27Feb

Will Your Survival Gear Work When You Need It?


See HERE for survival gear you can trust

Why are survival products that simply don’t work sold by the thousands?

Over the years we have seen a massive amount of items claiming to be essential survival gear and people are actually buying these items that may not help them stay alive when faced with a life-threatening incident.

How did it all start?

When I asked my wife to marry me I really wanted to give my groomsmen a gift they found value in. I scoured the internet for information on the best survival gear and purchased individual items and put them into kits. Little did I know these kits were filled with items that held little to no value in a real survival situation. Sure the first aid kit, paracord, and a few other items may have had some real value, however, none of the items would be up to the task of helping my groomsmen to actually save their life if they were in a life-threatening situation. Thank the lord none of them found themselves in that kind of situation.

What “survival” information is out there?

When push comes to shove the gear that was in those kits would not help someone in a survival situation. I’m not sure how, but I was duped into believing a flint and steel fire starting kit was a great item to have in the “survival kits” I was giving to my best friends in my life. What a friend I am. Giving the most important people in my life a piece of equipment that was invented in the caveman days. Flint and steel is NOT a modern day survival technique and can NOT be relied on in a situation where the need for fire is desperate. Yet, we still see “flint and steel” listed as a must-have item in your survival kit in modern-day outdoor literature. Don’t believe everything you read! Think of how many people there are out there just like me at that point. Simply naive to the fact that one could potentially be in a life-threatening incident and for those that may realize it when they look at most literature out there they are lead to believe Mylar blankets, Bic lighters and flint and steel kits are items that will actually help them save their lives

Why is this scary?

The biggest disappointment when I discovered there was a lack of practical survival information and gear available was when I realized that so many people walk through the woods and deep into wilderness areas thinking they are carrying gear that will protect them when in reality they are putting them self at risk. Search and rescue incidents are on the rise. Now more than ever people are heading into the backcountry unprepared and putting themselves at risk. This is scary because information on where to go is so readily available anyone can access information now that used to take years of experience exploring those areas or someone local who is willing to share that information. Now you can simply log on to your phone and access detailed information on where to do. What happens when you think you are the same trail but all of the sudden it ends. Or you find yourself stuck above timberline in a storm and the need to shelter yourself is immediate? Without proper gear, this is a very scary situation.

What gear are we talking about?

The majority of this year I included in my groomsmen’s survival kits (and gear that is sold by masses every year) is inferior to similarly priced items that are sure to protect you in a life-threatening situation.

After producing the Outdoor Survival film for Colorado Parks and Wildlife I realized how simple survival can be and from that point on knew it was my duty to bring this information to the masses. Why wouldn’t I want to help people save their own life? It is such a simple thing to do to prepare yourself and realize you need to invest in your own survival kit just in case you find yourself in an unforeseen situation.

Gear you should NEVER trust with your life:

Mylar Emergency Blankets or any other Mylar survival bag, blanket or emergency shelter made of Mylar. Mylar rips easily and most of these products require you to hold the blanket around your body requiring you to use your hands and the biggest thing is that these products DO NOT RECIRCULATE YOUR BODY HEAT. The most precious thing you have to help you survive in harsh conditions is your body heat. You should have a survival shelter that traps all of your body heat around you while allowing your breath to stay on the outside to avoid condensation and the shelter should allow you use of your hands and feet so you can move around for important tasks such as keeping your fire going or signaling to help.

Cigarette lighters, strike anywhere matches, flint and steel or anything other than a quality ferrocerium metal match or stormproof matches. Strike anywhere matches really mean strike nowhere while a standard Bic lighter can fail, lose all its fuel, break or maybe your hands are too frozen to make it light. This style of lighter is currently available in countless survival kits on the market and lots of people use them every day to start their fires yet many don’t realize a survival situation may require a fire starter that can withstand harsh conditions such as an extreme snowstorm or a torrential downpour.

“Survival” cards, fishing kits, spears, harpoons or anything gimmicky like this that is meant to help you gather or procure food. You can survival up to 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. Your survival kit should include a quality water purification solution as one of the must-have items while anything pertaining to food just isn’t practical for true life-threatening situations.

Key chainsaws, folding saws, and axes are all items you may want to reconsider carrying. Key chainsaws and folding saws are extremely inefficient cutting tools that will leave you exhausted after procuring enough wood sufficient enough to build a good fire. Axes are very dangerous and inefficient cutting tools not to mention they are heavy to carry. It is always a good idea to carry a quality fixed hand saw that can fully utilize your arm’s motion by cutting on the forward and back motion.

