Dreams of Antarctica stirred with Brexit?

The Now

Every day is different out here, just like you guys back there, even though you may not think so! You’re spared a picture from ‘The Porthole’ today!

To be honest I haven’t ‘worked’ as hard as this for a number of years! But the whole environment is ‘perfect’ for what I’m doing!  Quite strange, but that’s the way it feels in this supposed prison!

Today knowing ‘That bridge’ below is 1790 nm (3300km) and just five days off even caused a bit of angst within: Do I really want to get there and off the ship and all its routine freedom, maybe a few more days would be good!!

Golden Gate bridge awaits
Golden Gate bridge awaits

We have just passed the closest we will be to Hawaii. The group of islands are some 1200nm directly north west of us. We are currently at 11 degrees North and they sit at 19 degrees N, and San Francisco is way up there at 37 degrees N.  We have moved the clock forward twice, an hour each since my last ‘Now’ post. We are now working on Alaska time zone, having passed Anchorage’s 148 W longitude line half a day ago.

That 'Big Island' volcano loom just too far away to see
That ‘Big Island’ volcano loom just too far away to see

Three degrees into the northern hemisphere with me still patiently waiting for Neptune or ‘his Mermaid Fiona’, the weather changed and we had no wind, oppressive heat, grey cloud and on off rain. The Doldrums became a reality. Not very wide, after about 10 hours we were in clearer sky and for the first time a tail wind.

This is all how our amazing planet works hey. It really is all bloody amazing to just see it and feel it all here. Predictable, but not so predictable that we humans can (yet!) entertain building one ourselves! There we go that’s the solution the Mensa, rational optimists, without a spiritual sinew in their bodies are thinking is the solution to wire around the One Point Zero Challenge.  With echoes of Jean Paul, I hear them saying:  “Just relax Howard, you go have fun, live your life, we have the solution and nothing needs to change: In a few years we will know how to build a new planet. And now cleverer than Nature we will make it much bigger and with a turbo regenerative system not this out dated one!”  Ha-ha, man if only ‘they’ knew what fun this all is and SERIOUS fun too!

My office with all its novelty
My office with all its novelty

Yesterday was laundry day: Yeah, life ain’t luxury here.  I did my sheets pillow cases, clothes and towels. Great washing machine and drier, and like most boys would do, but also driven by One Point Zero desires, I did it all in one wash and one dry.  There we go, the white came out whiter and the colours stayed as colours! Magic machine!

More and more of the crew talking about San Francisco now, and Eric (my fellow passenger) and I had a bottle of wine together last night. He is excited and ready to get going on his motorcycle. One of the officers is hoping his San Francisco based girlfriend is as keen to see him as he is to see her.

I’ll be staying with the ship for the trip down to LA and Long Beach, and not thinking much about terra firma yet!

Pacific Inspirations from Antarctica on ‘Brexit Day’

The Brexit news delivered by a ‘passing tern’ wasn’t the news I wanted to hear…But that’s democracy for you hey!

Forty seven plus percentage of the people have got what they didn’t want, but will just have to accept it! Maybe this should have been done the slow ‘African way’ a decision by consensus or the fast unilaterally route: decision by ‘The Chief’!  Ha-ha just reflecting on how such an important decision was made.

The ‘next’ big one coming up soon:  To be ‘Clinton-ed or ‘Trump-ed’?

Once again, two quite different consequences, and seemingly another large ‘sub group’ having to accept what it didn’t want? Maybe almost the ‘whole 100%’ don’t want either of the consequences, but there is no other choice? Maybe there should be? How do those imprisoned in virtual democracies exercise their right to stop the process in an orderly way and demand better choice?

Anyway lots more fun on this coming up once I’m back on terra firma travelling in ‘the big place’ where all this is happening…

Having for twelve years now, not been a resident of any country in the world, I am truly ‘just’ a resident of the planet: I have been liberated in my minimal ties or needs from any country, and I identified this perspective as a key and mission critical asset for the One Point Zero Challenge.

As I talk to people I see how this perspective is very different from many who are in some shape or form vested in their primary nation’s interests. At a global leadership level, the inability to confront global truths that compromise national, or coalition group interest, is a huge challenge for a One Point Zero world.

The UN, World Bank, etc are supposed have leadership put The World first but they are all essentially non-executive / advisory organisations that I sense are heavily vested in one nation, or group of nations, or are merely compromised cogs in the machinery of those with the National executive power.  Maybe there is some inspiration from a little known, but huge part of our planet.

Antarctica a laboratory for Our Future!
Antarctica a laboratory for Our Future!

In 2009 I was intimately exposed to the workings of the least known continent in the world, the largest wilderness in the world, the largest area of the planet that doesn’t work on an anthropocentric value system. Finally a place that is not a democracy but one that almost exclusively relies on consensus decision making: An amazing place called Antarctica and I wanted to intensely experience this remote and huge part of our Planet.

In pursuit of this dream I applied for ‘a job’ as a Base Leader for one of Australia’s three Antarctic Research bases. A twelve month assignment that involves six months of 24 hour daylight and six months of 24 hours darkness.

A tough selection process from more than a hundred applications I made it through the hurdles down to the final seven for three bases. The final ‘shoot out’ involved five intensive, ‘Big Brother type living’ days in a ‘remote place’ outside Hobart, Tasmania. Suffice to say, my expertise in solo exploits and my ‘Romantic Dinners for One’ qualifications got me into trouble, so I didn’t get ‘The job’! The experience was absolutely amazing, and I give full marks to The Australian Antarctic Organisation for their professional and effective process. The Base Manager has extensive and legally onerous Government enforcing responsibilities. Part of the preparation required me to be fully versed in the Antarctic Treaty, and how vast Antarctica operates as an orderly yet ‘nationless’ entity, with written examinations to prove my knowledge and understanding. I saw that this is only piece of our planet like this, a significant piece too, and run successfully for more than 60 years now.

I returned in 2011 and did my solo ski trip and in the many hours of its expansive solitude I used to ponder the lessons and useful applications it may have for the rest of our fragmented, self-interest driven anthropocentric world.  This still provides inspiration for my personal work on the design of a New World, part of My One Point Zero Challenge, and with today being Brexit news day, I thought it appropriate I’d share some of my personal work thoughts with you…

I know ‘all of us’ will be wondering what this new Brexit change in the world will mean for The World? Maybe like I have done, use it as an opportunity to further your One Point Zero thinking!

Can you imagine a World Referendum vote on: “Do we go for One Point Zero or Not?”

Man what I struggle with here, is that it should get a close to 100% ‘Yes’ vote, but in the anonymity of the voting process I sense it would turn out a huge majority, ‘No’ vote?

Maybe I’m wrong?

Who consumes and how much
Who consumes and how much

What would the 20% in the graph above vote? And the 60%..? What would you vote? Would it be easier if it was just about ‘Your Nation’? Maybe that makes it easier to vote ‘No’? “What’s the point of just ‘us’ doing it’, when nobody else does it?” Hmmm…

What would it take to get ‘The World’ to agree to a referendum? Would the United Nations be involved? Would they rig the vote?

In Antarctica it would be easy, because ‘The Place’ clearly belongs to ‘the voters’, and the voters have clear and primary responsibility for ‘The Place’.

Wow, now this is all very interesting and thought provoking? Maybe ‘we’ should start a referendum?

Ha-ha, my prison and its wee porthole is either working its magic, or making me crazy, but it certainly feels like the former!

If Antarctica was our ‘whole planet’ I sense ‘The Facts’ would be very pleasant reading, inspiring and witness to real Humanity Success. No Crowd Success, No Consumption Success, No Anthropocentrism, wow: I know it’s not as simple as that, but imagine how ‘we’ would feel reading ‘The Facts’ we are all proud of and that we know  inspire the future generations to just follow our recipe and continue ‘our Good Work’? I sense we don’t have that recipe, and maybe in learning about Antarctica we will get closer to one?

The usefulness of the Antarctic comparison will be criticized by its inappropriate, inhospitable ice desert status, minimal human existence, and virtual zero bio capacity comparison?

However in its success and extensive uniqueness, I look beyond these issues to a multinational consensus success that has worked without any ‘Brexits’ for decades. In fact exactly opposite; From the original twelve (?) nations who formed the initial agreement, more and more joined where today I think more than 95% of the world’s Nations are joint signatories.

Also in its success, it is free of greed, war, exploitation, TV, consumer advertising, mobile phones and ATM’s!  The real estate industry doesn’t exist, because it’s the only place on this planet where NOBODY, not even Governments can own the land!  ‘Anyone’ who happens to be there can build an igloo, but there is no water, power or sewerage infrastructure, and the deal is EVERYTHING you bring in, you takeout. That includes your poo and pee! So don’t expect to make a quick buck on property development, and make sure you have a deal with a ship to take ‘your stuff’ back out!!

It’s also a place where the United Nations are redundant, humanitarian aid not needed, and as there was has never been a tie, that deciding penalty shootout is irrelevant: The Planet comes first and Humans second. So in Antarctica maybe we have a laboratory for an Anthropocentric New World?

Best of all there never has been a Trump, Clinton, Putin, and etc. ‘King of Rock’ in charge. Nor an exorbitant wasteful media effort for wannabee rock stars to step on stage and try and personally destroy the other for that short term status as ‘King of Rock’ (or now Queen!!).

With Antarctica, human ego has been managed, and aspiring rock stars would soon die of loneliness in their crowd-less concerts! Switzerland is an example I know well where ‘Success’ has come without the presence of rock stars… I bet very few of you know who the ‘Top Person is what ‘their title’ is, because they are there to serve rather than become famous!  Being a ‘way over’ One Point Zero-er, I think their success goal is wrong, but the point here is that National Success does not need Rock Stars!

That type of Fun aside: Somehow with Antarctica there is an acceptance of our insignificance, and respect for a more spiritual belonging to this part of our planet. There is no need for an elected temporary ‘King of Rock’. Nature is the eternal visionary, setter of values, and it’s just up to ‘ordinary humans’ to agree on interpretation of the unchanging, ‘instructions’.  We aren’t competing with Nature, and have seemingly accepted our insignificance, yet also found a new form of globally unified power, and resultant success formula that isn’t evidence elsewhere on the planet.

This is exciting and the basis for hope, hope, and more hope!

I have shared more than I planned but maybe never will there be another ‘Brexit day’ and its appropriateness to The One Point Zero cause.

Quote for today:

Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

Thomas A. Edison

The ‘Spot the Difference’ is …?

Well of course the difference was just that it was the next day, a different day to the shot before!
Ha-ha, I’d never insult your sense of humour like that.

Actually the difference wast here was no wake in that shot, because we had stopped! The engine had a ‘problem’ and so we wallowed in the big blue going nowhere for 3 hours!  The ship’s power was taken away and Nature decided to show how vulnerable we could become: The current took us sideways over the ocean floor, but the ship ‘wandered around’ in an 80 degree to 80 degree, sleepwalk swagger going nowhere relative to the ocean surface. The reduced noise brought up dreams of the ‘sound of sail’, but with two big generators still running the natural silence of sail reminded me we don’t have the silent luxury of Zero Point Zero, solar power!

Engine Control Panel says STOP!
Engine Control Panel says STOP!

It took 1 hour for us to ‘glide’ from engine off to the zero knots you see on the control panel picture.

