The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

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Emin Pasha

Rescue on the Equator

With Dr. Dan Liebowitz, MN-66

Date: Friday, May 21, 1999

Place: The Liebowitz's garden in Woodside and Rickeys Hyatt in Palo Alto (See Map by clicking here or at the bottom)

Time: Reception in garden of Dan and Rusty Liebowitz at 175 Fox Hollow, Woodside from 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM
Cocktails at Rickeys at 4219 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 7:15 PM

Dinner: 7:45 PM

Meeting: 8:45 PM

Cost: $40 ($45 postmarked after May 14, $50 at the door)

Dan Leibowitz's interest in explorer physicians who travel to the African continent continues with his recent study of Emin Pasha's life. Emin Pasha, (née Eduard Schnitzer) German explorer and physician, served (1876 – 1878) under General Charles Gordon in the Egyptian Sudan, and in 1878, he succeeded Gen. Gordon as governor of the province of Equatoria. During the 1885 Mahdist uprising, Emin Pasha was cut off from the outside world. Sir Henry Stanley organized a relief effort and met Emin Pasha on the Albert Nyanza in 1888. Emin Pasha's position was not as desperate as Stanley had originally thought, but in 1889, Emin Pasha agreed to accompany Stanley from the Sudan to Mombasa. He was murdered in 1892 while exploring the area of Lake Tanganyika.

Dr. Liebowitz's most recent book, The Physician and the Slave Trade: John Kirk, the Livingstone Expeditions and The Crusade against Slavery in East Africa, was published in December 1998. He hopes to have his book on Emin Pasha published soon.

News from the members

Mort Beebe (FN-78) attended the ECAD and reported that it was a wonderful event. Television monitored have been set up around the room so everyone could see the evening's events. Norman Vaughan arrived by dog sled and invited those in attendance to join him in his 100-year birthday trip to Antarctica. Piccard and Jones made an unexpected visit and joined the announced list of dinner speakers and honorees. Mort has a tape from ECAD that he will show at a future dinner meeting.

Ed Ross (FN-79) returned recently from a collecting trip to Brazil and Equador. He developed a novel approach to deal with the "bureaucratic plaque" of road blocks, checks and frequent vehicle inspections. His group brought along Brazilian copies of Playboy and found that the guards were more interested in inspecting their new magazine than in inspecting Ed's vehicle.

Eve Ivesen (CO-86) was planning to go to Egypt on a Fullbright Program to work on "Chronic Wound Treatment". Her program has been denied because it is "not aesthetically pleasing". This is a problem of bureaucratic plaque that will require something more that a few copies of Playboy, so she has gone to the California delegates in Washington.

Hank Grandin (MN-81) cancelled a much-anticipated trans-Atlantic sail after talking with a NOAA weather expert and learning that we should expect a number of late season hurricanes (as if Y2K were not enough!)

Olaf Malver (FN-92) took a group 10 hearty souls to Burma to explore the possibilities of creating commercial sea kayaking trips in the area. The group included Dana Isherwood and nine men. It was not expected that communication would be possible during most of the trip, but finally at 6 AM, April 28, Bill Isherwood (FN-70) received the following fax from Dana: "Greetings from Burma. Having a wonderful time! [remember this part as you read further] Wish you were here. We ran out of gas in our support raft on a deserted tropical island on the edge of a typhoon in the Bay of Bengal. All we had with us was a can of Pringles and a bag of beef jerky. Our Burmese supply boat was lost at sea — fortunately after our maiden voyage on her in a storm which drove us into the hold with the cockroaches. Had to swim at night with our bags through sea snake infested waters. Saved by Burmese fishermen who taught nine men how to light a fire. Burmese Navy came to the rescue with gas for the raft. But it ran out of gas at the pearl farm. Pearl farm came to the rescue. Raft found supply boat 3 days later. Beach at 2nd camp washed away by storm. Kayaks began to disintegrate, but that was OK because most of the time we couldn't kayak. Constantly wet bodies festered as the rain came down in sheets and the wind knocked over trees. Couldn't snorkel in the rough seas. GOOD NEWS! No place to spend money. Finally made it to Mergui [southeastern Burmese town where kayaking was to end], but no hotel rooms available. Stayed at military hotel. It was very safe with mosquito breeding ponds outside every room. The air conditioner didn't work, the fan didn't work, the hot water didn't exist, and there were holes in the mosquito nets, but that was an improvement over previous conditions. Had a victory dinner which we enjoyed even after our guide said we were served 'cat' and the skin of chicken feet. Today is an ordinary day of sightseeing. Thank God! We are on our way to Rangoon hoping for adventures. Best wishes, Dana" Perhaps we'll hear the full story at our May meeting.

