Now that I’ve become a blogger, I find myself surfing the web much more than I did in the past. I’m constantly amazed at what I find. Some things catch my fancy and I bookmark the pages so I can revisit them whenever the spirit moves me.
For example, in the beginning of June I discovered the Scilly Boys. That is not a misspelling, although considering what the Scilly Boys were up to, one has to wonder. The Boys – actually four grown men – were trying to beat a record set more than one hundred years ago. The details of that record, described below, are found at http://www.row4home.com/thechallenge.html.
Records show two Norwegian/Americans, George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen in 1896 were the first to row from New York to Scilly, they had many difficulties, they capsized several times, their supplies replenished by passing cargo ships, recording a passage of 55 days13 hours , this time remains unbeaten! Oliver Hicks “Virgin Atlantic” solo row in 2005, became the only successful rower of the Harbo and Samuelsen land to land route to Scilly. The best modern day record time from New York belongs to a Dutch crew of four in “Vopak Victory” 60 days 16 hrs, they crossed the north/south Bishop Rock Lighthouse line about 70 miles south of Scilly.
Note that the record was set by two men in 1896. In 2008, four men were attempting to break the record by rowing from the Statue of Liberty, New York to Bishop Rock Lighthouse, Isles of Scilly – a distance of 2,835 nautical miles. The two men who first accomplished this feat, did it in a regular old row boat – the type one sees on the beaches of South Jersey – that are typically used by the life guards. The Scilly Boys were taking advantage of modern technology. Their boat had sleeping quarters at each end and was equipped with GPS devices. They carried freeze-dried food and a device for desalinating salt water. The plan was for two men to row while the other two men rested.
The Scilly Boys traveled 563 nautical miles before they capsized. However, their vessel was not so easy to right, and they had to be rescued. As of today, they have not announced any plans for another attempt. You can learn more about their adventures by visiting http://www.woodvale-challenge.com/.
I can’t help thinking that had they completed the trip – and done so in less than 55 days 13 hours – there would have to be an asterisk next to the entry in the record book. If Roger Maris got an asterisk for his 61 home runs in 162 games versus Babe Ruth’s 60 homers in 154 games, the Scilly Boys – four against two – would deserve no less.
Another web site that caught my attention is http://snakebrothers.com/. This one is a bit different because I’ve been looking for the Snake Brothers on the web ever since my bride and I caught their act in Ocean City, New Jersey. The Snakes do most of their performing in New Jersey and could probably be considered a “semi-pro” band; that means they probably get paid for their performances, but not enough to cause them to quit their day jobs.
One of the songs they sang when we saw them is called “A Child’s Lament for the 90’s”. You can listen to it, as well as a few other Snake Brothers’ songs, at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=282599501. I’m a member of a musical group that performs at Assisted Living facilities and nursing homes. I’ve been in contact with the Snakes and we hope to be performing the “Child’s Lament” soon.
Another web site that I try to visit on a daily basis is called “Thrilling Days of Yesteryear”. It can be found at http://thrillingdaysofyesteryear.blogspot.com/. Anyone who remembers “The Lone Ranger” would find Ivan Shreve’s posts most interesting. His blog is filled with much more than Tonto and Silver. He has information on old radio and TV shows as well as old movies, cartoons, and a mountain of other historical items.
Finally, I’ve been looking for blogs where the authors write pieces similar to my efforts. Since I have trouble categorizing my work, it isn’t easy to locate similar efforts. However, three that come to mind are http://drjimwhite.blogspot.com/ written by Jim White, the Pastor of a Church of Christ in Omaha, Nebraska, a blog titled “Growing Up” by Mike Chandler (found at http://mikechandler.blogspot.com/), and “Growing Up Deaf in a Hearing World”, which is authored by Brenda. Her site is at http://growingupdeaf.blogspot.com/.
None of the last few people I’ve named are doing anything adventurous like rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, but they do try to record the interesting things that happen in their day-to-day lives. Check out their sites and tell them the Silly Boy sent you!