'Surface Speed' says 0.0 but not SOG Speed across the ocean floor is 1.9 Thats current
‘Surface Speed’ says 0.0 but not SOG Speed across the ocean floor is 1.9 that’s current
The Masters working on Cylinder 7
The Masters working on Cylinder 7

Here are the guys working at flat out, ‘Time is Money’, speed on No 7 cylinder’s leaking injector. Of course no more money for them, but also importantly, no less! And this ‘time’ giving no more for ‘the boss’! Their time urgency just focused on minimising his downtime ‘time’ losses!  There’s the capitalism system for ya, hey:

The ‘workers’ have no risk the boss has ‘it all’.

Sometimes ‘he’ wins, but in taking the risk ‘he’ can also lose. In trying to minimising his loss, and having a stable wage in line with their mastery, the workers ‘should’ only be motivated by their journey to increasing their mastery. To be the best at what they do.

The right ‘bosses’ will eventually provide ‘them’ with the extrinsic rewards for their valuable mastery, but the real prize for them is their personal power in their journey of ever increasing mastery.

This is how it should work, but with the gaps between ‘Management’ and ‘worker’ salaries, and the elite and the non-elite at unprecedented levels this risk reward system seems to have lost its once magical balance.

On the surface this may seem like an alignment with Nature’s system, which works on ruthless ‘natural selection’, where the strongest ‘wins’. However like slavery, apartheid and colonialism as one looks deeper, it has a fundamental difference, a human dark side that cannot reconcile Humanity with Nature:  ‘Our’ inability to restrain ‘our’ never satiable Greed. Greed for Power, Wealth, Consumption, Novelty, etc, etc in the context of our increasingly unnatural world! Seemingly all aimed at a goal of ‘happiness’, or finding the illusive gate to the ‘path to happiness’?

In all my wanderings on the surface of this planet, I have never seen one example of Greed in Nature or any of its huge number of ‘pieces’. (Taking an anthropocentric perspective, I’m partitioning humans from Nature for this)

I have seen moments of what appears like a greedy feeding frenzies, territory takeover conflicts, etc,: However on reflection these were always temporary, and at most seasonal or a bit longer but not spanning generations like humans are exhibiting. It is only in humans too that the evidence of greed and our inability to restrain ourselves is pervasively self-evident. Over the years, to my utter dismay, I have had many people literally say to me:

“To be greedy is to be Human, that’s what differentiates us Humans from Nature’s others”!  Wow, man!!!

I have never seen another ‘creature of nature’ which is not fully and pristinely presented in all its nature given capabilities, and being capable of intensity over all these capabilities. Those that aren’t don’t last long….. The law of Nature!  In this consistent presentation they almost seem to know that greed will bring an imbalance: An imbalance that would seemingly take them off their purpose of intensity, and intimate belonging to ‘their system’.

I have never seen evidence of a striving for happiness in Nature? All I have ‘seen’ is rather just vibrancy in living intensely in its Grand Adventure. An adventure that requires each to resist the temptation to nurture some capabilities at the expense of others in pursuit of an ‘outside-team’ goal like happiness or whatever. That would lose their place in Nature’s System and the purpose linked to ‘adventuring’ in its Grand Adventure.

We aren’t fish, elephants, trees, insects etc, we are humans, so yeah maybe we can or were supposed to be different. My sense is we are only as different as a human’s capabilities are specific to our humanness, but our belonging requires us like all other creatures to ‘just’ live intensely and across ALL those capabilities.  (The pursuit of Intensity vs Happiness is something that will be the subject of Posts in the future, so if you have comments please fire them off…)

The first signs of 'Life' again, a small wavelet from the propellor
The first signs of ‘Life’ again, a small wavelet from the propellor

Finally!!

I can tell you that as I write this I have huge emotions coming up, from huge inspiration, excitement, hope to anger and despair. Knowing ‘we are all’ to blame, because greed is so endemic in society, I challenged myself to all my own ‘Greed interfaces’ and how I’m using them, or they are using me? I realised that sometimes that greed is as simple as taking something not because I really need it but because it’s for free! The internet is full of this, almost a new freebie culture: Maybe the next level of moving us towards less conspicuous and more socially acceptable type of greed.  I’ll explore this in another post, in my use of the free offerings of Facebook, Google etc.

Knowing there is a capitalist motive behind the free service I sense it will confirm there is a price to pay for this freebie greed. Maybe we as the ‘greedy members’ of The Crowd’ of these big sites are paying a huge One Point Zero price in unknowingly being channelled towards new and newer anthropocentric novelty. Yet further and further away from the real intensity of full human participation creature in Nature’s Grand adventure!

‘Quote’ for The Day

The proposal has been that no effective restoration of a viable mode of human presence on the planet will take place until such intimate human rapport with the Earth community and the entire functioning of the universe is re-established on an extensive scale. Until this is done the alienation of the human will continue despite the heroic efforts being made towards a nigh benign mode of human activity in relationship to the earth.

This excerpt from Thomas Berry’s book, ‘The Great Work’ is hugely inspiring.

“How I deal with ‘The Crowd’ Truths?” By Jean Paul, of Papeete

Walking along the edge of the open Papeete waterfront, passing the ‘waka’ club and all its Polynesian canoes, then past the well maintained picnic area with all the local families enjoy their open air dining time, I was off duty and enjoying Papeete and its many memories for me…..  The small craft marina was ahead and I always like to check out the yachts and maybe even get to talk to the any transient yachties.

A guy driving a 30ft open motor cruise pulled up to the wharf and let off three passengers who looked distinctly like visitors like me. Now alone in his boat, as I walked by he looked up and as we made eye contact he said “Bonjour”, and asked how I was in French? I gave him a strong Bonjour back, and a Par-le-vous Anglaise? In a strong French accent he said he did, and clearly wanted talk.

Turns out he was Jean Paul, from Toulouse, I estimate about 45-50 years old. He proudly pointed out that Toulouse was the HQ for Airbus, and also some globally significant satellite company. He had retired early and moved from France to Tahiti to get away from The System, and was now running a hobby tourist water taxi business. He soon was positioning himself for offering me a tour of Papeete and pointing to Cap Capricorn I moved the conversation to ships and flying and ‘my work’! He understood the whole cost of flying thing, and most of The Facts, and it was crystal clear that he taken his view of it all, knew it was serious and significant, and his strategy for dealing with it all. He didn’t rise to any of the debates, in fact going so far as to say I should not worry about taking a ship just fly and have fun with life the way he was.

To my utter surprise he then asked me if I had kids?  Now 98% of men his age I meet have kids, and so I was wondering where this question will lead?

I gave my standard One Point Zero, Howard answer: “No, I have no kids mate, there are too many people in this world……. and what about you do you have kids?”

Surprise, surprise, he said he didn’t and then went on a huge rant about how having kids is the cause of all the problems in the world, and, “All this sustainability stuff you are worrying about wouldn’t be a problem if people didn’t have kids and their kids didn’t have kids.  The guy quoted population figures and family tree numbers that made me realise this guy has thought deeply about all this. I wish I had recorded some of his quotes as it would have made good content for ‘Our Crowd Success’. As he took a breath, I butted in leaning forward to shake his hand saying:  Good one mate, I don’t often get to meet guys like me who don’t have kids, so glad to meet you. I said I agree the population is a huge problem, but not the main problem and we should be careful to just hide behind a fact that is a fact there is little we can do about.  That’s when he told me his name was Jean Paul and we shook hands again in a delayed but now kindred spirit introduction.

The handshakes were just enough space for him to start his next level rant aimed at totally destroying my compromise position. He really challenged me as to why when I don’t have kids and I’m even worrying about any of this stuff. I sense he thought that in travelling by ship and adopting a no flying stance I was seriously compromising my travel and freedom goals, and with me not having kids well this was absolutely crazy!

The statistics started machine gunning out again, and it all pointed to him defending his view to not worry about any of this society stuff as all the people with kids are to blame and they should be doing what I am doing and they should be paying more taxes to cover the damages etc… But he has nothing to do with the problem, nor its solution.

Moving up to a nation / global level he pointed to the Chinese governments controls on family size, how effective they had been and the rest of the world needs to follow suit. This guy was adamant there were solutions and while difficult it was up to those with kids and governments to implement and bear the pain and suffering.

In closing the second rant he said he long time ago stopped worrying about any of this and just does what he needs and wants to give him the life he wants. He is a good, law abiding citizen, isn’t a taker from the government, makes an honest buck, he has a nice house, his boat, isn’t greedy but likes the good things in life.

The guy seemed a bit unsettled by my ‘stupid stance’ and ending off with a very paternal and seemingly well-meaning rant about how I was the ‘least responsible’ person for all this, and that I should not worry so much, just forget about it all, and go and have as much fun as possible!

He even ended with ‘Jo-live’!  We shook hands and I don’t know why I send Merci (Thanks) and the “au revoir”!

Somehow in this final rant directed at me, and its ‘liberating directives’, I sensed he was ‘lonely in his views’ and wanted me to join ‘his crowd’. He wasn’t totally at peace with my lack of acceptance of his seemingly easy ‘solution’! We parted ways probably both affected, yet oppositely by the other….

So what does The ‘Parable from Jean Paul’ all mean????

We have all heard these views, options and suggestions, and over the years I have thought deeply about these issues, seeking my own moral / ethical clarity on what could / should be the right way forward.

It was all pretty simple when Freedom was my ‘only’ goal. I made my life decisions for me, and I respected the rights and desires of all others to make their own life decisions as long as they didn’t compromise mine, nor mine theirs. I tried to live within that framework as a simple nature centred human. If someone ‘chose’ a path to be a billionaire and live the High Life that goes with that, well that was their prerogative. Similarly if someone wanted ten kids they were free to do that provided that they took full responsibility for their decision and all its consequences. I stopped short at being part of charity / humanitarian initiatives that attempted to treat symptoms at a ground level, rather that forcing responsibility back to the root cause.

I was, and still am, totally against initiatives that immobilise individuals, communities or cultures, by forcing unsolicited foreign solutions on people who haven’t identified a problem themselves or have not taken primary responsibility for its solution.

Essentially I was an Anarchist believing in Freedom for all, or as many as possible. People mustn’t tell me what to do and I won’t tell them what to do. In the process water would find its own level for each of us: Life would be as grand as we made it, and if it wasn’t we only had ourselves to blame! (I hate boxing my personal views into others, but sort of an Ayn Rand view of life, mixed with Oscar Wilde’s: ‘The Soul of man under Socialism’)

A few years back when ‘my facts’ started looking like ‘The Facts’, and the whole ecological challenge became clear this Freedom view for me and the world was shattered. I sensed Freedom without a common moral compass would be disastrous, even worse of a One Point Zero Challenge than we have today.  This rocked the very core of me, and while not only forcing me to re-orientate within me, I had to look at how my moral compass that I had for society would be impacted. That debate is still on-going within, but one of the issues was ‘The Crowd’ and with me not having had kids, what my stance would be on its huge, past present and future, contribution to ‘Our One Point Zero  Challenge’?

Launching One Point Zero I was without debate that this challenge is for every single human being none to stand up and say they aren’t responsible because others have done this or that etc.  Pro-crating is human, and society needs a future generation. I have no issues with that, but where I sense the debates are going to get heated is when ‘we’ start debating who we share the problem, but more specifically how we divide up the scarcest resource of all: The Bio Regenerative capacity of the planet?

