Tag Archives: journey

row your boat.

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mark at home on the water in his boat

i connected to this adventurer, mark slats,

through an old friend in the netherlands.

read below to see what he is currently undertaking.

i am amazed every day.Mark Slats is hugged by his mother Maria in Ramsgate, UK last May.

He was about to row to The Netherlands here, never rowed before in a boat like this.

Now Mark is leading the field in the Talisker whisky atlantic challenge with Row4Cancer

with just two teams of 4 rowers ahead of him.

This is a 3.000 mile journey from Europe to America.

Mark’s mom has cancer and this gentle giant is raising money  

for cancer and for the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Cancer hospital.

(http://www.markslats.nl/row4cancer/ )

UPDATE: (early January) Mark Slats is rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean for 28 days now and with this blistering pace he’s on schedule to break the World Record with a stunning two weeks!! Mark is competing in the solo class, but he’s ahead of the leaders in the double and trio classes as well. Currently, the Gentle Giant is on the 4th place overall with only fours around him. Be prepared for his arrival, which is expected on January 14th! 







UPDATE  (January 8th)

World’s most bizarre rowing competition is approaching denouement:

Does Dutchman Mark Slats crush the world record ocean rowing?

Mark Slats participates in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge , the toughest rowing event in the world, to raise money for the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Foundation.

The route runs from Europe (the Canary Islands) to America (Antigua). He is rowing solo and nonstop.

Until last year, this carpenter from Wassenaar had never rowed. Mark is rowing for his mother who is seriously ill and all those other people who fight cancer every day.

Despite the hardships of the race, Mark remains positive, he enjoys the ocean and feels good. His physical and mental strength are extreme. Blisters, abrasions and contusions do not bother him, he is determined to crush the record. He rows around 100 miles a day and the expected finish date is currently being tested on January 14th.

After his three previous world voyages as a sailor, the sea has few secrets for Mark, yet every day is new on the ocean. Mark talks about birds, flying fish and dolphins around the boat, even a collision with a whale. He can not heat the freeze-dried food because his gas bottle has been thrown overboard. Cold is not tasty so it is a task to get enough calories. He no longer has a feeling in his fingers but jokes that he no longer feels the blisters on those fingers.

Mark has to finish his boat before January 18 13.03 to break the record of 35 days and 33 minutes. Then he has to walk an average of 2.6 knots, he has rowed an average of 3.4 knots from the start and now has 581 miles to go to the finish. He is in the lead in the Solo class from the start and 4th in the overall rankings. Still, the race has not yet run, a technical defect or sudden whirlwind can still be decisive, it remains exciting until the finish.

More about Mark and the race:
https://www.facebook.com/markslatsavontuur?pnref=story

More about the charity:
https://actie.avlfoundation.nl/row4cancer?nieuw=0

“and so in time the rowboat and i became one and the same-like the archer and his bow or the artist and his paint. what i learned wasn’t mastery over the elements; it was mastery over myself, which is what conquest is ultimately all about.” ― Richard Bode, First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living

 

 

credits: michel porro, magic marine, talisker whiskey atlantic challenge, mark slats

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how far?

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my first step in the parks in my first pair of shoes

steps in the parks somewhere in the middle

my last step in the parks in my last pair of shoes

with all of this stepping into the parks

i thought it was be easy and interesting

to look back and see just how far i had walked

using multiple sources

and multiple attempts

it turned into quite an impossible task

as each park was shaped differently

i had walked in no particular pattern

and converting the 2061.6 total acres into distance

proved to be a bit more complicated than i expected.

s0me of my early rough calculations

(having dinosaurs on the paper seemed fitting)

scenes of me asking the big questions

with no definitive answers

i went to my daughters

who tried to create an algorithm for me

but they again pointed out that i had no consistent shape of the acreage

nor did a have a consistent path of travel through them

i then went online to an international group

of physicists, mathmeticians, engineers, etc. to seek their answers

here is a sampling:

after walking 2,061.6 acres of parks, how far have I traveled in distance?

and :

There is no way to tell. You tell us areas but not distances, nor do you give us times or velocity.

i have decided that according to my calculations

my final answer is that i traveled pretty far

during the time i spent covering the 2,061.6 acres 

and interesting coincidence

the last park on the list

the last steps i took

were in a park at the top of the very street 

where i first lived in ann arbor

in my rattletrap apartment with no money

when i moved here at age 40

having quit my job to go to grad school

and change the course of my life

this long journey with it’s twisty and immeasurable path

had somehow led me straight home.

‘only those who will risk going too far

can possibly find out how far one can go.’

– t.s. eliott

don’t forget.

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what a lovely coincidence

that on this day

as i continue on my city parks journey

and drive through a neighborhood

i am lost

until

i come to the intersection of

pamela and patricia

the names of

my two sisters

one still with us

 one gone forever

and today –

her birthday

i look ahead to find

they’ve led me

to the beautiful park right in front of me.

“don’t forget to leave your handprints on the ones you love

and your footprints around the neighborhood.”
― lisa c. miller

forts.

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bird hills park

dolph park

dhu varen park

eberwhite woods park

loving all the forts, both big and small that i’ve discovered as i continue my journey through the ann arbor parks. forts are very sacred places. lots of heart and hard work go into the making of them – special spaces to meet and hang out with your gang.

(i’m about half way through the parks now -through the letter ‘i’)

– 80 down and 80-ish to go!  –

onward.

“i have a lot of growing up to do. i realized that the other day inside my fort. “

-zach galifianakis

 

getting out of woodstock.

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beatnikhighway.com

it took

3 cars

2 buses

1 plane

and

a gaggle of

very friendly people

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like

blogger friend/ sports/movie/ music/life stories writer

syracuse mark

of

https://markbialczak.com

and

his lovely wife, karen

who met me along the way

to

share a lively dinner

and

a leg of the journey with me

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and

of course

my final psychedelic trip back through the airport 

to find my way home again

after woodstock.

“so it’s been kind of a long road,

but it was a good journey altogether.”

-sidney poitier

image credit: life magazine, beatnik highway

leaving.

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“there is a time for departure

even when there is no certain place to go.”

– tennessee williams

when i stop at the light on this corner

 what i see

is

always different

yet

always the same

this is the stop 

where you get on the bus

and

go straight to the airport

i’ve seen people

hugging

crying

laughing

talking

celebrating

calling

texting

alone 

together

worried

whispering

excited

wondering

so many different goodbyes

and

i sometimes wonder

what they say to each other

just before

one steps 

onto that bus

and

one is left  behind

on the sidewalk

they all have a story and a reason 

maybe to return to somewhere or someone

maybe for an adventure

maybe to see the world

maybe to leave a bad situation behind

maybe to meet someone for the first time

maybe to get better

maybe to help someone

maybe to realize a dream

maybe they’re not yet sure

but there is one thing that is certain

someone is leaving

and

someone is coming.



”the best things said come last. people will talk for hours saying nothing much and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart. “

-alan alda