The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

The place to discuss SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project), our 11' 11" micro minicruiser.

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pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by pocketyacht »

Hello Dirk

Gulp, what kind words. Thank you. As you have likely noted the wide and deep piece of how I approach my public words is tinged with a bit of apprehension in that I never wish to come off as self promoting, just sharing.

Anything I have done is hardly original, I observe and reckon I stand on the shoulders of sailing giants far more skilled than I. This said I acknowledge little of what I see in the world as actually original in that we are all influenced by the palette of colors that paint our lives, by the works of others, by our experiences of influence. I look at my boat modifications and know she in all her purposefulness has direct lineage back to Blagden, Manry and many others and they in turn as humble men were influenced by others preceding them.

I scan around at my inner landscape and the motivations that drive me forward and I do see originality of aspiration to go out there however misdirected but then originality is always that way seemingly misdirected. At first oft branded crazy stuff, or out of step with normal, etc.

I will always remember seeing the SCAMP design (and I was one of the first to see it) and within about a minute (literally) I knew the boat inside and out, I could feel it. I was in Micronesia at the moment and recall phoning Josh Colvin to order two kits, he seemed a bit shocked (I think). I am a lover of beauty in all things but none more so than boats.

I am all about graceful sheer lines, bring you to tears bows, seductive sterns, classics. In SCAMP I could see past her pram bow (having already faced down the idea by sailing Fireballs, and Mirror Dinghy's) and got it in the over all sum of the parts way. I saw a simple form/function beauty that speaks to me still. She by any measure is a bit of a Guinness Stout (an acquired taste not for all) sweetened with a hint of hibiscus flower.

I knew when ordering SCAMP kits that friends from my sailing world would likely laugh at the choice and I didn't care a whit because I believed the boat would speak for itself over time. Little did I know she would become so popular. I have trailed along nicely in the process for there are some real sailors out there who have elected to build or buy a SCAMP. Good affirmation for a daring early adopter.

You have noted my contributions and Johns............I say pay real attention (do your best to ignore the puns) to his, mine are bush league, every man sort of stuff but I do thank you.

I may be a bit like the blind squirrel as analogy, as in "even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again" and I believe in this manner I have found one of the last genuinely untrammeled places left on our over worked planet. These being the southwest islands of Tierra del Fuego. I looked into these dark foreboding islands from far west on the Beagle Channel back when I had more hair atop my head and dreamed of some day, well so many of those have come and gone so it's shake up my life and go for it.

Aside from the commons of the oceans and the same commons of the Antarctic/Arctic winter deserts so few places have been left alone, unmarred, truly wild and likely for good reason. I am excited to sail and equally fearful of doing so in such a dangerous place yet in this cocktail of opposites I find a wild attraction and an over coming process each day as the set sail date approaches.

I'll do my best and this means quietly marching to my own drummer however that plays out.

Thanks again Dirk, very much appreciate your words however underserved.

Sterling Hayden sums up voyaging motivation quite nicely.

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"

- Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)



Best,
howard
Dirk Visser 166 wrote:Hello Howard,
I know you are busy guys, and am very impressed with the " due diligence" and creative energy both you and John W. pay in crafting contributions to the various small boat forums and publications.

As I read your current SCA column ("Out There"), and recent posts, http://thepocketyacht.blogspot.com, I see that you are consistently going deep and long with the wide-ranging backstory and prep details of the upcoming Southern Cross expedition.

Let me just affirm what you are hearing from many others: This is a world class work in progress, reportage befitting a timeless adventure, and loaded with meaning for all small boat sailors, and truth be told, ordinary people with imagination, everywhere.

While you say that the microdetails of all the planning and strategy might keep you yourself orientated in this complex on-the-grid world we share, rest assured there is inspirational soothing, grounding, and enlightening power here for your empathetic and enthusiastic readership as well..!

Hopes are that your dedication won't waver in this beautiful and risky endeavor ...but know personally that howsomayever it ultimately plays out, the success is profound simply by the positive audacity of your vision, attention to experience-based detail, realistic expectations, excellent narrative, and has already been made real for many of us...!

****

"The world is nature, and in the long run inevitably wild, because
the wild, as the process and essence of nature, is also an ordering
of impermanence."