The approach I have taken for myself so far in arriving at this No Fly decision is that I have accepted that all humans are equal in our right to the use of that capacity and so I divided the total Global Footprint Network Capacity figure by the world population and got my allowance. This is the result I used in the limits I pointed to in my blog of 6 days ago.

There will be an arguments against that some will say that’s far too generous as I have been part of a developed world life that has caused all scarcity, others may say it’s far too onerous as I am dependent on 1st world infrastructure and can’t change that, etc, etc….. This carving up of the scarce capacity is for future debates, but I pop the question to start your debate:  Should a billionaire have more than you? What should determine who gets more than the general allocation? Should the elite get more or less, than the average?  All emotionally charged issues, and yeah our Freedom would go sliding away from us!   Anyway back to kids and their impact.

At this point in my One Point Zero Challenge, and long prior to ‘Jean Paul’s Parable’ I have accepted my equal responsibility for the problem up until the time I became fully aware and accepted ‘The Facts’.

I will not take on a reduction in my bio regenerative capacity allowance for any further increase in population beyond 7.6 billion!! That’s my line in the sand! Those who decide to have kids in the future must somehow delve into their personal allowance, don’t ask me to help!

Anyway nobody, not even the Planet, nor one nation, has even near a legal allowance amount, and her the ‘little boy’ is finessing his allowance!

In wrapping this up: This post is about kids and future kids, and One Point Zero: Somehow someone has to do something about The Crowd side of things. I can’t help any more than I have done!  Maybe one of you will start up a whole Activist branch of One Point Zero to drive the thinking about how to solve that whole ‘branch’, while the rest of us work on the easier stuff!

Thank You Jean Paul for the interesting ‘Parable’ teaching opportunity!

Same old, same Old from Howard? Same porthole view, different action: Spot the Difference? The answer will be in the next Post.
Same old, same Old from Howard? Same porthole view, different action: Spot the Difference? The answer will be in the next Post.

Neptune BBQ, Lifeboat and The Big Ticket

The Now

I hope you are really making the most use of your expansive freedom, being able to travel around kilometres from home. To run the wilds, walk the dog, bicycle your favourite circuit, watch TV, read the paper, grab a pint from the local!   Then those green things: I think they are called trees, shrubs and other vegetation! The stuff that not only provide green aesthetic diversity, but also help process Cap Capricorn’s emissions!!  And finally: Enjoy the company of your loved ones, and those other special people in your life!

And to your instant retort about my exotic ‘holiday’ I say: “Yes guys and I am really making the most of my armoured vehicle prison!  Ha-ha, how we do see, and how we could see our, such different worlds hey! (Little do I know these days, one of you could also be on a container ship reading this! Sorry!”

Maybe it’s because I’m about to meet King Neptune that I’m a bit delirious! Yeah in about 8 hours we’ll cross the equator. My sixth ‘surface crossing’ but an ocean virgin for Neptune!  Maybe he will send a mermaid called Fiona instead!  I did find it quite special that we are crossing the equator on a solstice, but not sure why that’s special other than that the sun will be exactly those 23.3 degrees to the north above us when we do it!

Uganda Motor Cycle Equator 2013
Uganda Motor Cycle Equator 2013
...and a Land based Neptune!
…and a Land based Neptune!

We have some 2800 nm (5400km) to go to Oakland, and Nature has finally made an impact on our progress. Supposedly in the doldrums with both the ship and my weather pictures showing we should have almost no wind we have had 30 knots directly against us for two days now. There is weather forecasting for you! Add the current of about 0.5 knot and we are down to a pedestrian 13.5 knots! The masters won’t allow engine revs to be increased so there we go they must have a plan for the ‘time is money’ schedule into Oakland!

Last few days have been full of action:

Sunday evening was ship BBQ night! A full on charcoal braai (BBQ) held outside on ‘B’ deck. No need for music as the engine noise almost required us to wear ear plugs!  The atmosphere was so very nice, it reminded me of my team building days in the refinery. Alcohol was available but sprinkled amongst coke cans and clearly not presented to encourage excess, and so all very well behaved and orderly. Marian and Tony did an excellent job with the catering, and all in all a wonderful time for everyone!

BBQ on deck!
BBQ on deck!
 First slice for The Captain and served by The Baker!
First slice for The Captain and served by The Baker!

Yesterday was emergency drill day, and at 15h30 the distress alarm was sounded and we all had to grab out life jackets, immersion suits and head to the muster station next to the port side life boat. Well no life jacket in my room, and so there I was the only ‘crew’ without one, all the others including my two passenger buddies, full kitted out ready to ‘swim’!  The fact that mine wasn’t in my room was the source of some management angst, leading to a reprimand for the person responsible for checking all safety gear! We were split into two groups for the two life boats and then into each we went. Phew was it hot in there with 13 guys in a confined space. Next the hatches were closed and the engine started fully simulating the realities. All very professional and an interesting journey into the world of what ifs…?

Thirteen of us stepped through there!
Thirteen of us stepped through there!
Inside the Lifeboat before it filled up.
Inside the Lifeboat before it filled up.

It’s really hot and humid here on the equator now. It’s OK when you go out on deck as the 30 knot wind off the sea is fairly cool. But exercise in the gym takes a new level of motivation particularly when most of the exercise routine is up and down seven flights of stagnant air stairs! If I was flying not only would I be there by now but I’d be on my bicycle in Nature’s open air gym!

Some of this is tongue in cheek, as I am really using this ‘prison time’ to good effect. I have really been working flat out, although the public products of that work seem pretty small, the mind and writing journey I have been on is quite amazing for my internal intensity.

The freedom from routine, distraction and yet the ability to break the intensity with trips up to the bridge and interesting conversations with the captain and his officers make for a ‘very best of the situation’ mix.

I’m busy with about three papers for posting soon, but here is one that should provide some food for thought in its response to some of the recent comments:

One Point Zero:  The Big Ticket Item!

I sense the comment  from Bob Nideffer a few days ago, may capture what many people are feeling as one engages with the realities of the One Point Zero, and ‘The Facts’. Not that these are ‘My Facts’, I sense we all knew these Facts already? What I have tried to do is present them in a way that gives focus for ‘The Goal’ at the highest level….: Society and Humanity level. In all my searching I never found this clarity of Global focus.

I only have first-hand experience as to how I have responded to ‘The Facts’, but with my activist hat on, I have spent quite a bit of time trying to relate that to how ‘others’ may react, and what ‘needs to happen’ at a generic human level.  It goes without saying that we are all unique humans with unique circumstance, life experience, personalities, beliefs and moral / ethical frameworks. This makes for a difficult challenge in answering the specifics of what should be done by ‘us’?  (What are the ‘big Ticket items’? ) Yet without each one of us having our own specifics, specifics (Big Ticket Items) of how we are going to contribute to society moving to a One Point Zero world, nothing will change.

This may be controversial:  In the context of my own experience, I’d like to say that while we all feel good when we take on initiatives primarily motivated at ‘helping society or others’ this challenge is different. As Bob points out: This one is so huge and each one of us so small that one will rapidly get swamped and demoralised by the challenge if the primary motivation is: Helping Society.

To me, this whole One Point Zero ‘thing’ is about changing one’s orientation in one’s own life for oneself:  Changing it for oneself, Not for society.  I sense that the other way around one will lose one’s own life in the process!

This is a bit like stopping smoking, reducing weight etc, we must want ‘it’ for ourselves, and want it badly enough for ourselves that we do ‘something’ about it. This requires each one of us to find that customised ‘something’ what works for us, for the personal goal we individually set for Ourselves. Nobody else!  In the process of achieving that goal, I have no doubt that many will reap the benefits of its by-product rewards

In setting up One Point Zero, taking on this ‘Trumped by Nature’ adventure , then deciding to share it with ‘you’ I am trying to show you how I have engaged in my goal and its ‘weight reduction’ plan for Me. This is not for society this is for ME, because I want it because it is morally right for My moral framework, and life enhancing for Me!  As I have shared elsewhere on this site, it took me a while to get to ‘this place’, and as you can see from MY One Point Zero Challenge, my One Point Zero goals have both a personal, ‘Way of Life’ goal, and an Activist Goal. Both are Life enhancing for ME!

In sharing all this I’m hoping ‘you’ will see the extent of the re-orientation I have gone through and am still going through: A process of me finding my way of dealing with this unprecedented Humanity Challenge and its overwhelming personal context for me a single (and that’s not unmarried!) insignificant human.  As Bob points out the ‘The Challenge’ is Huge, and it’s easy to feel powerless, down, turn your back on the truths, and remain with ‘The Crowd’.

However just like I had to deal with my personal power context change from a world of Capitalism to Nature in confronting The Facts another a similar power change is at play. I have had to find personal significance in the context my huge Society Insignificance, as well as dealing with the passive expulsion by ‘The Crowd’! As I found in my journey with Nature, it really IS possible to find huge personal power in finding that Significance within Insignificance, and a different source of Belonging. This is manifested in the commitment to My One Point Zero Challenge.  This leads me to answering Bob’s question:

To me the single ‘biggest’ Big Ticket item is changing ones orientation from Anthropocentric to Nature / Planet Centric. I have alluded to this many times so far, but I sense most won’t yet get what I mean and how it’s about Belonging? To me it really has little to do with Global Warming and Sustainability, it is really about: Finding my sense of Belonging with Nature and our Planet.

I realise that this just seems like nice words and philosophical idealisms, linked to sectorial beliefs and maybe just applicable to greenies, outcasts, wanderers, those void of strong societal ties, or whatever? i.e Not for ‘You’!  I also realise it requires a debate or common understanding of what constitutes Nature, how our Planet works, what about God, etc…. I have MY truths on those, don’t expect all to agree with mine, but what I see is with a common view of how we ‘Belonging with Nature and the Planet’ we wouldn’t be in the current ‘dwang’ where are in.

Many will say what ‘dwang’ and what ‘Belonging’ problem is ‘he’ inferring?  “I have no Belonging needs unmet, and as for “dwang we are in”?  Well my life couldn’t be better, and I couldn’t care less about other people’s ‘dwang’, so this “we” is not me??”

Yeah well, separate post coming soon ‘for you Sir!’ So please don’t go away yet!  Haha….

As I look back over my One Point Zero journey, and then where it still has to go I see that turning my back on Anthropocentricism was the ‘Big Ticket item’ for me. The switch inside my head, that once flipped, provided a plethora of ‘lesser Big tickets’ that enabled me to sit in society’s huge ‘anthropocentric stadiums’ and see clearly what was ‘wrong’ and what I ‘had to do’!

Initially nobody in their crowds would have known I had a different ticket, or what my ‘strange’ purpose entailed. I was too stunned in dealing with how most of the shows now seemed so meaningless, wrongly directed, and verging on ethical crimes in some cases. It was scary, and initially I felt very alone but then I remembered where my tickets had come from? Their link to The Big Ticket gave me a new found Freedom and sense of Belonging that re-energised me and took both the load and expectation of society Belonging off my shoulders. I could then start understanding my source of true life affirmation and personal purpose in all this.

I was now part of something that was right, but it wasn’t the show in front of me. Using all the lesser Big Tickets attending as many ‘shows’ as I could, the radical paradigm shifts happened while sitting in their very same grand stand seats. Paradigm shifts that seem radical and impossible for the Anthropocentrics, but my switch had long been flipped and these shifts all seem so rational and ‘obvious’ now.  My belonging to my new ticket issuer increased to the point that I felt confident to be vocal in sharing its special ticket views.

