Friday, January 31, 2014

FTV January 31

Captain Bushy advises me that we are steaming east toward Barbados, right into the trade winds. They never stop coming out of the east at 15 to 20 knots. The cadets are used to the day to day running of the ship and in their leisure time they are finding things to do. (Remember not Internet or Cell Service when the ship is out to sea.) One of the main activities students partake in to pass the time is reading, Dr. Cukor, the physician who takes care of us onboard got  funding from a project called  All One Health, has put together the One Boat, One Book Project. Through this project the cadets have been supplied with copies of the international bestseller Life of Pi. Many of us are reading the book there will be book discussions about what has taken place.

LIFE OF PI is a novel by Yann Martel. It is the story of a fifteen-year-old boy, the son of a zookeeper in India who survives a shipwreck several days out of Manila. He is the lone human survivor, but his lifeboat is occupied by a Bengal tiger, an injured zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan. At various points in their 227-day ordeal, Pi and the tiger miss being rescued by an oil tanker, meet up with another shipwreck survivor, and discover an extraordinary algae island before finally reaching safety.

This story appeals to us because it takes place on the sea in a daily battle for food and shelter, overcoming storms and disasters, and, in the end, Pi makes peace with both tiger and ocean.  At the end when everyone is finished reading the book they will all gather together and watch the movie that goes with the book. (We do have TV’s and VCR’s aboard.) Personally I’ve gotten half way through the book and it’s been very grabbing and I can’t wait to finish it.

Geography Friday
The trade winds (also called trades) are the prevailing pattern of easterly surface winds found in the tropics, within the lower portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, in the lower section of the troposphere near the Earth’s equator. Historically, the trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world’s oceans for centuries, and enabled European empire expansion into the Americas and trade routes to become established across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, hence the name “Trade Wind”.

Shallow cumulus clouds are seen with trade winds, the weaker the trade winds become, the more rainfall can be expected within neighboring landmasses.

Here is an experiment you can do to learn more about how these winds work.          
Try Lesson 5: Global Winds to learn more.

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