Pat Shingleton: "Mummified Bodies and Surfing..."
Three years ago on this date, The Daily Telegraph reported that the bodies of more than
80 soldiers from World War I were recovered from melting glaciers. Experts from
the Archaeological Heritage Office in Trento, Italy noted that the mummified bodies
of the soldiers were discovered near the small northern town of Peio. Glaciers began
to melt in the 1990s and the first evidence of mail, apparently written by the soldiers,
began flooding from the mountains into the town. Bodies then began to emerge that were
amazingly well preserved due to the ice. Two soldiers died on the Presena Glacier in
May, 1918 and were discovered in the crevasse. Weather was an enemy to both sides and
at 12,000 feet the temperature plunged to -30 degrees. Avalanches also took many lives.
Finally, without a unique combination of sunshine, rising heat, wind and a land mass,
there would be no waves. I pulled from my archives an interesting story on former
champion surfer Laird Hamilton. Laird has a reputation of surfing the world's biggest
waves. He pioneered "tow-in surfing," where a personal watercraft pulls the surfer
directly into a wave, too large to paddle into. There's a place in Tahiti that experts
consider unsurfable, where a steep wall of water crashes with unbelievable speed and
power into a coral reef below. Hamilton has conquered it. He developed a new kind of
tow-in board that incorporates a hydrofoil fin, allowing the surfer to coast above
the surface for indefinite periods of time, rather than being pounded by the wave.
The device has linked a snow board, with a boot, and a hydrofoil keel that cuts through
the water. James Bond utilized one in one of his movies...