Gary Snyder, "The Practice of the Wild" (1990)
Last edited by pocketyacht on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by pocketyacht »

GENE L
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by GENE L »

Mr Howard Rice,
http://thepocketyacht.blogspot.com/
My reply to your Thursday April 7th, 2016 post on your blog (which I was unable to figure out how to post to since I'm not a computer geek),

I can understand both your trepidation and intrigue of your upcoming voyage as only another adventurer can. I have bicycled across America 6 times, backpacked across America twice, and singlehanded my own small sailboat for thousands of miles. On all of my trips I was extremely excited beforehand, researched until exhaustion, attempted to 'dot all my 'I's and cross my 't' s'; only to discover the unexpected as you will, that no amount of planning could prepare you for, and you'll climb that mountain when you get to it and be fine.

I recall on all of my trips that after a week or two I was having great introspection on all manner of things in Life, which became extremely clear to me the longer I was on the trips. This is the 'Zen' that you are seeking, and if the weather does'nt keep you too busy you may find it!

You've done all you can to have a successful voyage right down to building your vessel with your own two hands. Now rest up and be ready to enjoy the adventure you have set before yourself, you've earned it!

Regards, Gene

PS This boat looks to give other small sailboats fits in the near future! >http://www.zensailstyle.com/indexEng.html#landing
pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by pocketyacht »

Hello Gene
GENE L wrote:Mr Howard Rice,
http://thepocketyacht.blogspot.com/
My reply to your Thursday April 7th, 2016 post on your blog (which I was unable to figure out how to post to since I'm not a computer geek),

I can understand both your trepidation and intrigue of your upcoming voyage as only another adventurer can. I have bicycled across America 6 times, backpacked across America twice, and singlehanded my own small sailboat for thousands of miles.

***Wow, Impressive. My adventures pale in comparison, true bush league.

On all of my trips I was extremely excited beforehand, researched until exhaustion, attempted to 'dot all my 'I's and cross my 't' s'; only to discover the unexpected as you will, that no amount of planning could prepare you for, and you'll climb that mountain when you get to it and be fine.

***Actually the best part of the adventure pie is the bit of toasty crust along the edge, the ad lib moments. I prepare, expect them and actually often enjoy the ad lib moments the most. Voyaging is all about the magic of surprise and discovery.

I recall on all of my trips that after a week or two I was having great introspection on all manner of things in Life, which became extremely clear to me the longer I was on the trips. This is the 'Zen' that you are seeking, and if the weather does'nt keep you too busy you may find it!

***I am counting on it. Nothing quite puts the rest of life into clear view as time away from all human touch. Nothing else matters, not the money in the pocket, not the rain gutter needing to be replaced on the house, not the traffic, the cranky boss, everything fall away giving way to the moment.

You've done all you can to have a successful voyage right down to building your vessel with your own two hands. Now rest up and be ready to enjoy the adventure you have set before yourself, you've earned it!

***Thank you Gene. I still have lots to do wedged in between working and maintaining my completely pedestrian life. I am so glad I built my boat, I know everything about it. I am also thankful to Josh, Simeon, Steve, Mike, Jeff, Keith, Beth, Gig Harbor and all the other SCAMP owners who have allowed me to sail aboard their boats. Some of these folks I hope to have helped via instruction, others are the best of friends, some collaborate deeply (Yo Sim) and all allowed me time to build my handling knowledge base. I have a solid boat and I have a solid SCAMP knowledge base too. Coupled with the time I spent in Tierra del Fuego this past February means I am on my way to sailing safely.

***Best,
howard

Regards, Gene

PS This boat looks to give other small sailboats fits in the near future! >http://www.zensailstyle.com/indexEng.html#landing
GENE L
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by GENE L »

Mr Rice, That ' Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)' quote has been my driving force since I read it in 1978! Whenever i feel as if I'm in a rut and read it It sends me off researching my next adventure. To many in the 'cubicle world' I've lead a Life of meaningless wanderlust chasing unicorns my whole life, just because i don't own all of their 'worldly belongings'. But to me people who have lots of 'belongings/things' are 'owned by the things' due to not being able to follow their own dreams because they can't separate themselves from the ball and chain security blankets.

I have no regrets 'chasing my unicorns' as I have lived a Life full of adventure! Glad you think the same way, looking forward to the day our wakes cross in the near future.
pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by pocketyacht »

GENE L wrote:
Mr Rice, That ' Sterling Hayden (Wanderer, 1973)' quote has been my driving force since I read it in 1978! Whenever i feel as if I'm in a rut and read it It sends me off researching my next adventure. To many in the 'cubicle world' I've lead a Life of meaningless wanderlust chasing unicorns my whole life, just because i don't own all of their 'worldly belongings'. But to me people who have lots of 'belongings/things' are 'owned by the things' due to not being able to follow their own dreams because they can't separate themselves from the ball and chain security blankets.

