John Gray's Seacanoe September 2015 Newletter

John Gray's Seacanoe

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Ling Yai (Thai for 'Big Monkey') | John Caveman Gray

GROWING UP IN JAPAN

Mother created an environmental warrior after spending two childhood years in a traditional Japanese house in Sendai - starting in 1952.  

When Little Johnnie was only seven years old, John, Brother Tom and Mama Ruth set sail from San Francisco for Yokohama.  We said goodbye to Junior and set sail on the USS Sultan.  The troop ship weathered a typhoon and Tom crawling over the rail 700 miles from Tokyo, saved by the same leather harness Mom made for me.  

On Yokohama dock we kearned the Army shipped one family to many to Japan.  Somebody had to share a traditional Japanese house with a doctor’s wife.  The wharf became a madhouse as families elbowed each other for the Army housing. Mother stood up and calmly said “We came to Japan to experience Japan.  We are happy to share the Japanese home.”

Seven years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki we drove a small Peugeot over roads that really were not roads.  When we arrived in Tagajo near Sendai we discovered a perfect Japanese mansion complete with a rock garden so large I regularly got lost - tatami mat floors, a Buddhist shrine, rock garden so large I regularly got lost, and honey bucket toilet.
Set on a slope above the billets we lived in luxury – and looked down on rows of small wooden shoeboxes, the homes of families who pulled rank to get the Army housing.  At least they had a door, one window, and a stovepipe above the roof.

On week-ends we went to famous Matsushima Bay, where I continued my love affair with the sea. – and discovered marine limestone.

In 1954 the World Champion New York Giants came to Sendai on a Friendship tour.  I asked Mom if I could get Willie Mays autograph. “He’s been on the road a month.  I’m sure he would like to see an American Boy.”

I ran to the dugout, asked Willie to autograph my program – and ended up sitting on his knee through the entire game.  Legendary hard ass Manager Leo Durocher grumbled about “The Kid” and Willie told him to shut up,  

The entire team autographed my program.

Two weeks later the combined American/National league All-Stars came to Sendai.  I made a repeat performance, ending up with two programs I would donate to the Hall Of Fame – except they disappeared after I left home – probably to pay off another gambling debt.
 
But the lesson was learned.  No matter “The Hero”, or “The Star” we are all nothing but overgrown monkeys.  Be proud to be whoever you are – and reach for the Stars!

I had several lifetime moments in Sendai. I yearn to return, but cannot go to Japan until they stop the gruesome genocide called “Commercial Whaling”. More later, but as a kayaker I enjoyed the great fortune to look whales and dolphin in the eye from a meter away – actually carry on long conversations.  Whaling is genocide.  Until Japan stops the carnage I cannot set foot on Japanese soil. “The Cove” is a travesty.  As long as whaling and The Cove continue Japan is eternally disgraced.

Hong by Starlight

Hong by Starlight
Lunch & Dinner : Round Trip Transfers

Enjoy an afternoon of sea cave exploring literally inside Phang Nga Bay’s marine geology, - including the caves and hidden lagoons John Gray found in 1989. Great nature and wildlife surrounds you...

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Day in The Islands

Day in The Islands
Phuket Private Charter Day Trip

We added this second day trip of self-paddle kayaking for satisfied caves/hongs customers who want more, and for claustrophobics.Throw some kayaks on the cabin and "pai teau"...

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Expedition-Express

Expedition-Express
Phang-Nga Bay : 2Days/1Night

A Week-End Getaway for regional adventurers, an overnight transfer to Krabi, or a night out of crazy Patong, the Expedition Express packs your brain with a minimum Twenty-Eight Hours of Top Quality...

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Mini-Expedition

Mini-Expedition
Phang-Nga Bay : 3Days/2Nights

Combine our Khao Sok Mini-Expedition with our famous Phang Nga Sea Kayaking Mini-Expedition for an excellent week of Thai mountain and sea adventure. Combine Khao Sok with our 7-Day...

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Khao Sok Ntional Park

Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok Ntional Park : 4Days/3Nights

Khao Sok is Thailand’s largest lake, artificially made by a hydro-electric dam. We depart from the dam by longtail boat and never see any trace of civilization until we return...

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South Thailand Adventure

South Thailand Adventure
Phang-Nga Bay - Tarutao : 7Days/6Nights

Spend 3 days exploring Phang Nga Bay, overnight near the Peninsula's summit at a waterfall/wildlife sanctuary with a mountain cave and jungle stream, then finish with 3 nights and days at Tarutao in the Far South...

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