Talk Like a Pirate day ... and paddling from Cuba to the US

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I just returned home from an expedition/adventure boat trip to Cuba, and Talk Like a Pirate day is coming up this Saturday - what a combination for an interesting blog! I hope you enjoy a few pictures, and a bit of data analysis on these topics!

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in Cotopaxi's Challenge 113 adventure trip to Cuba. We sailed to Cuba on two boats, toured the country & mentored business owners. Then 10 of the group members attempted to paddle non-stop back from Cuba to Key West (approximately 113 miles) in kayaks, with the rest of us being their support crew. Here's a SAS map I created, showing the basic area and route:

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Here are pictures of the two support ships - the first one is an awesome & unique outrigger ship called the Mirage (we used it to haul all the kayaks to Cuba), and the second one is a large catamaran called the Sunluver. I was assigned to the Sunluver, and the night trip over to Cuba on it was like something out of a story book with the oceans as smooth as glass. I slept out on the deck, waking up a few times to keep the captains company while admiring the milky way and spotting shooting stars. I especially liked when we were able to hoist the sail for part of the trip.

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The seas were a bit rougher on the trip back to the US, but two of the intrepid paddlers were still able to make it the entire 113 miles from Cuba to Key West without stopping. Here's a picture of those two paddlers (Frank Sedlar and Brent Rose) prepping their kayak for the journey. I feel very privileged to have been the person who stayed up the first full night with them, providing support and encouragement (and playing them a few special tunes from my music collection).

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And how, you might ask, does this tie into Talk Like a Pirate day?!?  Well, Talk Like a Pirate day is coming up this Saturday (Sept 19), and I've grown a bit of a beard on the trip, and am feeling quite pirate-ish, after all that time on the sea, LOL.

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And speaking of pirates, I decided to check the pirate-attack database, and I did find that there was a pirate attack in Haiti this year. That's pretty close to Cuba, and I suppose that means pirate attacks are indeed possible in the area. Thankfully we weren't attacked by pirates!

If you'd like to see my SAS analysis of the pirate attack data, click the map below to see an interactive map, timeline graph, and table - you can click the markers in the map & graph to see details about the individual attacks. And here's a link to the SAS code I used to read the data from their web page, and plot it.

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Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite sea adventure, and whether or not you were in (potentially) pirate-infested waters!  Arrr!!!!

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About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 25 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).

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