Saturday, August 11, 2007

Chasing the Ana-Days 8- 9-10

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chasing The Ana Team Post Day Eight

foto: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Almestica called at aprox 1:30pm, they have reached Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla. What a fast paddle that must have been! Carrie Medina and Nydia Kein are on their way to meet them. Carrie will post tonight.
Marine forcast :
Carib Waters From Punta Viento To Punta Melones And The WatersOutside 12 Nm From Punta Melones To Punta Cadena W To 68w AndS To 17n-This AfternoonSoutheast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 5 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.TonightEast southeast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.ThursdayEast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Scattered showers. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon.Thursday NightEast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.FridayEast southeast winds 11 to 16 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Isolated thunderstorms in the morning. Scattered showers.Friday NightEast southeast winds 14 to 19 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet. Isolated showers.

San Sebastián, Puerto Rico August 9, 20071 pmTeam Post - Day Nine

This is Carrie from checking in. I met up with Almestica and Mayoleth late last night at Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla. Mayoleth says his bruised ribs from a fall down the staircase made paddling difficult, but the miles they paddled were impressive enough. The men hope to paddle to Rincon in the morning then on to Mayagüez by the afternoon. I am heading out to that side of the island with Almestica's recharged communications gear. The good time they are making on the west end will be needed time, as the south side of the island, heading east, is anticipated to be a bigger challenge.
While out on the beach we met up with ''Roberto'' who promises to email us. 2 years ago Roberto circumnavigated Puerto Rico on a long board. The 3 man expedition took a year and a half to complete.

Marine forcast from:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORYCarib Waters From Punta Viento To Punta Melones And The WatersOutside 12 Nm From Punta Melones To Punta Cadena W To 68w AndS To 17n-This AfternoonEast winds 16 to 20 knots. Seas 5 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.TonightEast southeast winds 16 to 20 knots. Seas 5 to 6 feet. Scattered showers.FridayEast southeast winds 14 to 19 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Scattered showers. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon.Friday NightEast southeast winds 14 to 19 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening...then isolated showers after midnight.SaturdayEast southeast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Isolated showers.Saturday NightEast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 5 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.SundayEast northeast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 2 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.MondayEast winds 14 to 19 knots. Seas 2 to 6 feet. Isolated showers.
Carib Waters From Punta Viento To Cabo San Juan S To 17n And E To64w Including The Carib Waters Of Culebra Vieques And The U.S.Virgin Islands-This AfternoonEast winds 16 to 19 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Isolated showers.TonightEast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Scattered showers. Isolated thunderstorms after midnight.FridayEast southeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Isolated thunderstorms in the morning. Scattered showers.Friday NightEast southeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 5 to 6 feet. Scattered showers. Isolated thunderstorms after midnight.SaturdayEast southeast winds 16 to 21 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Isolated thunderstorms in the morning. Scattered showers.Saturday NightEast winds 14 to 19 knots. Seas 4 to 5 feet. Scattered showers.SundayEast northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 2 to 5 feet. Scattered showers...then isolated showers.MondayEast winds 13 to 18 knots. Seas 2 to 6 feet. Isolated showers...then scattered showers.
posted by Kayak-QP at

Friday, August 10, 2007
Automatic Weapons Fire at CTA Kayakers
Automatic Weapons Fire at Chasing The Ana KayakersAt aprox 3pm today, August 10,

Chasing the Ana Kayakers Derrick Mayleth and Taino Almestica reported having bullets coming at them and their kayaks just off shore in the Mona Passage.Both men are ok, and owner Carrie Medina has contacted the US Coast Guard in Puerto Rico. Officer Balcac has forwarded an email to let the Coast Guard know that the men can be tracked by map at is investigating other possible locations of private firing ranges to avoid any further incidents. Both local police and the Navigation Comisioner will also be contacted Monday morning.Kevlar PFD anyone?

Chasing The Ana Team Post Day 10

foto: Almestica y los niños de la isla Borinquen. ''When I grow up I wanna be a kayaker!''