Many fellow humans were interested even if only to understand my strange orientation on life. Most times as I disengaged I sensed the other human had at least discovered the surprise existence of their own switch and had started questioning its function and use. Watching this discovery happen, sharing my exploring as the new paradigms kick in to my journey is a source of huge fascination and life affirmation.

That’s where I am today, and how I have got to my lesser Big Tickets:  My Final Frontier, being To Stop Flying!

In sharing my No Flying struggle I was thinking that many of you will maybe arrive at the conclusion that Flying is one of your Big Tickets too and I’d get some moral support in my challenge as well as swelling the growing crowd of adventure seeking ‘Chasm Crossers’…. ! (More on ‘Crossing the Chasm’ soon…..)

Interestingly the United Nations in re-defining its 2016 goals appears to be right at the point of conflict of over flicking the ‘Anthropocentric switch’ or not. A visit to the website will see that its new ‘Goals for Beyond 2015’ for the first time ever have The Planet first:  “Putting Humans and Planet First.”   (This, after World leaders meet in New York at the end of October 2015 to agree the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successor to the Millennium Development Goals.

In my value system, and given the urgency and the seriousness of the One Point Zero Challenge, a first place tie needs ‘extra time’ or a deciding ‘penalty shootout’ to produce the clear first place ‘winner’!  This tie seems like a politically expedient cop out…..

Maybe the UN progress is in the evidence of them having clearly found the ‘Big Ticket Switch’, understanding its Significance and even having debated flicking it over or not? Cowardly backing off relying on Anthropocentrics advanced rationality to decide when to switch it back and forth in sync with The Crowds priority needs and their own popularity stakes!

Further in reading on the details under the Planet and the Sustainable Development Goals one will see that the One Point Zero situation of The Facts is not remotely addressed, other than to speed up ‘Our Development Success’ and the move even further away from a One Point Zero goal!!  Anthropocentricism at its worst!)

In ending this response I do realise I haven’t provide the quick solution answer to the ‘Big Tickets’ question. We all know there isn’t a quick fix solution and herein lies one of the paradigm changes needed by society if it wants to get to One Point Zero. I hope my response is seen in that context and a genuine attempt to assist with a solution for the despair that I have very much felt myself?

Upcoming Attractions:

 YouTube, Exploring, and being Entertained  and  “How I deal with The Crowd Truths? By Jean Paul of Papeete.”

Ever changing Vista. Same Porthole different Place different Movie
Ever changing Vista. Same Porthole different Place different Movie

Hello and Goodbye Tahiti! This Incredible Pacific Show Must Go On!

The Now

Papeete is a recent memory and some 170 nm (300km!) astern of us already.

Papeete is a recent memory and some 170 nm (300km!) astern of us already. Not just another boring Howard ship pic!! Spot the Difference beyond The Rainbow? We are now full up with Containers ‘blocking’ my view now! These are Empty containers as I presume Tahiti ‘Just takes’ and gives ‘Nothing back’. Eventually the ‘giving containers’ have to go back to be able to give again!
Not just another boring Howard ship pic!! Spot the difference beyond the rainbow? We are now full up with containers ‘blocking’ my view now! These are empty containers as I presume Tahiti ‘Just takes’ and gives ‘Nothing back’. Eventually the ‘giving containers’ have to go back to be able to give again!

As I type this I can just see Rangiroa, as we pass less than 5 miles abeam of this the largest atoll of the Tuamotu Archipelago. An oval atoll, some 70 km long, and 35 km wide, comprising of a narrow motu (Un-submerged land) that runs all the way around its perimeter encasing an ocean lake rich in marine life.

I seem to remember that there are or were permanent inhabitants on some of these atolls! It does beg the question of how close or far away from One Point Zero living they would be? Living on a remote ‘island’ in the middle of the South Pacific: What would be your thoughts on their One Point Zero status? (It is a very simple and useful case study for learning about what One Point Zero, and Ecological Sustainability really means.)

I’m sure readers would value you share ‘your facts’, experiences, and emotive rustlings on this blog? Don’t be shy now, OK!  (By the way thanks for all the comments so far, emails and Facebook messages, I’ll respond in some way here and directly as appropriate.)

Now heading directly for San Francisco, we have made a 30 degree north course change from the one we had to Tahiti. The wind is up to 30 knots, against us (which is a bit strange!) but being at 15 degrees south, it is just so nice and warm, and the Pacific has that deep purple colour out here. Compliant with the masters’ engine speed instructions, with this wind our speed has dropped from 16.5 knots down to 13 to 14 knots!  Maybe the masters in their dominance want us to experience a little less robotic experience and more immersion in Nature’s Grand Adventure!

The arrival into Papeete was so special I give it its own section below:

The Middle of the Pacific:  Romance, Happiness and Intensity!

Right now, I am almost in the middle of the South Pacific: It is 3200 nm (5800 km) to the eastern most point of Australia (near Fraser Island, Queensland) which is the Western limit of The Pacific Ocean, and we are 4000 nm (7200 km) from its eastern limit which is the western most point of South America, Punta Parinas in Ecuador. That’s a full 13000 km across of deep blue wilderness, the largest ‘desert’ in area on this planet!  This represents about 37 % of the surface of the earth at this latitude band!

Only the big Southern Ocean some has some more limitless claim: Without any east / west boundaries it completely encircles our planet, making it the most free, wildest and restless of all the oceans. Seemingly long forgone the search for paradise, utopia, or increasing happiness it is on a never ending westward journey?  Maybe the purpose of this journey void of destination or exploring its restraint is merely ‘the happiness’ of its restless intensity!

I wonder in if the Pacific in its bounded status feels secondary and in awe of the Southern Ocean’s unmatched Freedom. Maybe Freedom is our ultimate desire of as human beings. Our Shocking Success shows that maybe in pursuit of unrestrained Freedom we are increasingly breaking down Nature’s ‘obstacles’, when we should be accepting Nature’s conditional restraint! That’s what a One Point Zero world requires!

Mastery on Show:  Our Arrival into Papeete

the-bridge
The Bridge at 5am with Tahiti on the right Moorea on the left

Definitely not wanting to miss out on the experience of coming into Papeete harbour on a huge container ship, I had a wonderful restless night, and eventually at 4:30am, not able to control my excitement anymore I headed up the two floors to The Bridge.  I was just in time to hear over the radio the friendly French accent of the Papeete pilot giving his first contact instruction for the meeting position, where they wanted the access ladder down the side of the ship, and our berth orientation.

Much clearer on the Chart: That’s our ‘Road’ in between!
Much clearer on the Chart: That’s our ‘Road’ in between!

We were coming up to the channel between the large island of Tahiti, and the smaller, Tahitians weekend playground island of Moorea.  With lots of other craft and a plethora of other potential hazards around, it was time for the ‘masters’ to take their places:

Bring on The Man: Able Seaman Raghu!
Bring on The Man: Able Seaman Raghu!

Able Seaman Raghu Komara was the ‘chosen’ Helmsman, and with The Captain they were ‘The Team’ to take us to our meeting point with The Pilot. As ‘we’ anticipated the hazards, the Captain issues course change instructions, like “Zero Five Zero”. To which Raghu would immediately respond with a “Zero Five Zero, Sir” and then purposefully make adjustments on the small Playstation like control handle. Within 20 or so seconds, once he ‘had the new course’ he would call loudly back: “One Five Zero, Sir”. The ‘Sir’, seemingly having no relation to power, domination or his submissiveness: merely reflecting the seriousness of the exercise and his commitment to follow the purely functional instruction to the best of his ability.

Avoiding the Reef to the Pilot
Avoiding the Reef to the Pilot

A ‘problematic’ yacht either knowingly trying to test its place in the hierarchy or merely being ‘incompetent’ challenge our course for an extended period before the Captain after using many expletives to describe the skipper of the yacht, ordered the 2nd officer to “Give five short blasts on the horn“….  That seemed to work, although it still took a while for the yacht to take make a capitulated course change and retreat from the one-sided conflict. Everyone seemed relieved, and it was a valuable experience for the sailor in me, be able to view the world from this side of the fence!

Narrow Channel Straight Ahead!
Narrow Channel Straight Ahead!

While all this was happening, the crew was busy doing all the jobs required to have us ready for harbour entry and docking. The big electric bow thruster was commissioned and the pilot access ladder lowered and then checked on its bottom rung requirement to be precisely 1.5 m above water line.

Many course changes later and a reduction in engine speed had us doing 5 knots at the Pilot rendezvous point. The radio call soon came up: “Pilot on board”, and after about 10 minutes the Pilot burst through the Bridge station door full of warm laughter and welcoming hellos. He had a glance around seemed to belong straight away, and then pulled out a piece of paper, which he used to discuss his plan with the Captain. Then to my absolute surprise seemingly without a word exchanged on the matter, he displaced the Captain and started issuing course instructions to Raghu on the wheel. The Captain had been ‘ousted’ but seemed quite relaxed and desiring of his new ‘demotion’ to ‘observer’!

By now it was pre sunrise light and with the Cap Capricorn heading at 5knots on collision course with the island dead ahead seemingly struggling to align it’s self with the two navigation lights marking the small channel opening ahead.  I saw Michael the Pilot quickly change to a serious yet very calm demeanour. As the tolerance for error became rapidly less, and the cost of error significantly higher, the instructions to Raghu, went from being compass bearings, to rudder angles: “Ten degrees Port”, Hard Starboard, “Mid-ship” course  The tempo of new instructions also increased and the intensity of Michael’s total focus on the task at hand was obvious. As he had planned the Cap Capricorn’s apparent misalignment was perfectly by the wind and tide. With barely 25 metres to spare each side and never changing the full 237 metres passed perfectly on the centreline of the two channel marker buoys. I looked at the coral reefs on either side of the larger channel gap, and was in awe of the professionalism and precision I had just witnessed.

I recalled two years ago when I had brought Allone into the narrower, non-commercial craft, break in the reef a few miles down the coast. That day it was blowing 30 knots and the large swell striking the fringe reef had created wonderful pipeline shaped waves that surfers were clearly enjoying. Lining up for my entry, I picked a swell, and as Allone surfed through the gap in the channel parted waves, I remember looking either way and seeing down inside each tube and the surfer it had entombed. Once through the gap, the water was still idyllic, but I did wonder how ‘Michael and Raghu’ would have managed with Cap Capricorn on a day like that: Somehow I felt with Michael’s calm intensity it would have been no more different to what I had witnessed! He certainly was The Master of the day!

Cap Capricorn all secured!
Cap Capricorn all secured!

For the ‘all of me’, I was totally enthralled, and as merely a spectator of this truly amazing  3 hour show, I thanked Michael, The Captain, and Roghu for providing me this unique intimate experience.

