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Apr 13 09 7:47 AM

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It is certainly simple and definitely low-impact and sustainable, however is sea-steading a credible option for living when the hard-times hit? One may be able to collect rain water and doesn't depend much on petroleum for sure, but food could well be an issue in the future if one doesn't produce their own, and a small vessel is not exactly ideal for that endeavour. Do you guys think the price of staple foods will rise so high as to be prohibitive to the frugal nomadic sailor who fishes some, and forages some, but needs to pay for his veggies and tatters?

I am predicting that foraging will be illegal in short order when the food crisis becomes a reality to all. Already in certain beaches along the UK coast it is illegal to dig for cockles; it's only a small leap of imagination to see that could (and probably would) apply to mussels, clams, whelks, etc... very quickly. And fishing for personal consumption could well be made prohibitively expensive too, if not illegal.

Let me know your thoughts...

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#1 [url]

Apr 13 09 9:19 PM


I think it will likely remain very viable, but you'll need to choose your cruising grounds carefully, just like anyone else will. Once fuel costs come up, being able to produce fish will be very valuable indeed, and you'll have next to no competition. No doubt all sorts of stuff will be subjected to legal this or that, but I doubt any more than one might face ashore, and enforcement will likely be all but non-existent. So sure, a small boat, ruggedly equiped and smartly handled and maintained is likely to remain a very good option.

Actually in many ways the next few transitional years are what scare me the most, regardless of one's chosen lifestyle.

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#2 [url]

May 28 09 5:32 PM

I'm not sure I  understand any of the reasons but a gut feeling tells me you guys are probably right.  I think the time may be coming when  most of us will have to forage and get by with very little help.  It might not be a very popular notion but I kind of look forward to being much more self-sufficient.  Rather than paying the high prices at Winn-Dixie for yuck food I look forward to growing my own.  I would imagine on a 27' sailboat sprouts are about the only thing I could grow.  Good thing I already like them somewhat.
     Hey , has anyone been able to find some of these mini-veggies and mini fruits ?  You might recall Ken Neumeyer in his book "sailing the farm" lists several species .  I have not been able to find these.

Other than a source of income (I don't need much ) the methods of  growing my own food is one of my biggest stumbling blocks.

Oh yeah I also need to learn to sail and navigate !!!!!

so many questions, so little time............

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#3 [url]

May 28 09 5:58 PM

yar, welcome aboard...
i'll have to look into that book, not familiar at all.
i never even heard of "sea-steading" until this site...but we're building an oceangoing farm vessel.
not only home to the most advanced ancient art of navigation, hawai'i is a great place to learn to sail...hilo has a great club dedicated to teaching, so bring it on over.  where are you now? s.e. mainland?

everything grows if you let it

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#4 [url]

May 28 09 6:04 PM

What gave it away?  Winn-Dixie food stores ?  I am living on the Gulf Coast of Florida 3 yrs. now.  I am from Michigan originally ...same town as James Baldwin.  If I only had some money to finance a trip to Hawaii.  Sounds wonderful....

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#5 [url]

May 28 09 6:26 PM

yep; the w-d!  i used to live in michigan too, in the sw corner... but can't find a clue as to any michigan refernce to baldwin...most references say he was born and raised in harlem, one says moved to harlem as an infant but not from where.
 
sell the boat and then you'll have money to get it here...wait...that won't work, the economy is too depressed to sell a boat.

everything grows if you let it

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#6 [url]

May 28 09 6:40 PM

I'm not a big fan of Neumeyer, half the reason I wrote Sea-Steading is that I discovered 9/10ths of the stuff in Sailing the Farm was just bunk and mostly made up. There is, however, a wonderful vision there and and spirit is inspiring, if the reality isn't. My book is much more about hard work, probably. LOL.

Boats will undoubtably play a large part in our future here very soon.

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#7 [url]

May 28 09 6:43 PM

hey jay, i didn't know you wrote a book; such is the price of getting here late i suppose.
i just thought "sea -steading" was just the topic that i first came across here at your forum.

everything grows if you let it

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#8 [url]

May 28 09 6:46 PM

Oh, actually know James pretty well. You know, he'd be very into this site and I should look him up as I haven't heard from him in about a year. He and Mia were homesteading last I heard in Florida or some such. He's a kindred spirit, no doubt.

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#10 [url]

May 28 09 7:26 PM

Hey Jay, so was dinner whatever you dragged out of the ocean that twilight? If so whats it like out there? Crazy amounts of morsels floating about?

