Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bits and Pieces

We are cleaning the apartment for the impending visit of Beatrice's oldest sister, along with her two daughters, from California.  Bea spent the day dusting and scrubbing and doing laundry.  I spent the day taking care of other peoples' critters: hens, goldfish, cats, and dogs.  Our vacuum has decided not to work again, so I borrowed a Hoover from the house I'm now at.  Boy, that thing picks everything up!  We might have to purchase one of those....

The big wildfires in California that sprang up after the Fourth of July have calmed down a bit.  The fires here in Colorado are still raging.  It's supposed to reach 100 degrees (F) here today - I'll be bringing the plants inside mid-morning, after watering them generously at dawn.  The balcony and silvery-grey coloring of our building reflects the heat and the plants scorch on really hot days.

On 4 July, the RV Explorer crew identified a recently discovered wreck.  The wreckage of the D/S Octavian has been positively identified and confirmed through the recovery of the engine and boilers builders' plaque.  This was further confirmed by Jorgan Johannassan of the Maritime Museum in Oslo, Norway.  The wreck is 70 miles from Cape May in 227 feet of water.  The Octavian was owned by A/S Rederiet Julian, and was a 250-foot freighter carrying sulfur and wood resin.
  The Octavian  left Galveston, Texas on 9 January 1942 bound for St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.  The freighter never arrived, and all crew members along with the ship vanished without a trace. There were sixteen Norwegians and one Canadian aboard the Octavian.
  It is now believed, with this wreckage discovery, that the Octavian was sunk by the German U-Boat 123.  The deck logs of U-123 indicate that Commander Hardegen (on his 7th war patrol) sunk an unidentified freighter in the location of the now-identified Octavian on 17 January 1942.  The ship sank in a plume of black smoke in less than a minute after being hit with a stern torpedo.
  The U-123 is also credited with sinking the Cyclops, Norness, and Coimbra prior to the Octavian.  After watching the Octavian sink, the U-Boat traveled at full speed toward Cape Hatteras,North Carolina, where she is recorded as having sunk four more ships and damaging a fifth.
  Credit for this project and research go to the RV Explorer team: Rustin Cassway, Brian Sullivan, Michael Dudas, and Tom Packer.  Others who helped were: Gary Gentile, Hildrun Sommer, Evie Dudas, Richie Kohler,Adam Crouthamel, Bob Cope, Bob Duckenfield, Sean Manni, and the Maritime Museum in Oslo, Norway.

No new foals on the southern end of Assateague Island since 30 June, but there are several mares that have yet to produce their babies.  Unfortunately, we have lost a third foal this summer; Poco's Starry Night's black filly has not been seen since 1 July.  We are assuming that she has succumbed to nature.

And the 45th President nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the new open position on our Supreme Court.  Judge Arthur Kennedy resigned, which leaves a seat open.  Now, when Barack Obama was President, Congress hemmed and hawed and wouldn't even agree to have an appointment hearing for Obama's nominee.  I bet they try to push a hearing through for Kavanaugh before the mid-term elections in October.   And I really want the Congress to grow a spine and reject this man out of hand, without any long thinking about it.

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