Saturday, August 31, 2013

Satellite Pics Reveal Yachts, You Can Find The Missing Nina


Last 5 Posts

Page 52  Protocol Costing New Zealand and The U.S.
Page 53  Have You Hugged Your Kids Today?
Page 54  Satellite Imaging Could Solve Nina Yacht Disappearance
Page 55  Momentum, Urgency, Grow In Yacht Nina Search
Page 56  They Took the Padre out of South Padre

Tomnod Images Providing Many Leads In Search For Sailors

The Public Is Invited to View Actual 

Photographs Of The Tasman Sea

"Wow! That looks like a raft!" said one message to a TES search lead.

"Hey, Larry, this image looks like a sailboat," said another message.

"Could Someone Please Look At This Image?" H. Marty Schelper, super volunteer asked.

The messages from the Tomnod crowd-source volunteers have been streaming in hundreds at a time.  At the request of Texas Equusearch, (TES) the company, Digital Globe, tasked a satellite to take photographs of likely search areas in the Tasman Sea where the 1928 schooner, Nina, and her 7 crew may be located.  The images are being hosted on a website known as Tomnod, where anyone can look at them.  When a possible target is spotted, the user pins the target.  It is kind of like a video game, but the stakes are for real lives.  You could be the person who discovers the lost Nina and save seven lives!

Satellite Picture of a Possible Target

On June 4th, the last message was received by the Nina crew.  The Rescue Coordination Center, New Zealand, (RCC-NZ) sent out search planes 20 days later.  No sign of the Nina was found, supporting the proposition the yacht did not sink.  Had she sunk, there would be evidence, flotsam, jetsam and things floating.

When RCC-NZ suspended their search, Ricky Wright, the father of crew member Danielle Wright, asked TES to advise him.  Volunteer TES Executive Advisor, Ralph Baird, was assigned with the task.  

How does one find a sailboat in the middle of the vast Tasman Sea?  Baird brought in rocket scientist, some of them volunteers from NASA, fluid physicists, who study how water molecules carry objects, media specialists to help with communications, event planners who help with fundraising, all joined by TES volunteers and concerned family members who are willing to put in relentless hours searching for seven precious lives.

Ricky and Robin Wright Talk To Reporters

Despite likely sightings, some problems persist.  With each passing day the satellite images grow older.  The search is for a raft or the disabled Nina which moves with the tides, current and wind.  It is difficult to review satellite images fast enough. More eyes are needed for Tomnod, or a more efficient method to review satellite images of endless miles of ocean would help. 

When potential targets are spotted it takes resources, deep pockets, to fund scrambling of search aircraft.  The sailors aboard the Nina are ordinary folks who made huge sacrifices to live the sailor's life.  To date, financial resources have been donated by a generous community and a few of the family members.  The most optimal equipment is not available to civilian contractors in this part of the world.

Most frustrating, the U.S. Coast Guard has been prohibited by the Department of State from running drift models which target the path objects spotted might take in the circular currents of the Tasman Sea.  Other efforts to obtain U.S. assistance were foiled by the same State Department office.  The search is using private sources to run those drift models but the private sources require funding which detracts from the search flight budget.

Still, the unified effort to find seven sailors ended on a positive note Friday evening.  A sense of guarded optimism is in the air.  TES is proving satellite imagery as a powerful solution to finding sailors missing at sea.  The potential cost savings over traditional search flights is impressive. An emerging market for satellite data has been identified.  However, improvements in the way that imagery is applied are needed, along with the support of the governments involved.

Please consider a contribution to the TES-Nina search.  

Why not check out the Tomnod website and see if you can find the Nina? 

Please call the Department of State and ask them to support the search for the seven sailors, sometimes referred to as the Nina 7. The phone number is 202.642.4000, choose option #4, then ask for John Kerry's Comment line!  Please leave a message!

Watch for updates from Sailing Savoir Faire as we follow the intensive search for Matthew Wootton, Kyle Jackson, Danielle Wright, Evi Nemeth, David Dyche, Rosemary Dyche and David Dyche, IV.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

They Took The Padre Out Of South Padre

The South Padre Skyline

"Que Padre!"  That Spanish phrase does not mean "What, father!"  It means "WOW!"  "This is really good!"

First Came The Turtle Lady, Now The Birding Center

South Padre Island and the city by the same name forms the tip of the Texas Riviera where young people from all over the US flock during spring break.  In the old days the big player in town was Frankie Realty who controlled many of the rental properties.  There was the Blue Marlin Market, and still is, and of course, the turtle lady, Ill Fox Loetscher, R.I.P.  In those days you could see the turtles in her home located on Gulf Boulevard.  A foundation carries on in her name.

