Last year my friend Margo Pellegrino paddled an outrigger canoe from Miami to Maine to raise awareness of marine conservation issues. Along her route she made many friends, and enlisted many people to the cause. She decided she wanted to take some action to show solidarity with my efforts, and sent me this email:
I figure that while you’re out to sea leading a minimalist life, I will do my best to live as minimally as possible…
1)I will not even entertain the thought of buying anything in a plastic bottle–be it water, juice or soda. I will be conscious of reusing, reducing, and recycling
2) when running my daily route, I’ll wear a Madgringo Hawaiian shirt (sharing in the “aloha” spirit here) and pick up trash. I’ll also wear this when I’m out on my long weekend paddles, when I’m practicing with the team, and when I’m racing.
3) I will collect non-recyclable plastic bottle caps–all varieties, and hopefully can encourage others to do the same (our local cub scouts are doing this….
4) when doing presentations, I will mention you and your trip–and if I’m not wearing a Surfrider T-shirt, I’ll be wearing one of my Madgringo shirts!
I mention Margo’s initiative in the hope that other people might also want to take some kind of pledge for action along these lines, at least for the duration of my voyage – and hopefully beyond!
Do write in and let me know what you decide to do, and I will pass on the best ideas via my blog.
I continue in my attempts to nurse the watermaker back to health. Today I checked that no more water was finding its way into the compartment, and ran the watermaker for about half an hour. Although still not sounding quite the same as normal, the tone of the feed pump is gradually getting closer to its usual hearty timbre.
So the equally unattractive options of abandoning my venture due to watermaker failure, or having to resort to drinking my own urine, recede. I have a dear friend, who prepared all my lovely dehydrated food snacks for my voyage, who swears by the medicinal value of drinking a glass of one’s own urine each day. But I think I’d struggle. Maybe with some cranberry juice. Or something stronger. Vodka Pee-tini?
Although the waves are still too big and dangerous to row across, this afternoon I thought I would try to set up the sea anchor in such a way as to stem my eastwards drift. It turned out to be a lot more challenging than I thought. Long story short, after snapping one makeshift cleat, inflicting a painful injury on my right index finger, and getting seriously chilly feet, I decided it was time to return to my cabin to warm up and rethink my strategy.
Doing anything at all on deck continues to be challenging. Imagine living life on a mechanical bucking bronco in perpetual motion, while having bucketfuls of icy cold saltwater thrown over you at unexpected intervals, and you’ll more or less get the picture…
(Photo of Margo, courtesy Margo Pellegrino)