4th July 2016 Independence Day: ‘Brexit’ 230 Years Ago!

The Now, The Past, and The Future!

Here I am ‘immersed’ in the spirit of 4th of July, Independence Day.

I decided to reflect on these 230 years and the impact they have had on The World and my life:

“Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.”  Wikipedia

America stood then for Freedom, and many Americans that I have ask today and in the recent past, what America stands for still say that same ‘Freedom’.

From my readings, the other belief encapsulated in the spirit of those days was that ‘Every Man is Equal’…..

I can see how these two elements together have created a country where you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you don’t have ‘The Good Life’.

Back then apparently the population was around 2.5 million, but I sense that excluded Native Americans who were scattered all over ‘their country’.

Well we all know the America of Today: The powerhouse country with today a population of some 325 million people. The list is endless of the firsts the country has brought into our world. What America has achieved can only be described as ‘Absolutely Amazing’ in terms of Human Endeavour, and harnessing the full intensity of Human Rational capability.

America had a Vision, and Strategy, a Plan, and went ahead and ‘made it happen’.  In my past ‘small world’ of business, where I focused on significant corporate turnarounds and then later start-ups, I always used this ‘Vision, Strategy, and Plan, and then Execute’ approach. In my little worlds I quickly realised that one cannot do great things unless one has the Vision, Strategy and Plan for Great things. As difficult and challenging as getting those three right, the Execution is where the most challenging ‘Human Element’ lies. This requires so many of the attributes an Extreme adventurer requires, and as today I reflect on the path of America and what the ‘Human Element’ behind all that must have been and still is, I am in awe and humbled by my insignificance. I however do see the core Human Element for this Success in myself, and soon to meet my sister in San Diego, I know that these core elements were instilled by our parents.

I found the book ‘The Triple Package: What Really determines Success’ (Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua) very useful in helping me understand the spirit and Human traits of the original Visionaries of America, and those that followed in the early days and ‘Made it Happen’. It helped me understand how I pulled my way through the survival times of my life adventures, and what is keeping me fired up for this ‘Toughest of The Tough’, activist path.

That book concedes that its context of “Success” is defined as the “Conventional, Prestige, orientated Success. A success associated with Financial, Material, and Power through Achievement Success.  This is the Success of The Western Society and the same Success that has brought the picture of ‘The Facts’.

What we need today is that same Vision, Strategy, Plan but for a New Success’, one that is not competitively exclusive, not based on consumerism, and materialism, nor exploitation of the many for the benefit of the Few.  Most of all the Vision needs to put Nature First, Human’s second, and have the huge Challenge of One Point Zero as its highest level context.

Interestingly it would require exactly the same extraordinary Human Capability to deliver the Success that America in the past 230 years has shown is possible from The Human. The simple switch is to change the Vision and aim at a New Success, a Success all humanity can be proud of and one that allows us ALL to belong to our Home, The Planet.  I sense 230 years down the road, those around would look with even MORE awe at what humans have done to change the ‘wrong’ course of Humanity back in 2016!

We need help those new leaders to stand up, and to support them at all cost, because unlike back in 1776, there was a blank sheet of paper. We know have a rich set of books, that need to be used to find the truths, so that the new Vision can avoid the same ‘Human Greed’ failing, and see the Ultimate Value of Restraint within a much larger than Human, Nature Context.

There we go….. In 20 minutes I’ll be on the bicycle for the last section of dealing with the enormous Success of Henry Ford’s Vision, Strategy, Plan, and Execution!

And yeah, I’m using a product of Baron Von Drais’s 1817 Vision!

If you think I’m finding this all easy to write, I’m not!!  Maybe my strange humour is the way I’m dealing with my own challenge. This all challenges My Very Core, and without exaggerating I almost feel sick inside me with the turmoil!

All good though, this is what Human Intensity is about: We need to feel all our human ‘sides’ the dark side of sickness too…. Strangely, sickness means I’m alive!

I REALLY do feel I’m intensely alive, and the spirit still burning max flame, GUYS!

Helmut on and Off I go…  Or should I take up that last offer from My Sister to pick me up?????