Puerto Real, Puerto RicoAugust 10, 20076 pmTeam Post - Day Ten
Quick check in at by Taino. Problems on the water, but the men are at Puerto Real. Carrie will be checking in with Taino in one hour to find out what the difficulty was. The men are doing well. Special thanks to Mary Mayoleth (Wisconsin USA) and Kumiko Niimi (Ney York USA), the packages have been delivered to the shop and will be delivered to the men Saturday morning.

Certainly we are being challenged. Of course at times like today we were lucky enough to land at the ultra posh
Rincon Beach Resort in Anasco just south of Rincon. We have been welcomed in by these guys and enjoy a nice outdoor bar, swimming pools, and or course Wifi in a modern Spanish style open air plaza. Yeah, I could never afford a place like this in real life! My ribs have been more than a bit of a problem. I can tell I bruised them pretty well, but of course I don't have an opportunity to rest. After an hour or so on the water the pain eases away (the 3 tylenol help) and I'm good for paddling for the day. However pulling my kayak up the steep beaches can at times be almost unbearable. Sleeping is not comfortable. Luckily I think I'm building up my left side to compensate. Of course what I need is rest, but we have miles to go. I'm looking forward to a 3 day stop on the south coast and hope to spend much of that time healing before the last leg of the trip.My hard rock landing a couple days ago bent two clips on my Rockpools tail section. At first this looked like a major disaster until I realized I could swap them out with on top clip on the fore and aft sections. Mike had told me the tops only needed on clip, but luckily I asked for the older 2 clip tops. So with that taken care of and the help of a friendly octopus fisherman we were able to seal launch off the rocks and get out through the surf. The north coast of PR is NOT for the weak of heart.This is a good time to note that my second Optio has now died. Yeah, I can't say much good about the camera at the moment. Especially when after talking to Pentax and explaining our situation they refused to do anything to replace it in a timely manor. They basically just wanted us to buy a new one that they would ship from the Philippines in 7 or more days. Their customer service was, frankly, rude. Not for their camera, but for their rude customer service, I will never buy another Pentax or recommend on to you.Yesterday we rounded the western tip where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean ocean. There the sky is moody and the water was dark. I walked the ruins of an old Spanish style building. Only the two story walls were left standing. While walking out again through the grand doorway a boarder patrol truck passed. He waved. We are now in an area under constant guard against people coming in from the Dominican Republic looking for a gateway the US.The West Coast although beautiful is full-on hot. Through the intense heat and thick humidity we paddle south in what often seems like thick green syrup. Of course it's not the water, but the heat making my arms feel weak with each stroke. I stop on occasion to scoop salty water just slightly cooler than the air with my hat to pour over my body. It helps, but only for a moment. Then I look back out into the green/blue sea and slip my paddle again into the water and slide forward a few more feet. In many ways I miss the stormy Atlantic. She my be rough, but I know her moods. This hot Caribbean is new to me. So far she seems to want to lull you into a deep desert dream, where the mirage is land in the distance where you imagine a cold pina colada to be waiting. Thank God, on occasion. . . It is.My super buddy Yvonne Le Guillou, has been kind enough to post some more pictures from my camera here. More to come. Notice Maria doing her headstand in the Alaw Bach without a paddle to stabilize!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Indigenous Peoples Congress in Venezuela, Aug 7-9

Indigenous People Congress Starts in Venezuela

Caracas, Aug 7 (Prensa Latina) The International Congress of the Anti-Imperialist Indigenous People of Latin America will start on Tuesday in the Venezuelan eastern region, with attendance of representatives from 22 countries.

The meeting will last until Thursday, and will be held in Anzoategui and Bolivar states.

Referring to the importance of this forum of the original populations, Venezuelan Minister for the Indigenous People Nicia Maldonado said it is about saving the planet above all ideologies.

She highlighted that the event"s agenda includes analysis of the different Indo American socialism proposals, as a liberating and integrating alternative for the peoples.

The Congress will be attended by delegates from Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Guyana, Suriname, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Brazil, Honduras, the United States, Uruguay, Panama, Venezuela, and other countries.

The closing ceremony coincides with the commemoration of the International Day of the Indigenous People, established on August 9 by the United Nations Organization.


