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A police inspector was viciously attacked out in the countryside by a criminal gang who cut off both his legs with a machete.  As the man lay on the road, a convoy of vehicles with two government ministers and the Collector came down the road and stopped.  It took EIGHT minutes just for the Collector to phone for an ambulance – while the police inspector cried out for help.

The two government ministers in the convoy – the health minister and sports minister of Tamil Nadu – never got out their vehicles.  When no ambulance arrived after 20 minutes, the policeman was lifted into a vehicle but he died on the way to hospital.  Only then did the two government minsters deign to get out of their cars to take a look.

My sincere condolences to the policeman’s widow and children.

WARNING: This video is graphic and may upset some viewers.

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Passage to Juneau, A Sea and Its Meaning by Jonathan Raban.

The Northwest Coast of North America – up through the island-strewn Inside Passage of British Columbia and north to Alaska – is one of the most fascinating sailing areas in the world.  Thousands of people travel up there on enormous cruise ships every summer; so when I saw that Jonathan Raban has made the voyage in his own sailboat I was eager to settle into my berth, forget the world, and enjoy a fascinating yarn of the sea by one of best contemporary English writers. Continue Reading »

Technorati claim

claim number from technorati  UMA5SF4T99WW

So much can change in just a few hours. That’s both the thrill and the challenge of sailing. There was no wind at all when I departed Lévi, across the river from Quebec city, soon after sunrise, so I motored against the sluggish incoming tide for a couple of hours.

I was now confident, after the excellent repairs M. Bertrand and others had done to the engine mounts, prop shaft and cutlass bearing, that the engine would run reliably for hours with no problems. I relaxed and drank coffee. Continue Reading »

Waiting for the 5 metre tide to fall

Low tide leaves the boat high and dry

Progress seldom comes in straight lines, and so it has proved throughout ‘Kuan Yin’s” 300- mile passage down the St. Lawrence river from Kingston to Quebec City.  But, as in all such cases, there’s usually nothing to do but to meet each challenge as best one can and to keep going.  No-one ever said it was easy. Continue Reading »

Departing Toronto at dawn with long-time friend and fellow sailor Jiri, August 2009. Also aboard was Thom who was extraordinarily generous with his time and energy to get the boat ready

The voyage to Ungava has finally begun.  After four months of long days and hard work refitting the boat in Toronto, “Kuan Yin” is at last heading for the salt waters of the Atlantic coast of Canada. Whether or not we reach Halifax, Nova Scotia, (more than 1000 miles from Toronto) or not before the winter storms bring an end to this season’s sailing is uncertain. Continue Reading »

The other day a friend amazed me by his casual statement that he was “killing time”. I know what he meant but I was appalled.  As someone who would happily have an extra 12 hours in every day, I find it hard to understand how time can become such a burden. (Though sometimes when meditating, the minutes can stretch into tortuous hours!)

Far be it from me to say how anyone should “spend” their time. Each one of us is different and only we can know what’s truly important in our own lives.  Yet we each receive 1440 minutes every day, 365 days in a year, and more than 18,000 days in the first half century of our lives.  So wouldn’t it be a pity to waste such opportunities by deliberately killing them?  If life is a gift, maybe it’s a good idea to ask ourselves from time to time how well we’re receiving it? Continue Reading »