Quote of the moment: 

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”

― Gaylord Nelson founder of Earth Day

Like I’m finding out with my Cap Capricorn experience, maybe what one thinks is a path requiring sacrifice, is not only a path that’s good for the soul, but also one with more ‘pleasure’!

 

Bye!

Pedalling Against the Traffic! The Adventure gets Serious!

The Now

I can’t believe what I have experienced in the past 24 hours.

Entering Long Beach
Entering Long Beach

Twenty four hours ago I was on Cap Capricorn entering Long Beach harbour, and in my ‘home’. I was on the bridge witnessing the most incredible port entry and docking of them all. This was professionalism of the highest level, and Andy Mayer, the Pilot and the leader of the team that did it was so relaxed we were having deep conversations as he was directing the two hour operation!

IMG_1803This involved two sharp 90 degree turns, a 180 degree on the spot rotation of Cap Capricorn with less than 50 metres space all around. Then finally a long reverse up the channel to our berth. Long Beach is quite some maze of a harbour.

Tight turns were the order of the morning!
Tight turns were the order of the morning!

Then it was the goodbyes, to all my crew friends, and I have to say the one on one with the captain and the words we exchanged brought welling tears to my eyes. From the deckhands, to the cook, to the officers and The Captain, many gave me warm hugs, and with all I could feel they had really enjoyed having me and I had really enjoyed being with them, in their space. Why would I ever want to fly again….?

With excitement and a wee bit of trepidation I loaded the panniers on the bike and with verbal instruction from more than four people who all were fascinated by my adventure and wanted to help. I set off on the next leg of Trumped by Nature. Was I going to get trumped by Long Beach harbour, the maze of bridges highways all immersed in two oil refineries, and a vast industrial area.  Earlier from the ship’s bridge I’d confirmed with Andy the distant sprawl of LA to the north, even Hollywood hill almost direct ahead.

My ‘people Google map’ had brought me lots of stimulating interactions, and three people who loved the One Point Zero story, my sustainable travel goals, and their desire to follow the adventure. As I took them out of their rational worlds, I’d connected to their souls, and them to mine, and I thought back to literally the hundreds of people where I had spiritual connections that started from a seemingly simple functional need:  “Excuse me?: Do you know how I get to such and such a place?” We are losing our human and spiritual connection through technology….and so fast I’m not sure Bill Gates’ One Point Zero project make the ‘latest possible start’ deadline!

Thanks Andy, Louis, Jim, for your help, hope you enjoy the journey with me……!

Long Beach and more…

The old passenger ship The Queen Mary
The old passenger ship The Queen Mary

I was soon in Long Beach, in another world of touristic attractions, beaches, and ocean promenades….. A quick stop to capture the old and the new of passenger travel brought me into an emotive hour long conversation with three recreational fisherman.

The 'New' passenger ship in the berth next to the 'Old One' above
The ‘New’ passenger ship in the berth next to the ‘Old One’ above

It also started with a functional question: “Hi guys! What’s the best road to San Diego?” I thought they had seen me park my bike, but clearly they hadn’t:  “Just head out east to the I-5 and it’s then just straight 110 miles down to San Diego, brother”.  Knowing that wasn’t my route I said: “I’m on a bicycle man and looking for the Oceanside road.” Well that just blew these guys minds, and started a whole story that went to One Point Zero, connecting to the elite and bringing them with us on to the Presidential elections.

Not enough space here but when I said to them that they need to demand some ‘no vote mechanism’ that forces a no election result and a need to go back and find some candidates we want, their eyes lit up shouted in tune: “I hadn’t thought of that?  Yeah, man that’s what we need: To be able to say we don’t like any of the candidates and ‘they’ must bring some better ones. I like that, man”. We all know the state of election play in the US at the moment, but feeling their seriousness connection with their country and yet despair in what they saw ahead was moving for me. Sadly each time I think about where this election is at, I feel huge pain at knowing One Point Zero isn’t part of either candidate’s vision or priorities. In Bernie there was some glimpse of hope, but with Trump its full speed ahead on a turbo charged vision for American only anthropocentric success, and for Hilliary it’s just more of the same of the Success that The Facts show isn’t success.

The Ocean road...
The Ocean road…

I was finally on Ocean Boulevard, a pleasantly easy ride along the beach, eventually connecting with PCH-1 (Pacific Coast Highway) that took me to Laguna Beach where I’m writing this from.

