Remove this ad

#21 [url]

Nov 8 09 4:14 AM

The father of a friend of mine told us a tale that took place back in the fifties I think.  Back then you pulled your boat up on the shore and tied it off to a tree and took your motor home with you.  Anyhoo he and 3 others were going to go night fishing on the outer reef.  To do so they had to cross the whole lagoon including at least one if not 2 of the 3 seaplane runways.  Now back then big powerful outboard motors were not common.  The one they had on their craft was a couple of horsepower I think and at any rate didn't move them along very fast.  They started off across the lagoon in the dark which was pretty dark and quiet back in the fifties.  Not completely dark though as they soon noticed some lights that seemed to be getting closer.  Before long there was no doubt; the lights were getting closer and there was engine noise as well.  To make a long story short it was a Mars flying boat bearing down on them.  The driver rev'ed the motor up to several puts per second.  My friend's father eventually came to the conclusion that they flying boat might hit them and he abandoned ship, diving for the bottom and staying down as long as he could.  When he came up the plane had passed just overhead and he said there was a tremendous amount of water falling from the sky.  He didn't know whether it was spray kicked up by the passage of the plane and the propwash or whether there had been that much water stuck to the hull that was simply falling off.  He looked around and saw the boat bobbing not far off.  When his companions saw him they eagerly asked if he had "found it".  Found what he asked.  The motor of course.  The driver had made a frantic last minute turn at the same time as he had been jumping overboard and the motor had twisted off the transome and fallen overboard.  The others had assumed that he had gone in after it.

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#22 [url]

Nov 8 09 5:27 PM

Yeah, I kinda miss Keehi Lagoon.  The whole thing had it's own unique flavor.  Extremely heavy on the salty side, but it wasn't the usual slice of suburbia.

Do you suppose that motor is still down at the bottom of the lagoon all encrusted with barnacles?  Eeewe!

Sea steading will be as viable as homesteading, I think, as far as the future goes.  Boats still need to periodically pull into shore for new parts, supplies, water, etc. but that also gives the folks on the boat a place to sell excess fish.

Depending on where you are sailing at, you will catch different things.  Around this area, we would generally catch aku (skipjack tuna), mahimahi and the occasional barracuda.  All of those are quite tasty but once you've got more than twenty pounds of anything with limited cooking facilities, it can be quite an effort to keep the menu interesting.  Up around the Seattle area we were catching more shrimp than anything else but they were tasty.  We were catching more shrimp because we had a shrimp trap deployed instead of fishing gear, though.

Quote    Reply   

#23 [url]

Apr 2 10 12:34 PM

Our approach to sea-steading has been coastal nomadics, emphasizing archipelagos (island chains).

The 'Inside Passage' of the Pacific NW (aka BC / SE AK coast) is temperate (not as sweet as HI, but no frigid wasteland, either). It's boreal ecosystem is largely intact allowing full subsistence foraging (it supported extremely affluent indigenous cultures for millenia). It's remote enough that 'social distance' is easy to achieve (we can actually 'disappear' indefinitely along 900 miles of archipelagos), and law enforcement (re potential anti-foraging laws) is expensive and undermanned. Harbor/shelter every few miles, especially for shoal draft vessels. 97% of SE AK is designated public national forest (this land was made for you and me!).

In short, it's an attractive area for sea-steaders who aren't blue-water oriented.

I agree with Jay's comment that the transitional times will be the most dangerous. What authority remains will tend toward martial law and clamp down on 'looters' and 'hoarders', as prudent foragers are often labeled, even in less trying times. Mobility, flexibility and opportunities to go outlaw (having a back door), I believe, will be essential to viability. To me, archipelagos are 'tangled banks' along the interface of land and sea.

Come on up; the water is fine! (and we would love the community!)

Dave Z

PS. If you haven't read it, Ursula K LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea is set amongst archipelagos and gives glimpses of a raft-based, sea-steading community. AND it's a great story, to boot.

