October 9, 2007

The Nights of Columbus







Sunrise Santa Cruz is back after taking Monday off in honor of Columbus Day and that fact that I was physically and emotionally exhausted from eating some many cookies during Open Studios this past weekend. And on that chocolate note, I want to welcome a whole bunch of new people to this photo blog. I’ve been blasting out emails and now blogs for about 19 months and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. If anyone wants to get off this train just let me know because we’re about to blow out of the station. If not, get on board, find your seat and wait for the conductor to punch your ticket. I think you’re going to enjoy the ride.

These photos are from this past Monday when we celebrated Columbus Day. The first three shots are from the sunrise at Steamer Lane. I have to admit, I got a little excited when I saw that pink reflection in the water next to Seal Rock. I then headed up to Four Mile Beach to see if there was any bird action and I hit the motherlode. Anytime I venture to Four Mile in the early morning and pull up and see I’m the only car in the parking lot it’s a great feeling. Kind of like my own private Idaho.

But let’s talk a little bit about the man who was being honored on Monday. Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean hoping to find a route to India in order to trade for spices and bootlegs DVD’s. At the time, most Spanish explorers were happy to play video games and sail along the European and African coast. They wanted no part of the Atlantic Ocean and what lay out there in the vast unknown. But not our boy Chris. He sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain, who is my favorite queen after Latifah.

Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492 from Palos, Spain and on October 11 spotted the Caribbean Islands. There on one of the islands in the Bahamas he and his crew were met by the peaceful and friendly Taino Indians. Columbus thought he had made it to Asia and called the area the Indies and it’s inhabitants Indians. Columbus wrote in his journal, “It appears to me that the people are ingenious and would be good servants.” Two days later he added, “I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern as I pleased.” Now I know why there was no mail and the banks were closed on Monday.

The red-haired (which later turned white) Columbus made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America. His greatest obstacle was his crew’s beliefs and superstitions. They believed that the earth was flat, that the sea was full of monsters, that there were places where the sea was at a boiling point and that Fox News reported stories fairly and accurately.

Christopher Columbus was not the first European mariner to sail to the New World-the Vikings and Packers led by Leif Ericsson set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland but his voyage marked the beginning of continuous European efforts to explore and colonize the Americas. Give the double C credit, he was unsurpassed in charting and finding his way about unknown seas. He was also unbeatable in Scrabble.

Christopher Columbus has been described in history as both a visionary genius and a ruthless and greedy son of a bitch (actually those are my words.) Traditional historians view his voyages as the opening of the New World to Western civilization and Christianity. Others say his voyages symbolize the more brutal aspects of European colonization and represent the beginning of the destruction of Native American peoples and cultures. I say it is a little of both as he took slaves, traveled the islands looking for gold to loot and I have a strong feeling that his men left the native women with gifts other than flowers and perfume, if you catch my drift. But one point everyone can agree upon is that his voyages were one of the turning points of history.

So that’s it for today. If the new people on this list have any comments please feel free to leave them below or just email me back. And for you people I haven’t heard from since the last time I saw Hailey’s comet I’d love to know you’re still out there. Either way, enjoy the sky, the gulls and the fact that the NBA preseason is upon us. And sorry Yankee fans, this was just not our year. But the New York Giants have won three game in a row so I’m almost back on the bandwagon. Have a great day and don’t let the clouds catch you smiling.

2 Comments »

  1. Just saying “hi” from Red Sox country!!! (hee hee hee)

    Comment by Paula — October 10, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  2. Loved today’s blog.
    Read every single word.
    Thought to myself “my, isn’t he clever” at least 3 times.
    the pictures were a bonus!
    Pink reflection, even more so!

    Comment by Wendi — October 10, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

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