caused some night time breathing and coughing issues. A sloped bed helped the little guy – something I discovered for myself many years ago.

Wakamoto pot stickers with Yenti

The family also enjoyed a Saturday evening of pot stickers in Wakamoto, Kitti. Cooking fun for all, and a good evening of conversation.

Copper shark painting

Locally referred to as the “tuna commission” – the fisheries commission painted their front wall. This image is a favorite of his.

Front yard botanic garden

The front yard remains a botanic garden, a wonder of exotic plants and odd flowers.

Ripstik duo

RipStik duo riders at the international airport parking lot. With only one flight a day around midday, the airport is not busy enough in the evening to preclude a little castor boarding. The parking lot is all but empty and there is no traffic.

Tricycle engine

Tricycling on the main entrance road to the arrivals hall is no problem in the evening. Along the smooth, flat asphalt he can build up a lot of speed.

Pancake chef

Saturday morning pancakes made by the top pancake chef on Pohnpei.

Badminton

In the championship game these two performed superbly. The sets were close and the play was top notch.

Always winners, no matter the outcome

Meanwhile on the home front the daylight balanced 6500K compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are all now replaced with 2700K soft white CFLs, except one in the sewing room. This change was engendered by my learning that blue light is important to entraining circadian rhythm, potentially even resetting the rhythm or altering the onset of sleepiness by effects on melatonin levels. At the core of this clocking and melatonin cycle is the color temperature of light. Light color temperature may even directly impact slow wave sleep.

While not everyone is happy with the “yellowish” light of the soft whites, I now find the 6500K light too harsh, and the 2700K relaxing. Psychosomatic, of course.

To match, the computer runs F.lux, an applet that changes the color temperature of your monitor based on the time of day. With a terminal command, this software adjusts the monitor to 2700K as well. The result is a reduction in the short-wavelength blue light that affects melatonin levels.

I know many people take melatonin supplements, I now wonder whether the issue is actually our own household lighting, especially the move to daylight balanced CFLs.