Monday, September 03, 2007

Independent Spirits (Part 1): The Pilots

(Above) My good friends, the nine-man crew of Ilyushin 'Sugar Mike Juliet' - Ukrainian veterans of the Soviet Air Force and a very agreeable and courageous bunch of fellows

Up on Martha's Vineyard we have an osprey nest a few hundred feet from our house. The male and female osprey find one another at the beginning of the season, bear and feed their young, and fly off in the fall. A few years ago, a scientific group decided to figure out where they went in winter and attached collars with radio directionfinding devices. To their surprise (but not my wife's), the pair separate for the entire winter. Our male osprey went down in the direction of Cuba while the female spent the winter in Venezuela. The scientists reported that even had the male and female ended up in the same spot, they probably would not have recognized one another. Yet each year they return to the same nest here on the Vineyard and raise their chicks.

Well, the denizens of Patriot Hills have likewise scattered to the four corners of the earth for the off season. I will not see them this coming year as I will not be going down. Here are some photos of them in the blog for posterity:

Lindsay , an Otter Co-pilot from Vancouver
Dave Leatherdale, veteran Antarctic pilot

Amy and Steve , Otter pilots

1 comment:

eduardo waghorn said...

Warm greetings from Chile.
It is incredible, you stay in Antartide:)
The weather...very hard, isnt it?
Visit me if you want...