See THIS ARTICLE for information on gear you should trust.

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Will Your Survival Gear Work When You Need It? was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Medium


22Feb

Camping Gear that can also Save Your Life


A good pair protective gloves (such as Endure Goatskin Gloves — pictured above) can be key to your survival and very useful for camping and working in the outdoors.

Top-rated survival gear and equipment can also be your go-to camping gear.

What is most important when choosing camping gear?

There are many things to consider when choosing the right camping gear. From the price, reviews, and weight to durability, design and how useful the camping gear is. In front of all of these different aspects pertaining to wilderness survival gear and equipment, it is a wise idea to put safety first.

Why should safety be a priority?

When choosing camping gear it may be a good idea to consider what situation you may find yourself in when gear meant to fulfill a leisurely pursuit all of the sudden becomes the gear that can save your life or ultimately lead you into a life-threatening incident.

What’s the difference between camping gear and survival gear?

There are many items you may want to consider keeping in your backcountry survival kit as well as your car survival kit. Many of these items can be used as camping gear as well. Whether you are a mountaineer that needs to set up a backcountry base camp or an archery hunter who needs to set up a spike camp miles deep into a wilderness near treeline you will want to keep a survival kit with you. However, this survival kit can contain items that can be used on an everyday basis in these backcountry situations. So, in reality, there are many similarities between good practical survival gear and camping gear.

What gear are we referring to?

A high-quality Metal Match Kit is a great item to always have with you no matter what outdoor situation you are in. Starting a fire in harsh conditions requires a trustworthy fire starter kit. Also, for backcountry camping and fire building a super efficient and effective fire starter is a very nice luxury to have so you know every single fire you attempt to start will take hold immediately and you will be able to move on to your next task or activity saving you time.

Combined with the Metal Match Kit is a good pair of water resistant work gloves so you can ensure your hands are protected. For survival situations protecting your hands it vital however for everyday camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing or mountaineering it is wise to always protect your hands. The material of choice for top-rated survival experts is goatskin. Goatskin is a closed cell leather so it will not shrink after the gloves get wet and dry like other leathers. The Endure Goatskin Gloves are supple yet durable glove that will ensure your hands stay protected from the many

Another category of items important for camping is cutting tools. It is nice to have sufficient tools to cut wood so you can ensure you have plenty of wood for your campfire. A great item to have with you no matter what the situation is is a dependable wood cutting saw. The 18" Half Dandy saw is a piece of equipment many top-rated survival experts don’t leave home without. This survival hand saw is the bestpacking saw, best hunting saw and best bone saw for elk we have found. This is the perfect example of a tool that can be used both as a survival saw as well as every day saw for camping, backpacking, and mountaineering.

Another great item to have in your survival kit that can also double as a utility for everyday camping, hunting, and fishing is parachute cord. Don’t confuse paracord, 550 cord, or 550 paracord with true Parachute Cord. True Parachute Cord has 7 strands that each include 3 separate smaller stands and will have a breaking strength up to 800 pounds or so.

A shelter is always a must when camping. Whether you just want to sleep in your car while you car-camp or if you want to ensure you are always protected from the elements a waterproof tarp is a great item to keep in your camping and survival gear. The Endure Survival 8'x10' Waterproof Tarp is a great survival tent as well as a lightweight tarp for backpacking or even simply an extra space you would like to keep dry around your existing camping gear set up.

Lastly, it is important to understand you must keep yourself hydrated in the outdoors, especially at high elevations. Altitude sickness can come on fast and if your body is not properly hydrated you are putting yourself at risk. Whether you are camping, mountaineering, hunting or fishing it is a great idea to always have a backup hydration solution. A collapsible water bottle, as well as a 30 pack of Katadyn MP1 Water purification tablets, is always a great thing to have on your just in case you find yourself in need of water. These two items can also act as your main source of water if you prefer to replace an often bulky and heavy water filter.

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Camping Gear that can also Save Your Life was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Medium


19Feb

What do I need in a Backcountry Survival Kit?