Caracas, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) The Indigenous Parliament of America will session from August 8-11 at the National Assembly of Venezuela with lawmakers from seven countries.

In his opening address, Roberto Hernandez, vice president of Venezuela's Congress, called the resurgence of the indigenous peoples a historic event for America today.

The indigenous peoples resisted European conquest and maintained their cultural identity along five centuries, so they can teach the rest of the world respect and care for nature.

Noheli Pocaterra, president of Venezuela's congressional Indigenous Peoples Committee, voiced pride in the indigenous cultural heritage despite humiliation and mistreatment.

Jose Poyo, vice president of the Indigenous Parliament of America, said they will focus on rights claimed beyond their countries, like the UN and OAS, and overcome the neoliberal dark age.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

UN International Indigenous Day, Aug. 9


International Day brings recognition of indigenous peoples’ contribution to environmental protection, combating climate change

(New York, 9 August) As the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is celebrated around the world on 9 August, indigenous peoples’ contribution to environmental protection is being recognized.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message to mark the Day, said “Recently, the international community has grown increasingly aware of the need to support indigenous people -- by establishing and promoting international standards; vigilantly upholding respect for their human rights; integrating the international development agenda, including the Millennium Development Goals, in policies, programmes and country-level projects; and reinforcing indigenous peoples’ special stewardship on issues related to the environment and climate change” .

In addressing these issues, and recalling the theme of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2015), “Partnership for action and dignity”, the Secretary-General said “let us be guided by the fundamental principle of indigenous peoples’ full and effective participation.”

Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Sha Zukang, in his official message for the International Day, noted that indigenous peoples live in many of the world’s most biologically diverse areas and have accumulated a great deal of knowledge about these environments.

“With their wealth of knowledge about their environment indigenous peoples can and should play a crucial role in the global effort to respond to climate change. We should listen to them,” said Mr. Zukang.

For example, indigenous peoples use their traditional knowledge to lessen the impact of natural disasters. An Oxford University symposium in April this year heard how indigenous people “use strips of mangrove forest to absorb the force of tidal surges and tsunamis, others apply genetic diversity in crops to avoid total crop failure, and some communities migrate among habitats as disaster strikes” Environment News Service, “Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change Front Lines”, 19 April 2007

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as adopted by the Human Rights Council in June 2006 and currently being considered for adoption by the General Assembly, also recognizes that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable development, including proper management of the environment.

“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples represents the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples. Many still live under the most oppressive and marginalized conditions and yet they are also the ones who are providing solutions to serious world problems such as climate change and the erosion of biocultural diversity,” stated Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

In recognition of indigenous peoples’ particular vulnerability to climate change and their important role in responding to it, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in its 2008 session will focus on “Climate change, bio-cultural diversity and livelihoods: the stewardship role of indigenous peoples and new challenges”.

Vulnerability in the Face of Climate Change
Many indigenous communities are already needing to adapt their way of life due to the changing environment - from Saami reindeer herding communities in Sweden whose reindeer are unable to find food beneath the thick ice due to heavier than normal snowfalls, to indigenous communities in the Andes where extreme weather events are creating serious food security problems.

In the words of Ms. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit activist who was recently awarded the Mahbub ul Haq Award for Excellence in Human Development by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “We are all connected. The Arctic is geographically isolated from the rest of the world, yet the Inuk hunter who falls through the thinning sea ice is connected to melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas, and to the flooding of low-lying and small island states.” Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada), The Canadian Environment Awards Citation of Lifetime Achievement,

According to a recent report from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Draft Report on Indigenous and Local Communities Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change, Advisory Group Meeting on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2nd Meeting, Montreal, 30 April-03 May 2007, several indigenous communities in Alaska are actively looking into relocation options for entire communities due to land and coastal erosion caused by the thawing of the permafrost and large storm-driven waves.

“More than 80 per cent of Alaskan communities, comprised mostly of indigenous peoples, are identified as vulnerable to either coastal or river erosion,” says the report.

