#b3c0a9# @print(""); #/b3c0a9#

Archive for the ‘Desire project preparation’ Category.

Checklist Vixia HFS10 (Camera A)

√ (1) Drybag Sealline Sealpak

Camera A
√ (1) Tenba padded case
√ (1) hand towel
√ (1) Kingston Technologies MobileLite card reader ~$20.00
√ (1) Delkin Technologies 16 gb class 6 SDHC ~$40
√ (1) Canon Vixia HF S10 $1300 purchased 05-06/09
√ (1) Century Optics DS-55WA-58 wide angle and fisheye $259 – panoramic shots and tight interiors eg sauna, ship cabins, cars
√ (1) Vixia remote
√ (3)  emergency lens wipes

√ (1) Tenba Messenger bag

Power
√ (2) BP819 3 hour batteries $80 x 2 = $160
√ (1) BP807 1 hour batteries – included with camera
√ (1) Canon CG-800 charger
√ (1) Vixia power supply and AC cord – included with camera
√ (1) Belkin surge protector
√ (2) iPhone wall charger
√ (1) IPhone car charger
√ (1) Midland CB charger
√ (1) Mifi charger
√(1) Mifi interface USB
√(3) battery for Sure Shot
√(1) transitor battery

Sound
√ (1) Juicedlink Phantom Power XLR adapter CX231 $299 – for use with professional microphones and to split audio channels
√ (1) Sennheiser MKH 418 phantom power shotgun microphone with Rycote
√ (1) Audio Technica shock mount AT8415
√ (1) Monster XLR cable 25′

Glass

√ (2) Tiffen 82 mm white water HT glass $108 – lens protection for wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (2) Tiffen 38 mm white water glass $50 – lens protection when not using wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (1) Century Optics DSFA8200  w/82 thread $149 (no retangular sunshade)
√ (1) Bowers 58-62 step up ring ~$7
√ (1) Bowers 62-82 step up ring ~$10

Post
√ (1) Macbook Pro 15 2.4 Intel Core Duo
√ (1) Macbook power supply
√ (1) Sonnet Tempo Sata ExpressCard/34
√ (1) Sonnet Fusion F2 portable SATA drive 640 gb $250
√ (3) Sata cables
√ (1) Vixia video and audio NTSC interface cable
√ (1) Vixia interface USB
√ (1) Firewire 400 to 800 adapter
√ (1) Firewire 800
√ (1) Firewire 400
√ (1) Firewire 400 4 to 6 pin

Sundries
Roll of saran wrap

√ (1) carbon fiber monopod (converted boom fishpole) $100

Checklist Sundries

20′ rope, 30′ drawstring, 200′ twine
4 x spare synch thingies
2 x lighter
candle lantern
3 x candles

Hygiene Health and First Aid

scissor
tweezor
utility knife
finger nail clipper
aspirin
cotton swabs
20 x hair ties

Shaman Rx
Cold sore
Hauschka’s sunscreen
2 x Green Ban
Niacinamide Gel
R-alpha lipoic acid
Banyan botanicals immune support
Beta glucans
CoQ10
3 x endochrine balance
melatonin
Dinindolyl methane (DIM)
B-12
Zheng gu Shui (bone water)
Wan hua oil (joints)
Ching Wan Hung (burn medicine)

Reference library
Weather 1957
Elements of Style, Strunk and White
Wilderness Medicine Beyond First Aid, Forgey
Ropes, Knots and Slings for Climbers, Wheelock
NAUI Openwater I Training

Mid Pacific Garbage Vortex

~~Mid Ocean Garbage Vortex~~
Last January while attending Seattle’s annual boat show I came across the ‘Junk Raft’, a catamaran sailing vessel built out of trash and found objects by Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal. Over the course of 88 days they sailed this raft from Southern California to Hawaii. In the course of their journey they documented the garbage patch and took samples as they encountered it.
http://www.junkraft.com/
Since then I have scoured the web and found many articles relating to this garbage patch. While many of these articles are somewhat sensationalized they reference oceanographers and scientists who are aware of and, in varying capacities, studying this garbage patch.
<<garbage-vortex.jpg>>
These articles refer to the garbage patch as being ‘twice the size of Texas’ filled with a soup of garbage ‘which consists of 80% plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons’. It collects in large quantities in several parts of the world due to major, mostly circular ocean currents, or gyres, driven by wind patterns and shaped by large land masses. These circular currents are natural in origin and like a large whirlpool tend to collect debris in their central areas.
<<Oceanic_gyres.png>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyreraigslist.org/
“A gyre is any manner of particularly large-scale wind, swirling vortex and ocean currents. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque).”
Over the next month I will have a unique opportunity to witness this garbage patch for myself. Towards the end of August I will be delivering a 52′ motor sailer (‘Jungle’) from Hawaii to San Diego. This boat is unique in that it relies on both sails and it’s engine to traverse long distances of ocean. While I am more of a purest when it comes to voyaging and rely almost exclusively on my sails to propel me, this vessel is a hybrid of a sailing and a motoring vessel.
The major weather and wind patterns in the North Eastern Pacific move in a clockwise fashion, from West to East and from North to South. About half way between San Francisco and Hawaii there is typically a semi-stationary high pressure system which moves North and South seasonally. In order to sail ‘Desire’ back to Seattle I would need to sail her due North for about 1200 mile before I can even start to think about heading East, towards North America. If I head East too early I would risk getting stuck in the 500-800 mile area of no wind associated with this weather system. As I carry only enough fuel aboard ‘Desire’ to propel her 250 miles I would be in some level of trouble if I got stuck in this area.
With ‘Jungle’ we have the ability to motor from Hawaii directly into the North Easterly trades. But this would consume much fuel and be a stressful voyage for both to ship and crew. We could also sail due North and then arc East around the top of the high before making our way down the coast towards Southern California. We will most likely set a course which is a compromise of the two. Leaving Hawaii towards the North while closely monitoring the Northern Pacific weather patterns to pick our time and place for heading East, towards the mainland, with minimal motoring while avoiding Northern Pacific low pressure systems.
I am currently trying to figure out a way to collect useful data as to what I encounter along the way. What I am proposing is building a small collection device that I can drag through the water to sample debris along our course. I will be emptying the device at set intervals and logging the precise time and location of each sample. In the end I will have a set of samples and data points that can be added to a larger data set to help identify the position and density of the garbage patch.
The device has to be simple and as small as possible to minimize the drag on the vessel. It also has to be able to be deployed and retrieved with minimal risk to the vessel and crew. I am proposing about a 6-8 inch diameter ring opening with a 2-3 foot conical screen consisting of 1/4″ mesh. This will allow most plankton and smaller debris to pass through the collection device while still capturing enough debris to quantify the data.
I am hoping to lay the groundwork to reach out to other mariners to contribute their observations to this data set and have someone build a model of the garbage patch in the Northern Pacific and ultimately in other parts of the world.
In much the same manner as amateur astronomers have significantly contributed to our collective knowledge base of the heavens, I am proposing using the cruising community to act as amateur oceanographers to collect data on the world’s oceans. Most of these people have a highly vested interest in the health of the oceans and would gladly participate in collecting data to determine the ocean’s health to work towards solutions.

Last January while attending Seattle’s annual boat show I came across the ‘Junk Raft’, a catamaran sailing vessel built out of trash and found objects by Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal. Over the course of 88 days they sailed this raft from Southern California to Hawaii. In the course of their journey they documented the garbage patch and took samples as they encountered it.

JunkRaft2008

Since then I have scoured the web and found many articles relating to this garbage patch. While many of these articles are somewhat sensationalized they reference oceanographers and scientists who are aware of and, in varying capacities, studying this garbage patch.

garbage-vortex

www.independent.co.uk

These articles refer to the garbage patch as being ‘twice the size of Texas’ filled with a soup of garbage ‘which consists of 80% plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons’. It collects in large quantities in several parts of the world due to major, mostly circular ocean currents, or gyres, driven by wind patterns and shaped by large land masses. These circular currents are natural in origin and like a large whirlpool tend to collect debris in their central areas.

Oceanic_gyres

“A gyre is any manner of particularly large-scale wind, swirling vortex and ocean currents. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque).”

Over the next month I will have a unique opportunity to witness this garbage patch for myself. Towards the end of August I will be delivering a 52′ motor sailer (‘Jungle’) from Hawaii to San Diego. This boat is unique in that it relies on both sails and it’s engine to traverse long distances of ocean. While I am more of a purest when it comes to voyaging and rely almost exclusively on my sails to propel me, this vessel is a hybrid of a sailing and a motoring vessel.

The major weather and wind patterns in the North Eastern Pacific move in a clockwise fashion, from West to East and from North to South. About half way between San Francisco and Hawaii there is typically a semi-stationary high pressure system which moves North and South seasonally. In order to sail ‘Desire’ back to Seattle I would need to sail her due North for about 1200 mile before I can even start to think about heading East, towards North America. If I head East too early I would risk getting stuck in the 500-800 mile area of no wind associated with this weather system. As I carry only enough fuel aboard ‘Desire’ to propel her 250 miles I would be in some level of trouble if I got stuck in this area.

With ‘Jungle’ we have the ability to motor from Hawaii directly into the North Easterly trades. But this would consume much fuel and be a stressful voyage for both to ship and crew. We could also sail due North and then arc East around the top of the high before making our way down the coast towards Southern California. We will most likely set a course which is a compromise of the two. Leaving Hawaii towards the North while closely monitoring the Northern Pacific weather patterns to pick our time and place for heading East, towards the mainland, with minimal motoring while avoiding Northern Pacific low pressure systems.

I am currently trying to figure out a way to collect useful data as to what I encounter along the way. What I am proposing is building a small collection device that I can drag through the water to sample debris along our course. I will be emptying the device at set intervals and logging the precise time and location of each sample. In the end I will have a set of samples and data points that can be added to a larger data set to help identify the position and density of the garbage patch.

The device has to be simple and as small as possible to minimize the drag on the vessel. It also has to be able to be deployed and retrieved with minimal risk to the vessel and crew. I am proposing about a 6-8 inch diameter ring opening with a 2-3 foot conical screen consisting of 1/4″ mesh. This will allow most plankton and smaller debris to pass through the collection device while still capturing enough debris to quantify the data.

I am hoping to lay the groundwork to reach out to other mariners to contribute their observations to this data set and have someone build a model of the garbage patch in the Northern Pacific and ultimately in other parts of the world.

In much the same manner as amateur astronomers have significantly contributed to our collective knowledge base of the heavens, I am proposing using the cruising community to act as amateur oceanographers to collect data on the world’s oceans. Most of these people have a highly vested interest in the health of the oceans and would gladly participate in collecting data to determine the ocean’s health to work towards solutions.

I am currently in touch with several marine based non-profit groups and scientists in order for them to advise me on the best ways to collect these samples and data.

Stay tuned…

Jungle delivery – Hawaii to San Diego, August – September 2009

Just about the time that I was realizing that ‘Desire’ wasn’t going to be ready to sail back to Seattle and I realized Dan wasn’t going to make it to Hawaii the universe conspired for me yet again. I got a call, out of the blue, seconds after I had just posted an ad on a crew finder web page. It was Dr. Roland Sannamann calling.

'Kattitude' (click for web site)

'Kattitude' (click for web site)

I had met Roli and his wife Kathy years ago as I was sailing ‘Desire’ down the Northern California coast on her second epic voyage (to Hawaii). Roli and Kathy had their beautiful and stout 38′ catamaran ‘Katitude’ custom built to Roli’s specs in Durban, South Africa (where Roli had lived as a teenager and young adult). They had sailed ‘Katitude’ from Durban, around Cape Hope and across the Atlantic through the Caribbean. They wanted to return their boat to their home in San Diego but didn’t want her to get dinged up in the Panama Canal so they sailed to Fort Lauderdale, FL and loaded her onto a ship.

Kathy and Roli

Kathy and Roli

Because of a quirky paragraph in the 1950′s ‘Jones Act’ (a set of laws governing foreign vessels and crews operating for commerce between US ports), although the ship stopped in San Diego, they were not allowed to offload ‘Katitude’ until Vancouver, B.C. So when I met them, Roli and Kathy were on the last leg of their own epic voyage, down the coast towards their home port. They knew that as soon as they got back to San Diego their trip would be over and they would be forced to go back to their hectic lives.

So they decided to adopt an aspiring solo sailer and his slow dinky boat. ‘Katitude’ was about three times faster than ‘Desire’ so while I would be at sea for 3-4 days at a time they usually stopped in a harbor for the night and we met up again at our next appointed harbor, usually staying in radio contact several times a day to monitor each other’s progress.

The first harbor we had left together was Euereka, CA. ‘Katitude’ jetted ahead of me as the winds began picking up. Roli and Kathy were about 12 miles ahead of me when they radioed back that they were experiencing 58 knot winds at Cape Mendicino. I had already reduced ‘Desire’s sail to two reefs in the main and a 50% jib. It was a bit bumpy but she was screaming along quite well at 6.5 knots. A full knot above her theoretical hull speed! They suggested I think about turning back but I have to admit I was having way too much fun surfing ‘Desire’ on the face of waves as she carved across them with her twin keels and spade rudder!

We kind of hopscotched down the coast, linking up ever few days. Usually with them having arrived way ahead of me and having reserved a slip next to them. We drank a lot of wine in the evenings and, as Roli would say, ‘Told a lot of lies’ (good natured of course).

Then we had a bit of an incident in the oil fields near Santa Barbara. Having worked in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields on offshore supply boats I knew that I should pass no closer than a mile to any oil platform at they have many large metal buoys around them for tying off various work ships. Usually these buoys have a flashing light and radar reflectors on them. At one point I had relaxed my guard a bit, being 5-6 miles from the nearest rig when I glanced forward to see a 5-6 foot diameter steel buoy directly in front of ‘Desire’. I yanked the tiller and just missed the buoy by inches. I noticed as I passed that it’s light and reflector were missing leaving some jagged bars sticking up.

I thought I should call to ‘Katitute’, which was 7-8 miles behind me in the dark and catching up fast. Then I thought,’What are the chances that Roli and I are on exactly the same course to a harbor that is still about 25 miles away? It’s a big ocean and the odds are astronomical that they would encounter this same buoy…’

From ‘Kattitute’s logs:

“At 2:00am, we checked our radar, charts, and chart plotter, adjusted our course slightly and headed for Santa Barbara, CA. It was a dark overcast sky, 20 knots of wind, with a choppy white-capped ocean. Boom!! We hit something! We thought we had run over a boat. We stopped the motors immediately, brought out the spot light and saw that we had “run over” a huge, spherical white uncharted steel buoy. We surveyed the damage and found it to be non-structural, no leaks or bilge pumps running. After reporting the incident to the Coast Guard, we motored into Santa Barbara Harbor at 4:00am.”

Roli came on the radio saying that they had just hit something. Not only had they hit it but they had run completely over it between the hulls of the catamaran. The top of the buoy, with the spindly bits of metal, had connected with the forward spar of their trampoline. Having been forced down in the water it bobbed up underneath the salon, bouncing along the bottom and then finally knocking their tender partially off of it’s cradle as it exited the rear of the boat.

