In Memory

Joesph William Cousineau
17 November, 1955 – 17 February , 2019

I am very shocked and very sad to share this news of the sudden death, by fire, of my old friend and lover, Joe Cousineau. He was born in Tofino, BC and he died on February 17, in his cabin near Tofino, BC. Joe was a one of a kind human who lived life according to his own songs. Not many understood Joe, but many would find the warmth in his heart and the stories in his head, just as I did.

He sailed the seas of Barkley Sound, Clayoquot Sound, Nootka Sound and all the way to Haida Gwaii. He was the best boatman, ie: I always felt safe, as much as one can on those challenging seas. Indeed, he was born with sea legs and it was Joe’s love of the sea which encouraged me to get my own sailing Skippers ticket.

I have so many amazing memories of our time together in the Pinkerton Islands of Barkley Sound, on the float house he built. There was one trip, we had been floating and stormbound in the back of Barkley Sound for weeks, in a cold and dark February. One day the sea seemed calmed enough, at least from our perspective, to head to town. So the tugboat Moe was fired up and we cast off.

However, on the other side of Hand Island, the sea was not so calm and even though it was my suggestion, there was no turning back. The swells were approaching from every direction. It seemed to me that the entire Pacific Ocean was piling and roiling on that shallow rock beneath us, as we headed past Beg Island and into Ucluelet Harbor.

Those swells, the thumps of them ending in green water cascading over the wheelhouse, on that stunning midwinter day. I was trying not to get too scared-sick while being awed by the beauty of it all.

And Joe, he was singing.

I don’t ever remember Joe being a singer, but on that day he was belting out every Christmas carol he could remember. About halfway across the passage, we noticed the hawser, a tow rope, had fallen off the stern and was going to sink, then wrap itself around the prop. Joe was finessing that wheel, and singing those songs, and by osmosis was encouraging me to hang on with my eyelashes, and wrangle that wayward hawser back onto the deck. What team work!

Oh memorable moments, one loves those which can be told over and over for decades.

When on the water, Joe would always get the destination. He was the one who was the most adept with those swells and those rocks and that fog and that rain. I would have gone anywhere with him, as long as it was on water.

And who could forget the time, at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, where Joe and I were the invited partiers onto a big and beautiful multi-story converted tugboat. Just before docking, we learned the engine had now gone haywire and we were about to ram into the event jetty not 100 meters away. When all else fails, the skipper let Joe have at the engine and, of course, Joe stopped that ship. It was a moment that saved not just a gorgeous ship, but likely the lives of those onboard and on the docks.


Image: He was at the wheel of the Moe, doing what Joe did best and what Joe loved to do. He was an ocean swell whisperer. Where Joe went, the swells, that would scare-sick anyone else, would lie flat for his passing. He was one awesome boatman.

I would have more pictures, except a few days after we met, Joe left my camera on the beach at 52 Steps. The tide came in and the tide went out. He found the camera, about 300 meters from where he had left it. It was a day’s search, and it was that day I fell for the guy, and damn the camera.

Although it has been a decade since I last saw Joe, and more than two decades since we hung out together, He will always have a special place in my heart and mind. If I thought he could hear me, my last words for him … “Go gentle on yourself, Joe.”

Thank you Eydee and Anamarjia for seeking me out at this sad time. I know he loved you very much and to have him gone now is a big hurt. Big hugs all round.

Obituary : by Anamarjia
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/en-ca/obituaries/port-alberni-bc/joseph-cousineau-8240328

Media: hashilthsa
https://hashilthsa.com/news/2019-04-10/human-remains-discovered-warn-bay-identified

#JoeCousineau #vancouverisland #tofino #ucluelet #clayoquot #barkleysound #WoodenBoatFestival

Maya Plisetskaya Dances Ballet Documentary 1964

In 1964, two years after I danced with the Bolshoi and danced on stage with Maya Plisetskaya, this 1 hr 12 min documentary was made. Though today the ballet style looks almost ancient, in the day she was groundbreakingly awesome. I had a thing about her broken wrist lines, but what do I know? 😉

Maya was born on November 20, 1925. She died at age 89 on May 2, 2015. 

Duolingo – 1200 Streak Days

Might you think I'm obsessed?  What's really going on is the number 1234. 😉  

What started me on Duolingo was an attempt to learn more about music theory, which of course led to a geocache.  Then Samantha Cristoforetti flew to space.  Then a dream of a trip to Italy, on hold for now,  and a love of learning something new,  keeps growing those days, months and years of some  10 - 300 xps per day.   Here's to 1200!!

1200 day duolingo streak
1200 day duolingo streak

Favourite Quotes

 
Polar Bears at the Toronto Zoo
Polar Bears at the Toronto Zoo

* We want to see if life is ubiquitous. – Dan Goldin

*I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. – Rebbeca West

*Religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights. – Barack Obama

*Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance
the nature of the Unknowable.  — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

*Ever since I’ve been part of the feminist movement people have been predicting its imminent death, as though women (feminists) had contracted some ferocious virus. – Doris Anderson

*Make it so. – Gene Roddenberry

*It is all a matter of time scale. – Carl Sagan

*The most remarkable people, to me, were those who apparently approved of everything I said but nonetheless wouldn’t dream of voting for the Liberal Party. It reminded me of Somalia: they wouldn’t vote outside their clan. — Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” — Carl Sagan

*Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid. — Carl Sagan

*The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. — Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) speaking at the first Women’s Rights Convention, 1848

*For you and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other’s brains with exquisite precision. I am not referring to telepathy or mind control or the other obsessions of fringe science; even in the depictions of believers, these are blunt instruments compared to an ability that is uncontroversially present in every one of us. That ability is language. — Steven Pinker.

“Things I once thought were funny are scary now. I often feel like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava.” Tom Lehrer. People Mag, 1982

“You can move it about but it’s still there!” — Robert Annet

“If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.” ~JFK

“The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.” — Lao Tzu

“So long as we remember, the crew lives; so long as the crew lives, our future is secure for only when our heroes are forgotten and the light of their sacrifices goes out, will the new Dark Age fall.” — Thorpe on Apollo 1.

“There is a rumor going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” –Terry Pratchett

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” — Samuel Butler

“Lunar impact rate: On average, 33 metric tons (73,000 lbs) of meteoroids hit Earth every day, the vast majority of which harmlessly ablates (“burns up”) high in the atmosphere, never making it to the ground. The moon, however, has little or no atmosphere, so meteoroids have nothing to stop them from striking the surface. The slowest of these rocks travels at 20 km/sec (45,000 mph); the fastest travels at over 72 km/sec (160,000 mph). At such speeds even a small meteoroid has incredible energy — one with a mass of only 5 kg (10 lbs) can excavate a crater over 9 meters (30 ft) across, hurling 75 metric tons (165,000 lbs) of lunar soil and rock on ballistic trajectories above the lunar surface.”http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/program_overview.html#link4