Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2009

Our chapter welcomes Alison Lebonte FN’09, Alejandro Stella SM’09, H. Bruce Rinker FN’98, William R. Runyon MN’01, James P. Blair FN’09 and Cynthia G. Shimp AN’09.

Our September event featured Piotr Chmielinski FN’98 & Andrew (Andrzej) Pietowski FN’08. Piotr and Andrew have paddled white water together for 25 years and shared their experiences on a river that carves the world’s deepest canyon, the Colca, in Peru. To this day they’re the only explorers ever to navigate the Colca’s narrow upper stretch.

This year’s fall BOMBASH was Exploring Talbot County on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore. Participants stayed at the Historic Tidewater Inn, one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America. They visited St. Michaels Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. On display is the nation’s most complete collection of Chesapeake Bay artifacts, visual arts and indigenous water craft. Interpretive exhibitions cover the range of Chesapeake Bay maritime history and culture-including Native-American life, Anglo-American settlement, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century trans-Atlantic trade, naval history, the Bay’s unique watercraft and boat building traditions, navigation, water fowling, boating, seafood harvesting, and recreation. They also sailed on the H.M. Krentz, a 45 year old skipjack made entirely of wood.

Our October event was entitled, The Mysteries Of The Gobi – Looking For Wild Camels And Lost Cities In The Heart Of Asia by John Hare. John told the story of the critically endangered Bactrian Camel, the Wildlife Sanctuary he established to protect them in China’s former Nuclear Test Site (Gobi Desert) and the captive breeding program he established in Mongolia.

Jay Kaplan

Jay Kaplan

Our November Gala and Auction was a fundraiser for our Exploration and Field Research Grants Program. The sell out black tie event was held at the residence of the Portuguese Ambassador which featured Portuguese wines and cuisine prepared by the Chief Chef of the Embassy. December welcomed accomplished father and son Arctic artists Alan Campbell FN’04 and Colin Campbell. The Campbell’s have the ability to orchestrate color, light and luminosity, evoking a true feeling for the sights, sounds and sensations distinctive to these most magical and mysterious locations.

MAST: Missing Aircraft Search Team

MAST: Missing Aircraft Search Team

Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST) members Lew Toulmin MN’04 and Robert Hyman LF’93 along with Josh Grossman MN’07, Mike Pizzio MN’08, Joe Citelli MN’09 and Dan Crowell MN’99 recently participated in a dive expedition off the coast of California. The objective was to locate a missing P-51 Mustang that disappeared in 1944 with a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) aboard. Divers cleared 55 targets up to 270 feet deep. While the dive operation, that used USGS multi beam sonar data to identify anomalies on the ocean floor, did not find the P-51 they were looking for, they located and helped identify a missing Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet that disappeared in 1955 with two on board.

The 2007 Honduran Emerald Conservation Expedition led by Robert Hyman LF’93 which carried Explorers Club flag #51, has been successful in raising awareness of the plight of this critically endangered hummingbird. Recently Spain announced that it is donating $1.9 million dollars towards protecting this endemic species.

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