Sea Ranch Marina, Ecco Tourism

A better term for South Padre Island might be "Que Rico", which translates into "Delicious".  Except this time I am using the term "Que Rico" in it's literal sense. This is a place for the rich. Gone from South Padre Island is it's sweet innocence from the Turtle Lady days.  In it's place is a major tourist trap guarded by a legion of local police cruising the streets in expensive SUV's.

Vestiges Of a Bygone Era And A

Message Never Learned

They even have high tech cameras on the beach to watch your every move.  Every once in awhile the camera flashes, making you think a run on the beach is like running a red light.  At sundown, everyone pours off of the beach reminding beach goers this is rental property owned by Uncle Sam, not a beach resort. Uncle Sam wants a quiet beach at night, so he boots his tenants out.

"Throw trash, pay the price", the sign does not exist in English

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Money greases the wheels of progress.  It takes deep pockets to build the kind of infrastructure that has helped the South Padre Island paradise grow.  As the local population watches their paradise over-run by too much of a good thing, they try to hang onto the innocence by mandating rules and regulations.  A wall of police and cameras peering at your every move doesn't protect the innocence, they destroy it.  Such is the nature of progress in our high tech world.

As resorts go, the city of South Padre Island remains quaint as a tourist town.  They have a huge task in front of them if they have any hope of hanging on to what set South Padre Island apart from all the rest of the beach resorts.

Cigar Store, South Padre Island, Texas


Search Updates:  EVXX.COM

Remember, there is a fund raiser on September 7th, 2013, to help pay for the rescue of the lost sailors aboard the Nina.  The yacht went missing in the Tasman Sea off the coast of New Zealand on June 4th.  The official search has been suspended.  Texas Equusearch is a private search coordinator hired by the families to rescue the crew.  Donations are needed to pay for search aircraft as they comb the seas for Matthew Wootton, Evi Nemeth, Danielle Wright, Kyle Jackson, David Dyche, Rosemary Dyche and David Dyche IV.  The crew may be on the boat or in a life raft.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Urgency, Momentum, Grow In Nina Search


Five Most Recent Posts:
Page 51  Cruisers Forum Docks Us For Posting Press Release
Page 52  Protocol Costing New Zealand and The U.S.
Page 53  Have You Hugged Your Kids Today?
Page 54  Satellite Imaging Could Solve Nina Yacht Disappearance

Page 55  Urgency, Momentum, Grow

 In Yacht Nina Search

Dickenson, Texas - Momentum is growing in the search for the SV Nina, a 1928 racing schooner which disappeared in the Tasman Sea.  So is the urgency of the search in order to save lives.  After New Zealand authorities suspended the search for the yacht on July 5th, 2013, the families were forced to seek independent assistance.  That came in the name of the non-profit Texas Equusearch, (TES) which looks for missing people law enforcement has been unable to find throughout the U.S.  Equusearch has found over 300 missing people to date.

John Glennie pulls loose skin over his underwear to demonstrate his weight loss after 119 days stranded at sea.

Ralph Baird, TES Executive Advisor, said his team of volunteer computer scientists, fluid geophysicists and volunteer NASA rocket scientists and other computer experts are working on pin-pointing the Nina on satellite imagery.  They have access to some of the satellite photographs taken through Digital Globe.  TES analyzes the information directly and then posts it for Tomnod to use, according to information released by Baird. This process is more efficient than running all the images through Tomnod first.

A benefit concert is planned to help raise funds for the
private search for the SV Nina.  So far, the US State Department refuses to cooperate with the search coordinator, TES.

At the same time, the urgency to find the missing sailors increases daily.  While the Nina skipper, David Dyche, is experienced at sea survival, the crew's longevity at sea has it's limits.  When another sailor, John Glennie, washed up onto a New Zealand Island after being adrift for 119 days, he had lost most of his body weight.  Glennie's skin was so loose he could pull it over his underwear.  Glennie said his boat had turned into a floating reef and he would have survived longer if he had to.  

The United States Department of State has steadfastly refused to assist TES in the Nina search.  Instead, the US refers requests for assistance to an office in the US State Department which helps relatives return the bodies of US citizens who perish in other countries.  Many in the families say the seven sailors aboard the Nina are alive. They need the US government to advocate for them, instead of insisting the crew perished when there is no evidence to prove that.  TES usually works along side law enforcement serving as a useful asset rather than working alone.  However, since TES is getting no cooperation, they and supporting family members like Ricky Wright, father of crew member Danielle Wright, have few options.