My Soul feels the Traffic Against ‘Us’

For many people the ride I was on would be a truly amazing ride, but I have to say I didn’t sleep well last night, and as I lay awake listening to my soul. I realised that yesterday was a day when I felt a loneliness I haven’t felt too often before. I was there often riding alongside many cyclists, or passing people walking to the beaches, or sharing coffee snacks with fellow café users, but always I sensed I was the so different one.  I tried to strike up conversation but it was as though I was the man from mars, people.

It hit me that I was I was in the middle of an anthropocentric world, it was 4th of July long weekend, and self-indulgent pleasure was the priority. San Francisco is a city, and I don’t expect more, the cities are 100% man’s domain, but here I was immersed in Californian ‘wilderness’,

Beaches everywhere... A great natural coastline!
Beaches everywhere… A great natural coastline!

People everywhere were out ‘in Nature’, but I didn’t get a sense of people belong with Nature they just appeared to be using Nature for their pleasure. Thanks to the state and parks control, it is all a very orderly and no abusive use of Nature, but it wasn’t the feeling I had when I was in the equivalent of the New Zealand, I’d just left. It hit me how huge this change from anthropocentric orientation is going to be….

I’m sad and looking at today to try find strength in my spirit, that same strong spirit I described in my response to Bob’s comments.

Bye bye Porthole!!
Bye bye Porthole!!

It did occur to me that I was maybe over reacting and not dealing with my recent disconnect with heavenly ship life and all the belonging that went with that? I do sense that this is the start of the real extreme Howard adventure: How to deal with going upstream against a huge current that doesn’t even know the old natural river flowed the opposite way, to this human engineered reverse flow canalisation!

OK, there we go: I said you’d get it straight from my heart…. The ups, downs and all of it…!

Two days to San Diego….

Talk to you again from there….

 

Call from the Ship: I have to leave you now…!

Time waits for nobody hey! 

I’ll be leaving terra firma in hours now: Just had a call from the shipping agent:  The Cap Capricorn arriving from Sydney, will be docking at 14h00 and I’m to meet at the container terminal gate at 15h30 for customs Immigration stuff, before boarding.  So sorry no pics as the ship ain’t here yet!  No idea how much cargo it will take on here, and what departure time is…. Life as a voluntary prisoner hey….!

I’d imagine ‘you all’ have lots of questions about this container ship travel, and I’ll try and anticipate and answer them in the first few blogs.

I just stocked up on a few, 20 day snacks, bought 8 different nationality newspapers on Kindle, and sending this last blog with good internet. It will be as remote as a wilderness sailing, cycling, skiing trip, but with lots more infrastructure ‘comforts’.  ‘Nice’ to not have to power as a scarce resource like it normally is when I’m alone sailing, cycling or whatever.  I have no doubt that Scarcity and its twin: ‘Restraint’, will be one subject coming out of the blogs from the ship!

So with real excitement flowing, soon I’ll l be meeting and checking out my new home for the next 20 days. Hmm quite a scary thought, but not so really. Prisons are supposed to be the place of biggest freedom, if one is just able to capitulate once!  Hah, this ship will be far from a prison, and the solitude, and seeming restriction on so many fronts is the freedom I love!

Actually compared to the ‘cosiness’ of Allone, I’m worried it will be too large, impersonal, and I’ll get lost! Being on the wide open, ever changing, Pacific Ocean, day after day, will be like heaven for me!

Anyway it will take me a few days to settle in, and this should give you a chance to ‘check out all the stuff’ on this One Point Zero website. It’s all for free; there is no sales pitch for things to buy, or behind the scenes beneficiaries who will benefit from your browsing.

See it as your One Point Zero library and every few days reading and thinking spot, ‘with others but on your own’.   Thinking about stuff that everyday life doesn’t give you time to do or political / belonging correct-ness steers you away from.

The library will be expanding each week. Besides this adventure / travel type blog, every few days there will be new, deep One Point Zero content added to the Menus Subjects, and you’ll be directed to it through this blog.

