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Homosassa New Age Thinkers; Atlantic Crossing Movie Night; “It’s a Sign”; Word for the Day; The Two Raffaeles

On Saturday we drove to Homosassa, Florida, for Suzanne’s presentation on Trance Mediumship to the Homosassa New Age Thinkers (NATs). A group of 53 enthusiastic attendees listened as Suzanne presented background information and conducted a channeling session, which was highly acclaimed by her listeners.

Many of you have heard about our having lived aboard a 46 foot sailboat for 5 years, and sailing her from the USA to Europe. During our crossing, a videographer made a documentary which has never been released. We will be having an Atlantic Crossing Movie Night on Feb 27th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Seabreeze Recreation Center here in The Villages. If you’re a Villages resident and would like to join us, you can get more info and sign up at this link (there is no charge):

On a non-spiritual note, we passed this sign the other day… it is not an endorsement for the business, but rather an observation that you can make even a dirty job fun… well, kinda sorta…  

Our Word for the Day is “limpet”. Some of you know a limpet as a maritime gastropod mollusk that has a low, rough conical shell and clings to rocks [Per-12th C. Via medieval Latin lampetra (source also of English lamprey), of uncertain origin: probably literally “lick-rock.”) The “true limpet”, or patella vulgate, is seen here on a rock surface in Wales, UK. Limpets are actually fresh or salt water snails, and can have either gills or a lung. 

But the word also has a more sinister meaning: a limpet mine is an explosive device that can be attached to the hull of a ship by a diver or swimmer, and is usually held in place by magnets. (The analogy to a snail stuck to a rock seems obvious now, n’cest pas?) This photo shows how a diver might carry one of these devices. The word “carefully” also comes to mind…

The first successful use of a limpet mine was in 1918, when two Italian Royal Navy divers, Raffaele Paolucci and Raffaele Rossetti, blew up the dreadnought battleship SMS Viribus Unitis in Pula, Croatia, during the First World War. This was a truly bizarre incident, for several reasons. SMS Viribus Unitis was the ship that had transported Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austrian throne, to Bosnia in 1914; while visiting Sarajevo, Serbia, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg, were assassinated with a hand grenade thrown by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. (The couple is seen here at left and below, above the mug shot of their killer. Terrorists don’t seem to have changed a lot in 100 years, have they?)

The bodies of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were then returned to Trieste aboard the Viribus Unitis. Austria declared war on Serbia, and World War I was on. Scroll ahead four years, to the harbor of Pula… the Two Raffeles successfully attached the limpet mines to the battleship, but were captured 20 minutes before the mines were to detonate. They were then taken aboard the Viribus Unitis, their target, where they learned that she was no longer an Austro-Hungarian warship, but had been given by Austria to the new State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, a neutral power. They immediately informed the ship’s captain of the impending explosion. He had them taken to a sister ship, and ordered the evacuation of his crew. When the explosion did not occur exactly at the time expected, he and the crew returned to the ship, which promptly then exploded, killing the captain and 400 crewmen. The Italians, still aboard another ship, survived the war and were given medals. (This was also one of the last successful missions by the Italian Navy… and again proves that fact is often stranger than fiction.)  

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