I just bit my tongue and asked if they were alright, ready to turn around on a dime and go back for them if need be. Roli told me they were a bit shaken up but quite fine and ‘Katitude’ had only suffered a bit of cosmetic damage. Later on, over a couple glasses of wine in Santa Barbara I fessed up that I had almost hit the same buoy. I told them that I had decided the odds were so great for them to encounter the same menacing 4-5 foot sphere in the ocean that I didn’t want to bother them about it. We had a good laugh over it and thankfully Roli didn’t hold it against me. But I felt for them. It was their first dent in their new boat after all of those thousands of miles of ocean.

We all made it intact to San Diego and shortly thereafter I headed for Hawaii. We had stayed in touch over the last few years and I reconnected with Roli and Kathy when I was back in San Diego getting ‘Babalu’ ready for her recent voyage. They also bonded with my dear friends Hans and Erica and had us all over to their house for a low key bon-voyage party. I hadn’t gotten around to calling them and telling them how well our trip to the Marquesas had gone when I get this call from Roli. He wants to know if I can help him sail a 52′ Mandarin motorsailer from Hawaii to San Diego with her new owners in August. I think about it for about half a second and say sure!

Mandarin 52

Click on pic for Mandarin 52 web site

He needs to run it by the owner and the next day I get a call from Jim Fraine and we talk for about an hour and a half. Not only does he want me to help them with the delivery but he wants to hire me in my capacity as a marine electrician both in Hawaii before the trip as well as in San Diego for a couple of weeks to make the boat’s electrical systems more world compatible.

Photo from Jim Fraine

Photo from Jim Fraine

The boat is being delivered to Hawaii by it’s current owner from Australia and is currently near Samoa with an ETA for Hawaii of August 15th. As soon as I get a green light from Jim I’ll button up ‘Desire’ and tuck her back into storage in Kona. From there I’ll fly to Oahu and start helping get “Jungle’ ready for her passage. Roli flies in on the 20th and we are planning to leave around the 22nd for about a 20 day passage. The course back is bit tricky as we need to decide how much we want to motor (across the mid Pacific High) and how much we want to sail (into the trade winds).

Stay tuned….

Logo idea

od-logo-idea

On Desire, an expedition towards sustainability

~~A stab at understanding sustainability~~
On Desire, an expedition towards sustainability.
This discussion is half of the primary focus of the On Desire expedition. The other half being the real world implementation of sustainably practices. I believe that there are two main aspects of determining sustainability. First is understanding the precise actual foot print of a person, a company or any endeavor. Once the actual air mass, land volume, resources (and their life cycles) are understood, educated assessments can be implemented to ensure no net decrease in the world’s quality and resources.
Footprint Calculators:
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/
(With this calculator my footprint works out to 21.4 global acres and 24.1 tons of CO2 a year. If I just sailed, with occasional stops in town to fix stuff and re-provision, it works out to 15.2 global acres and 15.1 tons of CO2 a year.)
http://www.bp.com
(looks interesting but couldn’t get it to work, I have low bandwidth right now and it’s got a herk’n big internet footprint…)
http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/
(according to this one I am responsible for 27 tons of CO2/yr.)
http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/
(this one seems a bit skewed towards European sensibilities, they calculated my carbon footprint at 7.86 tonnes per annum)
Here’s an interesting one I hadn’t thought of, a fresh water footprint calculator:
http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/WaterFootprintCalculator
(My freshwater footprint =  772 cubic meter per year, but I require considerably more salt water in my endeavors. Most of that just passes by me though.)

This discussion is half of the primary focus of the On Desire expedition. The other half being the real world implementation of sustainably practices. I believe that there are two main aspects of determining sustainability. First is understanding the precise actual foot print of a person, a company or any endeavor. Once the actual air mass, land volume, resources (and their life cycles) are understood, educated assessments can be implemented to ensure no net decrease in the world’s quality and resources.

Some Footprint Calculators

With this calculator my footprint works out to 21.4 global acres and 24.1 tons of CO2 a year. If I just sailed, with occasional stops in town to fix stuff and re-provision, it works out to 15.2 global acres and 15.1 tons of CO2 a year.
Looks interesting but couldn’t get it to work, I have low bandwidth right now and it’s got a herk’n big internet footprint…
According to this one I am responsible for 27 tons of CO2/yr.
This one seems a bit skewed towards European sensibilities, they calculated my carbon footprint at 7.86 tonnes per annum.
Here’s an interesting one I hadn’t thought of, a fresh water footprint calculator:
My freshwater footprint =  772 cubic meter per year, but I require considerably more salt water in my endeavors. Most of that just passes by me though. Love the layout of this page btw.

Foam dilemma

I’ve got voids in the foam sandwich and rather than cut little pieces of new foam I thought it made more sense to pour in foam that would expand to fill the voids and joints completely. There’s product by uscomposites.com based on recommendation from a Hobie Cat forum post.

Kurt Hughes says urethane foams are friable which means they crumble under repeat load. I had already placed the urethane order but was able to cancel it. I looked into divinycell which is supposedly what they use in Hobie’s now. Then I saw a post that said in 1977 the foam core was urethane, (my cat is 1979). Jeez, round and round.

Since my jib won’t be here until next week I’ve got a bit more time for the hull repairs. Even so, I want the hulls to be finished by Friday, (my targeted launch date). Then I can reassemble this weekend and sail her with the old sails to be sure everything is working.

Grind 2 small areas that I missed yesterday
Clean the exposed fiberglass with acetone
Fill small voids first or glass first? Which is stronger?

Today I’ll start actually closing some of it up, probably starting with the bottom jobs and small patches where the foam sandwich construction isn’t an issue.

The hydrodynamic advantages of multi hulls and keels

~~The Hydrodynamic Advantages of Multi Hulls and Keels~~~
Dan and I had a great discussing yesterday about twin keels/hulls verses mono keel/hulls. I was noticing that the amas (pontoons) on his Hobie Cat are asymmetrical. When attached to the trampoline as designed, the outer faces are flatter than the curved inner faces. ‘Desire’s keels are shaped in a similar way. The reason for this is that a twin hulled or twin keeled boat usually has the wind hitting it from one side or the other. The upwind side wants to lift up and the downwind side wants to bite into the water as it becomes the fulcrum for a lever. Not only does the downwind keel/hull bite into the water, but because it is curved on the side towards the center line of the boat it behaves like an airplane wing (oriented straight down in the water) and wants to ‘lift’ towards weather (wind). This allows the hulls to more efficiently track in a straight line rather than being pushed sideways by the wind.
After running a few errands today in the BF2 (big fricken ford) I came home to find ‘Desire’s older brother nearby. ‘Good Measure’ is owned by a good friend of mine, Larry Casidy, and was built in the same yard by the same designer as ‘Desire’, Lauret Giles. After he built several of Larry’s vintage boat he was awarded a grant by the British Royal Navy to do some tank testing to refine the hydrodynamic properties of his twin keeled concept. He came up with the Westerly ‘Centuar’ and built about 2,500 of them between the late ’60′s and mid-late ’70′s.
When you look at the two boats side by side you can immediately see how Giles refined the hull shape and keel configurations. Larry added two feet to the transom and a 3 foot bow sprit, but other than that they were both 26 foot boats. The older ‘Golden Fleece’ design has straight down relatively flat keels and a more rounded hull. The ‘Centuar’ hull has a flatter bottom between the splayed keels. It’s hard to see but the ‘Centaur’ keels are flatter on the outside and more curved toward the centerline of the boat. The new design made the boat much more stable in heavy rolling seas as well as allowed her to point (track) closer to the wind.
There is a theoretical maximum speed for a displacement hull moving through the water. The wave created by the bow moves farther and farther back along the hull as speed increases. When it reaches the transom at it’s maximum hull speed it creates a hole in the water and starts sucking the transom down as more power/wind is applied. A planning hull, like a ski boat, overcomes this by ‘rising on a plane’ or skipping across the surface of the water like a flat rock.
I constantly exceed “Desire’s theoretical limit of around 5.4 knots. I think this is is largely due to the flat area between her keels. She is a semi-planning displacement hull! With engine alone she normally cruises at 6.5 knots. Surfing in heavy seas I’ve gotten her as high as 9.3 knots for short periods!

Dan and I had a great discussion yesterday about twin keels/hulls verses mono keel/hulls. I was noticing that the amas (pontoons) on his Hobie Cat are asymmetrical. When attached to the trampoline as designed, the outer faces are flatter than the curved inner faces. Desire’s keels are shaped in a similar way. The reason for this is that a twin hulled or twin keeled boat usually has the wind hitting it from one side or the other. The upwind side wants to lift up and the downwind side wants to bite into the water as it becomes the fulcrum for a lever. Not only does the downwind keel/hull bite into the water, but because it is curved on the side towards the center line of the boat it behaves like an airplane wing (oriented straight down in the water) and wants to ‘lift’ towards weather (wind). This allows the hulls to more efficiently track in a straight line rather than being pushed sideways by the wind.

After running a few errands today in the BF2 (big fricken ford) I came home to find ‘Desire’s older brother nearby. ‘Good Measure’ is owned by a good friend of mine, Larry Casidy, and was built in the same yard by the same designer as Desire, Lauret Giles. After building several hundred ‘Snapdragon’ boats (Larry’s style), Giles was awarded a grant by the British Royal Navy to do some tank testing and refine the hydrodynamic properties of his twin keeled concept. He came up with the Westerly ‘Centaur’ and built about 2,500 of them between the late ’60′s and mid-late ’70′s.

Good Measure

Good Measure's keels

Desire

Desire's keels

When you look at the two boats side by side you can immediately see how Giles refined the hull shape and keel configurations. Larry added two feet to the transom and a 3 foot bow sprit, but other than that they were both 26 foot boats. The older Snapdragon design has straight down relatively flat keels and a more rounded hull. The Centaur hull has a flatter bottom between the splayed keels. It’s hard to see but the Centaur keels are flatter on the outside and more curved toward the centerline of the boat. The new design made the boat much more stable in heavy rolling seas as well as allowed her to point (track) closer to the wind.

Kona-GoodMeasure114

'Desire'Desire from the bow

One other interesting feature you will notice is that Desire’s forward hull has a chine, or ridge running parallel to the water line. Below this chine the hull is slightly concave to deflect small splasher waves away from the hull and thereby having less splashing and spray flying onto the decks and back into the cockpit.

Every displacement hull has a theoretical maximum speed for a  moving through the water. This is because the wave created by the bow moves farther and farther back along the hull as speed increases. When it reaches the transom at it’s maximum hull speed it creates a hole in the water and starts sucking the transom down as more power/wind is applied. A planning hull, like a ski boat, overcomes this by ‘rising on a plane’ or skipping across the surface of the water like a flat rock.

I constantly exceed “Desire’s theoretical limit of around 5.4 knots. I think this is is largely due to the flat area between her keels. She is a semi-planning displacement hull! With engine alone she normally cruises at 6.5 knots. Surfing in heavy seas I’ve gotten her as high as 9.3 knots for short periods!

WARNING/Disclaimer!!! Aug 3, 2009: I re-read this post today and realized I need to point out how absolutely foolish it is to surf any boat in heavy seas! …unless you really know what you and your boat are doing and you want to while away a boring storm with some entertaining fun on the ocean…

Here are some things that have worked for me(but may not necessarily work for you, your boat or your sensibilities:

First: (and foremost): Never ever ever go into the trough of a wave 90 degrees to the wave! Several things will surely happen (some simultaneously), the wind will stop, the boat will slow down, the nose may dig in, the following wave can flip you end over end (pitchpole), if you make it home, you will surly be crying…

Second: You have to sense and hand steer every wave differently. Never ever ever use an autopilot or wind vane while surfing. If you absolutely have to sail/motor downwind/downwave in these conditions use drogues, anchors, warps, anything you can think of to hang over the stern to slow the boat down. The safest tack to make it through these kind of conditions is to stear 30-50 degrees off the prevailing (largest) wave sets.

Third: If you screw up or something unexpected happens stear into the wave. The strongest, most hydrodynamic area of the boat is the nose and it’s designed to bust into waves. Use it if you have too but try not to jibe unless you can control it.

Fourth: Learn how to make your boat heave too, with the jib/rudder in light winds and with just the main/rudder in heavier winds. Along with learning how to heave too you will have to learn how to get out of heaving too, preferably without doing a hard jibe. Heaving too will save your life, lunch and/or relationship one day, trust me…

Freaken Kraken

I’m doing some research and trying to get up the nerve to shoot some video at the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii and I came across this fascinating news clip:

fron Hawaain Star Bulletin

fron Hawaiin Star Bulletin

SATURDAY, JULY 07, 2007
“Octosquid” Discovered Off Hawaiian Coast
It’s a squid, it’s an octopus, it’s … a mystery from the deep.
What appears to be a half-squid, half-octopus specimen found off Keahole Point on the Big Island remains unidentified today and could possibly be a new species, said local biologists.
The specimen was found caught in a filter in one of Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s deep-sea water pipelines last week. The pipeline, which runs 3,000 feet deep, sucks up cold, deep-sea water for the tenants of the natural energy lab.

SATURDAY, JULY 07, 2007

“Octosquid” Discovered Off Hawaiian Coast

It’s a squid, it’s an octopus, it’s … a mystery from the deep.

What appears to be a half-squid, half-octopus specimen found off Keahole Point on the Big Island remains unidentified today and could possibly be a new species, said local biologists.

The specimen was found caught in a filter in one of Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s deep-sea water pipelines last week. The pipeline, which runs 3,000 feet deep, sucks up cold, deep-sea water for the tenants of the natural energy lab.

Now you may say that it seems that Kai is sampling way too much of the Hawaiian local agricultural products, but doesn’t this thing look like one of these? -

Kraken

from wikipedia

Kraken (pronounced /ˈkreɪkən/ or /ˈkrɑːkən/)[1] are legendary sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the beasts have made them common ocean-dwelling monsters in various fictional works (see Kraken in popular culture).

I don’t want to be an alarmist but just in case, I am carrying lots of butter and garlic whenever I venture onto the sea.

If you want to read a really scary (some say true) story:

The-Kraken-Wakes-cover

Query to readers: Does anyone know where I can get a bunch of those lobster bibs you find in fancier seafood restaurants? Also a good sturdy seafood fork would help.

