… this is just getting silly …

With both boats magically anchored in 1500m of ocean depth, Mark is going to go “below the surface of the water.”  I think we call that “underwater,” but no worries…  I guess we will see what there is to see.  Given that we see pelicans and gulls, maybe they are closer to shore than I suppose…

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Is that a microscope in panel one?  Part of the “special equipment” that Mark brought to use in this investigation?  CSI Trail?  So what’s Doc going to think?  “I don’t know Mark, looks like blood to me…  maybe shark blood.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Anchored?  Really?  Not so sure about that…  the Gulf of Mexico is shallow along the rim, but gets deep fast – average depth of 1,500 meters. That’s the approximate depth of the Deepwater Horizon site… and where it lies at the bottom of the ocean now after exploding and sinking…  That’s a lot of anchor line…

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“Any Ideas, Mark?”  “I don’t know , Ken…”  Of course he doesn’t know.  What credentials did Mark bring?  What earthly good was he going to add to this situation?  Apparently this is NOT something that has “Mark Trail’s name written all over it…”

You know who we need here?  Jacques Cousteau!  Or at least Steve Zissou, made (in)famous by Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic

Ken’s Ponytail is looking a little, well, limp…

Ponytail and facial hair aside, I am now convinced that Ken is not a bad guy…  despite that fact that those are traditional markers in the Trail-verse…

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And, Ken, dude, that’s the same t-shirt you have had on for days now…  I’m guessing it’s a might rank by now.  And e-mailing the results to doc…  that sets you free Mark…  proof of your landing…  but where;s the signal?  You have satellite technology?  Does the Shur Ketch3 have wi-fi?    My, how far we have come!!

Cigarette Boat… Ha!

But why do we call them that?  Because back in the day, they were used to smuggle cigars and cigarettes in to the US…   and cigarette manufacturers were the main sponsors of the races that involved these over-sized, over-powered craft…  True Cigarette boats took a crew to run them- a throttle man or men, someone to steer, working the throttle up and down as the boat careened along, going in and out of the water.   Wiki honors this boat as the “Go-Fast Boat” preferred boat of smugglers

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Yup, that’s Ol’ Ken, shouting insults across the water.  Mark is back in his element- away from Cherry, Doc, and the young one that always wants to go fishing..  what’s his name again??  oh yea… Rusty.

Ahoy, there, Laddie…

OK, let’s get on with the story here.

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Funny how things with remind you of things…  the binocular view in panel three reminds me of two shows- Flipper and Gentle Ben.  Both involved fathers who were in government jobs doing game-warden-type work…  I found that fascinating even as a young tad.  The camera was forever “peering through binoculars” in order to sneak up on the bad guys!

What, is there another Ken?

Do we have to refer to him by his qualifying sobriquet?  Reminds me of the old joke (grade school) “How do you spell Mississippi with one ‘i’?”  Answer:  (While holding a hand over one eye) M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I… Did Ken make his way from Itasca to the Gulf, thereby earning the nick name?  Is he a former pro wrestler so that there is no need for an explanation?

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And thank you Mark for all this information- you are a regular floating wiki…  Of course I underestimate the depth of Mark’s knowledge on any given topic and his ability to reason while being catapulted through the seas by heavy horses…

Nice whale.  But do Humpback Whales ply the gulf waters?  It would seem that they do, depending on the season…  Summer feeding in polar waters and coming south to breed…

Watching the Trail Brain work can be painful…

He’s really working it, Ladies and Gentlemen.  But really, what does Bill Ellis’ opinion matter at this juncture?  He never leaves the city unless it’s in comfort and only then to get kidnapped by rogue islanders…  And besides, if a “chemical spill” happened, it wold be impacting all life, not just sharks…

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I am glad that Mark has not forsaken his wardrobe of khaki shirt and denim pant in favor of a Tommy Bahama floral print shirt and board shorts…  Of course we haven’t seen his bottom half, but one has to assume…  and it looks like he has applied extra Brylcreem to his coiffure in order that no hair be out of place…

Shur hope the Shur Ketch3 has facilities on board…

Sounds like Ken and Kelly have been on a shark stake-out, waiting for Mark Trail to get permission from Bill and Cherry, and then for Mark to board a plane and motor out to the “middle of the Gulf of Mexico…”  I guess we now know why Mark needed a boat.  Ken wasn’t coming back to port and he shur couldn’t swim out to the site…

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Thanks for all the thought bubbles… if Mark were to talk aloud to himself under these circumstances, he would have to yell…  which would certainly be awkward to witness…