Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunrise Over Cypremort Point, Salty Air In The Nostrils

And the wind in our hair!

So good to see my friend smiling.

With the pressures and stress of everyday life behind us, what a thrill it is to head out to Vermilliom Bay at sunrise with pink clouds on the horizon, recreational fishermen, lined up in the Quintana Canal leaving the boat launch,

and shrimpers everywhere,

We've got...

a bundle of crab nets strapped to the bow,

and then it won't be long before we get into Marsh Island,

with high hopes of finding tasty and fun to catch fish.

Even big boys love their toys!

I'll be 55 years young next month, and looking at the white foam gushing behind a speeding boat on Vermillion Bay has been a meditation for me for as long as I can remember.

High tide surges into the brackish marsh through a man made dam which serves to regulate the mixing of fresh and salt water, and at the same time, allows recreational harvesting of shrimp, crabs, and fish.

As a kid, my daddy took me out into Vermillion Bay and Marsh Island, to fish, shrimp, and to hunt in the surrounding marshland. I assume he loved it as much as I did, because he took me often, but he was not one to share his feelings.

He's gone now, so I can't ask him, but I beleive he shared that with me because he needed those days on the water to reaffirm his human existence and to reconnect with something many of us in our modern, high tech, industrialized society fail to preserve: an inescapable relationship with the abundance of natural water on our planet.

A rock weir now "protects" the fragile marshland in the absence of the barrier reef we destroyed in the twentieth century.

About 50 years ago, Jacques Cousteau began to document his quest to educate the world regarding the importance of our oceans and the destruction of them by man.

Ed has learned how to park his boat:

Cousteau's TV programs have inspired me all of my life, and set the stage for my becoming a swamp tour guide, a permanent resident of the basin, and ultimately a nature television program host.

I lived fulltime, on my houseboat in the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp for ten years,

and I loved it, but as much as it is unwise to live in harms way, in the wake of 5 major hurricanes destroying peoples lives along coastal Louisiana in the last decade, I am nonetheless attracted to residing on the coast, with seagulls yaking at sunrise, and where the tide brings in schools of shad, mullet, and pogey every morning, right past my front door.

Welcome to: "My Wild Louisiana!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mr. Tony Hayward Is In The Hot Seat

part 19?

Tony Hayward answers questions regarding BP's modification and increase of risk of failure on the Blow Out Preventer on the Deepwater Horizon to save 4.4 million dollars. The contractor warned BP of the increase of risk of failure, and BP went forward anyway.

Hayward also answers questions regarding maintaining the lowest cost per barrel of crude discovered in the industry...and how do you think they do it? By compromising safety to cut costs.

(part 21)


Monday, August 9, 2010

The Crocodile Whisperer

Most people who come on my Louisiana Swamp Tours do not believe me when I tell them I swim with the gators, me and my children. We can swim with them because we eat them, they don't eat us. We are their only natural enemy, and they have nothing to fear except human beings.

What you are about to see here is even harder to believe. But is proof that animals are more adaptive than most of us believe.

Many people fail to grasp the concept of relating to animals and I see this in my dog business all the time. Not only do they underestimate the animals intelligence, but also the emotional or spiritual connections possible.

Of course what I am describing takes time to cultivate, because animals, wild or domestic often are painfully aware that we are the worlds most dangerous predator, are grossly impatient, insensitve and selfish, not to mention we mistakenly believe we are superior to animals and thus are puffed up with pride, rude, loud and arrogant.

Wild animals hate that and domestic ones such as the family pet, do their best to adapt and tolerate us!

Below is a perfect example of the possibilities and benefits of investing time in relating to a wild animal and developing a long term working relationship.

Rather than trying to tame wild stallions,
fearless Costa Rican fisherman Chito prefers a playful wrestle,
in the water with his best pal Pocho - a deadly 17ft crocodile.

The 52-year-old
daredevil draws gasps of amazement from onlookers by wading chest-deep into
the water, then whistling for his 980lb buddy - and giving him an affectionate hug.

Chito made friends
with the croc after finding him with a gunshot wound on the banks of the
Central American state's Parismina river 20 years ago.

He had been shot in
the left eye by a cattle farmer and was close to death.

But Chito enlisted the
help of several pals to load the massive reptile into his boat.

He says: "When I
found Pocho in the river he was dying, so I brought him into my house

"He was very
skinny, weighing only around 150 lb. I gave him chicken and fish and medicine
for six months to help him recover.

"I stayed by
Pocho's side while he was ill, sleeping next to him at night. I just wanted
him to feel that somebody loved him, that not all humans are bad.

"It meant a lot
of sacrifice. I had to be there every day. I love all animals - especially
ones that have suffered."

It took years before
Chito felt that Pocho had bonded with him enough to get closer to the animal.

He says: "After a
decade I started to work with him. At first it was slow, slow. I played with
him a bit, slowly doing more.

"Then I found out
that when I called his name he would come over to me."

At one point during his
recovery, Chito left the croc in a lake near his house.. But as he turned to
walk away, to his amazement Pocho got out of the water and began to follow
him home.

Chito recalls:
"That convinced me the crocodile could be tame." But when he first
fearlessly waded into the water with the giant reptile his family was so
horrified they couldn't bear to watch. So instead, he took to splashing
around with Pocho when they were asleep..

Four years ago Chito
showed some of his tricks to friends, including getting the animal to close
his eyes on command, and they convinced him to go public with a show.

Now he swims and plays
with Pocho as well as feeding him
at the lake near his home in the lowland
tropical town of Sarapiqui .

The odd couple have now become a major tourist attraction,
with several tour operators,
including Crocodile Adventures, taking visitors on touring cruises to see the pair.

On the Crocodile Adventures website it describes the spectacle as:
"One of the most amazing things that no cruise ship passenger will want to miss, the adventure show between the man and the crocodile."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grand Isle, Louisiana Town Hall Meeting

Of course you are aware the well has been capped and we are told the well has been "killed" but we who live here are facing grave dangers from the lingering effects of the oil spill and the continued use of dispersants which are now being applied at night by BP to continue covvering up their criminal and civil liabilities.

Also, you may have heard about the Republican Senators who are proposing that U.S. taxpayers "help" pay for the oil spill. Nonetheless, we are holding BP accoutable and the federal government will face the truth about this cover-up within every agency charged with protecting it's citizens who is in fact only been protecting BP!

It is obvious to those of us who live here that BP and the federal government is trying to walk away from this oil spill as quietly as possible.

That ain't gonna happen because we are fixing to make some noise!

I will not apologise for the lanquage you hear in the video of this town hall meeting this past week in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and Welcome to My Wild Louisiana.