Sunny Mood

Anna – I’ve been thinking more about your question since I wrote yesterday’s blog about how complicated or simple we make life for ourselves. It occurs to me that there are some lucky people who just “get” this simplicity thing. They don’t have to try to live simply. They just do, both practically and psychologically. My mother is a heck of a lot better at it than I am. She just gets on with things without over-complicating them, and is faintly mystified by all my navel-gazing.

Because there are those of us who tend to complicate even the simplest decisions. I don’t know why. Maybe just the way that we’re wired. I can tie myself in knots over the easiest questions, looking at them from every angle until I drive myself almost crazy.

Over the last few years I’ve got better. Not cured, but better. I started acting more intuitively, as a complement rather than a replacement for the more cerebral approach, and it has certainly helped. When I’m deciding on a course of action I check in first with my gut or heart or whatever you want to call it, to see if it has anything to say on the subject. If I feel a strong instinctual urge, I go with that. If not, then I resort to using my head – and that’s when things start getting complicated.

I don’t know if this is relevant to your original question, but I put it out there in case you or anybody else finds it helpful.

Other Stuff:

I am slowly getting Sedna shipshape again, gradually ticking off the items in the “Issues Log”. The sun shone for a few hours this afternoon, so the repaired electrical system was able to power up the batteries sufficiently for me to run the watermaker again. That is a huge relief.

Then my Solaradata tracker unit stopped working. The battery had gone flat, and wouldn’t recharge. I found the spare recharger, but it still wouldn’t work. I have a spare Solaradata unit, but I didn’t fancy its chances as it got completely soaked in a “waterproof” bag that had flooded. But I tried it out anyway, and ta-da! It worked. So Mum and my weatherman can once again see where I am.

I finally found the spare recharger cable for the Xacti video camera, and charged it up only to find that the “on” switch doesn’t work. I’m not so impressed with this latest model of the waterproof Xacti. The previous ones were much better – I preferred being able to take the battery out to recharge it rather than having to leave the camera itself agape while recharging, you didn’t have to take the battery out in order to get to the the SD card, and the buttons were better. Change isn’t always progress.

Thank you to Baldwin Hopmans (and others) for the Sunsaver Duo manual. It’s too big for me to receive it onboard, but Vic Phillipson is going to look through it to see if there is a way to do a soft reset on the unit if it zonks out again. Good to know you’re still following my adventures, and much love to you and Aey.

I now have a significant pile of kit that I have trashed so far this voyage. Or rather, that seawater and salt have trashed. This is another dimension of spending so long at sea: the longer I am out here, the more likely stuff is to deteriorate. If it is metal, it rusts. If it is anything else, it goes mouldy. Such is ocean life. But it upsets my good green heart, as I know that most of these things probably can’t be repaired.

Oh, and another thing that broke: the bedpan. Today I accidentally dropped a water bottle overboard, and in the scramble to retrieve it (successful) I must have crushed the “disposable” bedpan that has lasted for 4 years. It now has a hole in it, which is not good. Luckily I have a spare. But really, when is this war of attrition of onboard objects going to cease?!

To those who let me know the details of the lunar eclipse – thank you so much for the information. I dutifully set my alarm for 3.30am, only to find that the sky was completely overcast. It cleared somewhat around 6am, but the eclipse was over by then. I hope you had better luck where you were!

Quote for today: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Calvin Coolidge (American 30th President of the United States, 1872-1933)

Photo: cheering up: sunshine boosts spirits as well as batteries!

Sponsored Miles: Stephen Borchert – thank you.

17 Comments

  • Fascinating replies Ms Savage as normal, you see even in the middle of the ocean I can dissect your inner most thoughts!!!
    What made me think about it, was your questions around how to get the message out…and whether social media actually works – which by the way I think it does but in a niche way. You need to choose the right tool for the right message etc etc

    Anyway back to simplicity…

    I love learning and exploring – that is why I love books. I don’t think I read them for the answers, I think I read them for the questions…but sometimes if you spend your life exploring do you ever get to….plant your flag (not sure that analogy worked by hey ho)
    I was wondering whether because of the time you have alone, does it raise more questions than answers…and give you too many areas to think about when you get back? Or can you take that learning that you gain from the books and focus to maybe 5 key things that you WILL achieve when you are back on dry land. Then your social media is all about achieving those very specific goals rather than more general…

    Anyway loving our little natters, though have to say a bar is a little easier than a blog…so if you could row a little quicker that would be good! Lol

  • Yay, a photo! A happy photo!

