Archive for July 1st, 2007

Just Ducky

I’ve just written a three-part rant over on the International Adoption Blog and need to download a bit of tension before I get down to the serious business of a Sunday … that would be napping, then off to the beach for a while with Mark and the kids … so thought I’d take the opportunity to write about rubber duckies.

Yeah … why not?

If you’ve not seen this story may I suggest a click? The whole thing is a hoot, but I’ll give the short version here for anyone thinking my take might have merit.

It’s the tale of one Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle-based … what? … really bored guy would fit, I suppose … oh, and oceanographer, if that’s not a redundancy … who for the last 15 years has been tracking somewhere around 30,000 plastic duck bath toys.

The ducks began life in a Chinese factory and were being shipped to the US from Hong Kong when three 40ft containers fell into the Pacific during a storm on January 29, 1992. Two thirds of them floated south through the tropics, landing months later on the shores of Indonesia, Australia and South America. But 10,000 headed north and by the end of the year were off Alaska and heading back westwards. It took three years for the ducks to circle east to Japan, past the original drop site and then back to Alaska on a current known as the North Pacific Gyre before continuing north towards the Arctic.

At the moment, they’re heading for England, Ireland and Scotland, and finding one can net you a cool $100, as they’ll be considered a scientific discovery. (Imagine Ernie as Jacques Cousteau. Er ees my asseestant, Bert … I mean Falco …)

The Yellow Duckies are no longer yellow, as the sun and sea have bleached them white, but they are still afloat, and perhaps still grinning … which says a lot about sun and sea and plastic.

I have a wonderful mental image of this flotilla — hundreds abreast, a slowly bobbing forward press of now-silent squeaky toys advancing toward land after years of adventures on the open sea, bills held high … and so on.

Ah … I feel so much better now. A little story of the sea, even one this silly … or maybe especially one this silly … has completely washed the taste of anti-adoption bile from my mouth and left me with a hankering to do some bobbin’ about myself.

Off to the beach now …

Thanks, Ducks.

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