Puna rain makes me feel rich! soursopstudio.blogspot.com/

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#11 [url]

May 28 09 7:30 PM

Sometimes, but you can eat enough fish that you can't stand to look at it though. Especially ling cod, or greenling, or rockfish.  Homesteading is a complicated picture, and homesteading on a boat even more so, and there's much more to the process than just feeding oneself.

A boat cannot be self sufficient on its own. It requires a community to support it. A homestead can't be self sufficient on its own either, at least with any livable standard of living. This requires a community too.

Community is key to sustainability.

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#12 [url]

May 28 09 7:34 PM

Agreed, but how does a community help on a vessel at sea, if youre the only passenger? And ok, but besides the common catches whats out there thats yummy? I see you pulling octopi out of the ocean all glisteny and stuff..Any pictures you can paint me?

Im really interested..

Puna rain makes me feel rich! soursopstudio.blogspot.com/

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#13 [url]

May 28 09 7:38 PM

You can't make rope at sea, at least in any kind of useful length, nor make sail cloth.

Oh, the eating is really really good. I mean really good. Eating tuna sushi that you just drug aboard over the rail is the best, but 20 pounds later less so! LOL.

It's a good life, for sure, and a beautiful and hopeful one.

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#15 [url]

May 28 09 7:45 PM

Tis ok. Here's a picture of the last boat. http://sv-macha.blogspot.com/2008/08/introductions.html

I built and launched that one in 2004, and sold the boat in San Fransisco to Ari and Sarah on the way to Mexico. I was sailing by myself and that boat was just too big for a single dude.

That's a modified atkins ingrid with a pilot cutter rig. Hard to build a prettier boat.


Click here to view the attachment

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#16 [url]

May 28 09 7:48 PM


OMFG you built that? Dude! By build you mean from scratch like grammies cookies or from parts? 

Whoa Jay that's some serious gorgeousness, and I don't even think about boats much but geeez...


Also there's a new baby on board! Whoa! The inside looks like your pad now, I could totally link the style that you'd built that. That's pretty damn impressive captain...pretty damn impressive..

Puna rain makes me feel rich! soursopstudio.blogspot.com/

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#17 [url]

May 28 09 10:12 PM

A staunch looking crafty, that tis!  Didja ever fly a stays'l off the top?  Looks like a nice big area to fly something although it is pretty far up there to be efficient.  Dead eyes on the shrouds?  Is that reef points in the inner jib?  Reef points on a jib??  (just tell foredeck to put up a #3 jib instead of reefing the existing one - all ya need is a good crew, huh?) 

Don't see too many loose footed gaffs around but they sure are a pretty rig.  Probably goes like stink downwind and on a reach, too?  Lots of sail area and a low aspect, too.  Full keel?  Wooden?  Wooden boats are always a LOT prettier and feel more comfortable than plastic or metal ones.

Well, if you feel the need for a close encounter with salt water you can borrow our silly plastic sit on top kayaks.  They aren't real boats, but the water will taste the same.

Hey, that's the same boat that's on the cover of Sea-Steading: a Life of Hope and Freedom on the Last Viable Frontier
by Fitzgerald, Jerome
ISBN-13: 9780595387588 ISBN: 0595387586

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#18 [url]

Jun 21 09 5:32 PM

We are toying with the idea of using old barges as mini-farms/gardens/event platforms. Solar powered stationary watermakers, a shack for WOOFers, offering tours, events (tie up on a dinghy dock).

The main problem would obviously be getting kicked out of a harbor.

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#20 [url]

Jul 7 09 2:50 AM

Nope, not Water World, visions of Keehi Lagoon in the seventies and eighties.  That's the old seaplane runway below Honolulu Airport so there's three long straight channels in a triangle shape and there used to be a working drawbridge from the harbor entrance into the backside of Aloha Tower and Honolulu Harbor.  There were barges floating about Keehi Lagoon with folks living on them.  Some of the barges were aground and tilted at about fifteen degrees, there were folks living in boats scattered all over the place, folks living on the little sandy spits out there, a fellow living in a packing crate that would be half awash at high tide, a fancy barge which had several containers stacked on it as a house and then there was that pyramid barge, too.  Sailboats with folks living on them that actually sailed places and all sorts of floating things with folks living on them that didn't really move much, at least until the wind blew them all from one side of the harbor to the other.  "As the Anchor Drags" would have been a good daily paper for that strange crew.  There were all kinds of strange and interesting folks swirling about.  Then the state came in and cleaned the whole place up and it isn't anywhere near the same amount of interesting it used to be.

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