Category Archives: Dan Travel

Ribs of wooden deck chairs.

Ribs of wooden deck chairs
By Dan Windisch
June 3, 2017
On the Queen Mary 2

 On the wet, empty, reflecting,
Teak walking deck,
of the Queen Mary 2, 
in Mid Atlantic,

Ribs of wooden deck chairs,
face into the early-morning dense fog.

While gentle rolling ocean waves,
roll by. 

Panama Canal Gatun Locks and Lake

These photos document the 3 locks used to raise ships 85 feet up to Gatun Lake. As we rose the lake regally came into view!

It is such an amazing mankind accomplishment, and something I enjoyed while having breakfast on a cruise ship 🙂

Crossing the Panama Canal was a major bucket item list that I was able to finally accomplish on our South America cruise in December 2016!

A great documentary is available that I would highly recommend on youtube and is well worth watching!

The Making of the Amazingly beautiful Panama Hats in Manta Ecuador

One of the most fascinating things we saw on our South American cruise during SMU’s 2016 Christmas break was the demonstration of the making of “Panama” hats, which actually originate in Ecuador. The intricacy and craftsmanship that go into the making of these hats is amazing. I’m pleased to have recorded onto film, and edited with Lightroom, this most beautiful work. Below is information from Wikipedia dated 1/2/17.

“the traditional Ecuadorian toquilla hat was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 6 December 2012. In 1904, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the construction site of the Panama Canal, and was photographed wearing a panama hat, which further increased the hats’ popularity. The best quality hats are known as Montecristis, after the town of Montecristi, where they are produced. The Montecristi Foundation has established a grading system based on a figure called the Montecristi Cuenta, calculated by measuring the horizontal and vertical rows of weave per inch. The rarest and most expensive panama hats are hand-woven with up to 3000 weaves per square inch. In February 2014, Simon Espinal, an Ecuadorian 47-year-old panama hat weaver considered to be among the best at his craft, set a world record by creating a panama hat with four thousand weaves per inch that took eight months to handcraft from beginning to end. According to popular lore, a “superfino” panama hat can hold water and, when rolled up, pass through a wedding ring.  Although the panama hat continues to provide a livelihood for thousands of Ecuadorians, fewer than a dozen weavers capable of making the finest “Montecristi superfinos” remain. Production in Ecuador is dwindling, due to economic problems in Ecuador and competition from Chinese hat producers.



Photos of the Sea from our Christmas 2016 South America Cruise

I love the Sea, I always have. Since I was a child looking at the Pacific ocean and wondering about Japan so far, far, away. 

I loved the sea as a naval officer on the USS Independence watching with awe as the airplane elevator rose and fell during quiet times and  major storms. I loved the Sea as a PACE professor on US Navy ships in the Pacific Ocean as I worked on my doctoral dissertation for 3 years. And, in recent years, I’ve loved the sea as a passenger on cruise ships (a bit better accommodations than US navy warships)!

I love the waves as far as you can see, the curve of the earth in the distance. I love  feeling so small against vastness of it all, and yet I am comforted, knowing that I am also an important part of it all (perhaps because I, too, am the eyes of God observing his beautiful works with Joy and peace and appreciation and gratitude). I love the changing colors of Sea and Sky at sunset and sunrise.

I love the light bursts on water through the clouds that sparkle that move across the ocean with brightness and contrast.

I love the power of the storm, the quiet rains, the sunsets over water, the smallness of all the ships that pass in the night.

I love it all.

These are some gorgeous art from my camera and lightroom from our Christmas cruise to South America during Christmas break 2016.

Parrots and Toucan of Cartegena Columbia December 2016

How can God make such gorgeous beauty? The parrots of Cartagena, Columbia are photos I was lucky enough to have reflected on my camera’s sensors during our Christmas cruise to South America during Christmas break. Several of the photos are a singe photo cropped closer and closer so that you can see the amazing colors and shapes of these gorgeous bird’s wings.

Such beauty! Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Sacred Places: Christ Walking on Water, Stained Glass Rotorua New Zealand

Christ Walking on Water, Stained Glass from Saint Faith’s Anglican Church, Rotorua, New Zealand

Near bubbling mud pools,

and the 90 foot Pohutu Geyser,

and a  Maori village,

This is my photo of

a stained glass of Christ

in Maori robes

seemingly walking on the waters

of Lake Rotorua.

Sacred Places: Esalen Institute

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California.

For me this is a sacred place that I viscerally feel and know everytime I am there. My photograph is at sunset. People meditate, listening to the sounds of the crashing sea, fully, amazingly, peaceful.

The Big Sur area is incredibly beautiful, with mountains crashing directly into the sea, and waves roaring into the shore.

Carbon dating of artifacts found on Esalen date from 2600 BC. Esalen played a key role in the human potentials movement in the 60’s and provides week long and weekend workshops and focuses on humanistic alternative education. I took 2 workshops there on mindfulness. I believe that the place itself is holy and healing, not to mention the wonderful hot spring hot tubs next to the crash in sea!


Sacred Places: Kamakura Buddha

The Great bronze Buddha of Kamakura , Japan

Very moving, very sacred. A notice at the entrance to the grounds reads:

Stranger, whosoever thou art and whatsoever be thy creed,

when thou enterest this sanctuary

remember thou treadest upon ground hallowed by the worship of ages.

This is the Temple of Bhudda 

and the gate of the eternal,

and should therefore be entered

with reverence.”

A stanza from the Five Nations by Rudyard Kipling:

But when the morning prayer is prayed,

Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,

Is God in human image made

No nearer than Kamakura?

The bronze Kamakura Buddha statue, on top of a hill, dates from 1252, has survived two storms in 1334 and 1369, a tsunami in 1498, it weighs 93 tons, and is 48 feet tall.

Sacred Places: Hollyhock Cortes Island, British Columbia

Hollyhock Institute, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada.

For me, this is a sacred place located on a small, Isolated Island in British Columbia. I came here first in 1978 for a 13 week long resident fellow program that helped shape my life. Each week was a different workshop, I attended an I Ching workshop taught by John Blofeld, who translatedthe  I Ching into English. I attended a dream workshop, where I learned that I was a Rainbow Man, a healer and a teacher. I attended 10 more workshops where I learned more about who I was as a human being and as a part of this beautiful world. I worked outdoors and in the gardens and in the kitchen. I heard the wind in the trees, the coming and goings of the tide, and that faint feeling of those who had lived here so long ago, on this shore, in these woods, for thousands of years before I came. I knew that I, too, was part of them.