In its uniqueness it is a combination of Fun and Serious stuff, and I make no apologies for that….  It is designed for reading and engaging one’s mind, rather than just being a quick, look, see, get entertained, and move on site….. Yes, there could be more pics in the content, but at the same time it’s the thoughts, views, and ideas content that is going to make this site what it can be… It will develop and transform as the journey progresses

If your soul wants to respond, make a comment on the blog, or send me an email at: lifeaseriesofadventures@gmail.com

No judgements will be made, just your courage and participation valued and respected.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back within a few days with the first blog from the ship, and share my new home, and work office for 20 days!

Watch out for it here on One Point Zero

Also I’d appreciate it if you tell as many of your friends about the site, so we can expand the diversity of thought and influence, and get a richer result.

If you haven’t already, read the launch story here    You can subscribe there for my future e-letters which I’ll send it maybe monthly, bi-monthly or whenever he journey ‘needs’ one…

Bye for now…!

More about the fears…..from the heart!

There is one huge big difference between the North Pole, etc  and this One Point Zero mission:

In those adventures I was going to be alone, taking on the challenges of Nature’s Most Grand Adventure, in the pristine wild wilderness all on my own. ‘You’ the blog follower came along as an observer and supporter, and my goal was well defined, supported by all, and the route to be taken is virtually known. This is so different:

Both ‘Trumped by Nature’ and the broader One Point Zero adventure are more personal for each one of us, as we have to make a personal stance on the goals / issues. They are Society issues, effecting each one of US. (Even “Sorry, No interest in this” is a stance!) Yet One Point Zero’s goal needs ‘all’ of us to want the same thing to enable us to achieve it. Is that a futile, or impossible goal???

I understand the significance of this challenge but therein lies the huge adventure risk, and fears that churn around within!

A set of fears much greater than the one’s of the Solo adventurer, who only had only ‘Nature’s Grand Adventure’, and himself, to deal in achieving ‘His Goal’.

One Point Zero is an ‘Our goal’ situation, and yet the goal hasn’t been openly discussed, let alone agreed!

These fears within me today, having just gone public with One Point Zero, and now 6 hours from stepping on the ship are about:

Maybe unconsidered rejection, passive aggression and ‘confrontational’ reactions. Fears of wrong judgements being made on my assumed, beliefs, values and motives, with respect to this project.  A fear of the loneliness associated with maybe being ostracised as a radical outsider in my socio-economic group.

A fear of my maybe wrong decision: To passionately pursuing an unpopular, and/or unappreciated activist cause.

The fear that because I have been on a twelve year, radical ‘solo walkabout’, nobody understands my unique transformation from Capitalist to Explorer to Activist. Nobody can see the value of the resultant ‘unique’ perspectives in helping Mankind’s One Point Zero Challenge….

I’ve read a lot about it, but now I’m starting to experience the dilemma of an Activist, and it’s time to once again be courageous in my alone-ness:

The specifics are all new and real fears, within a total new landscape for me, but it feels right, what I have to do, and I’m using my experience of an adventurer to take on the challenge with that mind-set.

For me, Life is about growing and becoming bigger as a person, and I truly do feel that overcoming these fears, by working through the challenges and unknowns as they come up is where my personal growth lies.

I understand ‘life risk’: The huge decision in 2004 and its totally unknown path is valuable experience, and helping me enormously deal with the fears I layout above and feel today. The fear of taking on the huge unknown and the possibility of life ‘failure’…: It’s easy to just stay in the known groove, with no risk, but I need to be living intensely, experience the full range of our human emotions. Also dealing with the ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ because it’s not about succeeding or failing it’s about the journey to what one believes in. Following lies or other people’s definitions of success, maybe be comfortable with the crowd, but is not living authentically and intensely for me.

In sharing my fears, I’m not asking for you to feel sorry for me, give me special treatment, etc, that’s not me, and that’s not going to work:  I’m sharing with you to show you my starting point in all its authenticity as this may help us with this adventure and all its unknowns as we set out together….  Starting with this level of openness we will have a wonderful and rewarding time.

And finally: You may have noticed that I use the word intensely a lot!  Well in Nature all I see is creatures living intensely, not striving for just then happiness side of intensity…. Nature’s Grand Adventure taught me that, and more about all this from the ship!