Relocation is also an issue in small island states such as Vanuatu and Samoa where rising sea levels and flooding from extreme weather events are a problem. According to the same report, one community in Vanuatu has been forced to abandon their homes and move half a kilometre inland as their original settlement is now being flooded up to five times a year.

High altitude areas are not only seeing melting glaciers and ice peaks but according to the CBD report, some are also seeing negative impacts on their agriculture as a result of climate change and drought. In the Cordillera in the Philippines, 2000 year old rice terraces are under attack from giant two-foot earthworms which have been thriving due to dwindling water supplies, causing soil and terrace walls to dry up even further.

About the Day
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is commemorated each year on 9 August in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982. This year’s observance at the UN is being organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; and the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

For more information of the Day and events at UN Headquarters, please visit
For media enquiries, please contact: Renata Sivacolundhu, Department of Public Information, tel: 212.963.2932, e-mail: For Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, please contact: Mirian Masaquiza, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, tel: 917.367.6006, e-mail:

Chasing the Ana Days 6 and 7

Isabela, Puerto Rico August 7, 20079 pm Team Post - Day Seven
An exciting day on the water as Mayoleth and Almestica paddled from Arecibo to Isabela on the north end of the island. The ground crew waited anxiously as Almestica checked in at 5:05 pm with a message that all was well. The men hope to make good time launching early tomorrow morning in an attempt to round the northwest side in one day.Thanks to everyone who send messages and post comments. The men are keeping up with the blog and appreciate the support.Mayoleth writes...''We are just a mile out of isabella on a beach with no landing...We both saw rock at the last minute and dumped our boats and came in behind them. Is was not pretty.I got my but kicked at the original stopping point. We decided to go on and had to brake out of the surf. First I helped Taino, then I had to do it solo. 4 trys and 3 nasty beach rolls later I finally got out!...So I lost 1 pair son glasses, my hat from Nydia and my chart and mapcase! No idea how to launch tomarrow but will try. Weather raqdio won't work here. So no ides about the weather, D

Arecibo, Puerto RicoAugust 6, 200711pm Team Post - Day Six
The men are back on the water! The short break due to weather has ended, and the down time was used to rest, shop and resupply the men. The men are camping tonight (Monday) at a beach in Arecibo, but have plans to paddle hard to Isabela by late morning/early afternoon Tuesday.

Forcast for the day;87 °F / 30.6 °CTuesday-East southeast winds 12 to 17 knots...becoming east northeast along the coast by afternoon. Seas 3 feet. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.Tuesday Night-East southeast winds 13 to 18 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.Wednesday-East winds 13 to 18 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet.

Isolated thunderstorms in the morning. Scattered showers.Humedad:81%Punto de Rocío: 74 °F / 23 °CViento:from the ESERáfagas de viento: 3.0 mph / 4 km/hPresión: 29.93 pul / 1013.4 HPA (Presión Estable)Visibilidad: 10.0 Millas / 16.1 KilómetrosUV:0 out of 16Nubes: Nubes Dispersas 4000 ft / 1219 m

At this point of the expedition we are a half day behind, but Mayoleth and Almestica believe they will more than make up for it after rounding the northwest rocky cliffs and shore, where the west end of the island should be easy enough to paddle at rapid pace. From Rincon to Combate beach the paddlers hope to make the best time before rounding the southwest side and heading east.

Monday, August 06, 2007

UA digs into Cuban American Indian history

The Tuscaloosa News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — What might Cuba's native culture looked like before the Spanish conquest in the early 1500s?

It might have looked a lot like Moundville.

University of Alabama students will have a chance to find out as part of a two-year, joint U.S.-Cuban archaeological expedition.

The expedition, led by UA's anthropology department and the Central-Eastern Department of Archaeology in Cuba's science ministry, focuses on Chorro de Maita, a former native village in eastern Cuba.

The village was populated by Arawakan Indians, contemporaries of the Mississippian Indians, during the time Christopher Columbus visited Cuba in 1492.

Jim Knight, a professor of anthropology at UA, is overseeing the expedition, which came about through his work with Cuban archaeologists. He and his Cuban counterparts came up with the joint expedition, which got under way with the arrival of two UA graduate students in Cuba on July 10.