I have no regrets 'chasing my unicorns' as I have lived a Life full of adventure! Glad you think the same way, looking forward to the day our wakes cross in the near future.

Gene
Nicely put.
There is no real security. About the best I know of is to get out there and do things that are interesting and most importantly real because this life is a blink.

I admire so many people who have chosen their brand of happiness be it cubicle or snug suburb, more power to them.

Here is a piece of real for you. I post this here because it is so very real, people living on the edge in what many think of as paradise. These are my people and they live more adventure every day just surviving than I do in years.
Untitled.jpg
and for fun......Exploring the ancient water city Nan Madol also in U aboard my sailing canoe. I have had so many quiet adventures just like everyone else, not much remarkable in that eh?
Nan Madol.jpg
Very excited these days getting ready to set out on a voyage that is a considerable step up from any previous endeavor I have engaged in. Blue water is one thing, easy actually. Clawing my way by 12 foot boat through the southwest islands of Tierra del Fuego is a stretch. I am drawn to the place, captivated by the ruggedness, lack of human touch and for the fact that it is actually one of the very few untouched places left on our planet. Kind of exciting, nice blend, keeps me focused on details and preparations. Soon I will let go of all I know and just set sail come what may.

Thanks for writing.
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pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

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Dirk Visser 166
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by Dirk Visser 166 »

Indeed Howard!
Your latest (May 8th) culturally oriented post underlines the nature-human connection beautifully ! Movingly so, really...powerful insights there...

Capturing the vision and feelings that experience can bestow develops thematics..and this becomes an integral part of the presentation, over time, when done well... as your current reports illustrate.

Nature is structured, and reliable. Raw nature, all the more.
And a key feature of the set-up is that beauty, risk, tragedy, triumph, humor, and curiosity are all potentials in any whole-hearted reckoning of a development strategy modeled this way, that is, based on innovations arising out of events and endurance.
These two unyielding facts, nature's distinct character and her deep, predictable dependability, taken together, embody tremendous instructional capabilities and make possible a survival and beauty driven environmental mold, creating and nurturing all of our formidable adaptive abilities.

If we can think of this dynamic interplay as the "propeduetics", the lesson plan for Earth's life forms and intelligence ... Expressed by biology and the resulting neural chain, sensory apparatus, cerebral cortex, musculature .....and to our hope and liability, a derived and distinct suite of emotions.....
...if we can manage to consider experience and learning in this profound way, then, for the first time in the human story, a coherent vision of an ultimate meaning to Life, and the actual intent behind nature, has a chance of being seen.

This view of what we are, and how we are shaped, allows access to a complex and well-developed historical "readout", that is, our own powerful sensitivities and capabilities, to guide our appreciation of the progress and purpose of the human in the world.

But unquestionably, we have recently achieved a crossover phase where key codes are under our juvenile control, but the wisdom of what to do with them is only poorly developed. A return to the purity of wilderness, contact with ancestral logics, this could be viewed as an underlying and overarching motivation for your sail...
Gaining access to a reset button if you will..these psychologies can be helpful for social groups as well as individuals, and our only hope for leadership lies with the creative ideas unique to individuals, but developed, extended, and supported by groups, a next-step process.

A recognition like this could be factored into any complete assessment of your activities in preparations, and enhance the satisfaction of the actual sailing of this trip!
Far from being a trivial or ego-driven undertaking, your quest actually becomes an engaging individual/group effort to uncover axiomatic truths, origins of thought, and forgotten and overlooked aspects of the sublime and lonely heart of nature..
The voyage, the reportage, and the film, all can become more crucial and gain meaning and direction with the hopeful resonance of this interpretation..

Quite possibly this is already an accurate, intuitve characterization of your motivation..!
George Mallory's "Because it's there...!" doesn't really cut it at this late date, don't you agree..?

You have been identifying cultural and technical links between human intelligence and the elements of the wild simply and clearly in your writing for some time.. This is a rare accomplishment in or at any age, and gives your activities a good measure of usefulness and universal appeal..

Can we call the expedition an evolutionary status report, as well as an inspired, practical, sailor's take on getting a workmanlike job done?

It has already become this for me, as a mere proxy observer, I am pleased to say..!
pocketyacht
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

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Updated 6/7/2016
mp29k
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Re: The Voyage of Southern Cross blog

Post by mp29k »

It has been almost 2 months since an update, how are preparations going, Howard?
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