Endure Professional Survival Kit includes items proven to save your life

In my survival kit I make sure I carry items to cover the four basic survival kit categories:

  • FIRE
  • SHELTER
  • SIGNAL
  • HYDRATION

Here are the items I carry in my survival kit for each of these categories:

FIRE: Endure Survival Metal Match Kit. This kit is the best fire starter you can imagine. Don’t believe some of those gimmicks out there.

Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly (and arranged into the Endure Survival Fire Starting Technique) is the most efficient and effective fire starting technique. This mixture is the single best fuel to start a survival fire with. I also carry a pack of stormproof matches as a backup fire starter. I never rely solely on the stormproof matches as it is important to remember they are only one piece of the puzzle: heat. You need heat, oxygen, AND fuel to start a fire and the cotton balls soaked in vasoline are the foundation of my survival fire kit.

SHELTER: Endure Instant Shelter and 8'X10' Waterproof Tarp. These two lightweight survival shelters, make protecting myself an easy task in case I find myself in need of shelter fast. If I’m trying to pack super light because I know I’m set for a 20-mile day trip I will only carry the Endure Instant Shelter to save weight.

However, for a lightweight tarp, survival tent or simply a rain cover for your backcountry camp the 8'X10' Waterproof Tarp is a great shelter to keep in your backcountry survival kit.

SIGNAL: Included in all Endure Survival Kits are three items that I always carry no matter what the situation is they are always in my survival kit and I make sure that kit is always in my pack or on my person.

Endure Survival Whistle for Life. This emergency whistle is specifically designed as a survival whistle to maximize the air that is blown into the whistle as the whistle has three-chambers as well as an omnidirectional design so it will be sure to penetrate fog and timber.

I also carry a purposed signal mirror and trail tape.

HYDRATION: I carry two items in my emergency water kit. A collapsible water bottle as well as a 30 pack of Katadyn MP1 Water purification tablets. These two super lightweight items make purifying water in the backcountry as easy as you can imagine.

Simply put the tablet in the water and in 4 hours you have water clear of all potentially dangerous containments, even giardia. The Katadyn MP1 tabs are the only EPA approved water purification tabs so if I find myself really in a pinch and only left with cloudy or hazy water these tabs are still 99.999999% effective.

Other items I carry in my survival kit include:

Goatskin Gloves: Endure Goatskin Gloves: Hands are key to your survival. I wear these gloves at all times possible in the backcountry. Your hands are not nearly as tough as you may think. It is important to protect them and these gloves get the job done. For essential survival gear, goatskin gloves are a must as goatskin is a closed cell leather so they gloves will not shrink and harden like other leathers do. Goatskin gloves remain soft, supple and will protect your hands for years as the most likely area to wear, the palm is reinforced with a thick layer of leather.

Cutting Tools: 18" Half Dandy Saw: When it comes to cutting tools a saw is always a safer than an ax. Saws are known to also be more efficient and effective than an axe. Either way, the most important thing when choosing a saw is choosing a saw that will maximize your arm motion. Meaning the saw will cut in both directions, forward and backward. The 18" Half Dandy saw is the best backpacking saw and survival hand saw. It is also the best hunting saw, bone saw for elk so this saw is not just an investment in a survival saw it is a great tool for all types of outdoor use.

Compass: Brunton Tru arc 3: When is comes to navigation it is never a good idea to rely soley on anything that can break. Meaning, anything that has a battery or requires power can and very well may break, die, or get lost. This is why I always carry a compass in my survival kit. I’ve carried the Brunton Truarc3 for years and it has never failed me. When in doubt a compass is always a good data point to reference when you are deciphering your plan whether it be a survival situation, hunt, backcountry fishing trip or mountaineering trip its always a good idea to keep a solid compass on you.

Military Spec Parachute Cord: Don’t be confused by all the products claiming to paracord, 550 cord, mil spec 550 paracord, 550 paracord or any combination. Always look for a certificate for the real thing. Real Parachute Cord has 7 inner strands each made with 3 individual smaller stands. This gives a true break strength well over 550 pounds (close to 800 lbs) and more versatility with the cord itself as compared to the knock-offs out there.

First aid kit: In my pack I always bring a first aid kit and in there I have an OutSmart Survival and First Aid Booklet.

