The Desire Project – Big World small footprint

From:     KAI
Subject:     The Desire Project – Big World small footprint
Date:     January 6, 2009 12:28:32 AM EST
To:    DAN

Hello Dan,

Sorry it took a few days to get back to you an answer your questions.

I liked your ‘Almond’ vid. Kid of like Dan gone tribal for a few days in a nice tranquil place. Although, it did remind me a bit of the vids that that Timothy guy was taking of himself leading up to when the grizzly ate him and his girlfriendÖ If you don’t know the story I’ll see if I can find some links to it from the PBS special Warner Worzog (sp?) did.

I couldn’t get to the lonk you sent (file not found kinda error).

-Where does the shit go?

Two gallon bucket with span-on lid, then into the ocean if we’re three or more miles from land, buried or in a toilet if we’re closer.

-What’s the menu like? What’s your standard shopping list on Desire? I am still vegetarian, tho I don’t care whether are. How will that work for sharing food?

I carry fresh fruits, veggies, cheese and some meat for 4-6 days, canned and dried stuff after that, plus MRE’s for emergency substance.

-I am getting pretty good at sprouting, but in it’s current incarnation it’s sort of fresh water intensive, though i’ve adapted it to camping – see “Almonds”.

I’ve done some sprouting on longer voyages and I’m all up for learning more about technique and variety.  Without refrigeration and limited water we’re pretty much camping out on the ocean. Check out a book called ‘Sailing the Farm’ . It’s out of print but there are plenty of copies around.

-Is carrying fresh water an issue? Do you have a distiller?

I carried 44 gallons of fresh water in tanks and jerry cans. After nearly 30 days from San Diego to Hawaii I still had about 20 gallons left. That was partially due to the fact that I carried lots of canned fruits, vegetables and stews, also I used a 1 to 2 mix of salt/fresh water to cook pasta, rice and beans.  Also I love the feel of salt water on my body and I bathed and flushed almost exclusively with this plentiful medium. For emergencies I carry both a PUR hand water maker and an inflatable solar still. I also filter all drinking water with a Brita pitcher filter.

-Do you fish along the way?

I carry lots of fishing gear but I don’t fish when I’m by myself especially when the boat is moving or within sight of land. Ask me this question again and I can elaborate a bit more about the reasons/philosophy of this.

-How much storage space will be available for production gear? How are the cargo areas set up, are they all accessible out of the weather from within the cabin?

Everything you bring should be splash proof or in Pelican type cases. Generally things are pretty dry and protected in the cabin. There are ultra dry areas that can be utilized for storage but sometimes you may have to wait a day or two to pull out a laptop. Space overall is pretty limited for two dudes and their stuff on a 26′ boat. The cabin space is only slightly larger than the inside of a VW microbus. Food, water, survival and general boat gear get priority but there’s still some space left over for sundry gear.

-What is the availability of AC power? How much extra is available daily for charging of batts, running laptop and cameras etc.

AC power is limited. I have about 300 amp/hrs of 12 volt storage in my 3 battery banks. I have a 100 watt and a 300 watt ac converter but they really sucks the juice due to their inefficiencies. Anything you can find a 12 volt car type charger for gets priority after the lights, radar and radios. I have 4 ways to charge the batteries, wind generator, limited solar panels, engine (limited fuel), and dock outlets.

-What’s sort of connection to the world is available with your radio rig? Do you have a gateway worked out to the web? I don’t care so much about email, but being able to update a website might be handy.

Nope, not really. I can subscribe to SailMail (~$200/year) to do short e-mails through my long range radio. We can look into renting a Iridium phone but you’re not going to be able to do much more than update a blog.

-In earlier conversations, you mentioned studding the ship with fixed cameras. What locations get you excited? Power and signal are considerations. Either they have to have cables to them, or they operate on batts and removable media which would have to be individually serviced.

I’d love to have one I can Hard wire in the cockpit. I have a 2 foot lexan globe mounted to my sliding companinway hatch that would work pretty good for protection. Also I was thinking of a roving camera (remote on/off) I could mount in different places for short periods like on top of the mast looking down or even on the bow looking forward.

-Assuming scuba gear, is there anyway to rig a platform so that a camera operator could shoot underwater while underway?

Yes! We can tow a guy at various distances behind the boat or one of us drops into the water and the other one sails off, turns around and makes a pass at the swimmer. I volunteer for that once I teach you how to turn the boat around and stop (heave to).   I actually would love to film you trying to run me over. Bet you can’tÖ

-What’s the trip about? Of course just getting out there sounds amazing. Here are some of the themes that occur to me, perhaps obvious or naive. Please comment critique.

1) just get out there, what the fuck!

2) connecting with the ocean, with the great big living breathing mother earth.

3) traveling and exploring sustainably. taking responsibility for our puny human lives while minimizing impact on the mothership. exemplars of pragmatic utopia. an equation of resources vs realization.

4) science – meteorology, oceanography, biology…

Actually all of the above. My buddy John Gallone and I are putting together a web site called ‘The Whole Sail Catalog’ based on the popular counter culture ‘Whole Earth Catalog’. A big part of that is the theme of Big World small footprint.

I can’t think of a place or lifestyle that embraces the concept on living, traveling and exploring this great planet more with the least amount of impact. Besides my gods communicate with me best without all the background noise of ‘civilization’. Being in their element and seeing their handiwork up close and personal is what I strive for.

I’ve got the sailing/survival stuff down pretty good, although one of the things that keeps me jazzed in constantly learning new stuff and honing my voyaging skills. My limited writing is an attempt to chronicle and broadcast what I have learned and experienced in that element. I think through film we can make the experience more real.

I’m thinking that for now we should just focus on getting some footage on stuff I can’t do by myself. I’ve got a lot of work to do when I get to Hawaii to put ‘Desire’ back together again and dial her in. The best thing to start out with for us would be for you to meet me in Kona (Big Island) or when I sail over to Honolulu. We’ll do some close in sails for you to get used to the boat and then some inter-island sails when you feel up for it.

I can set up the helicopter thing if you’re up for it. We do the in the water stuff and get a bunch of day to day and back ground stuff then figure it out from there.

Let me know what your thoughts are.

Cheers! And fair winds,  ~Kai

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