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"The Old Man and the Sea"

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Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man and the Sea” while living in Cuba about a poor fisherman, named Santiago, who has a string of bad luck fishing for his livelihood. On his 84th day he set out deep into the Gulf Stream of Mexico and finally hooked a world record marlin.

Twenty years ago I set out to find a new fall in Arizona. I interviewed dozens of people miles apart who all independently triangulated to the same location. I spend 52 days over the years combing that area in ever widening, carefully searched grids to no avail. Finally, reviewing weather radar data, others located the strewnfield 15 miles away and began recovering stones. I changed course and continued searching for another 14 days over the new strewnfield and still have found nothing. No one has ever found the main mass, but now I think I have identified a reasonably small grid for a detailed search. I figure my highest probability of success of my grid will be in days 3 to 6 with a maximum of 18 days to complete a fully extended search area.

Santiago found his success when he persevered to the end. I intend to do the same, even if it takes 84 days.




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