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What do I need in a Backcountry Survival Kit? was originally published in Survival School on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Medium


One of the big challenges associated with finding fly-fishing in Asia is the lack of information available on the web. I am very lucky to have fished with series of fly-fishermen linked from one to the next throughout Asia, starting with my good friend Captain Keiichiro, in Yokohama, Japan. While fishing with Capt. K he informed me of his friend in Hong Kong: Lefty Hama. After having an awesome morning catching Giant Trevally in Hong Kong, Hama informed me that he had a fly-fishing friend in Singapore named Kelvin. It was as if the fly-fishing gods aligned to connect me with fly-fishermen from port to port while traveling on Semester at Sea‘s Spring 2014 Voyage. After a few email exchanges with Kelvin, we set up an afternoon to go fly-fishing for Peacock bass.

Some time ago, Peacock Bass, native to South America, were introduced into Singapore reservoirs by bucket biologists. Peacock bass are considered an invasive species because they compete with native species like snakehead, catfish, and Tiger barb . To anglers, they are a superb game-fish. Akin to Hong Kong, it is quite a commodity to have a quality fishing opportunity involving wild fish so close to a major metropolis.

After we arrived, my wonderful wife and I checked out a little of what Singapore has to offer

 

Hawker Center Singapore

Hawker Centers are popular among Singaporeans as common place to grab a bite to eat.

 

She handed me the coveted kitchen pass and I set off to meet up with Kelvin. We drove on the left side of the road (thanks to Singapore’s British Colonial roots) about 20 minutes into the jungle north of the city. After meandering up a winding road draped with high green canopy, we parked and hiked about 30 minutes through the jungle to a reservoir. Kelvin handed me one of his custom tied orange eyed tan clousers striped with green, orange and black markings, similar to the markings on a Peacock bass. He instructed me to cast my 6 wt near a man made structure, let the fly sink for 10 seconds and make medium paced long strips pausing between each strip. On about the 10th cast I felt a large bump, at first I thought I had caught the bottom, but then I felt a stout pull. Adrenaline rush through me as I yelled “FISH ON.” It was a good fish. In-between thinking about grabbing my camera and stripping line to keep this nice fish tight when I missed a strip and the fish came unbuttoned. I couldn’t believe I blew my opportunity to land my first Peacock. I looked at Kelvin in disappointment saying “lets get another.”

We continued fishing the same spot with no more action when Kelvin made the call to venture further into the jungle …

Singapore-Peacock-Bass-Fishing

We bushwhacked through dense brush, large trees and downed timber careful not to break our rods

 

 

After about 30 minutes, Kelvin showed me a spot where he has had success before. About 15 minutes into casting Kelvin yelled “FISH ON.” I ran over to see a nice bend in his rod.

 

singapore peacock bass fishing Kelvin-Bent-Rod

Peacock-Bass-Singapore

It was a nice fish that put up a good fight

 

Once it turned dark we hiked back experiencing the tropical jungle at night, walking through spider webs, loud exotic birds chirping and flying over head, while keeping an eye out for what is in front of you. It can get creepy in the jungle at night, especially when you see a large black snake quickly slither across the trail in front of you. When the local you are with is obviously concerned about this big ass snake I almost stepped on its probably a good sign that you should get the hell out of there. Bushwhacking through the dark and treacherous jungle did not stop us from trying another spot on the way out at dark. It wasn’t more than 5 casts before I hooked up and landed my first peacock.

Singapore-Peacock-Bass-Nick

It is not everyday you get a chance to catch a Peacock bass at night, so once again I felt blessed by the stars that aligned to make this uniqued experience happen.

 


Of Colorado’s 22 million acres of public land, the San Juan area (San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests) make up about 3 million acres. Hiking, fishing, camping and biking opportunities are immense. One could spend a lifetime exploring this area and still not see it all.

Colorado san juan mountains scenery

A scenic view of the San Juan Mountains near Dolores Colorado

 

The following are places I have visited in the area:

 

Piedra River:

This hike is easily accessible. From Pagosa Springs head north on highway US-160 north to Piedra Rd. Turn Right onto Piedra Rd go about 16 miles and park here. The further you hike in the better the fishing gets. For more information contact Let it Fly.

 

Rio de los Pinos:

This place is very special. The population of native Rio Grande Cutthroats is isolated from other fish as a waterfall acts as a natural barrier. To get there navigate to Truijillo Meadows Reservoir.

Take the forest road at the end of the reservoir northwest up stream. The road is a bit rough and requires 4 wheel drive. The road dead ends where there is some good primitive car camping spots. Hike the trail up stream, for a few miles. When you see the waterfall the cutthroat population lives above.

