Monthly Archives: April 2012

Becalmed

28 April brought light showers and almost no breath of wind. Dr. Ishikawa shared the summer calendar for the Pohnpei Sailing Club. The summer will include the first Pohnpei Sailing Club cup.

Date Start End Coaches Theme
04/28/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John First grade examination
Rounding mark, start
05/05/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John, Hideo, Yumi Rounding mark, start, basic sailing
05/12/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John, Hideo, Yumi Rounding mark, start, basic sailing
05/19/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John Third grade teaches other grades,
basic sailing
05/26/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Second grade examination,
Pohnpei cup application start-up
racing exercise, basic sailing
06/02/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John, Hideo, Yumi Racing exercise, basic sailing
06/09/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John, Hideo, Yumi Racing exercise, basic sailing
06/16/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, John Racing exercise
06/23/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Racing exercise
06/30/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Racing exercise
07/07/12 11:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Pohnpei cup sailing race
Primary one
07/14/12 11:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Pohnpei cup sailing race
Primary two
07/21/12 11:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Pohnpei cup sailing race
Semi-final
07/28/12 11:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Pohnpei cup sailing race
Final
08/04/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Undecidedness
08/11/12 13:00 16:00 Umezu, Kazuo, John Undecidedness

The participants in this first Topper competition will be the club’s youth members. The entry fee will be one dollar, and the Saturdays leading up to the race will include practice sessions.

Dr. Ishikawa supervises boat set-up
Dr. Ishikawa supervises boat set-up

Although the day was rainy with little to no wind, Dr. Ishikawa and Dr. Umezu were both on deck teaching and directing the student sailors.

Dr. Umezu observes JM working on a fitting
Dr. Umezu observes JM working on a fitting
Dr. Ishikawa goes over the racing schedule for the July cup
Dr. Ishikawa goes over the racing schedule for the July cup

In July the Pohnpei Sailing Club will hold its first race, the Pohnpei Sailing Club cup. The scoring will be a low point system. First place one point, second two, third three points. Not starting is one point, not finishing is one point, disqualification is four points.

Two youth members head out onto a becalmed lagoon
Two youth members head out onto a becalmed lagoon
Local children swim out along with the boats
Local children swim out along with the boats

Sailing in the lagoon means learning to navigate literally crowded waters. Children of all ages swim in the lagoon, swimming out beyond the anchored boats.

A brother takes his sister out onto the lagoon
A brother takes his sister out onto the lagoon
MLL turns the boat towards deeper waters
MLL turns the boat towards deeper waters
Peipalap looms in the mist beyond the boats
Peipalap looms in the mist beyond the boats
Advertisements

Night laps

Night laps in the darkness, a single lamp lit in the southwest corner of the track. Brilliant Venus hangs under a crescent moon. In the humid blackness a young child sprints past on the inside lane. Halfway through the curve he looks back, stumbles and tumbles to the ground.

He is on his feet when I come up alongside him in the outside lane. “Never look back, listen back,” I suggest and I slip past.

A few walkers stride around the track, shadows in the night, forcing an alert peering forward into the blackness ahead. I hear a walker I have just past pick up their pace into a run. The sound of their footfalls approaches, but then hold at a constant distant to my right rear. For a couple laps they hold my pace, then their footfalls fade away into the darkness.

I run without time, the laps uncounted. There is not the usual sensation of running that accompanies running in the daylight. The darkness cloaks the track and hides the visual cues that would let me know I am moving. Only under the one lamp do I sense my motion.

With time and laps the walkers drift off into in the night. I am alone with the pad-pad-pad of my own feet, my labored breathing, and pounding heart beat. Running. Listening. And not seeing.

Pohnpei Sailing Club student instructors

Under the tutelage of Dr. Ishikawa, some of the young Kapingan/Nukuoran members of the Pohnpei Sailing Club have become instructors. They instruct other newer students in knot tying, boat set-up, sailing, and docking.

Preparing the boats
Preparing the boats
JM and SLL carrying out a hull
JM and SLL carrying out a hull
CS teaches knot tying
CS teaches knot tying
JM and MLL put the sail on the mast
JM and MLL put the sail on the mast
Taking the boat down to the boat ramp
Taking the boat down to the boat ramp
JM takes SLL out for her first lesson as a skipper
JM takes SLL out for her first lesson as a skipper
JM takes the boat out into open water
JM takes the boat out into open water
JM switches positions with SLL
JM switches positions with SLL
JM instructs SLL
JM instructs SLL
Second class CS brings her boat back in
Second class CS brings her boat back in
Youth member CS provides guidance to adult member TU
Youth member CS provides guidance to adult member TU
JM coaches SLL back into the docking pontoon
JM coaches SLL back into the docking pontoon
JM gives instructions to MLL on return to the dock
JM gives instructions to MLL on return to the dock
Carrying the boats from the water
Carrying the boats from the water
Dr. Ishikawa wraps up with question and answer session on right of way
Dr. Ishikawa wraps up with question and answer session on right of way
Two young pupils listen intently
Two young pupils listen intently

The hope is that the Pohnpei Sailing Club will provide the structure to allow this project to continue on into the future, bringing the opportunity to sail to the next generation of youth in Micronesia.

Pohnpei Sailing Club

About five to six months ago Dr. Kiyoshi Umezu of South Park Hotel here on Pohnpei teamed up with Chief Andrew Lucky and Penta-Ocean Construction to reach out to the Kapingan and Nukuoran children of Porakied (Pohn Rakied) and bring them the opportunity to learn to sail.

