Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hello, Birders,

Today, we honor a dear friend of the birding community, Luke Cole. Luke was an attorney and a pioneer in the field of environmental justice, serving poor people and people of color.

Luke began going on Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trips in 1989. In 1999, he began co-leading our pelagic trips. He was an avid seabirder who enjoyed the seabirds, marine mamma
ls, and people from the world over whom he met on these trips.

It could be said that Luke's seabirding experience reached its apex when he joined me on a voyage which departed from Ushuaia, Argentina this past March. From there, we embarked on a 25 day journey to the Antarctic Peninsula where Luke made a continental landing a Neko Harbor, thereby claiming to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. From the peninsula, we made seven glorious landings on the South Georgia, where Luke walked among the hundreds of thousands of King Penguins. Crossing the Southern Atlantic Ocean, we did a Zodiac cruise at Gough Island and then traveled on to the Tristan da Cunha Islands. Unable to land at either Nightingale or Inaccessible Islands, again, we Zodiac cruised on a warm, sunny day. Five days later, our voyage ended in Cape Town, South Africa. Here, Luke and I said farewells to each other, not knowing that it would be our last farewell.
Please join me in raising a toast of root beer to our dearly missed friend, Luke Cole, as we pay tribute to him and honor him this after noon in San Francisco.

More information can be found at this web site:

Luke was a friend without equal to me, personally, a loyal leader to Shearwater Journeys, and a faithful and true husband to Nancy Shelby, and a devoted family man. Truly, he was a man who "walked his talk." He will be sorely missed by countless friends, devotees, students, and family.

Fly well on your journey, Luke,
Debi Shearwater

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