The following lakes are rated good or great lakes to catch fish and are most likely to yield fantastic hiking and camping:

Crater Lake

Quartz Lake

Turkey Creek Lake

Upper Four Mile Lake

Fish Lake

Williams Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area

Emerald Lake

Dollar Lake

Flint Lakes

Divide Granite and Elk Lakes

Needle Mountains Lakes

Verde Lakes

Highland Mary Lakes

Lost Lake

Garfield Lakes

 

For more information visit the Colorado Fishing Atlas or call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Customer Service: 303-297-1192

Or contact local fly shops:

The San Juan Angler: 970-382-9978

Rio Grand Angler: 719-658-2955

Conejos River Anglers: 719-376-5660

 


22Feb

Medium

As a requirement for the graduate program I am in: Boulder Digital Works, we are writing in a weekly publication RE: Write. It has been a great opportunity to get a lot of thoughts and ideas out there:

Nick Clement


14Apr

Semester at Sea: 50th Anniversary

Traveling on Semester at Sea as a student in 2006 gave me an almost overwhelming appreciation for life, and all the gifts this world has to offer. I think this feeling is synonymous with all Semester at Sea Alumni. When I was asked to produce a film to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Semester at Sea, I knew immediately that I wanted to portray this feeling through the film. If you are a Semester at Sea alumni, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you are not hopefully you get a little taste of this feeling by watching this film.


An interesting phenomenon throughout Asia is that the term “sport-fishing” is completely incomprehensible to most. A common response one would receive when asking about sport-fishing is “Why would you fish just for sport? You don’t like to eat fish?” No actually, I love eating fish however, I love catching them even more. When I visited Vietnam as a student in 2006, I found this phenomenon to be true. While we still managed to get a line wet and catch a few fish, conservation and sport fishing were two things that just simply aren’t a part of the culture in Vietnam. One thing Vietnam does have is some beautiful beaches. We took the opportunity to visit a Vietnamese island that is situated off the southwest coast of Vietnam just south of Cambodia. Phú Quốc (pronounced FU-QUAW) is a quaint Island with a laid back tropical vibe.

We left Ho Chi Minh city early in the morning, after a 45 minute flight we arrived in Phú Quốc with a full beach day ahead of us. After getting a feel for the island, the beach, and our simple beach hotel we hit up the Dinh Cau Night Market. A bustling street filled with restaurants boasting the daily catch in large bins filled with ice. It was a miniature Tsujiki Fish Market in regards to the fact that it seemed to have everything imaginable that lives the ocean. Crustaceans, snakes, lobsters, prawns, and multiple species of fish.

Dinh Cau Night Fish Market

A hot chick I picked up off the street next to everything imaginable out of the ocean. I told the owner of this stand that he shouldn’t buy such small fish (while pointing at the baby Red snapper in the middle). He responded saying “Its okay, not a problem.” And I told him, “if they continue to kill little fish like that it is going to be a BIG problem. There are not going to any fish left.” Hopefully he understood me.

 

The aroma of fresh fish on the grill constantly flirted with our nostrils as we walked through the busy street lined with fresh seafood. It was quite the sensation. One particular stand caught my attention:

Giant Trevally at Fish Market

Fresh Fish at Phu Quac Night Fish Market

I pointed at the Giant Trevally on the left asking the lady at the stand “Was this caught around here?” She replied, “Yes.” While pointing at the ocean behind her. My excitement immediately rose as I just caught a GT about half that size in Hong Kong which gave me a good fight, a small burst of adrenaline rushed through me as I imaged the fight this fish would yield.

One of my most vivid memories from being in Vietnam in 2006, was eating the fattest most juicy prawns you could imagine. I convinced our group they shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity. So we ordered a kilo of grilled prawns:

vietnam grilled prawns, seafood, delicious food from the ocean

Fresh grilled prawns served  with simply salt, pepper and lime.

As promised to my wife, Sara (the wonderful wife that she is), we spent the following couple of days relaxing on the beach. It was great to sit back, enjoy the ocean, and the 80 degree weather with a luke-warm breeze flowing through the palm trees that sat high above the khaki sand beach. Although, while we were relaxing, contemplating how far that GT at the fish market would take me into my backing was constantly trifling me. How was I going to make keep my promise to my wife of a relaxed beach vacation, yet, somehow get a shot at hooking one of these impressive fish? Luckily, our group agreed to rent a boat for a day of snorkeling and “fishing.” The Vietnamese tour companies say, “Enjoy a day of snorkeling, fishing and relaxing on a boat tour.” Of course, by fishing they mean baiting a hook, attached to a line that is woven around a plastic spool. In fishing terms, the complete opposite of fly-fishing.