Quote    Reply   

#24 [url]

Apr 2 10 5:25 PM

I have to agree with you. I spent over 20 years in Alaska, mostly in Haines and Skagway, and built myself (from plans) a Buehler Emily (30' 51/2 ton Cutter - see picture) which I sailed around Lynn Canal (fjord) for a few years before moving south to Bellingham. Although I hated winters up there, the weather is significantly better farther south, and most people don't realize that the B.C. coast south of Prince Rupert is actually less populated than Southeast Alaska. Easy to get lost there for sure.  I spent 25 days coming down here from Skagway in my boat, and even after countless trips on the ferry (traveling at 18 knots) I was amazed at the isolation (and potential) south of Rupert.  Of course traveling at 5 knots and anchoring in an unfamiliar anchorage every night gives one a whole new perspective of a place...Over the years lots of folks have hidden out and squatted on that coast; from 60's back-to-the-land hippies, deadbeat dads, moonshiners and contraband importers, and modern day stock market crash escapees.  Interesting traces of their activities abound, modering away in picture post card perfect coves and obsure islets, along with abandoned fox farms from the 20s, and remnants of ruined mines and canneries, and failed fishing camps.

Jay is absolutely right about the community aspect of Seasteading.  Even sailing an engineless boat requires a lot of manufactured stuff, unless you want to weave your own sailcloth, gather pitch for seam caulking, etc., etc.  Sure some of that is fun if you have unlimited time, but at some point you just might want to get out and sail, and anyway you will want some company for the long winter nights!

Modesty be damned - Jay's book is a great read, and if you get him drunk he just might autograph a copy of "Sea-Steading"  for you, though it is truue he may sign it "potato farmer."

Click here to view the attachment

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#25 [url]

Apr 2 10 5:50 PM

Hey M,

Beautiful EMILY! You probably knew Len Feldman on the original JUNO? She's still there in Haines, last I saw (my Bro' lives there).

Back-country squatters actually go back about 10K+ years. They've found remains of squatters in the karst caves along the coast coextant with the ice age. A rich history for briar patch society types.

Dave Z

Quote    Reply   

#26 [url]

Apr 2 10 6:07 PM

Of course I know Len. Unfortunately Juno has been sold a couple of times and is showing signs of neglect, although nothing that could not be reversed with a little elbow grease and some basic skills (and of course, money). A friend of ours currently owns her, and she cannot sail the boat or maintain it alone. She would like to sell the boat, but hopes to get it in better shape first. As a Sea-Steading platform for your area it might work if it could be acquired inexpensively.  It sails reasonably well, is tough as hell, one could use local woods for repairs and modifications, and the small single cylinder Saab diesel is actually a very efficient and reliable engine, though most "motor-sailor" types would find it underpowered.  I actually prefer wooden boats for cold weather areas as the added insulation is nice, and surfaces are not so cold to the touch.  Also decent lumber is cheaper and more readily available (I used lots of local yellow cedar in my boat) up there than fiberglassing supplies - and a hell of a lot nicer to work with.

Somewhat off topic here I suppose.

Quote    Reply   

#27 [url]

Apr 3 10 1:29 PM

I agree that JUNO would make a fine sea-stead platform. A rough-tough, go-anywhere vessel.

I'm wondering if there's an area for posting opportunities, such as this, on the site (assuming your friend is willing). Lots of opportunities get spotted by folks not ready to leap on them...

If you'd like to continue the off topic side of our conversation, you can get ahold of me through our website at

Dave Z

Quote    Reply   

#28 [url]

Apr 5 10 5:26 PM

Hi Kim,

I'm interested in hearing more about your project (barge based mini-farms).

Are you thinking of a fleet of them? Will they all be laid out similar, or be specialized?

How will they be moved? What are the harbor/mooring conditions in your area (and where are you)? Do you see them as essentially fixed, nomadic or on a 'circuit'?

What kind of community do you have in mind... the WWOOFer housing makes it sound fairly substantial?

Dave Z

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help