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Vasco da Gama

Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2006

On this day, 1497, Vasco da Gama embarked on the first direct sea voyage from Europe to Asia.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3693
Joined: May 2012

Cool info, tarhoosier. 

The Navy grants numerous service awards to crewmen who cross certain geographic lines, such as the equator. I got the Order of Magellan for going around the world : the sub went to the (geographic) North Pole, and did a 360 degree turn. Since "going around the world" is defined as "passing through all longitudes," we qualified (this must be done in one underway period).  This becomes an actual service record entry in the Navy. Some surface sailors may not like it, but going to the North Pole is most likely a lot harder than sailing around the world on a modern ship anyway, and a 1,000 times more dangerous.


Old Salt
Posts: 821
Joined: Aug 2014

If I understand this correctly, I can sail around the North Pole (in about 100 years when the ice will be gone) and claim that I have sailed around the world?

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3693
Joined: May 2012

fOld Salt,

For Naval records purposes, yes.

I would not assume too much about the northern ice pack. The ice under the SOUTH pole is at a record, and last winter, a team of environmental do-gooders sailed to see the "catastrophy" taking place down there.  Trouble was, their ship got frozen in place, and it took two icebreakers to rescue them. 

When I was at the North Pole (each time) it was in the middle of the Arctic SUMMER, the WARMEST period in their environment. The average daily air temp (not wide chill) was 35 below zero F.   In other words, 67 degrees F below freezing.  And, to say it again, this was the warmest it gets there during the year.  I have never understood why there is a liklihood that ice that is 67 degrees (or more) colder than the melt point is going to "vanish."  The Arctic ice cap does receed dramatically along its edges every summer, and always has.  But it then refreezes in the winter (always has)

This is from the Wall Street Journal, but the story was carried by all networks for over a week. 

Disclaimer:  This post consists of documented confirmation from the mainstream media.  It is not a political commentary in any way.  I am not a "denier" orf anything, and have little interest in "warming," except to relate what I have seen first-hand. 



Fuller detail:  http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/12/30/stuck-in-our-own-experiment-leader-trapped-team-insists-polar-ice-is-melting/




Old Salt
Posts: 821
Joined: Aug 2014

Here is a link to the Wikipedia entry:



VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3392
Joined: Nov 2010


I like to watch your photographs from the time of your marine services. In fact I think you are nostalgic of those times in the sea and still live the sailing moments. Congratulations for the “Order of Magellan”. Interestingly I also received a certificate for “Crossing the North Pole” but (please don’t laugh) I got it from the old BOAC (British Overseas Airways) on my first intercontinental flight from Europe to Anchorage over the North Pole, and from there to Tokyo. It was during the times when we could not fly over the soviet skies. The certificate was given to us by the air-hostesses on board with our names written on the top.

You can read more about BOAC if interested in these links;


In fact this flight has a lot to do with my choice on the acronym of Vasco da Gama and the avatar of the Portuguese guitar representing the Fado.
I was very young and never been very far away from my little corner of Europe, in exception of the military services at Angola during the African colonies war. The BOAC trip was like “sailing out” to the unknown world and the adventure. I had the same age of Vasco da Gama and was carrying a Portuguese guitar in my pack.

While exploring “the world” of the cancer I decided in taking the lead in the PCa researches, trying to guide the many afflicted with the bandit and “playing” it at the sounds of the Portuguese traditional song named the “Fado” (accompanied by the Portuguese guitar). The word of Fado comes from the Latin “fatum” which translates in English as “fate”, the destiny of a person.

I have something in common with you. I have crisscrossed the word too but by air. In my professional life I often used the famous United Airlines’ around-the-world ticket which segments could be taken/flied when one most liked it. I had the chance to visit some of the places where Fernao de Magalhaes (Ferdinand Magellan) stepped on. The most interesting one was at the island of Guam (I believe you have been there too) where he married a native. He and his new wife were killed at arrival in the Philippines. I also share his name; Fernao stands for Fernando.


About the “climate change” (and the team of researchers trapped in the North Pole ices), this is not a newer occurrence. The same thing happen at the Pacific waters since scientists investigated the incidence of El Nino phenomenon in the Asian monsoons, in the 80ths. The world is warmer and so it is the place where I live, the Algarve. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 40C which are rare in this coastline of Europe. The heat is so intense that I do not feel like switching my computer on.

I hope Tarhoosier launched this thread in my behalf.

Best wishes to all.


Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3693
Joined: May 2012

Yes, Vasco, I miss the sub life.  I did six years' active duty in weapons systems, and then went to work doing the same thing on the boats for a civilian contractor, until I was crushed in an auto accident. No more crawling around in switchboards tracing signals for me after that.

The song Life in Dark Water was never a hit for Al Stewart, but it is on his 1978 hit LP Time Passages.  The LP is "historical," oddly enough. The song Palace of Versailles is a slam at the French Revolution, and haunting in some of its lines. Life in Dark Water gives some sense of sub life, but has some nonsensical lines, such as "they look for radar traces of me to see."  RADAR is not used underwater....  Also, it has active sonar sounds throughout, but active sonar is hardly ever used anymore either, except by surface ships, searching for subs.


Marat your days are numbered..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaTuguQYJaA

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