This photograph taken by Matthew Wootton was sold at the Texas Press Conference and Fund Raiser

Baird said recent fund raising events were very successful, with more events planned.  Air searches will resume the instant a likely prospect is located, Baird said.  Baird said the funds are placed into a special account only for the use of the missing sailors.  Those sailors are David Dyche, Rosemary Dyche, David Dyche IV, Danielle Wright, Evi Nemeth, Kyle Jackson and Matthew Wootton.

The next event for fundraising is September 7th, 2013.  It is a benefit concert at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette Louisiana.  Admission is $10 at the door.  The concert begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m.

Updates can be found at EVXX.COM.

Satellite Imaging Could Solve Nina Yacht Disappearance

Equusearch Executive Advisor, Ralph Baird, said the involvement of Texas Equusearch (TES) in the search for the missing yacht, Nina, would change the way search and rescue is done.  Baird said he was not sure how TES involvement would change search and rescue (SAR) at sea, but he was sure there would be changes for the better.  One of those changes is the use of satellite imaging if the government of New Zealand elects to take advantage of the opportunity.

A happy guest prepares to pay for his bargains

The Tasman Sea in the winter (our summer) is a remote and vicious climate.  Storm after storm ravage the Tasman Sea wreaking havoc on sailors.  To make matters worse, a few reefs pop up in the midst of the sea which are difficult to spot during heavy seas.  With ships avoiding the Tasman when possible, fewer eyes are available when things go wrong.  As if weather was not enough, circular currents strand disabled boats in the Tasman Sea for months.

The secret to any SAR operation is to figure out where an over-due yacht may be as quickly as possible before the yacht moves someplace else.  That process is painstakingly difficult in the Tasman Sea.  Satellite imagery may be the solution for rapid identification of potential targets.

TES has been using satellite imagery and a crowd sourcing social media site called Tomnod to speed up the search process.  Tomnod has been used successfully in many natural disasters.  However, the use of the site's crowd sourcing for sea rescues is relatively new.  The idea behind crowd sourcing, or gathering a crowd, is to use many non-trained eyes to do what a computer has difficulty doing, distinguisihing between odd objects and a yacht or liferaft.  When enough "non-experts" agree on the same image, statistics show the accuarcy of picks equals what a professional can do.

TES wants to take satellite imaging one major notch better.  They want to use the rapid data collection of satellite images.  Then the organization which searches for people all over America wants to apply object recognition software to identify the most likely prospects for the search for the Nina.

TES thinks it could provide a whole new market for the use of Digital Globe images through Tomnod.  It is a chance to do SAR in ways that New Zealand has not used before.  The big winners will be stranded sailors, like the crew of the Nina, which Baird says are no doubt afloat and waiting for rescue.  Another big winner is the country of New Zealand which is forced to spend huge tax payer sums searching for sailors from other nations when those sailors encounter problems in the Tasman Sea.

The Nina is a 1928 racing schooner which has become a national treasure after winning multiple races starting with the first year after being built.  A text message is the last known communication that has been received from the yacht since June 4th, 2013.  Seven sailors are aboard the yacht including crew member Danielle Wright.  Danielle's father,  Ricky Wright, refused to accept New Zealand search team speculation the yacht had sunk simply because the search was unable to find the yacht.  No wreckage or flotsam has ever been found from the Nina.

This past week, TES and the families raised significant sums so the search for the missing sailors may continue.  In addition, a US congressman now supports the efforts of TES and the families.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Have You Hugged Your Kids Today?


Flamingo By Matthew Wootton

Advocates who are fighting for assistance for seven sailors ask you to take the few minutes from your day and call the United States Department of State.

1.  Give them a big hug;
2  Ask them to support Equusearch, the official search for the Nina 7, who are Matthew Wootton, Kyle Jackson, Danielle Wright, Evi Nemeth, David Dyche,
Rosemary Dyche and David Dyche IV.

The phone number is 202.642.4000, choose option #4, then ask for John Kerry's Comment line!  Please leave a message!

How much will your call cost?  As it turns out, How much is a life worth?

Protocol Costing New Zealand and US

Be sure to check out

Please help get the word out, post this to your facebook and other accounts!  Please repost the link!