"This year, we're going to concentrate on trying to map the place and make a map of where the archaeological deposits are located," Knight said. "It's not well documented yet."

The group will first map out the parameters of potential dig sites. They are looking mainly for places that were likely occupied at the time of the Spanish conquest.

"We can use the artifacts from native houses to help us determine what the American Indian response was to Spanish contact," Knight said. "Did they adopt Spanish food ways once they were introduced to Old World animals? Did they adopt European goods like brass, copper, iron?"

Among the questions archaeologists will try to answer is just what type of people the Arawak were. The dig will focus on finding clues to their domestic life.

The Arawakan and Mississippian Indians who lived near Moundville maintained similar hierarchies. Both were also agricultural societies.

The natives of El Chorro, however, fell prey to the Spanish conquest of the New World, beginning around 1512.

"Within decades, there were no Cuban Indians left," Knight said. "The site we're working on dates back to that time, so we want to find out what factors were in play as the Indians tried to cope with the Spanish." [Please note: The Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink roundly rejects this mythical rendition of Cuban history]

Knight said Chorro de Maita now is the site of a museum that is a Cuban tourist destination, not unlike Moundville.

"They completely excavated the cemeteries in the 1970s and 1980s," he said. "It's a well-known place. They've even built a replica of a native village.

"But in all of that, there's still a lot left to do, so we're trying to find the domestic areas where people lived."

The expedition is part of an initiative at UA to engage in more educational exchanges between academic institutions in Cuba and the university.

UA has, since 2002, received academic travel licenses for graduate students and faculty to go to Cuba to conduct research.

"Obviously, our focus has been to provide educational opportunities for our graduate students to a country that, in their lifetimes, has been closed to them," said Carmen Taylor, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who is involved in the Cuba Initiative. The initiative has already facilitated trips to Cuba by faculty and grad students in library sciences and theater.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the University of Alabama, to expose students to the creative activity research of the different educational venues in Cuba," she said.

Taylor said that by next year, UA plans to expand travel opportunities to undergraduate students who wish to study in Cuba.

She noted that historically, ties between Cuba and Alabama have always existed. Havana is Mobile's sister city.

"It makes sense for the state to have ties with Cuba," she said. "People think of Cuba's relationship with Florida, but if you look at the proximity between the two, it's just as natural for us to have a relationship with them too."

The U.S. maintains few relations with its island neighbor, against which it has had a decades-long embargo.

The U.S. government's official relationship with Cuba is limited to providing humanitarian assistance. The State Department restricts travel to allow only limited visits by journalists, academics and businesspeople.

The embargo has made funding for the project a little harder to find.

The first part of the trip is being funded by a $25,000 grant from the National Geographic Society. Knight said the group is trying to secure funding for the remainder of the expedition.

"It's a little difficult, because there are a number of institutions that, because of the embargo, are not allowed to give money to do business with Cuba," he said.

Taylor said the exchanges are non-political, and the exchanges function solely within the restrictions imposed by the federal government.

"Our goal is strictly to maintain an academic exchange," she said.

Knight said he has been impressed, in the course of his previous trips to Cuba, to find how active that country's researchers are.

"We just don't know much about what they're doing," he said. "But they're using the same software, the same mapping; they have the same research interests. Despite the embargo, we've developed a great collaboration."

He said such exchanges are key to academic research.

"Archaeologists like me can't keep our heads in one area too much," he said. "You need to compare your research to other things and learn from the comparison.

"That's where we can learn the most, by broadening our horizons a bit."

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chasing the Ana- Day four

Chasing the Ana Team Post - Day Four

Manati, Puerto Rico
August 4, 2007
Team Post - Day Four.
The men are on a break due to a tropical depression in the south creating swells of up to 8 feet. They landed in Arecibo near the mouth of Rio Grande de Arecibo. Almestica has a minor stomach problem, and Mayoleth has a slight sun burn, but the men are otherwise doing well. A day of grounding due to weather will give each a chance to rest. Both men will be posting their thoughts on the expedition so far, either later tonight or in the morning from