Two young women from Porakied rig a Topper sailboat unassisted
Two young women from Porakied, CS and JM, rig a Topper sailboat unassisted

Kapingans and Nukuorans are ethnically and linguistically Polynesian. Their home islands are atolls to the south of Pohnpei. The children of Porakied are children of a seafaring people who were brought to Pohnpei in the wake of a typhoon over a hundred years ago. The children have no real opportunity to learn to sail, Dr. Umezu had the vision and desire to bring these children that opportunity.

CS drops the centerboard keel into place after leaving the dock
CS drops the centerboard keel into place after leaving the dock

Dr. Umezu purchased and imported five Topper sailboats, Penta-Ocean built the storage racks, and Chief Lucky provided the place for the boats to be stored and classes to be held.

CS heads her Topper out into the lagoon
CS heads her Topper out into the lagoon where she will teach JPE how to sail

Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteer Dr. Kazuo Ishikawa was brought on board to teach the classes with the assistance of John Schroer of MAHI International.

Third class student FD teaches first class student MLL
Third class student FD teaches first class student MLL

At present some of the students have advanced sufficiently to teach new students the basics of sailing in the lagoon. The students are include both young men and women.

Toppers on the lagoon, all under the command of young Micronesians
Toppers on the lagoon, all under the command of young Micronesians

Dr. Umezu and Dr. Ishikawa would like to see this project continue on and they envisioned the forming of the Pohnpei Sailing Club as an entity which could carry the project forward.

Sokehs lagoon
Sokehs lagoon

The nascent sailing organization held its first meeting at South Park Hotel on Saturday 14 April 2012 at 5:00 in the evening. Dr. Ishikawa spoke of the desire to see the project continue on and grow into sailing federation that reached out to youth. The project would need to be housed within a supporting organization that would continue on beyond the work of individual members. He also spoke of the dream that one day young Micronesians might compete in sailing events, maybe even the Olympics in some distant future year.

Topper sailboats on the water
Topper sailboats on the water

Although the harbor in which the young sailors are learning to sail has a few larger sailboats  at anchor, for the most part these boats belong to foreign visitors to the island of Pohnpei. The importing of the small Topper sailboats is the first effort in recent times to bring into Pohnpei a class of craft on which youngsters can easily learn to sail.

CS setting up her rigging
CS setting up her rigging

The sailing lessons for the children are free and the plan is for them to remain free. These young sailors do not have the financial capabilities to afford sailing.

CS bringing the boat back in
CS bringing the boat back in

The first meeting of the Pohnpei Sailing Club began to lay the foundation for an organization with a worthy mission of reconnecting young Micronesians with the sea through sailing.

Women and Sport 5k

The Women and Sport 5k was held under sunny skies with humidity levels appropriate to a morning run on Pohnpei.

Lien Wone headed for the female masters title
Lien Wone headed for the female masters title

Both of my kids upped their pace with the older finishing in 35:08 and the younger in 39.

On his way to a 35:08
On his way to a 35:08
Both achieved personal records, 39 minutes for her
Both achieved personal records, 39 minutes for her

Easter egg hunting

Ongoing dry sunny weather, unusual for Pohnpei, made for the opportunity to have an outdoor easter egg hunt.

Hidden eggs
Hidden eggs
Egg hunters ready and waiting
Egg hunters ready and waiting
Egg hunters ready and waiting
More egg hunters ready and waiting
An egg found, with assistance
An egg found, with assistance
Searching the bushes
Searching the bushes - eggs do grow on trees
Successful egg hunters
Successful egg hunters
Egg eating time!
Egg eating time!
Decorated eggs
Decorated eggs
Never mind the decoration... hungry after the hunt
Never mind the decoration... hungry after the hunt
Easter eve barbecue
Easter eve barbecue
Dana Lee Ling
Self-portraits spring 2012

Quantum particle juggling

The kids were watching Air Bud – Golden Receiver when I walked into the room. A coach was uttering a line “Go ahead and take a lap of the field.” I had missed my evening run and by the clock the time was too late for sakau, so I decided to hit the field for a lap.

Outside a waxing gibbous moon was shining through a thin veil of cirrostratus ice haze, generating a full moon bow around the moon. Just below the moon, inside the ethereal ring was the planet Mars. Lunacy and war seemed propitious for night joggling under the moon.

The track was all but empty. Two lone walkers were finishing their laps of the moonlit track. A couple young boys were sitting and chatting on the back stretch,  a couple young girls were sitting in front of the grand stand.

The young girls were looking up at the moon and engaged in some discussion of the “star.” I pointed out that the ring around the moon was redder on the inside edge – the ring was actually a form of rainbow in the sky. And then I told them that the star in the ring was Mars.

“Mars? The planet? You mean we can see Mars? We can see a planet? I cannot believe I am seeing a planet!” exclaimed one of the two girls. “How do you know this mister?”

“I teach at the college and know astronomy.”

I then headed out to attempt to joggle under the Martian lunacy. At first I was dropping my balls within three throws. I gradually found that I could joggle much of the track, except where I was headed directly at a distant streetlight or towards a car’s headlights along the road side of the track.

One of the hardest parts of the track was the southwest corner where a single streetlight lamp is kept on through the night. The light is a gas discharge lamp, blinking on and off 60 times a second. The result is that my balls strobe through the air, becoming blurry streaks. Probabilistic particles for which I cannot tell either their exact position nor their momentum.

The balls were not always where I thought they were, only when my hand tried to grasp the ball did the probability wave collapse. Then I either had a ball or I did not. I cannot remember having that much statistical fun in a long time.

The track surface is over ten years old and the rubber is buckled up in places. If one does not lift one’s feet as one would while trail running, then one will certainly execute a face plant into the track surface.

Twelve laps later I still had three tennis balls and my face was intact. I had sparred with  quantum mechanics and survived.