Alabama Sailors

The Baeder family of Auburn, Alabama, took time out from Busch Gardens to sail the unusually high seas of the York River. Because they boat on southern lakes, they enjoyed riding the bow in stiff winds that rocked the sailboat with a mild roller coaster effect. Francesca is an assistant professor at Auburn University, and Patrick operates a martial arts studio specializing in self-defense techniques of tae kwon do and hapkido.

He said that assailants are most vulnerable at their wrists and arms. Students learn agility, speed and discipline to disable an attacker. One of Patrick’s female students took out a bouncer at a bar who was acting up. Why learn to break boards with your fist? “Two boards equate to the rib cage.” You can earn a black belt in less than three years, but it can take decades to achieve the ninth degree belt.

Alabama SailorsSailing to Disaster

Kevin Shaver specializes in disaster response for chemical, biological, nuclear and you-name-it disasters. After wrapping up a big tire fire in Puerto Rico, he took his team deep sea fishing. Upon returning from a long day, the boat caught fire somewhere below with smoke and flames billowing. His team instinctively kicked into action. They ripped out electrical wires, closed off compartments, dumped water from a quick bucket brigade, and got the blaze under control in a grueling 15 minutes. The captain was lucky to have such an experienced crew on board. Even though everyone was saved and the boat was still seaworthy, “The captain wasn’t pleased at the damage,” Kevin said. They did manage to save their day’s catch of tuna and mahi mahi.

Oklahoma Drought

Alabama Sailors
Photo by The Oklahoman

Diane and Max Rudd said that lakefront marinas and everything else in western Oklahoma are suffering from a four-year drought. It has devastated boating, crops and the general economy. This photo from The Oklahoman newspaper shows a small, sad marina stranded high and dry.

Further east, the new oil industry of fracking is thought by some to have caused unusual earthquakes of 2.0 to 5.0 magnitude. The drilling extends thousands of feet down and rattles the subsurface. They found hours of sailing on the York River to be pretty serene.

Let’s Go Sail with Alabama Sailors

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