Sorry I can't make the April 30 meeting but I'll be performing duties as Assistant Guide on the 1999 Weber-Malakhov North Pole Expedition. Hope to attend the May meeting. Jeff Mantel

More from Mort Beebe: I will departing again for NYC, 30 April at 10:00 PM, for a two day conference: Into the field, Strategies for Funding Exploration, fee $120.00 organized by Peter Hess. National Geographic Television, The Discovery Channel and others will review proposals. Ms Martinez of the Club has the attendance forms at 212 628 8383 to fax a response. Daniele and I will show up at 6:00 PM Friday to offer comments with our two other N. Calif. members that attended the grand dinner(s). Gone are the days when our chapter had two tables up front and hosted the afterglow at the Summit (now Loews) Hotel, following the Waldorf elegant events. I spoke up for our Chapter twice, and offered our support to the San Antonio, Texas Chapter to host a western ECAD in 2001, to be called TECCAD. They would like to emulate the best of the Golden GateAway's success. in the same light we should review the Corporate Membership proposal pertaining to the Golden GateAway per the Board's January letter to us. After petitioning Ken Kamler, V.P., Membership, they elevated Kirk Usher's membership from Associate to "Member National". Following the surprise Balloon drop over the head table, celebrating the Concord arrival of Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, I took the liberty to invite them to speak to our Chapter and the Commonwealth Club in the near future.

Note from Pamela Logan: Hey Guess What! Thanks to a friend here in LA whose ex-brother-in-law works in the book division of National Geographic, I got a story proposal into their system, and they've decided to do a Geographica piece on the Tibetan art conservation project I've been doing since 1994. (Geographica is at the front of the magazine, a bunch of short newsy and sometimes humorous items, usually consisting of one photo and one paragraph). One of their writers phoned my up on Monday to give me an hour-long interview, and today someone from the photo side called to request my slides be FedExed to them so they can choose one. He says it's slated for the September issue. Whoopee! Excuse me, I'm going to be unbearably pleased with myself for a few years.

Earl Explorers news

On May 13, 1999, The Sixth Annual Read In! on the Internet will begin at 8:00 AM ET and continue for eleven hours, tile 7:00 PM ET. Over 311,000 participants, in twelve countries will be logging online to chat live with 22 children's and young adult authors.

What Is The Read In!? What is the Connection to Dennis Earl?

The Read In! is a day long reading project for hundreds of thousands of students throughout the world in grades K-12. It incorporates and integrates Language Arts curriculum and Telecommunications into a remarkable and worthwhile educational collaboration among peers!

The Read In! has experienced phenomenal growth every year as educators around the world discover our incredible event! This year, over 311,000 students, teachers, librarians and parents from more than 12 countries will take part! We cordially invite you to join us!

The Read In! began in 1994 when one third grade class at Dutcher (Dennis Earl was Dutcher prior to the startup of the new school) connected with one class in Chickasha, Oklahoma via very slow 2400 baud modems. Today this celebration of reading to encourage literacy has grown from one on one to a HUGE Internet event!

Some of the authors who will be online are Avi, R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame, Judy Blume, Ed Emberley, and Robert Munsch. There are authors in England, Australia, and one in China!

This is totally free to participating schools...and is GREAT fun! Plan to stop in and say hello!

We are very proud that this project has been embraced by schools and libraries around the world. We invite authors to contact The Read In Foundation for the Year 2000 Read In! It will be HUGE! If you are interested, or know anyone who might be, please contact Jane Coffey/Founder & Director of The Read In Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit literacy organization.

Jane Coffey ;-)
Dennis Earl Elementary
Technology Support Specialist
Founder/President The Read In Foundation, Inc.

Dinner Guests:

Lesley Ewing (FN-93) brought as a guest Dr. Mark Moffett, naturalist and photojournalist, associated with the University of Berkeley, Museum of Vertebrate Biology. Mark recently moved here from Boston and is interested in learning more about the Club and members. Charles (MN-92) and Louise Geraci brought as a guest Herman and Sarah Pepper who, in 1967, had gone with Leo Le Bon on his first trip to Nepal. Don (MN-82) and Ann Bessey brought as a guest Karl Schori who volunteers with the Handicapped Scuba Association and was on a recent trip with Don in Honduras. Leo and Nadia Le Bon brought as a guest, Manola, the lead guide for Mountain Travel-Sobek trips in Peru.


We unfortunately will have to cancel the June H.M. Bark Endeavour event. The ship was not able to arrange dock space in San Francisco and will be going instead to the Port of Sacramento in West Sacramento. We will return checks to everyone who may reservations. Public tours will be available at every port-of-call. For more information, call (619) 223-9477 or look at the web site:

Picnic on Angel Island June 27th. We will send out a newsletter about this trip

Gold Country (Nevada City) Weekend September, likely Saturday, September 11th. We hope to get a speaker who can provide talk on the natural and human history of the Sierra Nevada. We want to have an additional gathering Friday night, the 10th. Saturday during the day can be spent at various historic sites such as the Empire Mine and the shops along the old-town streets. As hotel reservations are hard to get in Nevada City (that's also Constitution Day), we suggest you make them NOW. We have provided a list of places you can try. The Saturday event will be at the Northern Queen (800-226-3090).

