My New Knife
So recently met up with a new friend, Carlos and his brother, Enrique from Denmark and France respectively. These guys are third culture kids for sure. Carlos is a real wild man who likes to do these crazy trips all over the world, usually traveling with the bare minimum in terms of supplies-a knife, hobo stove, blanket and fly rod. While they were here in Oman, Carlos picked up some amazing wood-its the hardest stuff Ive ever seen. I too have a bunch which Ive purchased form Bedouins-one small piece will burn for hours and produce crazy heat. So Carlos also makes these beautiful knives and offered to make me one from the wood he picked up here in Oman. Here’s the story of the wood and the beginning stages of my new knife. Cannot wait to have this in my hand!
Started on your knife today. I always take some time putting materials/blade combination together. I also like to give the knifes some character by building them with materials that have a story. I seldom buy any wood to make knifes at a specialized store. Instead I like to look for wood while I am on a trip. I know you said that you wanted a dark wood knife but in the end I went with something that may suit you better. During my last day in Shuwaymiyah I asked one of the friends we made (Saudi) about local wood types and he talked about Samar wood and how he knew a place where they had some. So we went to one of the local Mathabs in town and bummed some Samar firewood off the owner. The story doesn’t stop there because at the Mathab the Samar wood piece they had was basically tree size. We then had to go to the local carpenter and have him cut us a couple of pieces. Easier said than done. That wood was rock hard and the local carpenter didn’t have power tools (only a handsaw). 7 people (4 of us and 3 Bengali) went at it for 45 minutes until night time and then we finally arranged to have them cut the rest and for us to pick it up the next day. It was still in pretty big chunks so the whole way to Muscat my brother and I stopped in every carpenter along the road until we found someone with an electric saw in Sur. So that’s the story of the wood for the handle. It will probably be shit hard to shape since its rock hard . The front of the handle is a small piece of cocobolo wood I got once in Costa Rica. The blade I got from a local blacksmith. It is stainless steel with a softer core so it keeps a sharp edge. It’s also very hard (58 Hardness Rockwell C scale). Here are some pics of the knife to be.
Drove south again for the third consecutive weekend. BFG has clocked five thousand kilometers, crossed flooded wadis and traversed some hash terrain this past month, but the old girl always gets me home safe. The military has several check point set up as there seems to be some issue brewing in Dhofar. Of course I didn’t see travel warning from the embassy until I returned. They treated me well, just a quick ID check and peek in the coolbox. One soldier kept asking me, your car? Your car? I nodded and he gave me an approving thumbs up.
Headed for Ras Madrkah this week to meet up with some new friends, Mark and Naomi from Colorado. I found our two adventurers on a dark south beach digging out of the sand. A quick tug with a tow strap popped them right out, after which, I showed them a nice flat piece of hardpan that I typically camp on. The next morning we headed for Camel Rock flat. Conditions this weekend were some of the best I’ve seen this season-water clarity is starting to improve. We saw only one permit, a beautiful yellow perm in the wave face, but as permit do, it simply melted away before Mark had a chance to get a shot off. As a consolation, the bream were out in full force, accompanying the gray shadows of finger mullet that were taking refuge in the shallow flats. At one point, we had schools of large bream all around us. It was simply a matter of get one’s fly out there, with every cast producing multiple takes and hook ups. I must have dropped at least a half dozen large fish, but also landed quite a few including a nice dinner fish. Mark also had a number of fish come unpinned, but eventually landed and released a beautiful specimen and a five spot pompano, both new species for him. Needless to say he was totally rapt. We celebrated that evening with cold tigers, beach bocce, grilled b ream steaks and pomegranate and vodka martinis.
The next morning, Mark and Naomi set off for the flat to have another go at those bream and en’sha’allah see a yellow perm or two, while I headed north to meet up with Peter and Theo at Ras Markaz.
The South African boys were right on time, having over-nighted on the beach. I feel like I’ve known Peter for a while. Though we have never met in person, we regularly exchange email and chat on-line. Conditions at Markaz were absolutely brilliant; unfortunately, the flat was overrun by Bengali fishermen hunting mullet. At one point, there were nearly a dozen boats patrolling the beach, eliminating any possibility of finding a permit. At this point, I pointed the boys towards Camel and made my way back to Muscat. I look forward to hearing from both parties in the coming days and weeks. I hope to meet up with Peter again around the 20th of December.
Found this polaroid of me and my buddy in basic training. This pic is from 1977. I’m 18 years old. I was pretty good at putting a spit shine on combat boots, other guys used to pay me to do theirs. I was also a squad leader for a short time until two crazy Hawaiian dudes in my platoon got in a fight and beat the shit out of each other. After basic training, they shipped me out to Billoxi, Mississippi, then Duluth Minnesota and finally Fairbanks, Alaska. After four years, I got out and started school again.
Huge shout out to my Rubencito
Keep your Tio on the short list when ju start looking for someone to captain your yacht!
I gots sea skills.
Images from a campaign in the UK to raise awareness about the plight of fish populations and non sustainable harvest of our oceans. Go to http://www.fishlove.co.uk/ to check out more images, purchase photographs, sign petitions, or donate.
This isn’t about needing to pee, is it?
Ah…no sir, its just that this class is so mind-numbing-ly irrelevant to my life right now and I really just need to go splash some water on my face because the apathetic drone of your voice is causing me to peel my cuticles until they bleed.
Yes sir, it is exactly about peeing, and defecating and purging this mendacity you you call relevant knowledge from the irritated and inflamed bowels of my mind!
Is this going to be on the final?
And here’s a great follow up article, love the last paragraph.
Juvenile Sperm whales resting between dives. There were plenty of larger adults around including a huge bull, but they would not allow me to approach.
Over These Prison Walls
Merika has about 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s incarcerated people are in merikan prisons, most of these people locked away for 20 plus years to life for nonviolent offenses (thanks to our zero tolerance drug policies and mandatory life sentences for repeat offenders). Incarcerating people is now a huge for profit billion dollar business in my country, just like healthcare and national security, not to mention military expenditures which top the next 14 world military budgets combined!
We have created a situation where large segments of our youth are going straight from school to prison. It costs about 100,000 dollars a year to incarcerate each one. Imagine what we could do with that money if we put it into education?
For the past three months my youngest daughter, Sol has been working with incarcerated youth (she the last one on the right). She visits the prison once a week with her classmates from PNCA to participate in a program that helps teenage boys process their situation through art and writing. The results (the artworks and writing) of this project will be published in a zine. They need 500 USD to publish. You can help by going to this site and donating.
They only need 500 dollars and if you donate 20 you will receive a copy of the zine!