So we set out early, boarding our “boat” for the day. The “boat,” constructed of heavy timber was more like a small barge with a crude inboard engine, some picnic tables, benches and a ladder leading to the roof top for sunbathing. In simple terms, it would suffice for not only spending quality time with Sara, but also getting a line in the water. I rigged my 9 and 12 wt rods with a gummy minnow and a large chartreuse clouser. When fishing in a completely foreign place that has seen very few flies, if any, the gummy minnows are alway a great choice, as well as anything chartreuse, as I once learned from a seasoned guide in Ascension Bay, Mexico; “If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use.”

Boats Phú Quốc, Vietnam

Boats align the harbor in Phú Quốc, Vietnam

We set off, our young Vietnamese captain that spoke little to no english navigated through the many small ships, boats and  small barges just like ours in the harbor. I dropped my full sinking 12 wt line rigged with a barrel swivel tied in the middle of my tippet a couple feet above the clouser. When trolling flies, barrel swivels are very useful so the fly line doesn’t get twisted. Trolling a large fly all day can really twist up fly-line, which takes a lot of work to untwist.

Luckily, our small barge didn’t go faster than the ideal trolling speed (2 to 3 knots). Honestly, I didn’t except to catch anything. I was just happy to be out with my wife and friends, drink a couple of beers, and enjoy the Vietnamese scenery while trolling a fly. We were no more than 100 yards outside of the last boat in the harbor when I was jigging the fly line giving it some action and I felt a large tug. At first, I thought I had hooked one of the many pieces of trash floating by. However, the tug was pulling hard. When I looked up to see a big boil where my fly was I yelled “FISH ON!” Followed by an immediate, “STOP THE BOAT!” It wasn’t until one of my friends raised his hand like a traffic cop yelling “STOP” for the captain to actually cut the engine. By this time the fish was well into my backing. While my adrenaline was pumping, I tightened my drag as the fish was running hard. I yelled “THOW IT IN REVERSE” to the captain, later realizing how stupid that was of me, not only because he most likely had no clue what I was saying, but more so because there is no way this barge of a boat had a reverse gear. Within moments the fish was well over 100 yards into my backing. I saw big boils in the distance while I tried to keep the pressure on the fish. The fish didn’t let up continuing to run while the sound of “ZZZZZZZZ” was music to my ears, not to mention the extremely large smile on my face. As the fish was now about 200yards into my backing all I could think was at this rate, the fish would spool me in no time, so I gave it some more pressure. Then the absolute worst feeling a fisherman can have, came next. It felt like my feet were swept out from under me as my fly came unbuttoned. It was as if the wind was completely knocked out of me.

PHÚ QUỐC VIETNAM

Despite the lost fish it was a productive day on the barge, drinking, eating, snorkeling and catching some vietnam D

I’ll never know the size or species of that fish, I can only imagine that it was probably a Giant Trevally just as, if not bigger, than the one I was saw at the Dinh Cau Night Market. Hopefully it continues to swim around the Island of Phú Quốc and never ends up on a tourist’s dinner plate but rather on the end of another sport fisherman’s line who, uncommon to Asian tradition, releases it unharmed.

 

 


04Apr

Vietnam: Global Music – The Universal Language

One of the most inspiring Semester at Sea field labs I have had the privilege of covering was the Music Cultures lab in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. We visited the Soul Music Academy started by Thanh Bui (A famous pop artist in Vietnam originally from Australia). This academy teaches Vietnamese kids traditional and modern music. We were given a special performance by the Voice Kids Vietnam, which includes kids that apparently finished high in Asia’s version of America’s Got Talent. To say the least all the students, the Professor and myself were floored by the talent these kids possessed. Watch the videos and you’ll see what I am talking about.


03Apr

Cu Chi Tunnels – Living on Four Legs

Vietnam’s turbulent past gives visitors many opportunities to learn about life during the Vietnam war. A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels provides a hands on experience as to what conditions were like for Viet Cong during the war. While it seems as if the Vietnamese economy has recovered since the war one interesting fact is that the Vietnamese refer to the war not as the “Vietnam War” but rather “The American War Against Vietnam.”