Search Coordinator Ralph Baird Says Call

 The Department Of State

I was very disappointed to learn the flights had been halted in the Nina search today.  It is not that I disagree with the decision to halt the flights and the $20,000 daily bill the families have to pay to keep the planes in the air.  I have intimate trust in Ralph Baird, Executive Search Advisor with Equusearch.  There are valid reasons to conserve resources pending better information.  

Rather, I see it from the point of view of the sailors.  They are out there, in a floating hell, caught in the circular currents of the immense Tasman Sea, waiting for rescue.  They are catching rain water to survive.  They are fishing and spearing the critters that lurk near the man made reef which once was the national treasure, the historic sailboat Nina.  The people who have the equipment to rescue the sailors won't do it because of bureaucratic stink.

A tranquil scene from the press conference and 

fundraiser for the Nina 7

Professionals realize the Nina is out there.  Yachts that sink cough up flotsam.  Yet, nothing has ever been found of the Nina.  The only evidence the yacht sank is the inability of the authorities to find her.  

"They" thought the Scotch Bonnet sank last year after it was abandoned near the last known position of the Nina.  Except for a single sighting, the Scotch Bonnet was never seen again...until it floated onto Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, an Australian beach, 5 months later.  While the Nina will no doubt float to land, the longevity of the crew is at risk.

John Glennie and three crewmen rode his capsized trimaran for 119 days off the coast of New Zealand until they washed up upon an island.  By then, the authorities had cancelled the search and friends had held a eulogy.  Glennie got the last laugh.  He said he created his own miracle because the authorities were not going to create if for him.  

The problem is, the people who have the ability to look for the Nina have washed their hands of the responsibility to look for her.  They have the assets needed, including long range aircraft for an over-the-ocean search.  They can process satellite information being collected by Equusearch.  They can authorize drift models to be run by the Coast Guard at nominal cost.  They can cooperate with the private organization tasked with doing a government job.  The U.S. has other high-tech means to help the seven sailors aboard the Nina. Yet, the U.S. State Department has placed roadblocks in the way of the private search consultant, Equusearch, at every step.

Worse, by mutual cooperation with the U.S., New Zealand could save millions of tax payer search dollars.  Lives could be saved through the deployment of new search tactics for sailors lost in the Tasman Sea.  If the U.S. and New Zealand rolled up their sleeves and got to work on the Nina case, new frontiers would be forged.  Lives, sailor's lives, rescuer's lives, anguish by worried relatives, all could be prevented if the authorities worked together.

This first effort between countries using high technology might be written off as an exercise to pave the way for future searches.  By those terms, a few dollars invested now by each country would yield huge benefits later.

Media volunteers and organizers prepare a commercial with speaker John Glennie

 Instead, the U.S. sends inquiries from the search coordinator and from families to an office in the U.S. State Department which manages the return of the bodies of persons who have perished in a foreign country.  The State Department is not working in tandem with Equusearch.  By indulging red tape, the U.S. State Department robs the families of the basic right to hope. At least the U.S. State Department can't rob the 7 brave sailors of that same hope.

PLEASE CALL THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT.  The telephone number is 202.642.4000, push #4, then ask for John Kerry's comment phone line. Leave a message!

Please also contribute to the fund to save the Nina 7.  Every cent counts!


Cruisers Forum Docks Sailing Savoir Fair


I posted the press release for the news conference to bring home the sailors on the yacht Nina onto the Cruiser's Forum.  Because it mentioned fundraising somewhere in the release, one sentence in a thousand, and because it is supported by Equusearch, they docked me two out of three points towards a lifetime ban.

I would probably have a pretty big resentment towards a bunch of bureaucrats who ban people for posting press releases except for one thing: If you are going to harbor grudges, you need to have a pretty good memory.  I don't have much of a memory so, I forget about the grudge pretty much after I make it.  

Rats, it is hell getting up every day trying remember who you are supposed to be mad at!

In the old days, I used to hang around that web page because there is a lot of good information to be had.  I guess, I probably didn't realize how much good information had been banned by those guys.

Well, what the hey.  Presumably, if I never post there again, they can't ban me.  I still have one point left (they call it strikes).  Some people's cup is 2/3 empty and other's people's cup is 1/3 full.  I guess it is all in how you look at things!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Guard Your Link, Lose The Story


In the old days of media, we liked to have all of our information in one place.  All people had to do was go to that one place and they had the answers.  Makes perfect sense, but it is as bad advice as one can ever give.  The problem with putting everything in one place is it kills the effort to bring in new followers to the hub page,

Imagine a wheel with multiple spokes.  Every spoke leads back to the core, or hub.  In the Internet, pages like mine are nothing more than a spoke.  The link takes readers to the hub, where they can gain more information.  New readers find my page and follow it back to the hub.  This helps keep the hub higher in search rankings so it is easier to find in the first place.

