A cup of ginger tea before donning the yellow hazmat suit and starting the day’s fiberglass fun. The Brunton inverter is whirring away somewhat creakily as it charges this iPhone. Most of the gear has already been checked for solid operation, the Brunton solar power components are among the last on the list.
How am I changing? I’m preparing for nomadic life, for wandering within. It took Loreen Niewenhuis over a year to walk around the Big Lake, so the distances involved are imaginable, human. The scheduled duration of our sail Around Lake Michigan is about 3 months.
I get to go faster than Loreen because I’ve got technological infrastructure and a larger carbon footprint. Though powered by paddle and sail alone, Hello World is an industrial child. She owes her existence to oil drilling and petrochemistry, (polyester resins, dacron sails, nylon rope) not to mention mining and smelting, (aluminum frame and mast, steel fittings). Add in the filmmaking electronics we are carrying (rare earths, heavy metals) and suddenly this project isn’t quite so bright green.
The price for 3 months of environmental documentary in a romantic mileau is a diminishment of our collective destiny. I kill all of us a little by making this trip. I’m not an impact idiot either, I work to minimize the consequences of my daily actions – fairly small footprint as far as 1st world lifestyles go. Even so, the way our civilization is set up, I can’t help but hurt.
Jor-El packed his infant son into a spaceship and sent him from the doomed planet Krypton. Moses was placed in a reed basket and launched on the Nile. The stories keep coming back. We make another variation today – an artifact of industry launched to transcend industry by reminding us of what we already know. Into the shadows to search for light. I am the man who asks the child’s questions.