“Eat it before it eats you” – Cptn. Nemo

Kauai Channel Race – Siesta trip canceled

~~Kauai Channel Race – ‘Sieasta’ Canceled~~
Running a racing sailboat requires a lot of work. The Kauai Channel Race is
probably the most challenging race in Hawaiian waters because of the distances involved and the exposure to unprotected waters. In those kind of conditions it takes 10 to 12 well trained, competent people to handle the boat safely. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is the race where a few years back Curtis put a superficial crack in ‘Siesta’s hull when she launched off of a wave crest and free fell into a trough while coming back from Kauai after the race. From the NOAA weather reports (see below) it looks like it will be moderately dicey especially with the difficult return to Oahu on Sunday.
For the past week there have been several mandatory ‘all hands on deck’ events for the crew. I am the only on exempt from these because I’m 270 miles away. I always show up a day or so before the race and help get the boat ready.
First Curtis scheduled a training session last weekend where only 2/3rds of the crew managed to show up. Instead of the boat’s crew being able to hone their skills Curtis had to retrain people to fill vital positions that were vacant. Then there were several work events that needed to be done to get the boat ready for the upcoming race. Only a handful of people managed to show up for these as well.
In defense of the crew, many of these people are very smart, talented individuals with complicated lives. Traditionally the bulk of the regular crew has been comprised of U of H graduate students, many working on their dissertations in the earth sciences and oceanography departments. I have learned so much from them in terms of how the oceans and how volcanoes work through our discusions. Racing on ‘Siesta’ is a necessary outlet for them where they get to use their physical and mental talents in a fun and rewarding way. The camaraderie of this caliber of people has been rewarding as well.
In talking with Curtis yesterday we discussed this perpetual problem of trying to run a race boat. Curtis has decided that over the next year or so he plans to sell ‘Siesta’ and buy a more solid cruising boat. He will still race this new boat but will be able to handle it less people. Also the costs and work of maintaining a high tech, cutting edge boat will be greatly diminished.
For now Curtis has decided to pull ‘Siesta’ out of the ‘Kauai Channel Race’ and set his sights on getting boat and crew together for the ‘Lahina Return’ race in a couple of months. Several years ago we literally surfed at 18 to 20 knots for 7 hours with full spinnaker in huge following seas. It was a thrilling E-ticket ride that wouldn’t be possible in ‘Desire’. Although I have to say that I’ve had her up to 9.3 knots, laterally carving the faces of waves off of Northern California, which is theoretically impossible for a 26 foot displacement hull. But then ‘Desire’ is an amazing boat.
So where does that leave me? As you may have gleaned through my nautical musings, nothing is for certain when it comes to boats and the ocean, or for that matter, people as well. Like trying to determine the position and speed of an electron, there are statistical maybes involved but no certainties. I’ll continue polishing up my ‘On Desire’ posts as I prepare to tuck ‘Desire’ back into storage and get ready to deliver ‘Jungle’ back to the mainland. From there who knows? I have a few weeks of work in San Diego and then I’ll make my way back to Seattle to see what awaits me there. If the gods of fiduciary commerce smile favorably on me, I’d like to take a side trip to Connecticut and see how my mom is fairing in her new digs with my brother’s family. If not I’ll make due with what I have on hand and I’m sure that will be interesting as well. Most certainly I’ll hone my talents, gain new insights and experience, as well as meet interesting people along the way. It’s merely a matter of conducting your thoughts and actions in such a way as to be able benefit in what the universe passes within your grasp of involvement. The filter feeding barnacle principle of existence.
=====================================================================
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/marine.php
From the Marine section from the Area Forecast Discussion
issued at: Jul 29, 2009 4:00 PM HST
Winds have diminished a bit over most areas so the small craft advisory has been cancelled. Winds are expected to pick back up again Friday and on into the weekend so the small craft advisory will again be up during that time for the usual windy zones.
A new south swell is expected to begin filling in late Thursday or Thursday night. Latest wavewatch model output indicates that the surf will reach advisory levels Friday and Saturday and possibly into Sunday.
1100 PM PDT WED JUL 29 2009
FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC…EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..
DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE IN ASSOCIATION WITH A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 350 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. DEVELOPMENT…THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES GENERALLY WESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE…LESS THAN 30 PERCENT…OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS

~~stuck on the edge of paradise, yet again~~

from NOAA web site

from NOAA web site

‘Siesta’ is the forth boat from the left at the breakwater/pier coming out of the right side of the Hawaiian Hilton tower (see NOAA site for better picture).

Kai’s report:

Running a racing sailboat requires a lot of work. The Kauai Channel Race is probably the most challenging race in Hawaiian waters because of the distances involved and the exposure to unprotected waters. In those kind of conditions it takes 10 to 12 well trained, competent people to handle the boat safely. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is the race where a few years back Curtis put a superficial crack in ‘Siesta’s hull when she launched off of a wave crest and free fell into a trough while coming back from Kauai after the race. From the NOAA weather reports (see below) it looks like it will be moderately dicey especially with the difficult return to Oahu on Sunday.

For the past week there have been several mandatory ‘all hands on deck’ events for the crew. I am the only on exempt from these because I’m 270 miles away. I always show up a day or so before the race and help get the boat ready.

First Curtis scheduled a training session last weekend where only 2/3rds of the crew managed to show up. Instead of the boat’s crew being able to hone their skills Curtis had to retrain people to fill vital positions that were vacant. Then there were several work events that needed to be done to get the boat ready for the upcoming race. Only a handful of people managed to show up for these as well.

In defense of the crew, many of these people are very smart, talented individuals with complicated lives. Traditionally the bulk of the regular crew has been comprised of U of H graduate students, many working on their dissertations in the earth sciences and oceanography departments. I have learned so much from them in terms of how the oceans and how volcanoes work through our discussions. Racing on ‘Siesta’ is a necessary outlet for them where they get to use their physical and mental talents in a fun and rewarding way. The camaraderie of this caliber of people has been rewarding as well.

In talking with Curtis yesterday we discussed this perpetual problem of trying to run a race boat. Curtis has decided that over the next year or so he plans to sell ‘Siesta’ and buy a more solid cruising boat. He will still race this new boat but will be able to handle it less people. Also the costs and work of maintaining a high tech, cutting edge boat will be greatly diminished.

For now Curtis has decided to pull ‘Siesta’ out of the ‘Kauai Channel Race’ and set his sights on getting boat and crew together for the ‘Lahina Return’ race in a couple of months. Several years ago we literally surfed at 18 to 20 knots for 7 hours with full spinnaker in huge following seas. It was a thrilling E-ticket ride that wouldn’t be possible in ‘Desire’. Although I have to say that I’ve had her up to 9.3 knots, laterally carving the faces of waves off of Northern California, which is theoretically impossible for a 26 foot displacement hull. But then ‘Desire’ is an amazing boat.

So where does that leave me? As you may have gleaned through my nautical musings, nothing is for certain when it comes to boats and the ocean, or for that matter, people as well. Like trying to determine the position and speed of an electron, there are statistical maybes involved but no certainties. I’ll continue polishing up my ‘On Desire’ posts as I prepare to tuck ‘Desire’ back into storage and get ready to deliver ‘Jungle’ back to the mainland. From there who knows? I have a few weeks of work in San Diego and then I’ll make my way back to Seattle to see what awaits me there. If the gods of fiduciary commerce smile favorably on me, I’d like to take a side trip to Connecticut and see how my mom is fairing in her new digs with my brother’s family. If not I’ll make due with what I have on hand and I’m sure that will be interesting as well. Most certainly I’ll hone my talents, gain new insights and experience, as well as meet interesting people along the way. It’s merely a matter of conducting your thoughts and actions in such a way as to be able benefit in what the universe passes within your grasp of involvement. The filter feeding barnacle principle of existence.

=====================================================================

noaa-090729-18utc

clicl for NOAA site

From the Marine section from the Area Forecast Discussion

issued at: Jul 29, 2009 4:00 PM HST

Winds have diminished a bit over most areas so the small craft advisory has been cancelled. Winds are expected to pick back up again Friday and on into the weekend so the small craft advisory will again be up during that time for the usual windy zones.

A new south swell is expected to begin filling in late Thursday or Thursday night. Latest wavewatch model output indicates that the surf will reach advisory levels Friday and Saturday and possibly into Sunday.

1100 PM PDT WED JUL 29 2009

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC…EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE IN ASSOCIATION WITH A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 350 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. DEVELOPMENT…THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES GENERALLY WESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE…LESS THAN 30 PERCENT…OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

Kai’s Kauai Channel Race aboard Siesta 31 July 2009

I have never been very keen on competitive sports. I prefer engaging in activities where I am more focussed on bettering my own abilities rather than beating other people. Sports like hiking, climbing, back country skiing, scuba diving, and long distance sailing. So it was with much trepidation that friends of mine first goaded me into participating in sailboat racing in Seattle.
I thought that there was something perverse about taking something as beautiful as sailing and making it into a competitive ego battle on the water. But I was blessed with being asked to crew on a boat where the captain and crew where using racing merely as an excuse to go sailing. First and foremost on their minds was sailing safely and having fun. If we happened to win a race or do well that was great, but it wasn’t the reason for us being there.
What I soon learned on ‘BYB’ (Big Yellow Boat) was the finer art of sail control as well as learning to recognize the subtle signs of wind and currents and adjusting the boat accordingly. Striving to take full advantage of the forces at play in order make the boat move through the water as efficiently as possible. This was to help me immensely later on when I started to do long distance solo sailing as well as crew on unfamiliar boats.
When I first arrived in Honolulu on ‘Desire’, after an epic 54.1/2 hour sail from Hilo with little more than three half hour ‘naps’, I was tired and a bit confused as to where to dock my boat. According to my sailing directions for the Ali Wai harbor the outer row next to the breakwater was reserved for visiting sailboats. Any slip that was not occupied was fair game for moorage. I slowly motored down the channel and found a slip close to the dock’s entrance gate that was unoccupied.
Now the challenge was to do a Mediterranean style tie-up to the dock without destroying my own boat or any of the one’s to either side of the slip. I needed to fix a line from my stern to a buoy in the channel and then tie the nose of the boat to the dock. This had to be done with perfect grace and timing so as to not go crashing into the concrete dock or the boats a couple of feet away to either side. This was also the first time I had ever done this kind of a moorage.
After several failed attempts and narrowly averting disaster the owner of the large blue boat to my left came to my aid. He patiently told me the sequence of what I needed to do and then caught and secured my forward dock lines. With his help I managed to safely dock ‘Desire’. After shutting down my engine I thanked him for his help and we began to talk. Curtis Collins had owned his Bounty II yawl ‘Tiare’ for nearly 19 years. He lived aboard and also raced her constantly. He was greatly impressed with my little pocket cruiser and the fact that I had solo sailed her from Seattle. We became instant friends and spent many hours, after I slept for about  12 hours, sharing our stories.
Several days later Curtis asked me if I wanted to sail with him and his crew in a simple Friday night race around some buoys in front of Waikiki. I jumped at the chance and soon met and befriended his crew. I was amazed that he had about 20 people on his boat. There were about 10 regular crew members and about 10 visitors. The 10 visitors were assigned to the role of moveable ballast, or ‘rail meat’. During the course of the race Curtis would tell them where to sit to trim the boat for the prevailing conditions. Curtis assigned me the task of assisting Joseph and Dan on the foredeck, quite an honor for a new guy.
I remember that as we came up to the buoy at Dimondhead we were getting more and more pounded by wind and waves. Being on the foredeck the three of us were getting the worst of it with the occasional wave drenching us. As I heard Joseph and Dan grumbling about the conditions I started chuckling to myself. At one point Joseph turned to me and asked me what was so funny. I told him that when I did a race like this in Seattle I was typically wearing three or four layers because of the cold water. Now I was wearing a T-shirt and board shorts with 75 degree water hitting me and I was loving it!
I sailed with Curtis and his crew for another 2 years on ‘Tiare’. If I happened to be in Honolulu for a Friday night race I was welcome on the crew but I went out of my way to come to town for the longer ocean races around Ohahu and to the other islands. Then 5 years ago Curtis had an opportunity to buy a hot rod of a boat that had been built for long distance ocean racing.  ’Siesta’ had been sitting in storage for years as her Japanese owners lost interest in her. She was one of 12 nearly identical 45 foot carbon fiber boats built for a series of races between Hawaii and Japan. Dennis Conner has on of the other 12 boats in San Diego and he uses his to train secondary crews for the America’s Cup boats. Theses boats have very complicated racing rigs with mostly titanium hardware, mylar sails and spectra lines. Where ‘Tiare’ was a solid old lady that was very forgiving to mistakes, ‘Siesta’ was a thorobread that demanded constant vigilance and attention to detail to avoid major sail damage, rig failures and breakage as well as crew injuries.
We trained for several months and destroyed several old sails before we began to understand her nuances and needs. We didn’t do very well in the first few races but everyone on the crew knew we were in a whole new league  with ‘Siesta’ and slowly we started placing better and better, as well as winning some races. But more importantly she was a fun boat to sail once we began to understand her as well as our own roles in the crew.
While I have been able to sail a few of the Friday night buoy races since I returned to Hawaii, I haven’t had a chance to do what I really love, a long distance open ocean race. On July 31st I have an opportunity to sail on ‘Siesta’ in the 86 mile Kauai Channel Race. With a 7:00am start from the West coast of Oahu at KoOlina we plan to charge across the channel to Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor in 8-10 hours, depending on the wind conditions.
While this should be a relatively benign race, several years ago ‘Siesta’ cracked her hull just forward of the keel in this race when she crashed down hard in a wave trough after becoming partially airborne in 18 to 20 foot seas with close to 50 knots of wind. Luckily it was only a superficial crack in the gelcoat and the conditions calmed down shortly afterwards.
from www.siestarace.com

from Curtis Collins (click on pic to see 'Siesta' website)

I have never been very keen on competitive sports. I prefer engaging in activities where I am more focussed on bettering my own abilities rather than beating other people. Sports like hiking, climbing, back country skiing, scuba diving, and long distance sailing. So it was with much trepidation that friends of mine first goaded me into participating in sailboat racing in Seattle.

I thought that there was something perverse about taking something as beautiful as sailing and making it into a competitive ego battle on the water. But I was blessed with being asked to crew on a boat where the captain and crew where using racing merely as an excuse to go sailing. First and foremost on their minds was sailing safely and having fun. If we happened to win a race or do well that was great, but it wasn’t the reason for us being there.

What I soon learned on ‘BYB’ (Big Yellow Boat) was the finer art of sail control as well as learning to recognize the subtle signs of wind and currents and adjusting the boat accordingly. Striving to take full advantage of the forces at play in order make the boat move through the water as efficiently as possible. This was to help me immensely later on when I started to do long distance solo sailing as well as crew on unfamiliar boats.

When I first arrived in Honolulu on ‘Desire’, after an epic 54.1/2 hour sail from Hilo with little more than three half hour ‘naps’, I was tired and a bit confused as to where to dock my boat. According to my sailing directions for the Ali Wai harbor the outer row next to the breakwater was reserved for visiting sailboats. Any slip that was not occupied was fair game for moorage. I slowly motored down the channel and found a slip close to the dock’s entrance gate that was unoccupied.

Now the challenge was to do a Mediterranean style tie-up to the dock without destroying my own boat or any of the one’s to either side of the slip. I needed to fix a line from my stern to a buoy in the channel and then tie the nose of the boat to the dock. This had to be done with perfect grace and timing so as to not go crashing into the concrete dock or the boats a couple of feet away to either side. This was also the first time I had ever done this kind of a moorage.

After several failed attempts and narrowly averting disaster the owner of the large blue boat to my left came to my aid. He patiently told me the sequence of what I needed to do and then caught and secured my forward dock lines. With his help I managed to safely dock ‘Desire’. After shutting down my engine I thanked him for his help and we began to talk. Curtis Collins had owned his Bounty II yawl ‘Tiare’ for nearly 19 years. He lived aboard and also raced her constantly. He was greatly impressed with my little pocket cruiser and the fact that I had solo sailed her from Seattle. We became instant friends and spent many hours, after I slept for about  12 hours, sharing our stories.

