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At the end of last month, I spent a terrific week on the Oregon Coast. For the first time ever, I spent part of the scenic drive thinking about fiber.🧵

1. Oregon's undersea cables generate both collaboration and controversy

More than a dozen undersea cables extend from the Oregon and Washington coasts, crossing through miles of commercial fishing grounds. Far more data is transmitted, and more quickly, via these undersea cables than through satellite communications.

Of the 15 undersea cables landing along the Oregon and Washington coast, the oldest dates to 1999 and the newest went into service this year.

Read more.
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The Oregon Coast is better known for its scenic drives, beaches and seafood than undersea cables. (Future Tides Photo/Cara Kuhlman)

2. New subsea fiber network underway on the Alaskan peninsula

Internet connectivity, especially high speed connectivity, significantly impacts rural and coastal communities. 

One method for expanding high quality internet service is through undersea or subsea cables. There are currently four such cables connecting Alaska to Oregon and Washington.

GCI, a telecommunications corporation headquartered and operating in Alaska, is using this approach to provide 1 gigabit download speeds to the Alaskan Peninsula with its Aleutians Fiber Project. 

Read more.

3. Book recs to gift boaters (or for you)

I'm doing some holiday shopping and have read a lot of maritime-related books. Here are a few I highly recommend, plus my tips for book shopping.

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet
A frequent recommendation of mine, I love both the subject matter and Blanchet's writing style. This book even inspired my boat's name Capi

The Voyage of the Rose City: An Adventure at Sea, by John Moynihan
One of the first books I discovered through the Seattle Public Library. Also a memoir but from a young man who drops out of college and signs on as a deckhand on a cargo ship in 1980.

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
A recommendation from fellow bookish boaters I'm happy to pass along! A novel that spices up the predictable pirate adventure. Simply put, a very fun read especially for food lovers.

Sourcing the books:

  • If you are looking to read one of these yourself, I highly recommend checking the Seattle Public Library first. I almost exclusively use my Kindle for e-books from SPL.
  • I pick up new copies, especially for gifts, from local bookstores. Secret Garden Books and Elliot Bay Books are two favorites. Going in person is a treat but I've also ordered online from both. Many local bookshops bolstered their e-commerce options due to the pandemic.
  • For used books, I usually start with Powell's. In Seattle, I've also stopped by Twice Sold Tales and Third Place Books

I've been busy working, enjoying some holiday festivities, researching this week's articles and actually going back to the gym (well, I went once.)

There's too much on my mind, especially about Future Tides, to distill this week. Even a couple weeks after the fact, my mind keeps wandering back to Astoria, the Oregon Coast and the unbelievable November weather we got to enjoy.

While not the top highlight, I did really enjoy visiting the Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park where the water continues to work away at the ships remains with each tide.

Until next week,
- Cara

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