The Pilot and The Captain (right)
The Pilot and The Captain (right)

With the help of a tug, the bow thruster, and the final bit of magic from the ‘Michael and Raghu’ team Cap Capricorn was alongside the wharf without drama. The crew got to work in securing her to the jetty, the container guys started their loading schedule, and I was able to have an informal chat with Michael. He had been a super tanker captain for many years, and now loves this challenge to ‘just do the exciting part’ without having the boredom and monotony of weeks at sea. He appeared so calm that I couldn’t help ask if he found it at all stressful? With a smile that said: “That’s the secret”, he said: “Yes, but you have to keep that inside you!” I then took the photo of him and the Captain, we shook hands and as he walked off his sweat soaked back showed what I thought: This was bloody stressful bringing our big Cap Capricorn into this small harbour, but the man loved being the Master of the Challenge!

Customs took two hours two arrive, but having seen Papeete, I was just happy to download and read the NYT and London Times. I was in no hurry to take off on my bicycle to join all the consumers across the bay! As I read more, I was shocked at what a changing and challenging week it has been out there ‘for you guys’!: The Florida shootings, UK MP shooting, Trump challenges, Democrat regroup, Brexit volatility increasing, Russians banned from Rio, but nothing about Our One Point Zero Challenge!

Customs and Immigration was a non-event, not even a passport stamp, ‘we’ were soon free to explore Papeete. This informality, then having the bicycle and all its attached freedom of being able to hit the ground running (Ha-ha!) in a convenient, yet One Point Zero way made me feel I really could get used to this ‘Ship Travel’! Being at the container depot, it was quite a ride, but an interesting one that took me past a docked cruise ship, and its entire heavy footprint, hedonistic enticements!

Tahiti and Papeete

I hope most of you weren’t expecting this to be the big story of the day?

I loved being back on Tahiti, just feeling its unique Polynesian / French culture mix charm.  I sensed from our discussions that my fellow passengers were searching for the idyllic beaches, Tahitian cocktails, ‘beautiful island girls’, crystal clear waters, vast coral reefs, teeming with brightly coloured tropical fish, etc…?  Papeete is not like that, and even Tahiti struggles to be like that…? In 2014 I cycled for a week around the main island and across the isthmus to the adjoining island, exploring all it has to offer. This to me is not anything special, the magic of French Polynesia lives in the more remote Society Islands. Tahiti is the first stop, and Papeete the commercial capital and becoming increasingly a clogged up consumption ground. A few days experiencing its French / Polynesian culture, and then it should be used as a gateway for exploring the real gems, the more remote Society islands etc. Papeete is also very expensive, and probably even more so than when I visited in 2014. I was flabbergasted then and again this time:  How do the locals afford to live? Almost everything of any significant value or in the supermarket comes from France as expected, and so one can clearly see the economics of the Parent / Child relationship from France’s side, but I can’t see how the long term fundamentals of an adult / adult relationship will work out….

Cap Capricorn with the Non Elitists! Polynesian canoes to prove we are (somewhere) in Polynesia!
Cap Capricorn with the Non Elitists! Polynesian canoes to prove we are (somewhere) in Polynesia!

Anyway, I love the Papeete local market and all its authentic offerings, and then just walking around observing and talking to people was fun!

I did get to have a swim in pretty clear water, and saw lots of coral and a few parrot fish: This all part of an illegal, unseen harbour swim not far from the channel entrance Cap Capricorn came through!

There is a strong element of French creativity, anarchism, and aesthetic beauty that pops out all over the place. Add to this the very strong Polynesian origins, and one walks around being presented with almost confused western / island fused ‘novelty’ that is unique and both emotive and thought provoking. I like that. These huge murals are almost graffiti, but appear all over the city on building that present a convenient and eye catching canvas. Here are some examples, and these are huge, as you may be able to see from the one that has a parked car in the foreground.

Graffiti Murals: My Papeete Highlight
Graffiti Murals: My Papeete Highlight

Papeete-Graffiti-Murals-c (1) Papeete-Graffiti-Murals-c (2) Papeete-Graffiti-Murals-a

I guess in these murals my passenger friends may have got some of the Tahitian exotics they expected, but presented in an unexpected media! It was quite strange seeing my first females in almost one week!  Gee are we so lucky to have the eternal mystical wonder of male and female diversity that makes for a fundamental richness in our lives!

Finally: Upcoming Attractions!!!

In the next few days I’ll be responding (holistically) to the great open and even challenging comments that have been posted. These debates are what are needed, and I don’t plan on ducking ANY issues!

I just wanted to get this Tahiti over stimulation out of the way…. ‘Same old, same old’ ocean of the next 10 days will allow for lots of focused One Point Zero stuff.

Still coming very soon is my flying journey and how I got to the No Flying decision.  (I wonder if you have reflected on your relationship over the years with flying?)

I want to talk about The Facts and how followers may see them, not believe them, reject them, etc…. Also ‘The Facts’ behind The Facts, trying to make it real, practical and tangible for all of us. I have an analogy taking shape that may ‘stir the pot’, but I hope that in in its simple, everyday life way of animating the truths will help us all get our heads around a complex issue.

There is two worthy stories from the past few days that are too long to include today. The One is entitled:   “YouTube, Exploring, and being Entertained.”  The other is entitled:  “How I deal with The Crowd Truths? By Jean Paul of Papeete.”

Just a few teasers for the week ahead, and there is no doubt that there will be whole lot more too…!

Bye for now…

The Sky at 3am this morning! Oh when it’s cloudless at night, the mystical wonder of The Milky Way in this Pacific wilderness sky, is something I NEVER take for granted! I’m sure all of you who have also witnessed it or other wilderness skies know that powerfully insignificant feeling.
The Sky at 3am this morning! Oh when it’s cloudless at night, the mystical wonder of The Milky Way in this Pacific wilderness sky, is something I NEVER take for granted! I’m sure all of you who have also witnessed it or other wilderness skies know that powerfully insignificant feeling.

 

Gaining Momentum: Tahiti, Flying, and Fun!

The Now

Cap Capricorn crosses its name sake:   Around midnight last night we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, the southern most ‘turning point’ for the sun’s north / south 12 o’ clock dead overhead journey. It’s always special for me: Yeah another human defined line, but sort of not so as Nature defines it!  That 23.3 degree line and its link to our Planet’s axis tilt, so critical for the whole balance and life as know it.

Full steam ahead. An ever changing sea and horizon as we spin past the sun!
Full steam ahead. An ever changing sea and horizon as we spin past the sun!

This crossing makes it my 9th surface crossing  and the 5th ocean crossing of the Tropic, the other four in yachts, and the land surface ones were a combination of bicycle, motorcycle and car.. There is something special travelling by surface…. And hmmm, there is something special with that high altitude view….. Will i ever see our planet from up there again????   Now that’s challenging my early day commitment!

The days are getting noticeably longer as my friends in NZ are seeing their days shorten with only a few more days for that longest night low point!

Other than moving the clock one hour forward last night, hardly another adjustment has been from the bridge!  It seems that Man has delivered a machine that completely takes in its stride Nature’s Grand Adventure. In their seeming randomness the planetary winds and currents now appear almost defeated and without purpose in this huge Pacific Ocean. Let the illusion continue…..

It’s just 340 nm to Papeete, Tahiti now. We’ll be docked for 18 hours, so it will be out with my bicycle and off to see what’s changed since June 2014!

From a pretty flat ocean flow of the past few days, within hours we will be going over another group of sea mounts. Just three this time, with the highest one rising 4000 metres from the sea floor below to be less than 300 m under us…. This one is seemingly a perfect steep conical volcano.

We should be there to meet the Pilot around sunrise tomorrow, and then I’ll watch with fascination as this huge ship is taken through the narrow 100metre wide and 12 metre deep natural channel to its berth inside the confines of Papeete’s compact natural harbour.

Masters, Mastery and Power

There are just two ‘able seamen’ on board: Raghu Komara from India, and Frenando Viray from the Philippines, both over fifty who have years of experience, and it will be up to one of them with the help of a tug to ‘drive’ the big ship into its berth. The officers almost certainly unable to do it as competently themselves, but knowing they have something other critical element to contribute will watch and critique his performance.

Planning for San Francisco. The chart of the harbour and Golden Gate Bridge. All happening on the navigation table on The Bridge.
Planning for San Francisco. The chart of the harbour and Golden Gate Bridge. All happening on the navigation table on The Bridge.

Mastery and Masters hey, who are the real Masters in this and where does the Real power lie? Oil Refineries ran the same way, but in the case of the solo adventurer this ‘Power structure’ doesn’t work. In my pursuit of intensity I have always strove to have the most mastery experience and perspectives of both masters. I sense this has helped me step up (or maybe down!!) to my solo pursuits!

Ah it’s so great to be able to reflect on the wonder of life and share with you out here:  The choices we make the ‘What’ they produce and the ‘Who’ they ‘find’?  What is life, other than a series of choices and adventures just hoping to be edging closer to mastering the understanding of what it is all about?   Ha-ha, those two hours of Fiona, just feeling playful and flippant..

Oh that reminds me:  All still going good with the plan from that last meeting with Me and Myself!

‘Useless’ facts from My Walkabouts

The Kiwi's Special Potatoes!
The Kiwi’s Special Potatoes!

1.      We have a large amount of fresh, openly sacked, New Zealand potatoes and onions on board! I wonder if it is a case of: “Shame on you Yanks, not being able to grow enough for yourselves!?” OR “Well done Kiwis for growing such special potatoes and onions that are in demand in America!

2.       It is possible to be a Captain of a ship like Cap Capricorn by the time you are 30!

3.      Twenty six year old Yangyan Liu, from China who I told you in the last blog showed me how he checks the refrigerated containers, is on board as a trainee officer, and is paid a mere USD700 a month as he works his butt off trying to prove his worthiness to be a fully commissioned 3rd Officer. With a rare, ever cheerful demeanour he is hopeful that this is his last trainee voyage, but realises that’s in his Masters’ hands.

4.     From full speed ahead to the quickest stopping:  It will take 7 minutes for the propeller to stop its forward rotation to then reverse direction and start its astern rotation!  It’s only at this point that it will start acting as a brake, and start slowing the ship down. ‘They’ couldn’t tell me exactly how long, but actually stopping is still another 10 minutes after the propeller has changed rotation. Quite a few miles would have been covered before stopping!  So don’t get in the way of one of these armoured vehicles!

I Fly, You Fly, We all Fly!  Just because the Crowd does it, does that mean it’s right?

It’s easy for ME to know why I am on this ship today, and seriously exploring the possibility of a ‘No Flying’ future:

All my life experiences to this decision to resist the wisdom of ‘The Crowd’ and go by ship are part of a rich and complex tapestry that has shaped my soul. Maybe my soul hasn’t been shaped:  Maybe the experiences were what I needed to find my way through The Crowd and back to belonging with my authentic human soul?

It’s feels like ‘a calling’: A feeling within that says this is the right thing to be doing. What I am struggling with on the ship is how to share that journey to this decision point with you in a way that’s entertaining and useful for you?   The Facts, the motives, the belief changes, etc but in your life context….

Sharing when ‘we’ all have had such different lives, experiences and I guess spiritual beliefs and human souls….? Or do we?

Maybe what’s good for my soul is good for your soul, and is good for all human souls, because that what being a full human is about? Having belonging with our soul which belongs to this planet??? All big questions, maybe simple answers and maybe I’m going where I shouldn’t…  Haha!

I sense many may have deleted my first One Point Zero e-letter the moment they saw it had a focus on Sustainability / No Flying adventure. Probably saying:  Howard’s lost it, I enjoyed his ‘real’ adventure blogs, but life is too short to worry about all this sustainability ‘crap’…”

That makes me real sad as they are probably the people I would like to ‘engage in debate’ as its’ not about sustainability it’s about us belonging together and to our Planet!