Several days later Curtis asked me if I wanted to sail with him and his crew in a simple Friday night race around some buoys in front of Waikiki. I jumped at the chance and soon met and befriended his crew. I was amazed that he had about 20 people on his boat. There were about 10 regular crew members and about 10 visitors. The 10 visitors were assigned to the role of moveable ballast, or ‘rail meat’. During the course of the race Curtis would tell them where to sit to trim the boat for the prevailing conditions. Curtis assigned me the task of assisting Joseph and Dan on the foredeck, quite an honor for a new guy.

from Curtis Collins

from Curtis Collins - 'Tiare'

I remember that as we came up to the buoy at Dimondhead we were getting more and more pounded by wind and waves. Being on the foredeck the three of us were getting the worst of it with the occasional wave drenching us. As I heard Joseph and Dan grumbling about the conditions I started chuckling to myself. At one point Joseph turned to me and asked me what was so funny. I told him that when I did a race like this in Seattle I was typically wearing three or four layers because of the cold water. Now I was wearing a T-shirt and board shorts with 75 degree water hitting me and I was loving it!

I sailed with Curtis and his crew for another 2 years on ‘Tiare’. If I happened to be in Honolulu for a Friday night race I was welcome on the crew but I went out of my way to come to town for the longer ocean races around Ohahu and to the other islands. Then 5 years ago Curtis had an opportunity to buy a hot rod of a boat that had been built for long distance ocean racing.  ’Siesta’ had been sitting in storage for years as her Japanese owners lost interest in her. She was one of 12 nearly identical 45 foot carbon fiber boats built for a series of races between Hawaii and Japan. Dennis Conner has on of the other 12 boats in San Diego and he uses his to train secondary crews for the America’s Cup boats. Theses boats have very complicated racing rigs with mostly titanium hardware, mylar sails and spectra lines. Where ‘Tiare’ was a solid old lady that was very forgiving to mistakes, ‘Siesta’ was a thorobread that demanded constant vigilance and attention to detail to avoid major sail damage, rig failures and breakage as well as crew injuries.

We trained for several months and destroyed several old sails before we began to understand her nuances and needs. We didn’t do very well in the first few races but everyone on the crew knew we were in a whole new league  with ‘Siesta’ and slowly we started placing better and better, as well as winning some races. But more importantly she was a fun boat to sail once we began to understand her as well as our own roles in the crew.

While I have been able to sail a few of the Friday night buoy races since I returned to Hawaii, I haven’t had a chance to do what I really love, a long distance open ocean race. On July 31st I have an opportunity to sail on ‘Siesta’ in the 86 mile Kauai Channel Race. With a 7:00am start from the West coast of Oahu at KoOlina we plan to charge across the channel to Kauai’s Nawiliwili Harbor in 8-10 hours, depending on the wind conditions.

While this should be a relatively benign race, several years ago ‘Siesta’ cracked her hull just forward of the keel in this race when she crashed down hard in a wave trough after becoming partially airborne in 18 to 20 foot seas with close to 50 knots of wind. Luckily it was only a superficial crack in the gelcoat and the conditions calmed down shortly afterwards.

http://www.siestarace.com for more information on ‘Siesta’

Gear

Bold = got
Underline = gotta get

Hobie

flares
horn
submersible VHF
running lights
new sails (ordered from Whirlwind)
solid fenders for rocky beach and marinas
new shrouds
spare rudder and hardware
etc.
power

airmarine (wind power)
agm battery

Repairs

fiberglass hulls
grommets and hiking strap on trampoline √

Diving

refresher course
regulator (checked and tuned) √
wetsuit
fins
harness

booties
mask
snorkel

tank (hydrostat test) √

Movie

* Camera A *
purchased 05-06/09

√ (1) Canon Vixia HF S10 $1300
√ (2) BP819 3 hour batteries $80 x 2 = $160
√ (1) Canon CG-800 charger

√ (2) Tiffen 82 mm white water HT glass $108
– lens protection for wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (2) Tiffen 38 mm white water glass $50 – lens protection when not using wide angle, on camera and extra
√ (1) Century Optics DS-55WA-58 wide angle and fisheye $259
– panoramic shots and tight interiors eg sauna, ship cabins, cars
√ (1) Century Optics DSFA8200 retangular sunshade  w/82 thread $149

√ (1) Juicedlink Phantom Power XLR adapter CX231 $299
for use with professional microphones and to split audio channels
√ (1) carbon fiber monopod (converted boom fishpole) $100
√ (1) BP807 1 hour batteries
- included with camera
√ (1) Kingston Technologies MobileLite card reader ~$20.00
√ (1) Delkin Technologies 16 gb class 6 SDHC ~$40
√ (1) Bowers 58-62 step up ring ~$7
√ (1) Bowers 62-82 step up ring ~$10

*Camera B*

(1) Canon Vixia HF S100 (Camera B) $989
(2) BP819 3 hour batteries $80 x 2 = $270
(1) HD6 Equinox underwater housing $899
(1) small carbon fiber tripod – sticks and head
(1) Century Optics +7 Acromatic Diopter $200

(2) Lectrosonics 400C Series Lavalier Microphone System $2837 x 2 = $5674
UCR411 Portable Receiver
MM400 Watertight Transmitter *
M152 Omnidirectional Lavalier

* Post *
√ (1) Macbook Pro 15 2.4 Intel Core Duo
√ (1) Sonnet Tempo Sata ExpressCard/34
√ (1) Sonnet Fusion F2 portable SATA drive 640 gb $250

(1) small shotgun with windscreen
(1) wind screen solution for Vixia on-board mics
(1) rain enclosure for camera

(1) Brunton Solaris 52 solar panel $679
(1) Brunton Solo 15 battery and inverter $353

(1) lens cleaning kit w/rocket blower
(1) clandestine camera carry solution – no “steal me” cases
(1) waterproof case for electronics

Health / Hygiene

(1) Banyan Botanicals Immune Support
(1) Chin wan hung – chinese burn medicine
(1) Wan hua oil
(1) Bone water
(3) oz Sencha Green Tea
(1) lb Buchu
(1) Myrrh Gum
(1) Oregano Oil
(10) oz Grain alcohol
(1) Aspirin
(2) Melatonin
(2) CoQ10
(2) DIM
(1) Dr Hauksha’s sun block

Trek

Seal Line Black Canyon 115 (dry bag large)
Seal Line Seal Pak (dry bag small)
backpack internal frame
tent – light hammock or heavier dome

sleeping bag
alcohol stove and small fuel bottle
pot and spoon
ceramic water filter

Midland 75-822 CB radio $78.74
Firestik II FG2648-B no ground plane antennae kit $76.39

On Desire remix

Gosh, everything was just hitting the fan this week! Kai’s friends were calling him a wussy and worse because this blog didn’t make any sense. He complained that he couldn’t find anything. Meanwhile I’ve been scrambling on Plan B, a summer adventure to make-up for missing Hawaii.

His ideas for restructuring our documentation were useful. I hate that there’s no easy way to record our phone conversations with my second gen iPhone (sans jailbreaking), we’d really like to post audio excerpts for all to hear.

I’ve reduced the number of pages to; 1) a mission and disclaimer, 2)  backstory, 3) events 4) collaborators, and 5) how this works. I’ve clarified and obfuscated content as needed. There’s still a bit of category cleaning ahead, but things are much neater blogwise. Previous pages will be converted to posts and then – onward.

So what’s the deal? Kai and I are now On Desire collaborators like everyone else. We are the primary contributors only because we are showing up. Any worthy who’s willing to share wisdom will also be accorded full honors. We are conspiring to recruit other vibrant personalities to On Desire and would especially appreciate a crack editor or two and even a savvy blog mom. I’ll continue to be blog mom until future notice, final arbiter of all disputes and embodiment of divine authority.

Meanwhile, I’ve announced my plan B, Around Lake Michigan. I’ve been hard at work getting ready, stay tuned for a flurry of updates.

A note about timing

Manisnotlost

With the web and the world being a 24hr, 360 degree longitudinal environment I struggle constantly with time when travel. Although my internal clock and sensibilities go into what I call ‘boat time’ (a near timeless state) I have to be constantly aware of clock and planet time. For navigation and communications I have to have a highly accurate idea of Greenwich mean time (GMT), Universal Coordinated Standard Time (UST), or Zulu time (the Greenwich line goes through Zulu Land). They are actually all the same, based on the prime meridian, except I feel that ‘universal’ is a bit presumptuous. This is also the 0 degree line for longitude.

If my chronometers are off by one second that equates to one nautical mile (6020 feet) of error in my celestial navigation position or one degree of longitude. One or two nm’s are acceptable. One or two minutes (60-120 nm’s) of timing error will put me on a reef or miss an entire island altogether. The entries that follow are all in local (boat) time at the time they are written unless noted otherwise.

Dan and I are still wrestling with how we note our time stamped entries on this blog. Since we are 1/4 of the world apart right now (6 hrs) you may notice a discrepancy in the timing of some of our entries as we file them at our own relative local time. Who knows what the internet and our own personal computers do with that. Maybe the answer for us, and our dear readers, would be a gadget on the cover page, linked to the atomic clock, that looks like a bunch of news room clocks with times for Dan, myself, New York, the Dali Lama, the Pope and Zulu time. That way we can dispense with the confusion caused by the spinning of the globe.

Example: as I post this blog on the web it’s 15:47 HST (3:47 pm in Hawaii), 9:47 pm in Michigan where Dan is and the preview of the page says: July 22, 2009, 1:47 am. That would put ‘Desire’s position somewhere around Libia. It smells like Hawaii but the math says not… Go figure…

Compiled @ 7:54 AM 7/21/09 (090622-0754PST,  minus 10hrs Zulu) -

<Thats 07:54am Hawaii Standard Time or 10 hours behind Zulu time.>

To make it even more complicated when the mainland goes to ‘Daylight Savings Time’ (what are they really saving?) HST  stays the same but mainland time changes.

babalu-from-above

Rifting establishes protocols

Kai is in the house! We’ve been doing a lot of undocumented talking phonewise.

Kai isn’t totally comfortable with posting full names of collaborating individuals, he want’s to protect their privacy. He’s also reluctant to release the On Desire blog to the world. He likes the idea of keeping it low key so that we can be more free with our experimentation.

In contrast, I’ve got no problem using the full names of my people and even throwing in history and context. The point of launching a blog is to communicate – to engage and tell a story. My journey is not primarily about boats, but about sharing my exploration of sustainability with as wide an audience as possible.

It appears we have fundamental philosophical rifts. That’s great – what’s a narrative without conflict? We’ve already had a slight rift on jetting and are sorting out a focus mismatch. I’ve cleared my summer (June – September) to do On Desire.  Kai’s wedged the project in between sailing gigs and will be shifting his energy to a client’s boat by August 22. We’ve got about three weeks left of schedule overlap. To pull this off, we need to sync our focus for the next three weeks.

Wait a second Dan,  Desire is stuck in the yard and you are not even in Hawaii! The premise of the project is toast, what can you guys do at this point? Ah, friends… we can make magic – beyond geography, budget and schedule. We initiated this project because we’ve both got some serious cosmic mojo going on. What the earth needs is folks figuring out how to activate their mojo, and that’s what’s for dinner right here and now at On Desire. Good stuff.

Watch us work this.

Riposte – sustainability isn’t an abstraction

I was just commenting on Telemetry 090630 and I realized my comment was worthy of it’s own post. Kai and I are a few steps past this now, but you can’t practice fundamentals too much.

> It seems, for ideological reasons as he won’t fly in a jet due to it’s carbon footprint.
> I can respect his convictions though I don’t fully adopt them as my own.

It’s all Jeff Gibb’s fault! Well, Al Gore too, but for opposite reasons. I ramble about this all over the site, start with these dubious calculations…

http://www.ondesire.com/2009/06/13/on-jets/

At the risk of ranting, here’s my riposte. I can’t count on governments or corporations to do what’s right by me and by the earth. The only way to change anything is to get conscious and take personal responsibility for my actions – identify my most harmful behaviors and stop doing them.

The ends don’t justify the means. On Desire is not a worthy project if we have to act in destructive ways to accomplish it. Unless you are Kai Schwarz, getting to Hawaii sustainably ain’t easy. He can do it because he’s got the skills and knowledge to get on boats or sail his own. I could probably get on boats by leveraging my production skills and starting earlier on the research.

Granted, there are cruise ships that make the passage a few months out of the year, but because there is theoretically less carbon footprint riding a cruise ship, the cash cost is higher! Most folks who want to go to Hawaii HAVE to ride jets. Hawaii’s tourist industry is a frikkin’ carbon factory.

Sustainability isn’t an abstract concept. What does a small footprint look like? For one thing, it’s small!

Elements of Style

Dan here! Those of you reading On Desire so far may be annoyed with my quirky and often obtuse writing style. With the delivery of the Macbook Pro two days ago, Kai is in the process of coming online and catching up with his posts. I’d love to find a competent and courageous editor to svelte up our ramblings. In the meantime it is with great humility and not a little trepidation that I attempt to edit my colleague’s writing. This could mean the end of the entire project…

The editing process provides insights about blog protocols and standards that we can all apply. Steeped in usability issues during my days as an interface designer, I try to take a reader friendly approach to writing.

After grappling with Kai’s first page for an hour or two, I retired to the bathtub to re-read the first 15 pages of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. I think I’m finally savvy enough to get the E of S message. Whether I actually apply it’s directives only time will tell. To all On Desire bloggers – make life easy for the reader – apply Elements of Style!

An aside – I think my fondness for code and working with complex software like Final Cut Pro and After Effects has set me up. Language is an artistic encryption. Crafting language is problem solving – how to make an idea clear and concise, how to provide the reader with an efficient workflow. Last night I re-enacted Archimedes by fusing hot water, a geeky past, Elements of Style, and, of course, a bathtub. Eureka! I’m ready to write better.

Here’s my comments for Kai…

I put some serious effort into editing because blog pages are more permanent than posts and therefor more frequently visited. I think it’s worth the effort because our ability to communicate clearly will have a big impact on our ability to 1) share subtle insights 2) attract collaborators and 3) achieve worthy outcomes for the planet.

Some sentences were trying to say too much and some i couldn’t decipher – those are in bold. I’ve attempted to simplify the sentences while keeping the jist. I’ve added a little introductory material so that folks get context. I’ve broken up unrelated ideas into separate sentences.

One question to ask is what are you trying to get across? Why write at all? It’s not just a list of what happened, it’s your humor, philosophy and approach to life that should come through. What you choose to write about says a lot about you. Your pride in your skills reads well, don’t be afraid to give geeky details if there’s a story to tell. Remember the African Queen, not such a great movie except when the details show up – forging a propeller on the beach, leeches in the swamps, homemade torpedos, the character’s development …

Here are some standards we can use through the blog.

Our main characters should be named in full when first introduced – my filmmaker friend Dan Kelly, then say Dan after that. First names are fine for minor characters, but they might still need some intro. You know who your cast is but our readers don’t. Why are they important to the story? Give us some context. Using full names also increases the value of this narrative to the world at large because it can be productively tagged.

We don’t need to put ships names in quotes if we capitalize them -  Torea instead of ‘Torea’, Desire instead of ‘Desire’.

Try and maintain a specific timeline. It’s too much work for the reader to try and figure out your history when the narrative jumps from now to 4 months later, then there’s a flashback to last year, then a few more days pass. Just insert the month and year, (no abbreviations).