    I’m enjoying the questions and answers, Roz & Anna.comments.
    It’s amazing that with the vast numbers of thoughts we humans have in a day that many of us have to take time out of our busy lives to simply think. 

  • “I somehow feel the need to include rocks in the web of connection too, even though they are not conventionally “alive”. What do you think?”
    It’s a difficult question. Life doesn’t exist by itself. Life depends on the inanimate physical world, rocks, sunlight, water, nutrients. So in this sense all of Earth’s living systems are inseparable from the non-living systems, making them all interconnected. But not mutually dependent and not necessarily sharing a common fate. Most non-living parts don’t “need” organisms, but organisms need these inanimate parts. (That said, interestingly, continental rocks are lighter than oceanic rocks and therefore “float” higher on Earth’s mantle, “sticking out” above the ocean’s surface. The reason they were made lighter is due to the activity of life early on when they were made.) But when it comes to the intangible “spark,” only life has it. Where does it come from and where does it go? Nobody knows and I believe nobody will ever know. I’m glad we don’t know. It’s a suspense mystery novel, and we’ll just have to wait till the end to find out. 

    • Prof. Brian Cox discussed some of these issues in the recent Wonders of the Universe series on BBC2. I had a sleepless night after one program pondering the enormity of sentient life being decended from one homogenous mass of energy/matter. From that point of view, at an atomic level life is made from rock and rocks are made of life. Energy amd matter are recycled in perpetuum. However, he would suggest that our desire to understand the universe is the ‘intangible spark’, the cosmos made concious.

      “Just as we, and all life on earth, stand on this tiny speck,
      adrift in infinite space, so life in the universe will only exist for a
      fleeting, bright instant in time. Because life, just like the stars and
      the planets and the galaxies, is just a temporary structure on the long
      road from order to disorder.
      But that doesn’t make us insignificant, because we are the cosmos
      made conscious. Life is the means by which the universe understands
      itself. And for me, our true significance lies in our ability, and our
      desire, to understand and explore this beautiful universe.” — Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe
      For a poetic rather than a rational approach, I turn to T.S. Elliott:We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploringWill be to arrive where we startedAnd know the place for the first time.

      • Aimee, thanks for your thoughts on the matter. These are interesting things to think about. 

        I really don’t feel comfortable with putting humanity on any pedestal at all, particularly the “human consciousness” pedestal, as if that were the end-all plane of reference for everything else in the universe. Sounds very Earth-centric Judeo-Christian to me. That’s the original trap of our species-level hubris that’s so easy to get caught in. Other organisms are most definitely conscious but don’t count for making the cosmos conscious? We’re here. We happened. Our consciousness is advanced, but doubtfully unique. Let’s just enjoy it and not carry it too far, or, as Roz just said, navel-gaze obsessively. The reason I’m so sensitive to putting people first is not because I don’t like people. The problem is when we falsely elevate our stature it allows us to justify doing all kinds of really bad things to other species (and peoples for that matter) and dig our own environmental grave in the process. 

  • I think we often have trouble making decisions because we don’t want to be wrong without realizing that there may be no wrong answer, usually it is no big deal if we make the wrong decision, and is often very easy to correct it.

    We just want to be perfect in an imperfect world.

    • Jerry Critter,  “We just want to be perfect in an imperfect world.”

      One of my favorite replies is: I never learn the value of being right until I’m wrong.   In other words: learn from your mistakes, correct them, then continue on.   The paradox here is that people may appreciate the value of the lesson you learn, but rarely forgive the mistake you make.

      Blame vs. Reward = Easier to blame (condemn/stagnate) than to reward (thank/make progress) anyone for anything.  lol

      Ron

  • Hi Roz,  
    Yes we still follow you day by day, but sometimes on a busy day there is no time to read your blog. Then we read it the day after and feel a bit ashame to read the “old” news.

