Portfolio, Travel, Vietnam

Rowing with his feet and other Vietnam water scenes

A fine mist filled the bay, as we went kayaking near Cat Ba Island in northeast Vietnam. Most people go to see the spectacular vertical mountains dropping into the sea, but actually I spent more time looking at the boats. Cat Bay harbor itself is full of colorful wooden boats flying the Vietnamese flag, and in… Continue reading Rowing with his feet and other Vietnam water scenes

Pix eulachon
B.C., Maritime, Portfolio

The monster of Kitimaat and other tales at Enbridge hearing

Everybody loves a good storyteller and I’m no exception. Last week, I listened to some of the live streaming of the Enbridge hearings from Kitimaat, the First Nations village a few clicks outside the company town of Kitimat in northwest B.C. It was the tail end of the first day and the Haisla’s Chief Councillor,… Continue reading The monster of Kitimaat and other tales at Enbridge hearing

Maritime, Portfolio, Writing

My 9/11 rescue and survivor stories reprinted

Two articles I wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre have just been reprinted in a 10-year retrospective. The first one, Armada rescues trapped New Yorkers, was based on extensive phone interviews with tugboat owners with Reinauer Transportation and Moran Towing, as well as officials with U.S. Coast Guard Activities New… Continue reading My 9/11 rescue and survivor stories reprinted

Maritime, Portfolio

Fight over Arctic shipping routes

By Alison Bate In September 2009, two German heavylift ships dropped anchor at Novyy Port after a historic trip, transiting the legendary Northeast Passage over the top of Russia. After discharging 44 cargo modules in the Siberian outpost, the MV “Beluga Fraternity” and “Beluga Foresight” sailed on toward Rotterdam with the remaining 3,500 tons of… Continue reading Fight over Arctic shipping routes

China, Portfolio, Travel

Ancient Kashgar destroyed for “safety reasons”

Uyghur men in Kashgar souk By Alison Bate When I visited Kashgar just over three years ago, I was disappointed at first. The road in from the airport passed concrete roundabouts and boring buildings typical of the modern Han Chinese city. There was even a giant Mao statue close to the bus station. While Kashgar… Continue reading Ancient Kashgar destroyed for “safety reasons”

China, Portfolio, Travel

Kicked Out Of The Karakoram

How we were turfed out of a village in remote China It was late January, the start of Chinese New Year, when Chris and I decided to escape the coal pollution, dirty snow and concrete overpasses of Urumqi. We were teaching English in the capital city of China’s remote northwestern province of Xinjiang. Tired of… Continue reading Kicked Out Of The Karakoram