Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pondering Elections and the Internet

This post is sent via Single Side Band radio to our friend Chris who will post it on our blog.

During this morning's boat schooling lesson, we learned about some of the Civil Rights leaders, including Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. Martin Luther King didn't get into the discussion because Maya and Kai protested, saying they've studied him too many times in school. Although it feels like we're isolated from the US in Bahia Santa Maria (about 2/3rd of the way down the Baja peninsula), Obama's victory makes us proud to fly the American flag. His win is a symbol that if you put your mind to it and work really hard, no matter what your color of skin is, and with the stars aligned correctly, you just may become President of the United States.

But I also have a huge pain in my side as we also learned that the stars weren't aligned for my brother Ethan who worked really hard and is a born leader. Unfortunately, he was unable to persuade the state of Alaska to vote him in as their Representative in the US Congress. I haven't been able to talk with Ethan because we are in the middle of nowhere, but last I heard the polls had him ahead, so his loss comes as a surprise. It's also surprising that the Great State of Alaska would vote Senator Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, back into office. But perhaps in retrospect all this isn't that surprising since there are more churches than bars in Alaska and they have Sarah Palin at the helm.

Getting election results last night was challenging. Yesterday, after sailing overnight from Punta Ascunscion, we rejoined the 100 plus fleet of the Baja Ha Ha in Bahia Santa Maria. All of us tuned into the VHF Marine radio and a few boats were able to use email over the Single Side Band radio and also obtain some news from the radio and then they would relay the news to all of us. Our radio wasn't as powerful. So instead of being glued to the television like I have in previous elections, I was frustrated and glued to the VHF.

Which brings me to another related topic -- communication and information at our finger tips - - something which most of us have, but here on the boat it's not as accessible. It's bittersweet. I love being able to google, check my email, and surf the web. When I first got aboard the Kamaya, I'd look around to check my cell phone or access internet and then I'd stop myself because that's not what always possible. And then -- here comes the sweet part -- forgoing time on the phone and Internet means that I have more time to do other things. Does it really matter that I know immediately what happens in the world? How much do I need to know? How many hours a day do you spend on the computer? With minimal access to the world wide web, I find that I have more time.

Nevertheless, it's an historic time in the US and the world and I certainly wish I could surf the net or read the newspaper. I can't wait to hear all the details. I still don't know who won in Oregon.

1 comment:

Zach said...

"Does it really matter that I know immediately what happens in the world? How much do I need to know? How many hours a day do you spend on the computer? With minimal access to the world wide web, I find that I have more time."
I often find myself thinking the exact same thing for days at a time on the river. Not quite the same but similar. Glad to hear you guys are doing so well. I love following your journey, and hope very much to be part of it down the road (or water...)
have a great turkey day! I'm jealous of all the fishing by the way!

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