Pre-adventure Wobblies…..the Mind Games

As I prepare for what could be the ‘rest of my life’ (?) journey as a One Point Zero Activist, I went back to 2010 and my Pre- expedition feeling on my North Pole expedition. The feelings of fear and excitement are so similar, and surprisingly to the same intensity, but the basis are so different:

My blog post back then:

IMG_1055Probably, in anticipation of our departure this morning, I had a fairly restless night, and woke up a bit lonely…that sort of ‘alone-ness’ that I have experienced before, and which is the necessary reality of mentally preparing myself for the hard ‘solo’ personal struggle ahead. While there is lots of emotional support from many (Thanks!) this ‘alone-ness’ is about being physically alone, socially isolated from normal ‘luxuries’, and me being 100% responsible for getting my mind and body to the Pole without help and harm. I found my mind drifting back to some of my previous solo adventures, dwelling on both the very high and the very low spots, and how I rose to the adversities.

Mixedupmast 005adjI even skimmed through my ‘past adventure’ photos and gradually the ‘fear’ transformed into huge excitement and confidence. While the cold of the Arctic and the pulling of a sled are new challenges, I quickly locked on to the ‘strength of mind’ I have built up across many first time, and difficult situations with the diversity of solo cycling, sailing and sea kayaking adventures I have done.

When I looked at it like that, This Arctic challenge is now not totally new and scary, but rather a more extreme version of a well know path for me. That simple twist, removes the fear, and taps into my spirit of adventure and the desire to extend my already honed skills and competencies…… This may however be the most demanding adventure yet! I thanked my ‘lucky stars’ for having the privilege to be able to immerse myself in this experience.

In this world where I am currently ‘playing’, I am intrigued by the discussions that go around whether Everest is more difficult than the North Pole, and what is bigger better, harder, etc…? As a solo sailor, and solo adventurer, I am alone in these circles. Few know the world of the ocean sailor, and even less the perspective of the solo adventurer, these are expedition team people, and mainly mountaineers / serious polar adventurers.

Almost without exception all the people I have met since embarking on this polar diversion, openly state they would “never go solo”, nor see the attraction of solo pursuits. I do understand and respect their perspective, but inside me I know that somehow the solo adventurer is the purist of them all!

After listening to these discussions about which is the hardest, biggest etc, I just can’t wait to put this North Pole team expedition experience into context of my my solo world, and be able to have my measurement scale….

In some ways I feel sad that I have been sucked up into this senseless ranking and in my view ego driven debate. I hope that knowing my own truth will give me the freedom to remain peacefully quiet in the presence of these discussions. ….”

Believe it or not:  This One Point Zero Activist journey is feeling many times more scary, but these past adventures have built inside me courage and determination to stay on the path where the Truths lie…..  

You can read about my Past Adventures here 

‘Trumped By Nature’ The Adventure Begins……

‘Trumped by Nature’ kicks off, but I am still in ‘Work Mind’….

(To learn what the adventure is about, click here.)

My Last South Island Sunset! Never seen one like that....: A single cloud, exactly were the sun set
My Last South Island Sunset! Never seen one like that….

On the day ‘Hillary’ clinched he California Primary, I said goodbye to Nelson, Allone (my yacht and home), my girlfriend Fiona, and set off on ‘Trumped by Nature, alone! I still had some One Point Zero, infrastructure work to do!

IMG_0817
Allone my Home, Golden Bay, New Zealand

I loaded myself and my bicycle onto a bus with destination Tauranga, North Island New Zealand!  There isn’t yet a bridge across the Cook Strait, so it was then ferry to an overnight stop in a very wet and blustery Wellington, before continuing with the bus up to Tauranga.

If I had taken the plane it would have taken me less than an hour and a half! If I had done the ‘real sustainable thing’, cycle and ferry it would have been over a week…. Opening the choices further to The Ultimate Sustainable thing’ I could have sailed Allone to Auckland and then bicycled the short distance to Tauranga. That would have taken a week!  Choices, choices, choices…. For many these aren’t real options, flying is the quickest and easiest….!  Yes, I have been tested already??? But after all I have nothing more to do, than sit on a bus…. Ha-ha, if my life was as simple as that….??!!