Click here for a Click for table of the lodging choices in Nevada City

TEXCAD (or is it TECCAD?): Mark your calendars for a Texas Explorers Club weekend in May 2000 (or is it 2001?). They have been inspired by our Golden GateAway events and want to co-host an event, with NASA, focusing on International Space Station.

Last Month's Meeting

Exploring the Sahara: Camel Expeditions in the Hoggar, Tefedest, and Tassili N'ajjar Regions of the Algerian Sahara, 1970 to 1990

Leo and Nadia Le Bon provided an evening of travel through the Sahara, compiled from five or six separate expeditions through the desert spanning 1968 to 1988. Their travels were by camel, with each explorer having one camel for transportation and one camel for supplies. They packed in almost everything – food, water, shelter and even food for the camels. The entire Sahara is approximately 3 million square miles, and comparable to the continental United States. Temperatures can reach 110 to 120 degrees F. in the middle of the day and drop to below freezing at night. On an average day, they could travel 25 miles and several times took two to three days to cross some of the larger, open desert areas. Normal shelters are open roofed, light weight wind screens; with less that 10 cm of precipitation a year (average), there is no concern about getting rained on. Fortunately for desert travelers, there are underground streams and oases that the Tuareg guides are experts at finding.

The Sahara offers a surprising variety of vistas –rounded, exfoliating granite outcrops similar to Half Dome in Yosemite; rugged 12,000+ foot granite peaks; and, stark undulating sand dunes for a far as the eye can see. And, when most of your views are from 12 feet off the ground, on the back of a camel, you can see very far indeed.

Leo and Nadia traveled through the Sahara with Tuareg guides (the blue veiled nomads) looking for Neolithic cave paintings. Due to the arid climate, 7,000 to 10,000 year old paintings of dancers, elephants, lions, giraffes and cattle are perfectly preserved. Often the paintings tell a story about how the Sahara has changed since the paintings were done (for example, there are no elephants in modern day Sahara, but early paintings of elephants suggest that they had inhabited this area many years ago.) Even as late as the 1920's the Tuaregs were hunting lions in the Sahara. Many camp meals consisted of bread baked in the sand, or tea cooked over fires that were fueled by 2,000 year old cedar wood from trees that had once grown in the Sahara and are now buried under sand dunes.

Travel through the Sahara has always been difficult. For many years, Europeans were forbidden to travel through Algeria and Morocco. One of the early European explorers, Charles de Foucauld, traveled over 3,000 miles through Algeria and 1,600 Morocco (through Morocco he disguised himself as a Jewish rabbi). Today, many of the areas that were visited by Leo and Nadia are again "off-limited" due to civil war and unrest.

Directions to Liebowitz's:

* From North: S. on 280 to Highway 84; west on 84 about 3/4 mile to the village, and straight on past another half mile to Fox Hollow Road which is on the left. The Liebowitz's house is near the end on the left.

* From East: W. on Hwy. 84 across the Dumbarton Bridge, stay on the Bayfront Expressway to where it becomes Marsh Road and meets Hwy. 101. Take 101 one exit north to Hwy 84 west/Woodside Road. Follow 84 about 4 miles through Redwood City, under the Hwy. 280 freeway and proceed as above.

* From South: North on 280 and exit on 84 and proceed as above or north on 101 and proceed as second paragraph above.

Directions from Dan and Rusty's, Woodside to Rickeys Hyatt, Palo Alto

Take Woodside Road (Highway 84) east to Hwy 280. Take 280 south to Page Mill Road. Take Page Mill east to El Camino Real. Take El Camino south to the hotel at 4219 El Camino Real, which is on the left (650-493-8000).

Reservations for the May meeting


Please return this reservations form no later than Tuesday, May 11, 1999 to:

Jerry Athearn
The Explorers Club
Northern California Chapter.
7037 Chabot Road
Oakland, CA 94618
Jerry's phone: (510) 653-2572

Please reserve spaces for the Dan Liebowitz talk at Rickey's Hyatt on Friday, May 21, 1999.

$40/person... $45 if postmarked after May 14; $50 at the door. Reception at Dan and Rusty Liebowitz's 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM, Cocktails, 7:15 PM, Dinner, 7:45 PM, Speaker, 8:45 PM.

Your Name: _______________________________________

Your Address: _____________________________________


Guests: ______________________________________


Map to Dan and Rusty Liebowitz's

Detailed map to Rickey's Hyatt

Date created: 05/13/1999
Last modified: 01/23/2002

Web page by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster, Northern California Chapter of the Explorers Club. email to Mike

c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404

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