Spend August Washington DC or Somewhere Else?

Would you like to spend August in the soaring temperatures of Washington DC and its environs? It gets miserably hot and humid in DC during the summer and especially in August. I often see overweight tourists sitting in the sun like so many dumplings and turning pink. Not a pretty sight. So, take my word for it, you don’t want to be here.

Desperately hot tourists in Washington, DC in August find in the wading pool at the World War Two memorial on the mall in DC.

This is against the rules but World War Two was a war to preserve individual liberty and I don’t think the tourists are being disrespectful although the Park Service thinks they are. (You can wade in the reflecting pools between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War Two Memorial).

I’ve interviewed dozens of World War Two veterans and I don’t think they would see this as disrespectful—especially those who served in the North African campaign. They would see it for what it is: the living enjoying the liberty these men died to preserve as well as connecting the living to the dead in the cycle of life.

(Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr)

 

Or, would you rather spend August at Lake Garda in Northern Italy shown below?

 

This magnificent hotel is on Lake Garda in Riva del Garda in Northern Italy. Cool and salubrious breezes would stimulate the creativity of any writer. Someone make reservations for me here, please.

(photos courtesy getawaytravelservice)

I saw these photos on the Weather Channel and decided it would be far preferable to be in one of these places than stuck in DC like I am.

 

california coast

Along California’s central coast, the Santa Lucia Mountains rise in steep cliffs along the ocean, creating a closer-to-home version of a sun-soaked Grecian paradise. McWay Fall is a gorgeous hideaway. (Flickr/Don Graham) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Alaska's Denali National Park

If trying to climb glorious, ice-capped peaks is your thing, check out Alaska’s Denali National Park. Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, is the park’s centerpiece. At less than 10,000 feet shorter than Everest, it might be a good (closer) place to start. (Flickr/NPS/Jacob W. Frank) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Kauai

No need to try to compare Hawaii’s most gorgeous and least-developed island, Kauai, with anywhere else in the world. You may recognize the lush, mountainous landscape as a backdrop for Jurassic Park. America’s own paradise may require hopping on a plane to get there, but the stunning scenery is well worth the ticket price. (Flickr/Paul Bica) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Because one of the many ways I make a living is as a historian, I will add that Washington DC is so hot that in the era before air-conditioning, British diplomats received hardship pay as they would have in other very hot countries. People have heard of this and have asked me from time to time if this is true. Yes, it is.

 

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/Diueine) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Mount Rainier

 Mount Rainier in Washington state. The ice-capped berg west of Seattle may look like a gentle giant, but it is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

 

author Charles McCain pointing out how high the drifts are two blocks away. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.  winter 2016.

 

Charles McCain is a financial writer, speaker, independent journalist, voice-over narrator, and published novelist. As an 8th generation South Carolinian he often writes about his native region and his Southern Gothic youth.

His first novel, An Honorable German, was published in 2009 by Grand Central Publishing/Little Brown, Ltd./Hachette Book Group. An Honorable German is a World War Two naval epic uniquely told from the point of view of a heroic yet deeply conflicted German naval officer and U-Boat commander in the only such novel ever written. (No one else was foolish enough to spend years doing the research).

You can buy various editions of the book here:

https://tinyurl.com/AHGbyMcCainAmazon

 

Collision Course with a Hurricane: How Doomed US Ship Met its End

EL FARO

SS El Faro

from Marine Link webzine:
“The ill-fated U.S.-flagged El Faro cargo ship sunk by Hurricane Joaquin was sailing at near full speed into the center of the storm before it lost propulsion amid mountainous waves and brutal winds, according to ship tracking data.

The data on Thomson Reuters Eikon raises questions about the ship owner’s assertion that the vessel’s captain had chosen a “sound plan” to pass around Joaquin “with a margin of comfort” but was then thwarted by engineering problems. It shows that even before the ship lost power it was in stormy waters that many mariners interviewed said they would never have entered.

After reviewing the data, Klaus Luhta, a former ship’s officer and chief of staff at the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, went silent for a moment as he contemplated what has been called the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than 30 years.

“I don’t know what he was thinking – I can’t even speculate,” said Luhta in a telephone interview. “He headed right into the track.”

You can read the rest of the story by clicking here:

http://www.marinelink.com/news/collision-hurricane399112.aspx

Royal Navy Sank the Bismarck This Day in 1941

 

 

King_George_V_class_battleship_9

HMS King George V, flagship of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Tovey as he maneuvered the units of the Royal Navy to sink the Bismarck

http://charlesmccain.com/2010/05/the-imperturbable-english/

 

A RAF Coastal Command Catalina (AH545 WQ-Z of 209 Squadron) located the German battleship Bismarck on 26 May 1941 which led to the sinking of the Bismarck. The sighting was made by the co-pilot, American US Navy Ensign Leonard “Tuck” Smith, but was credited to the pilot, British Flying Officer Dennis Briggs of the RAF, because the United States was supposed to be neutral.

 

http://charlesmccain.com/2013/07/being-fired-on-by-the-bismarck-was-disconcerting-said-vian-part-1/

http://charlesmccain.com/2013/07/being-fired-on-by-the-bismarck-was-disconcerting-said-vian-part-2/

http://charlesmccain.com/2010/04/what-was-the-deal-with-the-bismarck-and-the-hood/