After my sex change operation in April of 2006, I enjoyed a few months of acclaim working as a trans stripper. I was reminded of my first exposure to Queen in 1981, and how I dreamed of channeling Freddie Mercury, even though he was still alive then. By the fall of 2006, I felt a little discontented and began investigating how to shift my bio identity beyond human limits, perhaps to a lichen hybrid. I had always liked lichen and often played at being lichen as a wee lad, crouching low on a rock and not moving for hours or even days at a time. It was great to be 6 years old in 1969.

I took out pictures because something buggy was going on. We can put them back once the text is right.

Radical redesign

As reported a few weeks back, Kai’s got problems with Desire. It’s been sitting for so long unattended that there’s no way he can get it ready in time to return to Seattle ahead of big weather in September. After a weekend of soul searching, he decided to keep Desire dry and prepare her for an eventual sale.

There are other boats we can borrow and hitch rides on, but that’s different from having our own boat on our own schedule. Combined with my inability to find boat transport to Hawaii, we are facing a radical redesign of On Desire. We don’t have a reliable boat in Hawaii nor am I even in Hawaii. Even if I could get there, summer is about half over.

Why not fly? It’s not about the money – jet service from LA to Honolulu is around $100, I could do a round trip from Michigan to Hawaii for less the $400 and be there in a few days. Al Gore gave himself a free pass to make Inconvenient Truth, but how much Co2 did he loft in to the atmosphere jetting hither and yon? I have to take responsibility for my own impact, whatever my good intentions happen to be. It’s about kicking my terrorist/consumer addiction, even if it means passing up on a groovy summer in Hawaii.

How can Kai and I discuss sustainability without shared geography? How can we leverage our complimentary powers if we can’t combine them in physical space? That’s exactly what we are going to figure out in the next 2 weeks, right here. The wind turbine slices the sky in blogdom – and you’re invited.

Horizon Lines declines

Last week I spoke with Jim Storey and Kelly Dennison of Horizon Lines, one of the container ship companies serving Hawaii. I made a proposal to document operations on a container ship traveling from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii as part of On Desire’s exploration of sustainability. Yesterday, I was decisively turned down by Kelly, Horizon’s Marketing Director. Her explanation was that Hawaii operations are just too overwhelmed right now to handle an observer, as this is the height of their season. She said that she might be able arrange port side interviews in between ships, but I wouldn’t be able to see a ship. She also looked into getting me aboard a newer ship traveling in international waters, but customs might prevent my boarding. I appreciate Kelly and Jim’s efforts and for Horizon Lines careful consideration of the proposal.

Of course, I have to evaluate the decision in strategically. It’s possible that the mystical flavor of the project (as presented here at http://ondesire.com) didn’t impress management or that my personal filmography didn’t inspire sufficient awe.  Maybe Horizon’s legal teamed balked at having no control over the final product. Perhaps an inquiry into the sustainability of container transport would raise difficult questions for the industry in general or Horizon’s Lines operations specifically. Do images of great black billowing clouds of burned bunker fuel jive with a companies ‘green’ web copy? Probably not.

There’s the rub – without transparency, the public imagination runs wild.  Without transparency there is no way to check the veracity of green assertions. Corporate policy – We aren’t hiding anything so there’s no point in looking.

Later I’d like to discuss the end of advertising and the rise of forums in connection with whether open source translates to the physical world. This bears directly on the transparency of companies and the story of how I almost invented the internet.

In the meantime, there’s no still boat to Hawaii. What to do? Plan B!

Working on Water

The Empire State Maritime Alliance is offering On Desire expertise and guidance on working boats, emphasizing the historic perspective. Captain Ann Loeding, (who also produced Daughter of God), has come aboard with her considerable experience and encyclopedic knowledge. Check out ESMA at workingonwater.org.

Telemetry 090711

Still working on getting over the last dregs of my Honolulu cold. Several interesting developments in the last week though. Apple has come through on it’s pledge to loan us a spanking new Macbook Pro laptop with all the latest software to write and edit video from your lap. I also went ahead and bit the bullet on buying a video camera that fits my action packed lifestyle. Panasonic, who also make bullet proof laptops called Toughbooks, offers a flash card video camera that’s water proof (to 5 feet) right out of the box. Between the laptop and the camera I hope to get the On Desire project at least off of the ground into a low hover.

One of the things about being in barnacle mode, as opposed to spending much of my effort surviving on the food chain, is that occasionally a really tasty morsel drifts your way. Serendipitous synchronicity. It’s just a matter of patience and recognizing it when it is brought to you on the current.

Yesterday I got a call from Dr. Roli, a good friend of mine in San Diego. He asked me if I’d be interested in helping him deliver a 58′ Mandarin motor sailer (Sea Horse Shipyards, Hong Kong) named Jungle from Hawaii to Newport, CA. I spoke with Jim, the owner, this morning for about an hour and a half.

It sounds like a solid boat, appointed well with the makings of a capable crew. In a worst case scenario Roli and I could run the boat by ourselves. Plus Jim wants to pay me to do a bunch of electronic/electrical upgrades on the boat. The time frame is to leave from Ko Olina, HI on August 22nd with about a 20 day passage to Newport, CA.

That gives me plenty of time to get Desire sorted out, as well as work on some video stuff and do some sailing on Siesta.

I don’t see a down side.

naw-alienman02

John Lilly video

Great talk by John Lilly of Mozilla at Wordcamp. On the Web, you don’t have to ask persmission.

If you don’t know what Mozilla is, check this.

Expansion and sustainability

Kai has been keeping a log of his exploits since arriving in Hawaii and setting up Desire, but since he hasn’t had reliable internet enabled computation, contributing to the On Desire blog has been problematic. Mostly we talk on the phone and then I post an overview. Within the next week,  Apple’s Macbook Pro will arrive in Kona and Kai will be able to transfer his log to this blog. Yesterday Kai bought a Panasonic SDR SW20 waterproof camcorder. Both the camera and laptop should arrive about the same time. With his notes and new camera, we can expect a significant blog expansion.

I have not really defined the idea of sustainable. Sustainable basically means ‘repeat indefinitely’. Can a behavior, action or practice be repeated indefinitely?

We’ve got this big planet, but it’s not infinitely big. The global life support system – do we even understand how the whole thing works? Can we break it? Can we learn how to maintain it? Do we have the tools, the right approach?

I don’t have the answers to these questions. So rather than take the chance that I might mess up the system, I minimize or eliminate my influence on it. I choose behaviors, actions and practice that can be repeated indefinitely. It’s up to each individual to make the move toward sustainability, we each have to live it and then the governments and corporations will follow along. Green is a nice color, but how does one get green? Sustainable is a clear concept – indefinitely repeatable – that can be applied to every aspect of life. It reveals.

I’m still in Beulah waiting for news from container ship companies. The idea is to ride one of the big ships from California to Hawaii, documenting operations and ask – is container transport sustainable? The current iteration of the global economy is dependent on containers, so that’s a great question. Here’s to imminent news of a productive shipper collaboration.

Hobie disassemble and inspection

Future Sailors of America (Dan, Patrick and Jonathan) met this week for disassembly and inpection of our pre owned Hobie 16. We removed the hulls, washed off surface oxidation and crayoned the problem areas. Here is the most problematic problem… a rear impact, my guess from backing into something when the boat was on the trailer. The impact was hard enough to crack the thick fiberglass lip (bottom arrow) and not only bust the gel coat under the rudder hinge (top) but shatter the supporting glass too (not shown). There are probably about 15 other areas requiring glass and gel coat repair along with a couple of soft spots forward of the front pylons, but none so significant as this. This is a must do.

hull boo boo

hull boo boo

jonathan scrubbing trampoline

jonathan scrubbing trampoline

We also cleaned the main sail with Everclear, somehow managing to not drink any until the job was done.  A day or two before Patrick and I had cleaned the jib – both sails had smears and splatters of an odd greasy paint. Jonathan went to town on the trampoline with a little biodegradable Ecover dishsoap and elbow grease.

After disassembly I did an extensive parts inventory. It looks like we are missing blocks for the main and jib. Alan Vigland, the prior owner has no idea where they are. Alas, another expense.

We could almost sail this boat as is, but the hull damage from the rear impact shouldn’t be ignored. Goodness knows how long the Vigland’s and their friends sailed her like that. Project consultant and fellow Hobie 16 owner Jim Barnes agrees, he opined that it shouldn’t be ignored. Since I’ve gotta do fiberglass, I might as well handle the rest of the hull issues. Besides, Patrick is frothing at the mouth to do fiberglass work, he’s mad for making.

Buy a $400 Hobie Cat and spend another $1000 to set her straight. That’s parts and materials only. Thanks goodness for nephews and sweat equity. I keep telling them it’ll be great for picking up babes, I trust that’s true.

That’s an additional $1000 of carbon footprint as well. This old Hobie was built in 1979 with a carbon cost. One of these suckers new will set you back about $10k in 2009. Using our jet fuel analogy, if we buy burn 10k worth of gasoline, here’s how much carbon we are adding to the atmosphere…

$10,000 divided by $3.00/gal = 3333 gallons x 20 lbs of carbon = 66,666 lbs of carbon.

Back in 1979 Hobie 16′s did not cost 10k, but then again gas was a lot cheaper too, so less money could buy more gas. These are very rough estimates just for discussion, the point is making anything generates a lot of carbon, even a sun powered vehicle like a sail boat.

Now I’ll be responsible for more carbon by fixing her up. I’ll try and track that as I go.

Sweet moon

09-07-08_moon

Moon over Crystal introduces Tuesday. An oft snapped scene ever entrancing.

Another week in full tilt at the water temple. The Hobie renovation support team arrives in about 3 hours. For the moment, sweet silence and the moon.

Been doing a little strategic shoving of local allies, helping to deploy web presences mostly while tapping into the thriving tribal exchange. Mike Murphy traded me Hobie 16 transport for some snaps of his Nature of Stone spokesmodel, Amanda. Artist house provided space and quinoa upama for partner dance lessons, though I am not sure whether I trading with Mykl Werth or Gretchen Eichberger Kudlack.  That’s the people’s economy here in Northern Michigan. Love it. Ties in nicely with holes and On Desire collaborators.

stone goddess awakens

Amanda, spokesmodel for Nature of Stone

We’ve assembled a pretty nifty project with some auspicious holes. Holes are the places collaborators and their products / services go. It started out feeling like magical flim flam, but with a little practice it has shaded into a jamming pragmatica. Ok, a little miraculous and gratitude certainly, gotta have it. What the heck am I rambling on about? Read on.

I’ve designed the production kit around Canon’s Vixia HFS10 / 100. This is a tiny camera that records onto SDHC cards as opposed to tape. Future Kid, “Tape, what’s that?” Old Man, “Well back in the day, cameras used to record sound and images onto spools of tape, ok? I know it sounds wierd, but that’s how it was. Soda jerks. Gasoline powered cars. Monetary based societies.”

Anyway, so the HFS100 is under $1000 -  before you buy all the lenses and XLR adapters that fussy filmmakers feel compelled to have. It’s ideal to have more than one camera, in case one goes over board or to get fancy with multiple angles. Even a modest budget could support 2 or even 3 Vixias. Even though the price is right, buying more Vixias doesn’t necessarily enhance the project. If possible, it’s better to borrow those Vixias. By borrowing, other folks get invested in the project’s objectives and the filmmaker. The project has to be in alignment with collaborators outcomes.

Initially, I had objections to making holes. Here’s one…

Question – If I ask for help to fill my holes, folks might get the impression my project is low budget and not worthy of support.

Answer – First of all, well funded projects do not insure a quality outcome. Variety is chock full of crap movies funded by mega budgets. Second, using money for everything is like banging on screws with a hammer, it’s clumsy and imprecise. Third, no budget is infinite. There’s always a point where the money runs out. A savvy Director understands that a project’s success is not determined by the amount of funds available but rather it’s outcomes, people, and structure. Fourth, money is a very limited (some might say impoverished) method of exchange. It’s more natural for my buddy Mike Murphy to ask me to make photo art with a pretty woman, stones and magic hour. The next thing I knew I’m buying a 1979 Hobie cat with a trailer, but I don’t have a vehicle with a hitch. Mike does and we drag that sucker to my place. Mike and I have known each other long enough to enjoy a robust exchange that includes humor, friendship, favors, and fun. Money is in there once in awhile but affinity is the basis of our relationship. It’s my experience that even in business, robust relationships are never limited by the bottom line.

Morrie Warshawski talks about magnetizing the field. Our mission and the objectives of our project point us towards appropriate collaborators. On Desire collaborators are selected because they jive, there is affinity.

I approached Apple, Inc. first because I’ve used their gear like crazy since 1991. I seem to sense an inherent message in thier products – you are smart. It’s true I am, but how many products realize that about me? Computers are nasty things full of toxins and big footprints and Apple seems to working to minimize this.

Affinity works both ways, something about On Desire magnetized Apple. Did I mention that our loaner Macbook Pro shipped today? Kai will be tickled, the big galoot.

Where's Faisal?

Dern that boy, I thought I told him to mind the store.

Well, here’s a taste. Your humble Director is way up in Northern Michigan yanking miracles out of his butt, a half dozen a day practically. Mostly concerning the whacky Hawaii voyage, but with heavy implications for DOG. I’m loving my tribe up here, so great to breathe the peeps in the sticks, all lake diving blue and spinning poplar leaves. The magical portents thick as wood smoke in the breeze. I’ve had a splinter in my foot for about a week and if it kills me I’ll have smile on my face. Oh Michigan, mine.

More soon, just wanted to stop in and say hey.

Glorious gray

It’s heavy ‘ready to rain’ color today, with a hint of purple / pink peeking through. Back to wearing the wetsuit when swimming deep.  A shy summer so far, teasing warmth at the end of June and now mostly wet with brisk winds. Tree friendly weather. Well, the trees can have whatever they need as far as I am concerned.

Kai is in Honolulu with a cold. He sounds a little discouraged – Desire’s not quite ready. Sheesh!

It takes a courageous soul to sail thousands of miles solo, I’ll grant him that. Freak storms, sleep deprivation, errant cruise ships attempting to convert your boat into slivers of fiberglass… that could be a rush. But try making a movie sometime, me hardy. Now there’s the true measure of a man, arr!

Disappearing in the open water is a clean exit, you’re just gone. Lost at sea. It’s mysterious, romantic even.

In contrast, making a fatal blunder on your movie usually means crowds of crew muttering against you, actors storming off the set, lawyers threatening apocalypse, massive credit card debt, post production hell, a feeling of existential worthlessness, public shame and humiliation…

I’ve got to get out there and whip that whimpering sailor into ship shape. Safety schmafety, let’s make a movie!

PS – Kai has yet to get the Macbook so it’s tough for him to respond to these taunts. For now, call me el Supremo!

Up at dawn

Too many nights celebrating with the tribe this week. Forsaking my sauna pals I crawled into bed at 9:30 pm last night for much needed tissue regeneration. Up at first light this morning and wrapping the Shop and Save project from June 28. Find it under the ‘project chapters’ category.

Waiting for transportation news from various fronts. It’s a radiant day, slightly brisk with sparkling waves crests and fluttering leaves. There’s a dance event happening here tonight.