Rather than being down, I thought back to the past and the journey I have come on, and when I would have had the same reaction…?  That made me ask myself how and why I have changed, and what is it that is driving me to be seemingly going against the flow of society…?  Man that started a whole wonderful journey back to 1964 where my contact with passenger flying journey all began…..

Did you know that in the 24 hours since my last post more than 1400 passenger planes have crossed the North Atlantic, and in 1964 that number may have been one or two?

Being ‘just 59’ and youthful, some of you will be older than me, and some younger than me, hopefully some much younger than me….. I thought it would be interesting for ‘all of us’ to think back to our all very different ‘first ‘passenger aeroplane’ experiences?  Maybe someone was even born on a passenger flight or even conceived in the ‘mile high’ club, or had a mother who was/ is a commercial pilot! Move through your life from that first contact to reliving your experiences with aeroplanes and flying right up to today! I have found it quite moving for me already..!

This may help us see why we each have our unique views and beliefs on flying and the role it should or shouldn’t play in our lives today….

So there we go, while you start reflecting on your flying journey I’ll be writing mine for you to read in the next day or so!

In the meantime here are some articles and facts I have found interesting and that have shaped my thinking (I have taken the liberty and inserted ‘One Point Zero’ where I thought appropriate):

Flying in One Point Zero Context

Depending on whom you believe if you are an average person in a developed world country you are probably responsible for between 12 and 18 tonnes of Greenhouse gases a year.  (‘How to Live a Low Carbon Life’, by Chris Goodall.)

If you better understand the Global Footprint Network (www.footpintnetwork.org) measurement for ecological sustainability this translates to ‘you’ needing about 5-7 Global Hectares of Planet today.

If you are part of The Elite, and an ‘average elitist’ then your footprint would almost certainly have figures some 2 -4 times of those above!  Many celebrities and entrenched icons of the High Life in their totally unrestrained lives would even be orders of magnitude above that.

Who knows, who cares, who should….????

Whether you take recently agreed Green House gas targets for developed countries, or use the Global Footprint Network (GFN) Earth Bio capacity determination, the average ‘allowance’ for each of us 7 Billion for a One Point Zero world, works out at around 3-4 tonnes per person per annum, or on a GFN basis an individual demand of only 1.8 Global Hectares.

Either way, a massive, more than 65%, reduction is required by Ms / Mr Average Citizen Developed Nation, and clearly multiples of 100%’s for those above average! Arguing about the single digits discrepancies in methodologies would be missing the point.

Where does Flying fit in?

Many reputable sources are in agreement that the carbon footprint for passenger flying is about 1 tonne per 5000 km flown economy class. There is almost unanimous agreement that this should be increased 2-3 time to take into account the Nitrous gas or Contrail impacts that relate specifically to high altitude air travel.

This all equates to flying from say London to NYC generating 2 -6 tonnes, or needing some 1.4 to 4.0 Global Hectares. In both cases this single flight pretty much uses ‘all or a lot more’ of our individual ‘allowances’.

But that’s just one flight I’m a Frequent Flyer?

A 6 June 2015 New York Times article by Josh Barro indicates that many Frequent Flyers are now being required to clock 25 000 miles a year to have the basic Frequent Class benefits, while the elite Diamond Class members are doing more than 125 000 miles a year to meet their class minimum. This means these people are ‘responsible’ for a huge 7 up to 35 tonnes a year, or needing from 4 to 24 Global Hectares each. This translates to them needing roughly 2 to 12 planets just to accommodate their Flying footprint! The further obvious and shocking truth is that Frequent Flyer programmes are effectively incentivising our more speedy self-destruction. Maybe in a One Point Zero World there will be a Frequent Non Flyer Programme…!

I have the facts for the Real Elite, and Real Celebrities, the ones who fly in their private jets, or Mr Trump’s ecological bill, flying in that huge Boeing practically alone?  The ecological cost is ginormous, and they can’t hide behind the Sin of The Crowd, below!

Does The ‘Sin of the Crowd’, eliminate the sin of the Individual?

Now in all this there is the obvious conclusion that if Howard decides to be ‘a good boy’ and not fly, someone else will fill the plane and so although Howard becomes a good boy, One Point Zero is no closer goal as that plane still takes off and its footprint doesn’t change. Yeah this is where selfless-ness or selfish-ness comes in, and more about that in posts to come. All I want you to know here and now is that I do understand this sneaky argument of hiding behind the Sin of the Crowd!

I’ll let George Monbiot (ww.monbiot.com) give his view on this:

This huge discretionary ecological cost for of passenger flight in now broadly understood by almost everyone I meet. But it has had no impact whatever on their behaviour. When I challenge my friends about their planned weekend in Rome or their holiday in Florida, they respond with a strange, distant smile and avert their eyes. They just want to enjoy themselves. Who am I to spoil their fun? The moral dissonance is deafening.!

Howard adds:  If we all in the developed nations say it’s not for me to reduce, and the developing world develop to needing remotely what we demand / generate today I can’t help feel that Humanity as a collective and us developed nation citizens as individuals can only feel ashamed at our Success!

Excerpts from ‘How to live a Low Carbon Life’ by Chris Goodall

The growth of aviation is so clearly incompatible with a ‘One Point Zero’ goal that scientists working in this area simply cannot understand why the governments of the world are failing to hold back the growth.”

The UK’s Independent Advisor for The Sustainable Development Commission said way back in 2004:  Governments around the world have failed completely to confront the problem so far.” On the contrary they have done everything they can to encourage further growth in order to promote short term economic growth and development.”

Twelve year later that stats show…

Twelve year later the same statement still applies but the industry having averaged more than 5% pa growth over the period would be contributing a further 60% more to making Our One Point Zero Challenge more Challenging. (IATA; ICAO; Federal Aviation Administration © Statista 2015 Estimates)

Who is Flying and who is Responsible?

Excerpt from George Monbiot (www.monbeit.com) again:)

Despite the claims the companies make for the democratising effects of cheap travel, 75% of those who use budget airlines are in social classes A, B and C. People with second homes abroad take an average of six return flights a year, while people in classes D and E hardly fly at all: because they can’t afford the holidays, they are responsible for just 6% of flights. Most of the growth, the government envisages, will take place among the wealthiest 10%

Ok, well that’s been quite Fun….. Heavy Fun, but I found it Fun, and I hope you did…?

I’ll be back with my Flying Reflections in a few days…. In between a truly sustainable Tahitian bicycle excursion!

Bye!

The ever changing trailing Pacific sky from 'My porthole'
The ever changing trailing Pacific sky from ‘My porthole’

Challenging You, Me and Myself!!

The Now

We crossed the human defined 30th parallel last night, I sense Nature didn’t blink an eyelid!

The current out here, after being our quite aggressive 1 knot foe, has switched to being our gentle friend, now helping us along by about 0.5 knots. (Can the sea be our friend, or even our foe?  See what Joseph Conrad says below!)  After rain and the 20 knot winds yesterday, the rain has left clear skies as we go through a light wind patch associated with an alien localised High Pressure zone. Should be back to full on 20 knot trades tomorrow and the seas are predicted to rise from the 2m of today to around 3.5m. So we shall see….:  Just on 1100 nm to go to Tahiti!

The Extreme Adventure: A glimpse of its dark side!

As I write this post from the seeming comfort of my padded leather chair and desk, in my single porthole ‘prison cell’, I’m filled with confusion and turmoil. This is why I prepared for this new One Point Zero adventure as being the most extreme ever, and the journey of the mind has begun…..

Yesterday I sat down to write about some real One Point Zero stuff, trying to connect ‘you’ to the One Point Zero picture I have inside me. Its many scary rooms, corridors and stairways and levels, which maybe only from my perspective, make a cohesive One Point Zero edifice.

It then hit me that there may be nobody is even reading this? Compared to my previous blogs, life and my struggle on the ship vs Africa, South Pole, Siberia, etc maybe seems boring? A struggle that is seemingly from the outside is not even a struggle but a luxury cruise!  Then add, the hard to confront, Facts of One Point Zero, and its mission, and maybe I have the basis for a box office flop!

Ha-ha, being a pessimistic realist, and apprentice activist, I have plans for all scenarios, even the “Howard is the only one who reads his blog”, scenario! I realised a while back that one has to do what one loves, and the way one loves doing it, not what you think others want, otherwise’ ‘ya will fail yaself’. This is where it does get scary though….: Thanks to so many followers of my adventures in the past, I have lived ‘snugly’ for many years under the ‘Solo but Not Alone’ banner, but experiencing ‘Solo and Alone’, would be a whole new challenge…….!

Adding to of this, with the novelty of the first few days of ship life behind me, I’m now in the very familiar, yet unfamiliar, adventure capitulation zone. Capitulation is part of all the extreme adventures I have done, and is the point when one finally accepts one’s new life circumstance and moves to loving it, and finding meaning and purpose in all of its ‘Now’. Normally that would be dealing with the, non-leather chair realities of the adventure, but the unfamiliarity of this passive ‘prison cell’ capitulation is new!

Just a Sunrise on the Bridge!

This morning I was up on the bridge at first light and the chief officer was on watch, grumpy and hardly acknowledging me as I walked through the doorway into his domain. It was close to the end of his graveyard watch, and having worked shifts in oil refineries, and then had many years of solo sailing through the night, I knew how he was probably feeling.

Sunrise on the bridge Cap Capricorn
Sunrise on the bridge Cap Capricorn

Making it worse there was I seemingly an ‘insulated’ passenger, having had a full night’s sleep, and arriving just at the only special moment on his tiring watch! The moment to capture another, undeserved, stolen tourist sunrise for Facebook posting! It was a special sunrise to the point I was surprised he even took his camera out went outside and took ‘the shots’, we all do these days.

I moved to the control panel taking my shots from inside to capture the uniqueness for me, of the bridge panel and the sunset. The captain arrived, and the mood changed to one of warm friendliness as I sense he sees me as adding valued diversity to his ship life. He also had his camera and not knowing my intent said: “You should rather go outside as the windows aren’t clean and will spoil the shot!” The discussion continued to him telling me how this Pacific is a desert, ‘there is nothing out here’!

I didn’t know this, and this was my first sunrise at sea…..???!!

Man I felt a whole range of strong emotions flow inside me as I thought how many vast wilderness I had been in that were so called ‘deserts’ as he was describing? Antarctica probably being the one that caught most memory time, but then for more relevance solo ocean crossings came back vividly. How being alone facing the full intensity of Nature’s Grand adventure is so different to this ship experience.

Through no fault of his own, the captain wouldn’t know that two years ago I had experienced this big ocean desert, the largest in the world, but at the mercy of its elements in a 45ft yacht. Not that it was a particularly difficult trip, just that the intensity of being so small and vulnerable in it was so different to this….

Somehow on this huge ship one feels like all one is doing is reluctantly ‘using this desert’ to get somewhere where ‘someone else’ wants it to be. As I talk to the guys on watch there is just one goal, to get there on time for the boss’s docking schedule. At least three of the senior crew to my amazement, have shared with me they don’t even like the sea, they are scared of it!

I can see how the unpredictable moods and power of the sea, particularly the vastness of this Pacific Ocean can be the source of fearful disinterest, or maybe even a conclusion of pointless belonging with a void of any useful human context.

