When I was a child I remember singing a song in Sunday school.  The words were, "The wise man built his house upon a rock, but the foolish man built his house upon the sand."  The song goes on to say that the rains came down and the floods came up and washed away the house built on the sand.  The moral of the song was clear.  If you want your house to endure the trials of life, it must be built on a strong foundation.  It convinced me.  Not in a thousand years would I build my house upon sand.

The people who built their house on La Brea pitch lake in Trinidad would have done well to attend Sunday school and learn the value of building on a solid foundation.  The pitch lake makes a terrible foundation for a house.  This ramshackle house used to be a first class dwelling until the pitch foundation began to shift.  The concrete front steps are no longer attached to the house because they are sinking in the black pitch.  The vertical timbers under the house are sinking and the wooden structure is slowly and relentlessly being ripped apart by the lack of support.  There's no doubt about it, building your house on a foundation of pitch is a bad idea.

Pitch does have it's benefits.  You can mine it and export it around the world.  That's exactly what happens to the pitch from La Brea pitch lake.  They dig up the pitch, put it in small rail cars, transport it to their processing plant, and then ship it around the world where they use it to build roads.  China is buying hundreds of tons of pitch that they will use to build roads for the Olympics in Bejing. 


They mine pitch by digging eight foot deep holes in the pitch lake.  The holes doesn't remain for long because they quickly fill in with new pitch that has a soupy consistency.  The soupy pitch doesn't last long either.  Within a week, it solidifies enough that you can safely walk on it.

Fresh pitch pits are dangerous because they can swallow you up.  If you fall into one, you are probably history.  In recent times, two people have fallen into the pitch pits at night, and one of them died.  The survivor had to be cleaned up by washing him off with kerosene.  It's also forbidden to ride a bicycle across the lake because of the risk of breaking through the surface of freshly reformed pitch.

The pitch in this area was mined several weeks previously, and the new pitch replacing it is still slightly soft. My Teva sandals leave a temporary impression on its surface.

Vehicles can't stay on the surface of the lake for more than a few minutes without their tires sinking into the pitch.  

Building houses on pitch lakes is a bad idea, and putting a taxi stand there is less than brilliant as well.  That song I learned in Sunday school was right.  The wise man built his house upon the rock.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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