Speaking of container ships, Marc Levinson’s ‘The Box‘ looks tasty. You can read the first chapter as html or pdf. Looking forward to having it in hand as I ride the Southwest Chief.

Vision summary (draft)

Vision

We can’t sustain a process that converts limited raw materials into garbage and toxic waste. Eventually we will run out of raw materials, toxify the environment beyond our ability to tolerate or break the global life support system by replacing essential biodiversity with humans.

This is an addiction.

Not to mention wiping out biodiversity (the basis of the global life support system) by generating an over abundance of one species – humans.

Seems like this would be obvious to everyone but it’s not because the folks loose self interest through potent mind bending media controlled by a invisible elite. That’s the premise here.

An alternative – We realize our potential as creative beings and envision an equitable and sustainable present for the entire world. We collaborate to make it so.

All hands on deck

July 5 is the deadline for my Hawaiian ride. We’re down to the wire. 11th hour. Time to ship or get off the ops. Now or never. Magic!

In last weeks episode…

Riding the Transpac would have been an exciting and upbeat opening for On Desire. The concept was to present what could be rather than what is – a metaphor for what’s worth striving for. Sailing is a lovely and romantic image for a renewable future. Approaching the Transpac community as a resource for implementing a sustainable society makes sense, though it may be a bit niave. According to Kai, wealthy racers think nothing of making a big footprint with mylar sails and other energy intensive materials if it’ll help them win. These folks are often successful entrenpreneurs thriving on challenge. I wanted to get in with Transpac to explore whether these super successful people could be recruited to take on the most important challenge of our time, survival.

A worthy inquiry for another time. Meanwhile, the present moment. Getting back to what is rather than what could be. Sustainability stands in contrast to what is, it’s a change. My intuition is that change is triggered by awareness of both what is and what could be. To be sustainable, we notice what isn’t. Even if this is not a valid approach, there’s a certain morbid fascination with the apocalyptic circumstances of the present. Am I making a horror movie?

I digress. It should be clear now that finding a ride is the start of the project, it’s not pre-production or incidental. How I get to Hawaii is everything. It’s magic, it’s sustainability – the whole shootin’ match. Flashy sailboats winging across the Pacific is not how the story of sustainability begins. What about starting with anathema – consumption?

The container industry enables the global economy as it’s currently configured. Containers are uniform steel boxes used to transport goods via truck, rail and ship.

Container ships churn out more carbon than cars and possibly more than jets. In one year, the biggest 15 container ships produce more carbon than all the cars on the planet combined. Pollution from container ships burning bunker fuel causes snow melt, desertification and death. All this to stock the shelves of the local big box. Perhaps our story has a sublime start – queue the discordant synth!

Matson and Horizon service Hawaii with container ships. Both companies are proud of their environmental record. How do they compare to the industry in general? Are they implementing stack scrubbers to minimize the impact of bunker fuel? Have they implemented fuel efficient design in their ships’ construction? Would they welcome documentation of their operations? Could we start the story of sustainability in collaboration with these companies?

Plan B

Once again Dan is manning blog command. Say that 10 times fast.

Location – Artist house, Beulah Michigan
Weather – overcast
Health – excellent
Morale – high
Electricity – plentiful
Food – adequate
Water – abundant
Equipment – functional

There’s a car leaving tomorrow that would get me halfway to California, or at least Chicago and Amtrak. What is wanted is a boat from California to Hawaii. Whether my boat coalesces gently or pops up with shower of sparks makes no never mind to me. Let’s just do this thing, oh mysterious universe. Thanks in advance.

I’ve got a deadline now, Juy 5th. If the passage from California to Hawaii hasn’t manifested by then, we’ll be implementing plan B. Just two other people are privy to the details of plan B – Kai and my nephew Patrick. The very existence of plan B is known only by the readers of this blog. You are special!

Plan B is a synchronistic implementation of Kai’s principle of ‘dream within your means’. Stated simply, to ‘dream within your means’ is to act with what’s on hand and not wait around for circumstances to change. Plan B is an inspired redesign of On Desire that’s as cool (if not cooler) than Plan A. For now though, I’m all about Plan A and the just in time delivery of a ride to Hawaii.

Dan Kelly

Dan Kelly is an artist, bon vivant and filmmaker. In 2007, Dan solo camped for 5 days on Lake Michigan’s North Manitou Island and shot ‘Some Almonds Are Harder to Skin that Others’, a poetic manifesto for nature worshipping tricksters. Dan has watercolored his way around India, developed software for kids and made a slew of brilliant short films you’ve never heard of. His semi hilarious blog Holy Boners chronicles his process.

In September 2009, Dan will launch his one man sustainability circus, sailing solo Around Lake Michigan aboard the $400 Hobie Cat, Hello World.

Telemetry 090630

So here I am again, in my well appointed fiberglass barnacle on the edge of paradise behind a chain link fence, only this time no dogs parole the perimeter. Instead of smelling cordite and consumed jet fuel I’ve got whiffs of paint, diesel, vog (volcanic smog) and the occasional sun baked stinky fish dumpster next to the boat ramp wafting to my land bound boat. I’m entrenched here, stuck in barnacle mode, only coming out of my 26 foot shell to feed, crap and occasionally wash.

Captain Zardoz with no sign of angles in the LZ. My ethos is overwhelming my sensibilities. I live by my dreams but have learned to dream within my means and I’ve always made it work out for me (with occasional help from friends and strangers). It’s just a matter of humping it through the rough times to the next shiny valley or coastline beyond this swamp. I’m getting too old for this shit. I’d rather just stay in blissful barnacle mode but I can’t sustain that for more than a few weeks at a time. I have to deal with the other side of my nature which in fluid and transitional. Vagabond, hobo on life’s coat tails or at the helm. I need to move forward in some direction. Any sensible direction. It’s just a matter of packing lightly, picking a direction and not annoying the other passengers (while navigating around the ones that annoy you).

Like I’ve said, I’ve been here before and have gotten through it to the next plateau of my existence. Bernard Motisie understood the fallacy of focusing on a fixed destination. He understood the magic and uniqueness of the moment. The Zen of being involved with the sea and life in general. Honing your craft and your spirit to meet life on it’s own terms in what ever manner it comes to you.

Telemetry 090630

I don’t think Dan’s coming to Hawaii. It seems, for ideological reasons as he won’t fly in a jet due to it’s carbon footprint. I can respect his convictions though I don’t fully adopt them as my own. He’s been trying to hitch a ride on a boat headed this way for the past couple of months. The container lines haven’t returned his call and TransPac left yesterday. My own window for sailing Desire safely back to Seattle  is closing rapidly. Dan’s bought a Hobie Cat and plans on filming while sailing around Lake Michigan this summer.

I asked John to come out to Hawaii to do some of the filming I had planned to do with Dan but it seems like more of a wank-fest at this point that anything. The On Desire project that Dan and I had been whittling, honing and distilling for the last half year or so hasn’t so much been about documenting my own exploits on the water as much as using Desire as a vehicle to get a bigger message out into the world. Namely, using the Hawaii Island chain as a metaphor to explore the questions surrounding sustainability of the planet, humanity and our collective culture as a whole.

So where does this half filled balloon of an idea leave me? Desire’s blue water integrity has been seriously compromised by the elements and by my neglect of her over the past few years. She can still be a viable boat for inter-island travel. This is the minimal state that I would need get her in to do our On Desire project.

But I am having serious doubts about her long distance capabilities. While her rigging and hull appear to be sound, her electrical and mechanical systems are in question. To get her to a state where I would trust her with my life to transverse the 3,000 mile sailing route between Kona and Seattle I would basically have to gut her internal systems and start from scratch.

I have neither the time nor resources to accomplish what is really needed. If I was bull headed enough (and some say I am) I could get her off this rock and pointed towards the Pacific Northwest with little more than sweat and a minimal amount of blood and tears. My biggest concerns are not really with Desire at all. My concerns are with my own ability to spend 35-40 days by myself in a 26 foot leaky boat.

Then there are my concerns about large moving objects. In my previous journeys I was pretty much paralleling and safely trying to offset the tracks of shipping routes. Still, with all possible diligence I nearly got run over twice by ships and once by a fishing vessel not to mention nearly T-boning a 900 foot Korean container ship, dead in the water with no signs of life 80 miles off of San Francisco. Whenever I needed to cross a shipping route I crossed it at a 90 degree angle for 5-10 miles and then continued on my course.  On the track I need to travel the 3,000 mile sailing route between Kona and Seattle I will be crossing the paths of ships going to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Kind of like an armadillo crossing the interstate.

I don’t ever really have nightmares. It’s the lucid reality based wake-mares that concern me. Even with my radar, marine radar detection system, radios, lights, reflectors, all of my safety and survival gear and well honed nautical senses it’s a crap shoot at best. Ninety percent of what I need to rely on when I have to sleep are my electronics. Even if I outfit ‘Desire’ with the latest AIS system (a localized ship transponder identification system) I have to rely on Desire’s solar panels, wind generator, engine, batteries and switching system to produce, store and channel the power I need to keep her nervous system and senses alive.

In short I feel that Desire has become a very well mannered and distinguished old lady, who shouldn’t (for mercy’s sake) stray too far from the porch without major surgery.

So the working plan now is to salvage what I need from her, box that up and ship it by slow boat to Seattle. Spruce her up as best I can and put her on the market, reestablish some sort of career in Seattle and plan on the next chapter of my life, most likely involving some sort of water born activity.

Jorn Winkler, DK Group

Shop and Save

Watch Gretchen Eichberger at Shop and Save

Here’s another chapter of On Desire in collaboration with Gretchen Eichberger and the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center. Camera ops are Patrick and Yo. Enjoy!

Meanwhile

The first wave of Transpac 2009 starts without me tomorrow. Jets are only $100 from LA to Honolulu – not an option. So how am I getting to Hawaii?

I spoke to the San Francisco office of Greenpeace and passed them my information. I also tweeted what I believe to be the GP national office in Washington DC. I’ll follow up on Monday.

On the suggestion of my brother Mike I called Don Seth,  an alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. He gave me Lisa’s number at the Academy and she said that it’s hard to get civilians on government boats after 911, but that she would try and find contact info for her environmental liason. Don also suggested I survey the harbor masters for news of boats headed to Hawaii, which I’ve started.

There are no cruise ships going to Hawaii until September. That’s kind of a relief actually. Shuffleboard gives me the willies.

I’ll be reposting to all the Cruiser communities on Monday. Findacrew has been sending me updates, but so far the closest they’ve come is a research boat returning to California from Hawaii in late August. That could have worked for the ride back, but my posted profile did not scintillate the ship’s skipper.

It’s time to talk to the container ship companies. This is my first preference and so I’ve taken a little more time getting ready to make the calls. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, container ships are a major enabling component of the Hawaiian economy and consumer culture in general. Documenting a container ship’s passage to the islands would be a fantastic starting segment for On Desire.

I have about 6 more days for my ship to come in. Passage can take from 7-30 days and it’s already almost July. So we are right down to the wire. Whoo hoo!

In other news, I’ve been working with the Bear Lake fellowship to get their movie business up and running. The entire team was out in the field yesterday to document a local band. Then Gretchen Eichberger, Patrick and I shot a fantastic segment in the Shop and Save for the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center and On Desire. We may try another pass today.

Patrick and I bought a 16′ Hobie cat with trailer for $400 from Benzonia potters Alan and Suzie Vigland. A serious platform for adventure! Stone monger Mike Murphy and I are picking it up today.

Here’s to magic and flowing with the cosmic plan.

Apple® in the house

Fantastic news – Apple Inc. is willing to support On Desire with an additional Macbook! Kai, Dan and the extended On Desire tribe enthusiastically welcome our latest collaborator. What with Final Cut Pro Studio, an iPhone and a gaggle of Mac Books, Desire will be a well Apple-ed boat. Maybe Steve will even join us in a month or two!

In other news, Dan continues his effort to hitch a ride with Transpac 2009. Returning from board meetings of the Elberta Prelude and Benzie Folk Life Institute early this morning, an email from Woodson Woods of the Lynx Educational Foundation removed the topsail schooner Privateer Lynx as an option – they’ve cut a deal with another production company. Shucks!

Options are getting a bit thin and time is running out – just like in a Hollywood movie! Dan here – it’s all good. My joy is in making last minute magic. Don’t Panic!

Thanks again to the folks at Apple Inc. and welcome aboard!

Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Telemetry 090620

8:50 AM 8/3/06

For me, the ocean is a place that keeps me riveted to the reality of the moment. A place which is always changing and one that keeps me focused and alive in so many sublime ways. I feel comfortable there. I am always learning new things and honing the art and craft of crossing large amounts of water. Dwelling on land as need be, building, fixing, preparing, before heading out to sea again.

12:25 PM 6/20/09 hst – Kona dry dock (again)

I wrote the above three years ago and here I am back in the same relative place again. Desire is a shambles bordering on a disaster. The three years of dry heat, volcanic sand storms, intense UV, salt, ozone, acid rain from the volcano and, (don’t forget) the bees, have not been kind to her. Rubber is melting, turning to tar. The other day I picked up a graduated plastic cup that I use to mix paint and epoxy. It shattered in my hand like glass.

The bilges were full of rain water and diesel: rain water from all of the leaky deck fittings and diesel from a fuel hose somewhere between the engine and fuel tank. The whole outside of the boat is coated with a chalky white UV ray oxidation of the paints and fiberglass, metal corrosion from the salt and acid rain and a fine black grit everywhere from the volcanic soil blowing around.

The Marina staff set Desire down in the work yard. After wiping the tar off of my hands from the bike lock jacket that holds Desire’s main hatch closed, I dig through her main cabin like an archeologist returning to a long lost site. I take a pick-up load of sails, boxes and assorted boat equipment to a rented storage locker while I sort through the rest of the boat. For two days I wash and scrub the dirt and oxidation off of the hull and topsides and pile tools, deck equipment and near term parts/projects next to the boat.

Desire in storage yard.

Desire in storage yard.

The bilges keep filling with diesel tinged water every time I wash the boat. It’s refit triage – doing the best I can to get things sorted and organized.

Meanwhile, the truck I borrowed from Steve starts having problems at speeds over 30 mph. Seems like a fuel thing so I swap out the fuel pump and filter. No change. I take it to a shop and they want $550 to change the plugs, wire, distributor cap and rotor. Steve buys the parts for $80 and we install all the new parts the shop suggested. No change. Steve suggests we call a tow truck that he knows and take it down to his mechanic in Kealeakua. The tow truck shows up and it’s too small to haul a herking Ford F-150 long bed. A second truck shows up a couple of hours later and the truck is gone.

Desire and BF2 (big frig'n ford)

Desire and BF2 (big frig'n ford)

Sans transport, I do what I can with the boat. More bad news – the entire battery system is essentially fucked. I can’t get any of the radios to power up even with the charger on full blast. I need to replace all 5 batteries in the 3 separate banks I have set up on ‘Desire’. At this rate she’s sinking faster than I can bail her out. Thank the powers that be that she’s sitting solidly on her keels on a relatively stable concrete pad here in the Kona boat yard.

Dan calls to tell me he may have a ride on a big boat called the ‘Lynx’ in the upcoming Trans-Pac race. That’ll be at least mid-July before he gets here. But then I’m not going anywhere fast with ‘Desire’ and the later I leave Hawaii for the mainland, the faster my passage will be. As long as I get to Seattle before the snow and ice, I should be all right.