I truly believe that being such a huge part of our Planet’s surface, like the rest of wild Nature, the more intimately we experience it, the more we can understand it, and belong as full, deserving human inhabitants of our home. The more we understand it all, and how we fit in the more we will see the wrongs of our ways, and the easier the One Point Zero Challenge will become, because like me we’d see the change as exciting and life enhancing!

I can see the Captain loves what he does, and as I explore more I see that his love of the ocean is from some perspective that I do not fully understand? I do wonder whether he has any idea of my perspective, and as we chat I sense he is respectful but doesn’t want to go there to even try to understand. I sense for him I’m crazy taking on the risk and discomfort, he has power and a machine that can ‘take on the sea’, and never lose.

I was feeling like I was with people I should have bonded with, but in reality I was in their world and they didn’t understand the world I had experienced? On this huge ship I almost felt betrayal to Nature and myself that I had opted out for this armoured vehicle option: Rather than being intimately immersed in the Nature’s Grand Adventure?

Why was I doing this? I seemed caught in no person’s land:  I didn’t have the intensity and sense of belonging with Nature that goes with sailing, and yet I didn’t have the convenience of crossing ‘this desert’ as quickly as possible (by plane) to get to where I ‘have to go’…? The turmoil didn’t stop there and so back to the Captain:

There seems to be a huge difference in his and my relationship to Nature’s Grand Adventure: Our relative sense of insignificance, vulnerability and depth of intimacy with that Adventure. He uses a huge, sophisticated, armoured vehicle, needing many fellow humans to keep it going and ‘him and them’ protected from the forces of Nature.

I have only used simple, more fragile ones: Often not even having a vehicle, and therein I sense our different perspective on the relationships to Nature lies.

A photo of the intimacy of sailing vs the power of the 'armoured vehicle'!
A photo of the intimacy of sailing vs the power of the ‘armoured vehicle’!

Sadly, I sensed from the passionate discussion we had two nights ago, that in the years gone by he had experienced a much deeper intimacy with the Sea and Nature. I saw his face change as he became animated in bodily expression, transforming into a vibrant, intense human. I could feel his words coming from his soul and the context of this deeper bond with the sea, but one which was now just a memory. He even spoke with some sadness about the changes that have taken place.

Now on the bridge, he shared with me that these days the RPM of the engine of Cap Capricorn of which he is the Captain is set and monitored real time by the ‘Head office Captain’ sitting in Hamburg! In the pursuit of functional efficiency his freedom is fast dissolving into soul-less compliance. This is what is happening in his journey to Success.  The modern world in its ever more powerful armoured vehicles and focus on urgency, schedules, and ‘the buck’, has moved his Intimacy with Sea, to being merely a distant memory.

As I pursue my work, the challenging One Point Zero question I ask myself is:

Is this ever increasing armour and amazing logistical success journey part of the path we need to One Point Zero Success? To more and more ‘block out’ the spiritual intensity associated with Nature’s Grand Adventure, and merely use our ocean wilderness for our anthropocentric needs and functional purpose?   Maybe ‘we’ are improving a process that is fundamentally flawed? Maybe it is a process that promotes a Way of Life that increases our already too much ‘unfriendliness’ to Nature and our Planet? One that is a contributor to our One Point Zero problem: Both in its ecological footprint cost to deliver, and in its support of our unrestrained demand for convenience and novelty? With every day of increasing unfriendliness to Nature, we are losing our home and our ability to belong!

If the answer is the latter best we search for a whole new Life process that sets us on the One Point Zero course, rather than waste human innovation and genius on increasing the conflict with Nature that will result in our eventual demise.

The Ship for the 1%!

Later on in my day, while doing my perimeter walk I bump into Liu Yangyung, one of the crew from China, and his job is to check every 2 hours that the refrigeration on each refrigerated container is functioning. I ask him to show me how, and I was astounded to see most of the refrigerated containers being kept at minus 25 degrees C or thereabouts. He confirmed that it was meat and fish inside, and the deep freeze is to eliminate any chance of bacterial decay. This is an expensive and footprint heavy import / export process. I wonder who buys this meat imported meat, I then pondered?  Oh well obviously: Surely it’s only the ‘1%-ers’ who could afford flesh that is shipped across the Pacific, and kept refrigerated at minus 25 Degrees C for 20+ days. I have probably eaten it many times in the past without blinking an eyelid, maybe seeking its exoticness, having never engaged in the mindfulness step this ship trip is facilitating!

So there we go, another item to add to My One Point Zero Challenge list: No more imported meat or seafood for me!  Actually thanks to a strong influence from Fiona, we have both moved almost 100% away from farmed meat for the reasons of its huge ecological footprint of which I am sure most of you are aware, and also its anthropocentric flaw! Yeah, all challenging stuff for the ‘little boy’!

The Sea, Nature and Humans

Continuing on our relationship with Nature, but with different context, I can relate deeply to Joseph Conrad’s words:  “The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.”

Conrad is seemingly humanising the sea, but I sense beyond an adversarial relationship he points to a mystical synergy between humans and Nature that ascends our human understanding of relationships. The increasing armour of mankind’s ingenuity maybe taking us further away from a spiritual restless accomplice that is linked to our Real Success?

Over the years of exploring how my Definition of Success has changed and how I moved from my anthropocentric, capitalist world void of spiritualism to a world where my very being relied on an understanding and acceptance of my place in Nature, has brought me face to face with the above seemingly flippant idealistic questions. As I have explored more and contextualised the huge shift we need to make to move toward a One Point Zero world, the paradigm shifts behind these questions are seemingly more and more like the imperatives we have to face.

From my little boy, transformed by Nature’s Grand Adventure, perspective: It is very clear that we are aiming at the wrong beacon of Success! One that is taking us further and further away from living intensely as full humans and belonging to Nature and our Planet.

The sooner we see that, and change the beacon, the sooner this amazing human innovation machine can be pointed at Real Success. When that happens, the One Point Zero goal will become an achievable reality. The challenge is for us all to see that where we are aiming is not success, but rather mass annihilation of a brainwashed or mushroomed crowd. Unfortunately the leaders of The Crowd seem so entangled in the power fame, and fortune associated with our journey to the current beacon of Success, that they won’t volunteer to lead us where we really need to be going!  It will take all of us to demand from them to step up and show us the way or either step down and fall on their swords.

Now yes, that is a very big statement with huge ramifications from a ‘little boy’!

There we go, it just started with sunrise on the bridge, and it all led to this!

Intensity Imbalance

Oh maybe some of the above is because I’m feeling seriously unbalanced with ship life at the moment, and this new capitulation is challenging me?:

‘They’ broke ‘My’ gym. ‘They’ feed me too much! ‘They’ won’t allow me to ‘sail’ the ship! ‘They’ are all males! …. Ha-ha, yeah life on a container ship! So what are you going to do about it Big Howard?

The Point of my Meeting!
The Point of my Meeting!

I went up to the bow of the ship, ‘right on the point’, sat and had a serious ‘one on one’ meeting with myself! Yeah, as those that know my claim to hold the world record for ‘Romantic Dinners for One’ would know there used to be ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’ two quite different personas that had many, many romantic dinners together until they became ONE! Well that was years ago and I thought we were ONE, but this ship or maybe the activist pulls are sort of splitting us up again! So yeah the meeting on the bow was good in finding out why, and what is needed to get us ONE again! So action:

1.      I skipped lunch today: That felt good and will become the norm now!

2.      In place of lunch I did 1 hour of mostly ‘gym-less’ exercise as the equipment is now fully U/S. So running up and down 8 flights of stairs 5 times, then out on the afterdeck for on the spot running. Then a fast walk around the ships perimeter pathway climbing all the caged ladders along the way and up to the various places they go… Then lastly into the gym for bench press and sit ups, as that is all that’s in working order. Felt soooooo much better to be out of the cell and working the body!

3.      Decided I have to be brave and just write how I feel to ‘you guys’: Whoever ‘you guys’ are, even if there isn’t a ‘you guy’!

4.      Solving the men only problem:  I decided to spend two hours tonight and every second night (ha-ha) dreaming of being with Fiona!

Now those that know my love for the 1965(?) book entitled ‘The Ulysses Factor, The Human Need to Explore’, that I have shared before, will know that it says the only way to experience something, is to experience it!: To live it, to deal with its joys, struggles, and mediums. To throw your heart and soul at it, and most of all to be naked in it! No armour or simulators, or tour guide capsules, just you and the experience alone, albeit with others around! One has to feel the full force of the experience on oneself! This is what I volunteered for an intense experience, not hedonistic pleasure or a short cut to happiness!

Well yes, that’s what I feel I am doing at the moment, and I’m trying to share it all, not just the fantasy stuff! Ah, sorry I won’t share those ‘two hours every second day’ with you, but ‘everything else’! As best I can, OK!

Will I stop flying and resort to container ship travel?  Well let me have the full Ulysses experience before I answer that! What would help my decision is if JUST two people from my ‘socio-economic’ group would also take up the challenge and commit to a future without flight! (I prepared to listen to less onerous proposals within My One Point Zero Challenge commitment to myself!) Anyway early days yet, we have almost three months to think about it and decide!)

OK, bye from out there in the deep blue yonder desert!

Mountains, Trade Winds, Ship Life and The Facts!

The Now

Well there we go, Tuesday again for, and re-living yesterday better!

As we move in a north easterly direction, about every 2.5 days we will move the clock forward by 1 hour, so losing an hour of my life! Better for mind, body and spirit than that harsh, all on arrival day, aeroplane shock!

We are cruising at 16.5 knots but showing only 15 across the ground as we are fighting an easterly current. The wind is a consistent 20 knots ESE, but with our speed its almost 35 knots on deck, so quite a blow! The swells are of moderate and consistent frequency making for a lullaby pendulum roll. This is all typical trade winds stuff we are getting into and the ambient temperature is slowly warming up in sync.

We have 1600nm to Tahiti and are just passing over a 100 x 100 nm area where there are 5 or 6 sea mountains. Mts  Seafox, Curatuck, and Burton, etc. The surrounding ocean bed is 5000-5400 metres deep and then these sea mounts rise some 3000 metres from the ocean floor with the relatively conical peaks just 2000 metres ‘under us’!

What a fascinating planet we living on, hey?!

Earth, Nature and Humans

If you are an anthropocentric you’d say: “Yes, and it’s ALL for us Humans to use.

If you are a Pantheist you’d maybe say: “Yeah, astonishing and we are just another one of its creatures living for a short time in its eternity. Never trying to dominate, always vulnerable to its grand Adventure!

Oh well, the sooner we all have a common view of our Human place and Human responsibility for our Human Survival and Success on this Planet the sooner One Point Zero will become a reachable goal. Many may not view us as having a problem because some higher power will look after us, and anyway if we only four (success from three) score and ten years on the planet, and everlasting life in ‘heaven’ is our conditional destiny, then what’s the problem, Howard????? That’s why I find Thomas Berry’s approach so great as he, decades ago, was trying to point to Our One Point Zero Challenge and changing Catholic paradigms.  An inspiring and revered activist!

I do believe the way we view the interconnectedness of Nature, Humans, and Out Planet is critical to solving the challenge we face. Here I am not pushing any religion or cult, because I don’t have one: Just a strong sense of planet / Nature belonging spiritualism! I do genuinely believe all religions and all cultures can fit under a simple all-encompassing belief of how we Humans belong to our home, and relate to the Planet and Nature all its other living members.

