CRUISING TO MEXICO
HOLA
Daily Journal: Crystal Serenity, Los Angeles to Lima, Peru, Departure Date Wednesday, January 18, 2006.

We left Bakersfield January 17, about 12:45 p.m. and arrived in San Pedro Port of Los Angeles about three hours later.  Drive down was full of traffic on the 405 as usual, with unusual congestion near LAX because of construction.

We checked into our hotel (former Sheraton), parked our car in their garage for the next two weeks, and then had a nice meal in a small restaurant near the edge of the harbor dock. Chinese management offered great fish, and I enjoyed an excellent meal while we watched a couple of gulls stand on posts waiting for us to treat them.  We did not. We walked along the edge of the buildings lining the canal and then went back to our room where I relaxed, watched some tv, took some Ambien and went to sleep.

Next morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet with “eat free coupons”, and then we visited the Port Maritime Museum.  I was drawn to it by the image of a full length diving suit displayed in the front window, and then I noted that it is graced with the sculpture of a crew member rescue which is dramatic and powerful.   Inside, I got a lot more than I had anticipated.
MERCHANT MARINE RESCUE
BROTHERS LINKED FOR LIFE
LET'S GO FISHING...FOR SPONGE
In 1828, two English brothers, Charles and John Deane, developed the first practical diving helmet. It allowed men to work underwater using compressed air pumped from the surface.  It was first used on a engineering project on the Thames River, London, and subsequently on underwater construction around the world.  As illustrated here, it also enabled a more efficient method of fishing for sponge. 

Because the suit did not protect the diver against the pressure of sea water, there were significant limits on how far down into the water a man could safely descend.  Human lungs are compressed by a factor of TWO when reaching the depth of only 33 feet and over a short period of time, nitrogen is forced by this water pressure into the cells of the body.  

As with a bottle of carbonated soda, pressure keeps the bubbles in the cells.  But if the soda pressure is released quickly  (pop the cork), the bubbles explode out of the soda and into the air.  In a human, to return to the surface too quickly similarly releases nitrogen bubbles from his body cells and this interferes with oxygen circulation in general and causes painful joint inflamation specifically, "the bends".  Too sudden a release of the nitrogen can cause death. 
TO BE TIED IN KNOTS CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL THING
A REMNANT OF KNOTTED ROPE FROM THE FAMOUS SHIP "BOUNTY"
THERE WAS ONCE A MUTINY ON THE "BOUNTY"
ANOTHER MOVIE WITH A OCEAN VESSEL AS ITS SETTING.
THE POSEIDEN ADVENTURE

This is the ship model that was used for the movie. It is about ten feet  long and was maneuvered in a large pool of  controlled water.  Rumor had it that Shelly Winters later bathed in the water left over from her major screen success.
THE SAND PEBBLES
(1966) WITH STEVE MCQUEEN


THIS MODEL WAS USED AS ONE OF THE FILM'S PROPS.
"DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!"
THIS BOW ICON CERTAINLY CAPTURES THE VERVE AND NERVE OF AN OCEAN GOING VESSEL PLYING THE ORIENT.
I WAS TAKEN WITH THIS "LIFE SAVER" BECAUSE OF ITS HOME.
An unexpected treat! As I turned the corner of the museum I heard a soft beep-beep-beep in Morse code and walked over to find an 87 year old man staffing the on-air, radio shortwave station kept in the museum.  Elvin smiled at me, and since somehow he reminded me of Skip, my step-father, I stopped for a chat. We could hear the constant chatter of the signals which were coming in, and the map behind him was dotted with pins, one for each of the dozens of other stations around the world that Elvin and his team have contacted in the past year.

When I asked him how long he had been at this, said, “well I started listening in the year 1935" (age 17).  He got his license nearly FOUR decades later and spends time at the station in rotation with other people who can operate the shortwave.  He showed me a scrapbook of cards from stations contacted, among them two in New Zealand.  I asked him if he could send a message to my son, Randy, in Auckland.  He said he doubted it because the conditions to send a message that far by shortwave were very demanding and temperamental.  So I asked why?
ELVIN AND HIS CATALOGUE OF POSTCARDS RECEIVED FROM SHORTWAVE STATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
ELVIN WITH HIS OFFICE BEHIND HIM: CALL LETTERS, K6AA, MODERN COMPUTER PROCESSING, ALONG WITH OLDER, FUNDAMENTAL EQUIPMENT FOR BASIC TRANSMISSION OF MORSE CODE COMMUNICATION.  MAP IN BACK REFLECTS WORLD CONTACTS
WHY IS IT VERY TRICKY, ALTHOUGH POSSIBLE, TO SEND A SHORTWAVE TRANSMISSION FROM LOS ANGELES TO AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND?  HERE IS PART OF THE ANSWER.
A SUNSTORM SENDS OUT A SOLAR FLARE.  93 MILLION MILES LATER, IT STRIKES THE EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE.

This electromagnetic storm excites electrons in the stratosphere. Ionization produces a spectrum of light which can pulsate throughout the sky and radiate in what we call the aurora borealis.

 
NOW, YOU CAN THINK OF THIS IONIZATION AS AN ELECTROMAGNETIC CAP OVER THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE EARTH.
THE ELECTROMAGNETIC ATMOSPHERIC CAP.
To send shortwave over long distances, Elvin needs a good sun storm which will send a major stream of electronic particles to the earth’s ionosphere.  When they make contact with oxygen atoms, they cause some of them to divide, and free oxygen atoms sometimes unite with other oxygen pairs to form ozone. Oxygen is 0/2.   Ozone is 0/3.  When the ozone layer is created it allows the shortwave signal to bounce off of the atmosphere, then down to the ocean, off the ocean and back up into the atmosphere and so on, until the signal reaches such a far place as New Zealand.
SAILING TIME: WE BOARDED OUR SHIP, THE CRYSTAL SERENITY, IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON AND FROM THAT POINT ON, WE WERE MEMBERS OF A NEW COMMUNITY...FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS.
NEXT STOP...ACAPULCO, MEXICO
LINDA TAKES THE HELM AND WE ARE SAILING SOUTH, SOUTHEAST IN THE PACIFIC.
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