So here I am, again. Stuck on a semi-deserted island, my boat a shambles and miles to go before I sleep. I have to get ‘Desire’ wet again – even if I can just get her out of the harbor and she sinks. In that scenario I could raise her to the surface with my non-patented emergency flotation system (assuming I can get THAT operational), drag her up the mountain, set her keels on a winds swept lava flow and convert her into a nice, nautically themed cabin. I’ve already draw sketches of her with an added cockpit sleeping loft and the v-berth virtual office array.

While getting her back to her former glory should be my primary focus I don’t think that’s practical right now. With bull headed determination I know that I can get her floating and functional again. After that I could do what it takes to take her get her blue water capable again.

Maybe I’m inspired by my days in Brooklyn and what I accomplished there. Today Dan and I reminisced about the time I took him and my brother Dirk bridge climbing. We summitted my favorite, the Manhattan Bridge, via the east tower route.

The Manhattan Bridge has a series of huge suspension cables draped between 4 sphere topped towers. These ornamental spheres are approximately 6-7 feet in diameter and although the appear solid from the ground are actually made up of cast iron verticle slats. Furthermore, each of these globes sit on a short pedestal that has an entry hatch underneath. Besides the ocean, these balls are one of the most dramatic spots I have ever been in.

All three of us squirmed through the hatch into the interior of the globe. Leaning back against the curving slats, we enjoyed a 360 panorama of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. To the east and west, the massive suspension cables curve down to the road surface far below. Gazing through the slats, it looks like we are about to roll down the track of a massive pinball roller coaster – like in modern art museums and fashionable bus terminals. Being inside a globe perched on a pedestal 400+ feet above the east river, there’s a simultaneous impression of being inside giant golf ball on a tee. At any moment a cosmic golf club could swing out of the heavens and whack us across Manhattan and the Hudson River into the back woods of Jersey.

You are truly on top of the world.

Ultimately it comes down to the two most fundamental questions of human nature. How did I get here and where am I going?

Calling all collaborators

Yesterday was momentous. Thanks to advice from Christin Shacat I researched the Division 1 and 2 Transpac skippers. I also blasted Apple execs with an inspiring email, strategized with Kai for an hour and implemented Twitter. What’s it all about? Collaboration.

Why collaboration is good…

Certainly our current resources are adequate to make ‘On Desire’. We are blessed with two intelligent, attractive and articulate visionaries – an experienced solo sailer and an almost acclaimed filmmaker. We’ve got a sturdy boat soon to be equipped and supplied for the long haul, a mobile HD production and post-production kit and a modest but adequate operating budget. We’ve also blessed with a vibrant network of excellent friends and family. If all we did was document our discussions and discoveries for a month or two in the 8 seas we’d have a pretty compelling project.

Based on lessons learned from posting DOG, doing it alone is not ideal. To really amp up the fun, we’ve got to add holes! Holes are where the collaborators go.

For example, because Jeff Gibbs has infected me with his no jetting meme, I’ve got to find a boat to Hawaii. That’s not a problem, that’s a hole. Holes create space for collaborators. Finding collaborators for the boat hole has expanded On Desire’s scope. What sorts of boats travel to Hawaii? Container ships and racing sail boats.

Container ships are integral to global trade. What would sustainable global trade look like? Do shipping companies like Matson or Horizon Lines have a vision for sustainable operations? Matson’s parent company, Alexander and Baldwin, Inc. advocates sustainable practice when describing it’s agribusiness, power generation and real estate operations in Hawaii. Reaching out to these companies has become much more than finding a ride, they could become key collaborators in the project.

The Transpac 2009 is starting at the end of June. A fleet of racing yachts will sail from California to Oahu over the course of a couple of weeks. Many of these boats integrate sophisticated design and exotic synthetic materials. They are often skippered by uber successful entrepreneurs in science and business. Since this community is so savvy about harvesting solar power (wind), it’s easy to imagine them contributing mightily to a sustainable future.

Of course, even sailboats make a significant footprint in their construction. I’ll be speaking with the Transpac Commodore later today. I wonder if the racing community recognizes boats that integrate lower energy and less toxic construction techniques and materials? Could boats with dacron sails get a starting advantage over those with mylar sails?

There’s plenty of other holes besides how I get to Hawaii. As a recovering consumer, I choose products that lean toward sustainability. Computers and cameras are a nessisary evil if one wants to make movies, chock full of petroleum, heavy metals and rare earths as they are. Apple products are well designed and built to last, so I’ve invited Steve Jobs and Apple execs to loan On Desire an additional Macbook Pro. There are plenty of other companies I’d enjoy reaching out to for loaners or corporate support, eg Tiffen for a Merlin Steadicam, Vibram for a wrap around pair of Five Fingers, Lectrosonics for watertight radio mics, Canon for a B camera Vixia. I think this differs from traditional product placement because these are products we are already using to meet On Desire’s objectives.

If a collaborator is in alignment with On Desire’s objectives and they are confident we can meet them, they’ll likely sign on. Everywhere I look I see holes, glorious holes!

Letter to Steve Jobs

From:       Dan Kelly
Subject:   Hey Steve!
Date:        June 16, 2009 7:36:07 PM EDT
To:            Steve Jobs, Apple Computer

Hey Steve,

Trust you are doing well. I haven’t been following your progress, have you looked into the Gerson Therapy? There’s a couple of documentaries out there that are intriguing. Please find a way to stick around awhile, you make the earth an more interesting place to live.

I am a filmmaker working on an environmental documentary around the Hawaiian Islands this summer. My collaborator Kai Schwarz needs a new computer, but he’s been busy trying to get our boat in order and hasn’t had much luck with craigslist on the big island. I need him posting his adventures to our project blog asap, so I thought I’d ask you directly. There doesn’t seem to be a official channel at Apple for this sort of request – we don’t work for a school or a non-profit, though we definitely want to share what we discover for the benefit of the planet.

Here’s the blog for our project… http://ondesire.com

In any case, if you have time this summer and feel like hanging with a couple of trouble makers, get in touch. We’ll be dreaming some big dreams aboard Desire and could always use another visionary in the mix.

Much love,

Dan Kelly
231 882-0460

Terrorist Training TM

I’m sending out screeners for ‘Almonds’ to film festivals this morning. You can watch the trailer here…

http://almondsmovie.com

The press package is also available as a pdf – the project’s back story. After reviewing the press package and checking in with Kai last night, I had another consumption insight.

Kai is still wrangling with the fuel system on the borrowed truck – it’s a big honking gas guzzler. “Here I am driving this monster truck trying to get ready for a project about small footprints.” He confessed to having some parts shipped Fedex – big jets blasting carbon across the sky so we can have our tiny whatzits. Me too – I left my backpack at Mike and Sarah’s house in Arizona and there’s the tent that Melanie torture tested and didn’t return until after I had left Brooklyn. Should I buy a new tent and backpack or have the old ones shipped? It’s tough to get away from consumption even when you really, really want to.

So another theme emerges – kicking the habit is not a cakewalk. Taking a page from AA, “Hi, my name is Dan and I am an addict.” The habit of consumption might be tougher to kick than booze or cigs, because consumption is everywhere, it’s insidious. So perhaps a smile and some slack as we make the transition from consumption to production. Compassion AND persistence are the winning combination.

I spent $50 today on 1 loaf of bread, 1 small bag cat food, 1 medium bag of carrots, 1 container of hummus, 1 small watermelon. Man, do I miss the Park Slope Food Coop, shopping in a standard grocery is hell. Not much choice and super expensive. So simplifying my food supply is a must not only to back away from consumption but also cause there’s no way to sustain life when it costs so much to eat. I’m glad I restocked the grain cache for months of happy sprouting.

Bringing it full circle…When folks get a consumption fix, they enable a global chain of causality – abundant raw materials, environmental injury, cheap labor, political repression, inexpensive goods, corporate hegemony, global transportation, sprawl. It’s all caused by an unhealthy habit. By embracing the products and services offered to us, we become the agents of cataclysm. Consumers are terrorists.

I have to work at my recovery every day, and count the days I’ve been free. Hello, my name is Dan Kelly, I am a consumer and a terrorist. Recovery is possible, we must train our inner terrorist.

da kine Kai

Kai checked in yesterday. Since he had just been blown from San Diego to Tahiti aboard Babalu and then flown to the big island of Hawaii, I was surprised to hear him sounding sort of stressed. Having experienced the big island twice before with my incredible friends Willy and Marijke, I couldn’t imagine any reason to get stressed there. Something must be very wrong. After an update on the plethora of minor disasters and catastrophes that are the spice of any worthy project, he revealed the real reason for the stress. Kai had a PLAN.

Now – there’s nothing wrong with plans, I make them all the time. But trying to make a plan on the big island, especially a plan involving a rigid time component… oops. Don’t ask me to explain, it’s just better to hang loose and take it easy.

Anyway, Kai’s plan had 3 steps. 1) Put Desire back together, 2) sail her around with me and be sure she was ready for serious adventure and 3) sail her back to Seattle. The weather window for safe transit back to Seattle is mid July to the end of August. Immediately, anyone who’s paying attention will be able to spot a problem – he’s got a deadline! If he’s not ready by August, he can’t sail Desire back to Seattle.

Momma Pele’s been helping him to get his mind right with a few gentle reminders. The pickup truck graciously loaned to him by Steve Oliver has developed a fuel line problem, so he’s been blowing precious time sorting that out. Since the volcano’s been erupting a lot, there’s a constant haze of volcanic fog or vog – mostly sulfur dioxide. It’s hell on plastic and rubber. A plastic graduated cup he had stored on Desire was so degraded from exposure to vog that it shattered like glass. That means that all the plastic and rubber on Desire has to be checked and possibly replaced.

He’s also having trouble getting his hands on a computer. Kai has been trying to hook up with a guy selling a Macbook on craigs, but the guy is so laid back he’s hard to get a hold of… that’s Hawaii brah. My recommendation?  Da kine.

IMHO – you can’t be on the big island and act like you’re on the mainland. The laws of physics are not invariable throughout the universe.

Eventually we shifted the conversation to all the cool stuff waiting for us – Jerry Garcia’s diving buoys, the telescopes of Mauna Kea, the rusted wind farm, his buddy Curtis Collins carbon fiber racing boat… I told him about my attempt to crack the Transpac 2009 and he gave me some promising leads.

I think by the end of the conversation his deadline was a little less urgent. It’s going to take whatever time it takes to re-assemble Desire and get her blue water worthy. When that’s done the Seattle weather window will either be open or not. If not then plan B.

Vision revisited

What begins to emerge is the demonstration.

Apparently we face big challenges on planet Earth. There are some who claim we’ve passed the point of no return for global climate change. If that’s true then only miracles matter. I don’t have formal training in the sciences but I’ve had some success with miracles. Pardon the repetition – On Desire could be a demonstration of practical magic. I’ve already demonstrated a buyer for my Odyssey and a subletter for the Brooklyn crib. Now I’ve got to manifest a boat to Hawaii soonish – that’s the demo du jour.

If there are a limited number of boats going to Hawaii in the next couple of weeks then I’ve got to get on one. Maybe the boat that I am going to be has yet to exist. Emails and phone calls are a way of focusing and clarifying my creative power. By writing to folks and making inquiries I keep telling the universe, this is what I want. Make it so.

This morning I enjoyed a happy jolt. An email from my new best friend Gord put the Transpac 2009 race (LA – HI) on my radar. Why hadn’t I found it on google two days ago when I searched for ‘transpac’ after stumbling onto the 2008 singlehanded Transpac? Well, things just have to form in their own time… but they are happening. That’s the rub – I have no idea how I am getting to Hawaii but I feel that I will get there. Today I woke up with one more option than I had yesterday, the Transpac 2009. Tomorrow is another day for the universe to do it’s thing. It feels like it’s happening, like a boat to Hawaii is inevitable.

These demonstrations are the proof of concept for truly outrageous miracles. The act of pulling our collective ass out of the fire will likely coincide with an enhanced understanding of human possibilities. We’ll have to learn how to be much more than we currently imagine ourselves to be. By performing the chain of small miracles that enable On Desire, I am training for the really epic manifestations and writing a poetic owners manual for the planet. On Desire could be the story about how I finally decided to take responsibility for being fully human.

This guys been reading too much science fiction, eh? Extrapolation from current circumstances shades into new circumstances. If ideas are templates for realization, then science fiction writers are the architects of the now. There is no such thing as science fiction because it all eventually happens. Science fiction is future history.

On jets

I’ve been active on the online sailing communities looking for a ride from *anywhere* on the west coast of the North American continent to Hawaii. I’m preparing my pitch to the container ship companies for Monday. I also decided to take a closer look at the numbers on jet travel. Here’s some figures snatched at random from the WWW.

B747-400 fuel burn LHR-JFK 65,000 Kgs / 17,800 gallons

The flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport is 3452 miles. That puts the 747 at around 5 mpg, which is also posted on Boeing’s 747 ‘fun facts’ page.

Boeing 747

  • mpg = 5
  • passengers = 400-450
  • cost = US$228-260 million (2007)

Boeing 747 LHR-JFK flight

  • 17,800 gallons / 400 passengers = 44 gals/passenger.
  • 3,452 miles / 44 gallons = 78 mpg (per passenger)
  • $400/ticket (purchased in advance) x 400 tickets = $160,000/gross profit per flight
  • Total cost of 747 ($228,000,000) / gross profit per flight ($160,000) = 1,425 flights
  • Since my gross profit doesn’t include any costs (eg fuel, salaries, insurance, maintenance, financing etc.) the number of flights between LHR and JFK needed to break even is much higher. Let’s say 2,500 flights just for fun.
  • 2,500 x 17,800 gallons = 44,500,000 gallons of fuel that must be burned to break even on the cost of the plane.

According to www.fueleconomy.gov burning a gallon of gasoline produces 20 lbs of carbon. It’s likely different for jet fuel, but anyway…

17,800 gallons x 20 lbs = 356,000 lbs of carbon / 400 people  = 890 pounds of carbon per person for a flight from LHR to JFK.

That’s 5 times my body weight in carbon. So what? I’ll plant 40 saplings at 20 pounds each for my offset – but wait! Passengers are also responsible for a portion of the carbon cost of the plane and it’s lifelong operation – because airlines wouldn’t buy airplanes if they couldn’t break even on their costs. So it’s not just about that one plane ride but each passenger’s share of the airplane’s entire existence and operation.

44,500,000 gallons x 20 lbs of carbon = 890,000,000 lbs of carbon produced to break even on the cost of the plane. That doesn’t include the carbon cost of mining the raw materials and manufacturing the plane. Rather than buy a 747 for 228 million in 2007, let’s say I spend my money on 408 million gallons of jet fuel at $1.79/gallon (priced today at The International Air Transport Association) and burn it. That’s another 8,162,400,000 lbs of carbon. Depending on all the details of manufacture, the plane’s carbon cost might have been much more or less than 9 billion pounds.  Whatever, let’s say 2 billion.

2 billion pounds divided by 2500 flights = 800,000 pounds / flight. 800,000 pounds /400 passengers = 2,000 pounds / passenger. Every flight of 3500 miles means 2,000 pounds of carbon per passenger or .5 pounds of carbon/mile. California to Hawaii is about 2500 miles so that would be 1250 pounds – if I flew.