At the Press Conference

Sometimes people become possessive.  They stop posting other people's links.  Other times they don't like the information on one of the spokes, so they quit linking to it.  With fewer links, we have fewer spokes.  That means the main hub gets fewer visits and falls in page rank.  Being possessive of your spoke is a sure fire way to lose new readers for your cause.

That is why the YouTube videos I have done are important.  They draw traffic to my site, which sends traffic to our main hub.  Knowledgeable media people put photos and videos in a general file and let the press make their own compilation.  It all leads back the main cause.  Take the America's cup for example.  They put all of the information in a file and the media can use the pics to tell the story as they see fit.  Once the story is done it leads back to the main America's cup page.

There was a short time when you could put Nina in your search engine and end up on one of our pages.  Not any more.  Today, you have to be more descriptive in order to pull up the basic story.  Now, it takes "Sailboat Nina" or another descriptive term in order to have the basic story pop up.  If you search for just Nina, you end up with a story about a Spanish girl.

Sure enough, someone is bound to say, "not on my search engine."  It would be more accurate to say, "not on my computer".  Once Google figures out what stories you like they begin to find links that match your I.P. preferences.  If you really want to know what pops up in a fresh search, you have to go to a computer that has not been taught to go to our story.  I tried this recently.  The results indicate the Nina is behaving like any other news story.  It is fading.  We are losing the battle in the press because some of our supporters are cross posting the pages of others.

Why is it important to get fresh fish, so to speak?  The answer is, we need more support to accomplish our goals.  We need new fans to help fund the cause.  We need new readers to keep all of our pages high in the mind of the public.  Our sailors need new looks so the story remains fresh in the view of the yachting public.

When I worked on the Lady Domina case, all you had to do was put "lady domina" in the search box and a dozen stories came up about the missing yacht.  Today, put the same words in the computer and mostly what you get are nasty links to sites that have nothing to do with a missing boat.  This happens to every story in time.  They call it "old news".

The best way to keep a story in the news is to create a hub and spoke system.  Then, from time to time, create an event, create the news.  The word will get out if you do.

On June 4th, 2013, the sailing cruiser Nina went missing.  The RCC-NZ suspended the search on July 5th, 2013.  Since then, the families have been trying to make the world aware of the desperate plight of the sailors on board the stricken craft, the Nina.

Off The Grid


Since selling myself into indentured servitude a few years ago after a charlatan took me for nearly everything I had, I have not taken much time off.  Last week, I went to Texas to help Equusearch bring awareness to the cause of the Nina.  The schooner went missing on June 4th, 2013.   

I figured, since I was in Texas anyway, maybe I should take a few days to check on old problems lingering in Texas.  I had been delaying my trip to Texas for a very long time.

 After the conference was over, I got a late start out of Houston after visiting the Fry's super store.  If you have never been to Fry's, it is like Radio Shack on steroids!  Well, it used to be a super store, until they built a highway blocking easy access.  Long waiting lines have transitioned into empty shelves and cranky sales managers at the location I used to visit.  In fact, I was so turned off by management hassling a customer who was trying to return an item, I didn't buy anything.,  I sure wasted two hours, though

Earlier in the day, I had a nice discussion with John Glennie, author of 119 Days Adrift, about the joys of getting lost.  It is one of my favorite things to do and John agreed.  After all, both John and I have found some of the best territory when we get lost.  We would never have seen the many great places we have visited in our independent travels were it not for getting lost.

On the route

The only problem is, after you get lost in the same place enough times, it is hard to get lost as much.  You start to recognize old pastures even though you are lost.

"Heck, I recognize this place from the last time I got lost here," I thought to myself.  "Looks pretty much the same, except for the new highway!"

  I would have driven right to Fry's if it had not been for the new highway.  So getting lost in the same place is not as much fun, especially with new highways being built. It is still a lot of fun!

Along the route

After visiting Fry's, my next job was to get to South Padre Island, Texas.  I like to take the scenic route, since I am a sailor and navigating roads is as hard for me as navigating rivers, lakes and oceans.  Did I tell you, I ended up in Port Isabel, Texas on my way from Galveston, Texas to Belize?  We never made Belize, the gale took care of that dream.  See, I have excuses, too!  At least I am good at one thing!

