RIME OF THE ANCIENT
WISECRACKS ABOUT “EMPTY NESTERS” aside, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) confirmed that an albatross believed to be at
least 62 years old successfully hatched a chick on Midway
Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean last
February 3. Named Wisdom and first banded in 1956 at
the same refuge, the Laysan albatross has likely raised at
least 30 to 35 chicks during her breeding life, though the
number may well be higher, according to researchers.
Almost as amazing as being a mom again at 62
is the number of miles Wisdom has likely
flown on her six-foot wings, according
to FWS estimates. Adults fly about
50,000 miles a year, meaning
that Wisdom has flown at
least 2 million to 3 million miles since she was
first banded. Or, to put it
another way, according to
an FWS press release, that’s
four to six trips from the Earth
to the Moon and back again, with plenty
of miles to spare. — R.L.
June 6 to 9
34th Annual Sea Music Festival
Download NOAA BookletCharts Free
ONE OF NOAA’S handiest navigation products for recreational boaters has been the experimental nautical BookletCharts that can be downloaded and printed from home computers. NOAA’s Coast Survey has now moved its BookletCharts from
the experimental stage to official production. Nearly 1,000 updated
BookletCharts are now available, covering 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline and the Great
Lakes. The booklets contain most information found on full-scale charts, but in reduced scale.
They print out as PDFs in 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch format. Special commemorative editions are
available for War of 1812 events. www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/BookletChart.html — R.L.
July 4 to August 30
Louis Vuitton Cup
San Francisco, California
July 19 to 28
How NOT To Sell A Boat
ACALIFORNIA CRAIGSLIST AD for a 26-foot 1992 Mirage ski boat sounded good. An $8,000 asking price (“runs great, looks awesome, ready to hit the water”), and the seller was
even willing to barter, offering to accept a 215 trade plus cash, or just
cash. That last bit drew some unwanted attention. “215” is slang for
Proposition 215, the state law legalizing medical marijuana, and it’s a
popular enough currency that many ads on Chico, California’s craigslist specify whether they accept it (or, in many cases, that they do
not). Police in Oroville, California, say they responded to the ad, and
after chatting about the boat, arranged a pot buy from the advertiser.
They arrested a 35-year-old man from Eureka and seized $2,500
worth of marijuana. — C.L.