The dream of boaters! Take out a year to do this route. A year? Yes, after all, you don't want to be in New York or on the Great Lakes in the winter!
What Exactly is the Great Loop?
The Great Loop has been done in as little as two months and in as much as 12 years. Traditionally, Loopers have spent about a year on the route. After all, it is a seasonal trip. You’ll want to be on the northern part of the Loop during the warm summer months, the inland rivers in the fall, spend the winter in Florida, and the spring following the warm weather up the eastern portion of the route.
We’re seeing a trend towards people doing the Great Loop in segments, cruising for a few weeks or months, and then returning home to take care of business or other responsibilities, and returning to the boat for another segment when possible.
Why is the Loop usually done counter-clockwise?
Although the Great Loop has been done in both directions, it’s usually done counter-clockwise so that you are going with the current, not against it, on the inland rivers.
Positive Latitude just started their voyage on this Loop. You can see a video clip, below.
The Rotary Foundation has six main categories to fund projects all over the world. One of them is Water and Sanitation. A lot of deals with drilling wells. Wells have been drilled all over Africa, for example, for many years, by various non-profit organizations, the United Nations, etc. Sadly, many of those are now overgrown, rusty and not working anymore. After several years the local population could not afford parts, neither did they have the engineering capacity to keep them running, long after the organization that started the project, was gone. Over the past 4-5 years, Rotary has implemented a requirement, that the project has to be sustainable. In other words, the means to keep the project running, once the project is complete and the Rotarians have gone home. There are a multitude of these projects going on. Which one do you choose to support?
In her novel, A Long Walk To Water, Linda Sue Park explains drilling a well is only the beginning! She describes, what is based on a true story, in the area of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenia. There is a lot of desert. People move toward the wetter areas during the rainy season and return to wherever a little water remains, the rest of the year. Typically, the girls fetch water every day, which takes half a day traveling both ways. It is not the best water either; muddy and often contaminated. Peoples from two different tribes, the Nuer and the Dinka fight over water in the only lake remaining during the drought. Fights happen, people die. On top, a civil war rages through the South of Sudan, trying to keep their own religions instead of being forced by government troops from the North to accept the Muslim religion. One day, two visitors came to Nya's village. They spoke with the village counsel, something about water.
They brought in all kinds of equipment, Nya had never seen. After weeks of work and through unexpected challenges, water came out of a pump, if you swung the handle up and down.
"A miracle," said her uncle."I used to sit here all the time, and never knew I was sitting on top of water!"
Once the strangers were gone, the villagers were building something, next to the well.
"What is that?" Nya asked her uncle.
"A school for boys AND girls! Now that we have water here, the girls do not have to travel half a day anymore." The project resulted in meeting the next important area of Rotary: Basic Education and Literacy.
Next came a clinic, so the villagers did not have to travel a full day to the nearest one. This satisfied the area of Disease Prevention And Treatment, and over time resulted in Maternal And Child Health.
Now that the villagers did not have to spend all their time getting water, having to boil it, and manage water storage, they could spend time on other projects, resulting in compliance with the next area: Economic And Community Development.
"Remember those two visitors who came to talk to our elders?"
"Yea," Nya replied.
"Did you see the scar on the arm of the assistant?"
"Yes, that was from our tribe, the Nuer."
"And what about the leader?"
"He did not have any marks, so we do not know from which tribe he was." You will have to read the book, to find that answer. but it resulted in covering the last important area: Peace and Conflict Prevention / Resolution.
All of a sudden I get it! Water and Sanitation form the basics, but the consequences are far bigger and include all six important areas of projects funded by the Rotary Foundation!
The Corona virus epidemic reminds me of the Pit game we play among our families, in California and the Netherlands. The object of the game is: the winner gets to take the game home, and ideally will play the game again when some family members from Holland would be in California, or vice versa. The game was last played in Bunnik, Netherlands, when several family members from California were there. For years a Dutch family member would win, so the game stayed in Bunnik. but in 2014, the tide turned and Gideon was one of the American members visiting in Bunnik and won! So he got to take the game to California. Unfortunately there have not been occasions to play again.
You get the idea: play games during this epidemic. Maybe you cannot go to the Netherlands, or come to California now, but that should not stop you from pulling out your favorite game!
Where is this? What kind of factory is it? We called it just "the plant", in short, and all of us would know what we were talking about. Since 1916, when it was established by Anthony R. Gangi Sr., in San Jose, it went under one name, until September 1, 1993 when it cut operations and later was sold to Del Monte Corporation. The name of the street, that used to run through the middle, before the expansion is: Matmor Rd., which to this day extends South of the plant. A very strange name, I think. The plant dramatically expanded during the 1970's and '80s, to the size you see in the picture above. During those years, tomato varieties were developed for mechanical harvesting, with tons / acre increasing dramatically. Harvesters were designed and built. Because of their firmness, canning tomatoes can be hauled in 6x6x4 bins, instead of the crates used in the hand-pick days.
Originally the plant only operated during the summer season for 100 days, but later added re-manufactured sauces, like Sweet and Sour sauce, Italian sauce, Taco Sauce, and many more, outside of the processing season. The 300 gallon boxes of 32% paste were re-opened and made into these sauces. The plant handled up to 6,000 tons / day during those 100 days of operation and the whole town smelled it and heard the hissing sound of the steam, coming from the evaporators. Why all those warehouses? Operating only 100 days a year, customers do not all have the warehouse capacity to store tomato products for the rest of the year. You cannot see it in the picture, but behind the warehouses runs a railroad track, where railcars are loaded, throughout the year.
Going back to the first plant established by Gangi in San Jose, it soon expanded to Woodland and Riverbank because the plant in San Jose became surrounded by city blocks so could not expand anymore.
There it is, the first plant, with a picture of the plant manager, always with a grin on his face! The plant was blocked in by city streets, so to get to the office, you had to cross a busy street, and behind the office a freeway emerged. I am telling this, because the plant is long gone; replaced by apartment buildings.
Do you remember the advertisement?
All that is left of Contadina today, is an office in San Fransisco, which purchased the name and has its products made by other canneries, just like Contadina used to pack tomatoes, and tomato paste for Safeway, and other stores. Oh, ... the street name Matmor Rd? It is a contraction of the names Matalone and Morici. Morici was the wholesale grocer who bought out Contadina in 1933, and sold it to Carnation Company in 1967. Jimmy Matalone was the sales manager.
The Woodland plant had a softball team in the city league. The city had a nice description of all participants, including Contadina:
A Drop in the Bucket, a lot of drops! Water is used to convey tomatoes from the truck into the plant, water is used to create steam for the evaporators which condensed tomato juice into tomato paste; from about 5% solids to 24%: thick paste, you buy in the grocery store. The waste water takes out the residue which is pumped up to a tower where the solids are separated from the water, collected in a hopper from where trucks haul it off to the fields as fertilizer. The water goes to the city water treatment facility for further treatment before it can be returned to the Sacramento River.
You can find more on: www.fivecultureslater.org