Along The Route

Give me some credit, though,  After all, I did pilot my Tayana 37 down the Colorado River to the Gulf of Mexico, starting in a little trout stream high in the Rockies.  We even ported it through treacherous Glenwood Canyon, what a nightmare!  If you believe everything I am saying you are probably not from Texas...or Colorado!

So here I am today, working at getting good and lost, on my way South.  I was so lost, I had to ask directions. Again.


Me: "Excuse me, ahhh, can you tell me how to get to Corpus Christie?

Her: "Texas?"

Me: "Yea, I think it is in Texas."

Her:  "Ohhh....I done lived here all my gal durn life but I can't tell you how to get to Corpus Christie...let me see...ain't that up there nar armadillo?"

Me:  "You mean Amarillo?"

Her:  "Yeah, but we always pronounced it Armadillo, maybe that's whys we can't never find it..."

Me:  "Thanks, I'll head that direction."

I was just trying to be nice.  Every one knows Amarillo is in Mexico!  Hey, at least it used to be in Mexico, didn't it?


Then there was the convenience store clerk from India.  It took awhile to get to the manager in the convenience store heiarchy as I got passed from one Indian guy to the next.

"Hang on," the clerk told me.  "I know someone who knows."

I was only 6 hours late leaving, why should I bitch about waiting a half hour for someone who knows how to get to Corpus Christie?  I wouldn't have waited if they sold maps of Texas instead of Colorado in that store. Finally, an old bald haired man appeared.  He was very kind.

"You have a long drive ahead of you," he said after I explained where I wanted to go.  "Finally!  Someone who knows!  The wait was well worth it after all!"  I thought to myself.

"Why, my man, you have at least a three hour drive ahead of you," he told me.

Last time I checked, it is at least 8 hours from South Houston to Corpus.  Heck, it has been 5 years since I have been to Corpus Christie.  Maybe things changed.  

"Maybe they moved it," I thought to myself.  "For sure they have not taken down any traffic lights, so they must have moved it if it is only three hours away now!"

The manager from India pulled out his trusty high tech telephone.  They call them "smart phones".  The manager typed in the two cities and then looked bewildered.

"Let's see, we are right here not too far from Alvin, and you want to go...hmmm..." he murmured as he scrolled down and down and down...on his smart telephone, all the while scratching his head.

"Why heck!  You have an 8 hour trip ahead of you, my man!"

"I'll be a Colorado mule," I thought to myself. "I guess they didn't move
Corpus Christie after all!"

By now, it appeared the conveinece store manager had adopted me.  Well, at least I felt wanted!  I could tell the new adopted son was only going to warrant x amount of attention before the manager decided to get back to work.  That manager and I had a rare meeting of the minds, I could tell exactly what he and I were thinking at the same time.  It was going to take my new dad an hour to write down the complicated instructions on how to get to Corpus.  My new dad looked pretty worried and I probably did too.  Or maybe he just liked scratching his head, but he looked worried.

"Most people print this out on their computer," dad offered.  It was pretty keen of my new dad to know I had a computer after meeting me only once!  But heck, how he thought I was going to fit a printer into my little rental car I had no idea!  At least he got half of the prediciton right!


"Sorry, I don't have a printer," I told him.

"Well, don't you have a smart phone?" he queried in an increasingly worried tone.  I could tell he was not going to let his new adopted son go until the manager was convinced I was going to be safe.  I guess he does not know my history as navigator.  This was one time I wish someone would not really care, but this guy was determined to help a lost dude from Colorado.

"Sure, I have a smart phone.  Well, thanks.  I really appreciate the effort!"

Yea, I have a smart phone.  I never did figure out how to use the thing and it is half worn out.  It does not seem to be very smart to me, That is, when it works.  Those who try to reach me can attest, it does not work often!  I am pretty good at these excuses!  But I didn't tell him that.

As I walked out of convenience store #2 a little dazed, I recognized FM 2002 in front of the store, a rural road spanning about half of Texas.  This looked just like the same place I got lost last time.  It was the beginning of recognition!

It turns out I spent a lot of time being worried for nothing.  I started to recognize all of the places I had been lost before and just followed those to Port Lavaca, Texas.  As soon as I knew I was lost, I knew I was on the right path!  This time, though, I didn't stay lost for very long.

The photographs are some photos of the trip so far!