Ship Life Routine

Food first:  Breakfast is at 7am, Lunch is at 12, and Dinner is at 5pm!  Yeah, 3 large meals from Marian’s (sorry not Mario) kitchen, and ‘we’ the three of us passengers sit in the officers mess, with our own table. Things are very casual, the kitchen is next door, and part of its a snack kitchen where you can help yourself to tea, coffee, soups, noodles, bread, crackers, condiments, etc throughout the day. Tony Luis Salvador from India is our attentive waiter, and as is often the case in hospitality, the guys around the food appear the happiest on the ship! The food is standard balanced diet, ‘canteen type’ food, no luxuries here, and far more in quantity than I need!

From the upper deck to the bridge is eight stories high. My cabin is on the 6th level, and the dining room and kitchen are on the 1st level. Most of our movement is up and down. There is a lift that one can take if one is in a hurry or feels you have had enough exercise for the day! Most of us using it don’t seem to meet either criteria so that made me think what other criteria there could be for using the lift?:

Ha-ha, that wonderful word that us anthropocentrics invented, and one, maybe for good reason, doesn’t seem to exist in Nature: Convenience! The modern day necessity and key element of The Good Life!

Well after finding out that the rowing machine and exercise bike are not in good shape for serious use, I’ve decided to forgo the lift and the stairs will be a partial substitute. Mostly there is only one person in the lift at a time and so the generator fuel oil bill will see a reduction, while I live more intensely human, and use the time on the stairs for activist thinking time about you, this blog, and society! So other than the ‘Convenience salesman’ who loses his commission everybody wins! I know this all seems small picture stuff, but behind it is a big picture message!

My Fellow Passengers

In my two fellow passengers Tom and Eric I have found fellow adventurers and couldn’t have asked for better, easier guys to connect with. It is really great to have their younger generation perspectives. Both around 35, Tom is Australian, WA, and two months ago started a world motorcycle trip in Perth. Having ridden across Australia, he has now loaded his bike on the ship for California where he will cross the US and then on by ship again to Europe. Eric is a 6ft 9’giant American originally from Florida but left in 2014 flew to Cape Town, and started a huge surface of the planet trip. He bused it the length of Africa, by sea across to Europe, and then bus through Europe and Asia. From there he took a ship to Australia, and that’s where he picked up Cap Capricorn. Early days yet, and as we have shared a few stories, they are very interested in One Point Zero.

 Freedom

From the moment I have boarded this ship I have been pleasantly surprised by my acceptance as one of the crew and I have been free to almost do whatever I like. Beyond the obvious safety stuff, there are virtually no rules, and one is free to go anywhere on the ship. The other interesting thing is that liquor is free of duty and retail mark up so the prices are so low one questions the trick?! Anyway not that I’m drinking much, but just nice to not be part of some captive prisoner pricing that I’m sure cruise ships push to the limit.

The Ship’s Tour

Now to the tour with Singh yesterday: Well Singh is the 3rd Officer, so there is the Captain, then Chief Officer, 2nd Officer and then Singh. He is 25 years old, from India where he did his Maritime Academy training. Apparently a huge college in India, as there is a huge demand for Sea jobs, as land jobs dry up. It takes 4 years theory and 1.5 years practical to get to his position. I must say I was quite surprised at his youth and relative inexperience on paper for the position. A real lovely guy and we connected well, as he told me the trials and tribulations of the nomadic life, and nomadic relationships!

Typically the crews work 3-5 months on and then take 2-3 months off. Each time starting a new contract, and probably on a different ship. Cap Capricorn is registered in Liberia, charted by Hamburg Sud, a big container logistics operation, and then the crew work for an Israeli company that contracts to the German, Hamburg Sud. The crew of cap Capricorn come from: Poland, Romania, India, China, Croatia, and the Philippines. So this is one totally international operation. I have to say what makes me real sad, and I mean real sad is to see how many of these guys clearly hate what they do, and the life they live. I have taken on it myself to try and bond positively and in a caring way to each and every one of them. I have found that in showing them my ‘seaman’ side and my understanding of their life / work at sea struggle, have had a few warm interactions already.  I do think it is a tough life / career they have chosen.

Cap Capricorn was built in China in 2011, and it looked like virtually everything down to its critical ships engine is Chinese! Three large fuel oil generators provide power for the ship, and I was surprised to learn that about 40% of the power goes to run those refrigerated containers that are part of the freight on board. Monitoring of these fridges and their temperature control is a key crew responsibility. So just appreciate that NZ lamb and green lip Mussels you UK readers buy at M+S etc…  Enjoy the lamb while you can because as One Point Zero takes hold of you you’ll become a (virtual) vegetarian like me! (I’m sure you all know the bad footprint of farmed meat, and particularly if it isn’t from your farm around the corner!

While discussing the fascinating whole container logistics world, Singh told me that in Rotterdam now the whole container ship unloading and loading operation is done by robots, not a single crane, or container mover driven by humans. When I think back to the crane / vehicle busyness of Tauranga, and imagine Rotterdam to be significantly larger and busier, I’m forced to think how all this fits into a New One Point Zero World. The obvious answer is that there will be no or very small Rotterdam terminal because we would have all learnt to appreciate what we have in our own back yards and not need to ship stuff we demand from all around the world to satisfy our insatiable need for novelty! I know it’s not as simple as that but I somehow don’t think the solution lies in larger, busier ‘Rotterdams’. Scary thoughts hey, and more exploring there soon!

I’m getting into my work routine, and productivity is improving each day. With the rolling of the ship my keyboard error rate has shot up dramatically, but that won’t prevent me sending out some more meaty content soon. In that context I do wonder how those that have read ‘The Facts’ on this site have reacted?  Maybe you knew The Facts, maybe you don’t agree that they are Facts, I’d like to understand more…

Also, I’m very aware that many will see my ‘No fly’ stance as futile, maybe asking:

How does Howard think him stopping flying is going to help, the planes are still flying even if he isn’t, and anyway I heard ship travel has a deeper ecological foot print than air travel…?

I’m very aware of all this, but in responding I’m not sure whether my response should be in the context of followers’ acceptance of The Facts and the One Point Zero Challenge or their denial of the situation? This is my challenge and I’ll be responding as best I can to cover both possible bases.

Off to my rolling bed, and what is turning out to be a rainy late afternoon here!

Bye

 

A Stolen last Terra firma Post! Lots of pics and more….!

Still in port here at Tauranga!

My first siting of Cap Capricorn. Docking yesterday afternoon in Tauranga
My first siting of Cap Capricorn. Docking yesterday afternoon in Tauranga

If I was flying this would be a very serious delay, but in my unknown of container ship travel, I’m realising this is the plan! Just like air travel ‘delays’, ‘they’ put me up in a hotel overnight!:  Hotel Cap Capricorn!

My 'luxury' room? Prison Cell?, Office? Place of Solitude? Maybe all of those...???
My ‘luxury’ room? Prison Cell?, Office? Place of Solitude? Maybe all of those…???

I slept in my next 20 day bed…..ate the food, met the quite a few of the ‘boys’ I’ll be hopefully be getting to know soon.  (No ‘girls’ on this boat, and I know Fiona likes that….!!  That makes me wonder if / how many ships do have female crew?  That’s interesting hey?)

Here is Mario, our all important Chef! He is from Romania.

Always good to have a happy smiling chef!
Always good to have a happy smiling chef!

While skirting around ‘sexist issues’ under the Trumped by Nature banner, I did wonder how ‘our friend’ Mr Trump would manage 20 days to California on Cap Capricorn, and all its simplicity, virtual hardship, and virtual imprisonment? The Captain not at all interested in his ‘importance’ and asking him to address him as “Captain”!  Wealth, Fame and Power gets one nowhere here, this is a working ship, and these guys know who they are, where they are going, and what they have to do on this ship. I sense they probably wonder why the hell ‘we’ passengers would want to pay to join their work world?

The all important for Howard, gym! Hmmm, we shall see how that works!
The all important for Howard, gym! Hmmm, we shall see how that works!

I have never stated in my blogs what many have asked me, but is hopefully the obvious:

I’m here as a paid passenger here, not as working crew, you can’t do that anymore: OH&S!  I’m just as a working activist! Ha-ha, already I can see that my office, this ship, and of The Pacific Ocean, will be the source of many challenging, inspiring and ‘problem solving’ blogs!  (More about the ship, its commercial terms, cruise liner options, ecological footprint issues, my motives, etc in the ‘At sea blogs… ‘I find this is all fascinating stuff, and hope you will too….)

Yip, it's an international, working ship! No fancy cruise ship, smorgasbord here!
Yip, it’s an international, working ship! No fancy cruise ship, smorgasbord here!

Just like this morning’s range of breakfast condiments: The crew of 21 are from all origins, and I look forward to getting to know them individually.

The Container Ship ‘Playground’ 

The next view from the Container Terminal Gate Security Camera Screen!
The next view from the Container Terminal Gate Security Camera Screen!

Like most of us I have seen container terminals from afar, or maybe even peering through security fences, but I have to say I have been blown away by being on Cap Capricorn, inside a surprisingly busy Tauranga Container Terminal: Witnessing from close quarters another set of mankind’s awesome success in action. The speed, precision, and obvious big picture planning at work, as I would imagine over a hundred containers get off loaded and then driven off to the waiting road transport.

Hmmm, fully loaded on arrival, I hope my room has a view of more than containers!
Hmmm, fully loaded on arrival, I hope my room has a view of more than containers!

When I arrived Cap Capricorn’s stern section was chock a block with stacked containers as the picture shows.

First view form my only 'Cell' porthole!
First view form my only ‘Cell’ porthole!

In fact they were so high, my view from the porthole of my seventh storey ‘cell’ was compromised. Six hours later all those containers have gone…!  It seems like the ship will be leaving with quite a bit of spare freight capacity.

The stern section is empty but from the bridge forward to the bow they are stacked high!
The stern section is empty but from the bridge forward to the bow they are stacked high!

Cap Capricorn came from Australia, and is heading to the USA:  One reads about  trade deficits, and I wonder if this is evidence that the ‘Kiwis’ are dependent on the ‘Aussies’, and the ‘Yanks’ don’t really need much from the Kiwis! Many of the containers remaining on board for the USA are refrigerated, some with seafood brand names, so I sense its seafood, and lamb and then I wonder how many containers of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Manuka Honey there are…..?

Anyway, there we go a bit about from world:….. A little distraction from your more serious One Point Zero ‘library’ reading!!

A little more sorting out of my office and then in just a few days I will be adding to ‘the library’.

The adventure has already brought up a creative idea for maybe improving our experience together: I’m thinking that many of you out there may want to contribute you thoughts and ideas on how we solve Our One Point Zero Challenge. Ie not just comments to this blog but your own ‘papers’ too?

Maybe it would be good if the site has the ability for you to send them in and ‘we’ post them in the appropriate place in the One Point Zero ‘Library’ to enrich and diversify its experience?

 

Let’s think about it, and once you start seeing what I put into the library over the next weeks we can better assess. But feel free to let me know what you think..?

‘We’ throw off the mooring lines and head for the big blue Pacific in 1 hour now:

Bye for now…..!

 

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…!