by R.E. McDermott (Sponsored) I remember sitting in a ship’s lounge some years back, watching a blow-dried weatherman on TV, standing in front of a map of the US East Coast with the track of a tropical storm superimposed over it. He tapped his pointer at the symbol for the storm and predicted it would be ‘safely out to sea by morning.’
I also remember the Chief Mate’s comment, though I forget the man’s name.
“Right. Safely for who?” he asked no one in particular, before stalking out of the room.
From then on I never forgot safety is largely a question of where you’re standing at the time.
As seamen and maritime professionals, we view storms as inevitable. We study them, we respect them, and when at all possible we avoid them, often paying weather routing services significant sums of money to assist us in that effort. As we dwell on our own vulnerability, we sometimes forget our great advantage – we can move our livelihood and home out of harm’s way if we take prudent and timely action.
Not so the landsmen, and ‘harm’s way’ was a broad path indeed in a three week period of last August and September. The evil trio of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria laid waste to our southern coast from the Mexican border to Florida and the islands of the Caribbean beyond, leaving in their wakes destruction from which it will take months, and in some places years, to recover.
The nation’s initial response was nothing short of heroic, as informed of the unfolding tragedy by both local and national media, help arrived from across the country, and indeed, the world. But it’s a very, very, big problem, and as the cameras move elsewhere in search of the next big story, the destruction remains. In many places the clean-up, much less the re-building, has hardly started, and people remain in shelters and temporary housing.
I left the marine industry a few years ago to pursue a lifelong dream of writing. In my new profession, like my old, I’ve made fast friends and met many good people. I’ve banded together with some of those authors to try to make a difference.
Twenty-five established authors have each donated a novel to be included in an ebook bundle we titled 25 For One, to be sold through the holiday season until December 31, 2017. 100% of the royalties from the sale of this bundle will go directly to hurricane relief.
The ‘One’ in the title stands for the charity we chose, which is pretty inspiring itself. It is the One America Appeal, a fundraiser spear-headed by all five former US presidents. At a time when our country is increasingly polarized, we are proud and honored to support an effort that puts political and ideological differences aside to support our fellow citizens in need of help. All of the royalties from the sale of the bundle will go to the One America Appeal, and 100% of the funds raised by One America Appeal from all sources will go directly to five local and regional charities in the impacted areas, with no deductions for administrative expenses or overhead.
There is quite literally something to satisfy every reader’s taste, from mystery and espionage, to sci-fi, and political intrigue, offered by a collection of New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon best-selling authors and, of course, a maritime thriller from my own Dugan series of books.
In his new book "Leadership Is Language, The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don't", former submarine commander Captain L David Marquet (USN Ret) dives deep into one of the most thoroughly investigated marine disasters, the sinking of the El Faro, and surfaces with new ideas on leadership and language.
January 16, 2021
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