Fortunately with Wi-Fi, and all the comforts of Kiwi bus and ferry travel these days, I had a wonderful travelling office that enabled me to ‘pump out’ the raft of tasks in launching the One Point Zero website and e-letter. In addition to the delights of a travelling office, I could also take a break from work and take in the intensity of a very wild windy, Cook Strait, and the very pleasant kiwi landscape as I moved toward my Cap Capricorn, container ship destiny!

 

My time in Wellington was not about restaurants, night clubs, and shows! That’s The Good Life!  I was working most of the time…!  Ha-ha, fun work though!   Yeah, the adventure boy is also now a web ‘designer’, content creator and manager, e-letter publisher, and One Point Zero, researcher, thinker, and also One Point Zero, debater in person! This is the new life as a self-funded Activist!

In this context:  As I challenge paradigms, I sense a scary (for me) part of the move to a One Point Zero life maybe being able to have a meaningful  life, without needing to ‘go much further’ than one’s mind!  Moving into the physical is where our ecological footprint mostly starts growing!

So bring on the virtual world in my open air, solar lit bedroom!  Couch potatoes are in fashion! No TV’s allowed though!  Taking that to the limit, (well not quite the absolute limit!!) the smallest footprint we have each day is while we are asleep, fully ‘stimulated’ in our dream world!  Ha-ha now there are some shattering thoughts hey!!   Maybe that is Zero Point Zero life…Ha-ha!!!

All, ‘not too serious’ Fun, and back to my work so as ‘Not to be Trumped by Nature!’:

Thanks to Charlie and Melissa Evans at Sunroom, Nelson I almost feel qualified now to do the web stuff!  Melissa will be helping with the blogs from the ship, as like many of my past expeditions, I’ll be restricted to limited Sat phone links back to you guys in normal Society!

Fiona, my girlfriend in Nelson is part of my ‘other support’! That emotional type that we all know we need in our lives, and I know I am more ‘demanding’ of when I’m heading out ‘alone’ …! It was hard justifying to her, and maybe even more to myself, my need to take the slow travel choices rather than more time together.

Anyway this is just a pointer to the future inevitable: A download about relationships in the context of adventures will probably be published from the middle of the Pacific on one of the voyages!

From lover support to Luggage:  Travel by container ship is very cool in having zero constraints on  baggage number /size / weight, no X-Ray checks, no liquid hand luggage issues, and with just an estimated ‘day of departure’, I’m working on,  I’ not sure that it is more, or less stress than flying!!

Even with those no limits, I’m packed like I would be for a typical Howard, ‘reasonably remote’, bicycle / kayak adventure. With my canoe and bicycle sectors, that’s what lies ahead, but more importantly: Simplicity and Self Sufficiency is ME, and also I don’t own much more!

I can’t wait to just cycle off the ship in Long Leach California, through the port, and then continue riding to San Diego!  No idea of the roads to take, no iPhone to provide the robotic navigator, no clue how many days the 180 kms will take, or where I’ll be staying overnight? But living intensely I will be, as I find my way to my sister’s place, after turning down her very non sustainable offer to drive up to LA to pick me up!!! ….

To me that’s the fun way, and I have no doubt the journey will produce some interesting characters, places and experiences!  After all finding the unusual, or reporting unusually on the usual is my passion and my new activist work! I even think I’ll be doing some formal, informal surveys to help me understand the state of the nation with regard to One Point Zero awareness.

So there we go, this is ‘all’ the infrastructural stuff now done with, and as I sit here writing this first post, the excitement builds as I feel it is the ‘last one’: The ‘last one’ before I disconnect from ‘normal life’  and can really can start immersing myself in the unfolding of what promises to be a uniquely amazing adventure.

I look forward to once again telling the stories as they happen, so that as you read you feel like you are here feeling it all with me. The downloading on One Point Zero issues as my mind is set off by the adventure experiences. Then the sharing: Your comments and reactions to what you read, how you feel, and what you believe is right for YOU. The sharing of our personal challenges and paradigm shifts in moving to a One Point Zero way of thinking.

This is all where the fun and what ‘Trumped by Nature’ is about!  Let’s go and Do It Now!

PS:  There is a huge amount of building emotion going on inside me at the moment, and I’ll share a bit of that in the next post.