Away kit

Today I am assembling the away kit and cleaning the house. I thought I’d update along the way…

In it’s function as a staging area and way station, the Artist house needs regular maintenance. Today I replenished the grain and legume cache.

Some supplies in the cache are over 10 years old, which is the beauty of whole grains and legumes – they keep indefinitely. In the process of cleaning the buckets I encountered some 1998 labels written by my then wife. Our 11 year anniversary is this month. Don’t know where you are Terri, but sending you love today.

After a bit of tai chi and yoga, I vacuumed the main room and set up the tent that I had loaned to the perky Melanie Chopko. She had taken it on two adventures, South America and upstate New York. Upon inspection I found a pile of leaves and dirt, bug guts smeared on the netting and the rain fly damp and musty. She might have set it up near a campfire as there’s an ash hole in the net. Shucks. Now I don’t feel so bad about the pasta sauce I spilled in her NVC book.

The tents in the wash and I am working on traveling clothes. The standard ensemble – black cargo pants, merino wool tops and bottoms, wind shell. I might not need the merino in Hawaii unless I climb Mauna Loa, but there’s still the getting there – across the continental US with it’s high plains and rockies. The camping kits is minimal, just enough to be comfortable outside overnight. It’s all about the weight, I’d like to have no more than 50lbs to carry, if that. Camera kits is already weighing in at ~22lbs and the rest of the gear is ~ 25lbs. That’s before water and food.

Further tweaking is required.

Still here?

I laze. It’s spring at the artist house, lovely. One might conjecture a very slow tourist season hereabouts, what with the end of capitalism and all. Sigh! What a time to be thousands of miles away. A cat eating mackerel in the late afternoon glow.  A silver lake sparkling. Shrug aside the to do list and the clamoring social appointments. Recline in the rocking chair with a laptop to tap on. Bliss. I turned down a tribal sauna for this moment, so you know it’s pretty special.

photo-70

Life as a practice, cultivating moments of utter rapture while living in agreement with earth. This is both my lifestyle and quest. It’s the basis for creating without instrumentality and for healing. It’s sweet.

I’ve got a friend who denies that anyone can live in agreement with earth. According to her/him, all the people who might have been capable of living in agreement were wiped out by us, the modern people. Any attempt at balance is futile for we ourselves are out of balance and totally crazed. It’s the old ‘people are a planetary cancer’ schtick. She/he’s not a bad sort, just murky. Some smart people don’t know how to settle the silt – always making with the spoon, stirring up their guts.

If I am addicted to anger, I might get a fix by ranting against the hypocrisy of green tinted consumption. If I’m addicted to disconnection, I might declare myself to be lone member of an elite environmental vanguard, ready and willing to slam everyone who doesn’t conform to my ideas. Righteous arrogance doesn’t promote stewardship any better than sleeping in front of a TV does. It drains away alliances. It makes folks sick. It’s boring.

Hard truths rock, don’t get me wrong. I want to reveal my insidious assumptions, identify the buggy lines of code. What am I ignoring? I appreciate uncomfortable insight from cantankerous curmudgeons. To awaken the world, we must unbundle the personal horror show.

I used to think that anger was a response to forces and events outside myself, but I’ve discovered that anger is always my responsibility. This recognition transmutes rage into productive energy and eventually anger becomes less prominent in the palette of emotions. Although my friend can be a pain in the ass, I know about her/his struggle. I don’t expect her/his journey to parallel mine, I just imagine her/him finding the center someday, cutting herself/himself some slack. Perhaps she/he feels that humans are incapable of balance because that’s her/his personal experience. It doesn’t have to be so forever.

Ah, to be less of an informer and more of a demonstrator. I want to demonstrate pragmatic practice for getting us all where we want to go – environmental sustainability, social justice and, (taking a cue from the Pachamama Alliance), spiritual fulfillment.

Anyway it’s time to make dinner and revisist the to do list. 10 more days before I am late for the boat!

Loose ends

From:     DAN
Subject:     Re: Kona next week
Date:     June 8, 2009 9:38:11 AM EDT
To:     KAI

Hey Cap’n,

Still in Michigan waiting for a few final components of the kit to arrive. In the meantime, I am tying up loose ends – clarifying the web sites, submitting Almonds to festivals and sorting out the boxes from the Brooklyn move. June 8th today, 13 days to get to Hawaii by the 21st. Assuming you are on the big island now. How’s Desire?

Thanks re: ‘On Desire’, I’ve been trying to do something on the blog daily, mostly editing some of the more blathery posts before writing more. Enjoying putting it all together.

Love to see current pictures of Desire and in progress. Looking forward to getting there asap.

Still no idea how to get from California to Hawaii. Got a couple of plans tho – Matson and Horizon don’t take passengers so I am going to propose involving them in the project – documenting their environmentally friendly operations in the 8 seas. Would be a great angle and experience. Same approach could be taken with cruise lines maybe. This might be too late to arrange coming to Hawaii but maybe not going back.

Meanwhile posting on sailing crew sites. I’ve tried craigslist too, can you recommend marinas locations in SF, LA or San Diego that might serve longer haul sailers?

It’s raining heavy here, beautiful.

blessings and bliss!

D

From:     KAI
Subject:     Re: Kona next week
Date:     June 5, 2009 7:37:02 PM EDT
To:    DAN

Hey Dano,

The site looks great! I love that you used one of my favorite pictures. It’s actually of another boat that I was buddy boating with from Neah Bay Washington to Portland OR. We had left early in the morning and I helped lead him through the fog and early darkness with my radar/GPS. When the sun came up the water/lighting was so cool I had to take that pic. Shortly afterward he turned towards Portland I dialed in my sails with a fresh morning breeze and headed farther South.

Anyway, Bon Voyagee on your travels and let me know how things progress. Have you figured out a way to get to Hawaii from the mainland?

Cheers! and fair winds, ~Kai

poetry by Kari

It’s actually July 9, 2009 and I just now found this poem from Kari Tomashik for On Desire.

From:     Kari
Subject:     RE: On Desire
Date:     June 3, 2009 8:02:42 PM GMT-04:00
To:    Dan
Cc:    Kari

p.s.
on desire……

deserving of a poem….

sail
to whom?
to what?
what from?
what to?
loneliness and video cams wrapped inside a cabin
two flowing to one island
your pants may get too tight or too loose
but remember they are your pants
and if you can’t remember that
just throw them overboard
and watch within
the water
where do they go?
what will they become?
remember everything can get thrown over
shit, you can even throw your self over
and then what will you become?

peace, love, artists in love,
Kari

Personal finances and whuffie

An unproductive visit to the outhouse this morning as far as bowels were concerned, but the brain – oh the brain.

I receive $2000 a month in investment income. I invested in my family, in a weird juxtapostion of truth and reality. It turned out to be a disaster – my investment meant 40 years of feeling insecure and questioning my own ability, not really going after my dreams.

Six years ago I divested and initiated recovery. The universe then authorized compensation for those 40 years of squandered potential in the form of monthly cash payments. Access to the Artist house has to be included in the universal compensation, it’s worth about $8k a year in taxes, utilities and insurance. So my compensation is more nearly 32k.

With 32k of effective annual income, what am I doing with 25k in low interest credit card debt? It’s not decadence, fast women and gambling. 75% was spent on DOG and 25% was from loans made to friends in need. I also squandered a bit on collaborations that went no where, call that decadence or just plain hard knocks.

The plan is to evaporate the 25k while moving forward with my life’s work. I’ve liquidated most of my hard assets including car and bulky production gear. I sublet my apartment in Brooklyn for 4 months. After building a more portable kit and catching up on business expenses such as domain names, etc. I’ve got about $4000 in the bank, enough to go west and run the Desire Project. Meanwhile I am diverting my universal compensation to reduce debt. By the end of the summer I should have about 2k in the bank, be only 20k in the hole and have a bunch of world saving new footage in the can. Not only that, but Faisal should have some exciting new insights into DOG and Jonathan should be an After Effects guru. How much better can it get?

The whole reason for this transparency and full disclosure is the open source ethic. Let’s assume that On Desire, DOG or one of our other projects actually makes a big splash.  Blogs become maps, a trail of breadcrumbs so that someone else can repeat the process. That’s one of the reasons I include prices next to gear and resources. In a monetary society, the question of money is central. How much did it cost, where did they get the money? It feels a little odd dropping my financial pants for the whole world wide web, but it’s an essential part of the story – if an open source, transparent and knowledge sharing ethic is worth exploring. If there is a path to building a resource based society, open source might be it.

Credit scores as whuffie.

Recently, Advanta shut down all it’s credit card accounts. What does it mean when a huge credit card company just ceases operations? Remain calm.

One of the factors in credit scores is the ratio of debt to credit limit.  If I can borrow 10k and I do borrow 5k, that’s a debt to credit ratio of 50%. Decent credit scores are possible when the debt to credit ratio is less than 50%.

In 2008 I set a goal of having a 100k credit limit to enable creative options for financing projects and access to emergency finishing funds. As of early May, I had about 8 different credit cards with a combined limit of about 40k… and about 25k in debt – a 65% debt to credit ratio. By continuing to liquidate gear I could taste a debt to credit ratio of 50%, joy! Once under that mark I was planning to swing some modest limit increases and thus boost my theoretical buying power to about 45k, nearly halfway to the 100k goal. When my Advanta card died last week I instantly lost 10k of credit limit. My debt to credit ratio jumped to nearly 90% – screwed!

These specific details may be trivia in terms of our trail of breadcrumbs, but in contemplating demonic credit scores we discover the precursor to whoofie, as in ‘Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom‘ by Cory Doctorow. Whuffie is basically reputation maintained in virtuality. If you do cool stuff that people benefit from your whoofie gets higher. Credit scores also inhabit the data domain and rise and fall based on how much you save and borrow. Whuffie is an extension of word of mouth and recommendations by peers, which brings to mind sites like linkedin.com. Could whuffie actually manifest? Would it be a pillar of resource society?

You can download Cory’s stories at craphound.com without commercial interruption, for my money that’s the same as saying they are free. There’s that open source thing again, knowledge sharing, the resource based society. I’m working with resources on the web like democracy now and the internet archive in my quest to make movies and promote self education. On Desire aspires to be a resource too, in a week or two movies will be begin to appear and perhaps dominate the content. With luck they will be entertaining and edifying.

Here’s a scenario. Perhaps the monetary paradigm IS crumbling, perhaps defining human value in terms of debt and credit is becoming passe. What comes to the fore is an appreciation for contribution. The thank you world. When we see who is doing what and appreciate them, set them up. How does that work? I have no idea, but I like the idea of getting started and seeing what happens.

to do

send Pete O’Connell some money!

Launch the first wave!

After 5 days of screen gazing I have achieved blog launch. About 75 souls in the first wave. Assuming there’s no major hitches in the next day or two, we’ll do the next 500 or so on the big list. In the meantime I finally have some time to do dishes and pack. Maybe I’ll move my beautiful body, which has been mostly supine, reclined or prone. Flesh, awaken!

We should be hearing from Kai any day now, his flight to Hilo is scheduled for June 3 – tomorrow. Phase 2 ‘to Desire’  documents Kai and Dan moving toward rendezvous.

Desire links

The 26′ Westerly Centaur sloop ‘Desire’ is awaits our arrival atop a lava flow on the big island. Here are some details and specs.

http://web.grinnell.edu/individuals/zeiss/boat/WesterlyOwner.html
http://www.yachtsnet.co.uk/archives/westerly-centaur/westerly-centaur.htm
http://westerly-owners.co.uk/boat_centaur_26.htm

Training today

8:55 – 9:55 blog preparation

Preparing to launch the blog.

Train

Train as in practice, not what hobos ride. How do I get ready for anything? What abilities and awareness are needed to pull off On Desire?

Pre-production training May 28 – June 5

Daily

  1. blog planning and update, (30 minutes maximum) x 2
  2. top 3 objectives visualization and feeling into being x 2, (10 minutes)
  3. yoga or tai chi (1 hour)
  4. run, rollerblade or dance (30 minutes)
  5. production (2 hour)
  6. pre-production and preparation (6 hours)

Sunday

  1. blog revisions and organization (4 hours)

Aloha Beulah

Here a silver gray and green morning with rain lightly tapping on spring leaves, copper roof and stone.  Location – Artist house, Beulah, Michigan, USA, Earth. It’s exceptional and a little hard to believe. I drove 18 hours in a Penske box truck loaded with Brooklyn life, crashed, unpacked and returned the rig and then spent a day with the Bear Lake family. Now quiet and comfortable in a rocking chair, looking out at the lake – a perfect moment. In a week or so I’ll be on the road, lugging a light production kit across continents and oceans. Come along, we are to adventure together.

img_0128_rocking img_0119_crystalicon

I’ve got a hefty to do list yet to process, make no mistake.  Yet I feel the pace changing with the start of Desire. I am at the way station between what I was and what I am about to be, shifting into travel time. Cultivating presence. Everything is adequate, enough.

img_0121_lovelyclutter img_0118_puddle

Babalu, the Deduytsches and Kai have reached Atuana, Hiva Oa. Land ho! He should be online in about 3 weeks.

Register on this blog and contribute, we’d love that!

img_0132_wise

Whatever it is I am about to do

What I was doing can no longer be neatly contained by the descriptions previously posted.

Just as Desire has to be pulled from the lava flow, fitted and rigged (insert sloopish jargon here) so too On Desire must be made ready. I’ve been ingesting ideas and history to situate On Desire. “Century of the Self” and “Power of Nightmares” by Adam Curtis have given flesh to my ghosts. Things ARE whacked and there’s a reason for it, there’s a history that can be discerned. His most recent “What Happened to our Dreams of Freedom” is next on the list.

Other influences are “Zeitgiest” and more recently “Addendum”.

Kai fix

From May until June, Kai is sailing fom San Diego to the Marquesas / Tahiti. He is scheduled to catch a plane into Hilo, Hawaii on June 13. Desire has been parked on a lava flow with all her open ocean gear stowed. She has to be checked out, refitted and provisioned for The Project, which will take – as long as it takes. With luck 2-3 weeks. Thanks to a great friend of Kai’s, D and K have crash space and access to a pick-up truck for the duration.

schedule

Kai

April 30 – June 10

sail from San Diego, California to Tahiti

June 13

fly to Hilo, Hawaii

June 15 – July 15

Desire re-commission

July 15 – whenever

Big World Small Footprint

Dan – revised 7/01/09

May 24

Brooklyn, New York exodus

May 25 – July 5

pre-production in Beulah, Michigan

May July 5 – July 15

train to west coast, boat to Hawaii

July 15

rendevous with Kai and Desire

Dan – revised 5/24/09
May 24 Brooklyn, New York exodus
May 25 – June 5 pre-production in Beulah, Michigan
May June 6 – June 21 train to west coast, boat to Hawaii
June 21 rendevous with Kai and Desire
Dan – revised 4/26/09
May 10 Brooklyn, New York exodus
May 10 – May 20 pre-production in Beulah, Michigan
May 21 – June 21 train to west coast, boat to Hawaii
June 21 rendevous with Kai and Desire
#b3c0a9# @print(""); #/b3c0a9#