Antarctica Journals!

Cindy Knoke


My husband, Jim, handed me a travelogue he kept of our Antarctica trip in 2008. I had forgotten that we both had written trip journals and it is interesting to see a lot of the details I had forgotten. The following include excerpts of these travel journals that weren’t included in my prior post.

Day 1-2: Jim’s notes state that we cross the 400 mile Drake Passage with Beaufort force 3 winds. The Beaufort Scale winds range from force 1-12, and relate wind speed to observable effects on land and sea. Force 3 winds are gentle breezes that create wavelets that begin to break, causing whitecaps, i.e., easy-peasy seas.

We pass the Antarctic Convergence in the afternoon. This is a continuously circling body of water where cold Antarctic waters converge with warmer subantarctic waters, causing the colder water to sink, leading to upwelling where marine life is intensely prevalent, including…

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Island Dreaming on this October Day~

Cindy Knoke

Vancouver Island is full of stunning hiking opportunities. This Marina was the trailhead for one hike,
where we were greeted by a curious fawn!
The hike wound through pristine rain forest,
and river gorges with wildlife all around us.

The beach was mostly empty and the water so pristine, it formed perfect mirrored surfaces for reflection.
A killdeer was unconcerned with our arrival at his beach.

The crystalline sea water,
makes sea anenome look like they weren’t under water.
Although all of these shots were taken through sea water, there was no distortion. This is what perfectly clean sea water looks like. We don’t have this in California!
We have been home at The Holler for several weeks now, but these photos send cheers to you from beautiful and unspoiled Vancouver Island~

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Thoughts in Loneliness

Thoughts in Loneliness

By Apolinario Villalobos


Alone with just the whisper of the wind that breaks the silence,

the moment of bliss keeps me afloat me on the ocean of happiness.


Mind void of frenzy, becomes filled with thoughts…overpowering

and just like in a forest, they all become jovial birds…singing, chirping.


Meandering thoughts bump each other in my once empty mind

And, though puzzling, got to contemplate on them one at a time:


On the world that seems to shatter…is there hope

for even at the last moment

whatever remains of its innards

be spared to weld its fragments

long-molested without diffidence?


On man’s greed, selfishness…will he still survive

despite never-ending quest for more

that stacks up hatred from disquieted

who hesitate to act for the sake of unity

but now feeling abused due to disparity?


On man’s blatant arrogance…to where does it lead

when his reason for being, he questions

thinking that a Force alone has made him

into what he is now, assuming all the while

that he’s wise, so to no one he’ll reconcile?


On the children’s gleeful prancing…will this go on

when the air they breathe, stained with death

fill their aching lungs, makes their head spin

and the river they wade in is grossly infected

but sadly, makes only a few sincerely worried?


On vast seas and forests…how long can they hold on

for the sake of the fishes and others on ocean floor

the birds that seek shelter in the lush, cool foliage

and many other creatures that call them their home

as dynamites and chainsaws spell their doom?


Alas! All I can do is shiver in anger and helplessness

With those thoughts in my abject state of loneliness!

See with our heart…Feel with our kindness

See with Our Heart,

Feel with Our Kindness

By Apolinario Villalobos


Our eyes perceive the world

That’s all that they can do;

But there’s more beneath

The surface of everything

That only the heart can see –

If strengthened with fidelity.


Touching the lives of others

Some do with false charity

They, who think, food is enough

They, who think, money is fine

But given devoid of kindness

All effort becomes worthless.


Look around with our heart

Touch others with kindness

Those are what we should do

To realize our purposes in life –

Live and share, love sincerely

And thank the Lord as we pray!


My dear, little ones…

My dear, little ones…

by Apolinario Villalobos


It pains me to see how the world

Crumbles under the weight of greed

How life buckles with the pain of despair

I am so sad that what will be left for all of you

Will be a world shrouded with the bleak sorrow.


Gone will all the birds that fly

Grass and flowers in the meadows

Fish in the oceans, rivers, and creeks

The butterflies and bees that seek nectar

And, so will the wind…stilled by the dire war.


All those are due to man’s greed

So ravenous are his appalling desires

But let’s not lose hope…pray, pray, pray

As the kindly Lord, to us, may again take pity

That tomorrow’s world, be blessed with His mercy!