    Maybe there is a easy way to reset your solar charger.
    As I understand you need to unscrew all 6 wires to power down the unit, then connect all 6 wires again and hope the unit will come back to live.

    I don’t know the wiring in the boat, but I assume each battery has w main switch or a main fuse. To power down the charger you can just switch off both batteries (use the switch or remove the fuse). in the daytime this will not work because the unit will get power from the sun. So just do it in the night (don’t forget to switch on a flashlight first) the unit will get no power with you switch off both batteries.

    If this works it will be much more easy as unscrewing 6 wires (and reducing the risk of making a shortcut on the wires.)

    Keep on rowing!!!!

    Aey and Baldwin

    p.s. we safe some scrimps for you

  • Thoughts and being at peace becomes harder as we increase our adventures and being more worldly.  It is just a bigger challenge because there are new opportunities and ideas which we had not thought about nor experienced.  Just one person’s view!!!  I crossed the Atlantic on a sail boat so I can experience personally some of your thoughts.  Keeping rowing and continue to challenge us with your thoughts.  Bob 

  • I’ll make one comment on the idea of including “rocks in the web of connection” then move on. For those interested in this concept check into the work of James Lovelock and his Gaia Hypothesis. The idea proposed in the early 1970’s was popularized with the publication of the book “Gaia, A new look at life on Earth” published in 1979 and discusses this concept in detail.

    From my viewpoint the thread of the discussion here only deals with one aspect of living simply. While individual peace of mind and personal satisfaction may benefit by changing the way we make decisions, it is the impact of those decisions, whether they be based on “gut” reactions or intense cerebral cogitation, that ultimately defines how simply we live. Think of the bumper sticker adage, “Live Simply, that others may Simply Live.” Every day we make choices that effect the planet as a viable place to live. We can choose to eat food shipped thousands of miles or chose not to, we can buy new items because they are the fad or we can make do with what we have until it is worn out. These are the ideas that so often appear in Roz’s words and works; we need to all develop “life philosophy’s” that result in making the low impact choice no matter what mechanism we use to get there.

    A little philosophy goes a long way so I’ll stop here.

    Row on Roz. 

  • Roz, I like your comments on simplicity, something I’ve been striving for to achieve in my life….. but complicating factors get in the way.  I think simplicity is why I am so fascinated with your adventures on the oceans.  It also reminds me of two of my favorite quotes:

    “Simplify, simplify….” – Thoreau

    “One simplify should suffice…”- Emerson, in response

  • Roz, I have had recurring thoughts of simplifying ever since you sent me the January 2010 Transition Network Newsletter (perhaps even before that) … I am seeing and hearing more and more of it (is this the Law of Attraction?) and am feeling the urge from deep inside to make the transition to Transition Towns. My roommate just now told me she arranged for permaculture expert Diana Leafe Christian to speak at our City Hall last August and that she wrote “Ecovillages, Intentional Communities, Transition Towns, & Love” which is published at http://bit.ly/Step2Transition. Not sure simply relocating would make life simpler, but I definitely feel that a person could more easily transition to a simpler way of thinking and behaving in the right environment. I have my eye on VT. 

    You wrote yesterday: “… having a strong life purpose makes everyday life very simple. If something will help further that purpose, I do it. If it doesn’t, I don’t. Priorities become very clear.” I am rearranging and aligning my life, and ironically have become “attached” to “transition” Rozlings, check it out … http://www.DianaLeafeChristian.org

    Roz, did you slingshot out of the top as predicted on Day 42?

  • Sadly you can’t reset the Sunsaver Duo itself – just the remote remote meter (if you have one). But you can switch from user-settings to factory defaults by switching dip 4 switch to off. I also would try switch 5 (most right of the 5 switches) – to eliminate interference/noise). 

    The remote meter can be reseted. But i am not sure if you have one. If, just press L and R together for a few seconds. To tun diagnosis: Press “C” for 5 seconds.

    But it’s unlikely that the remote meter is the reason for charging problems. So what you can do is:  The most problems with this controller itself come from a bad grounding. Please check this first! Follow the black or blue wire from the controller to the battery and see that it is connected well. There should be a connection between al two battery grounds. I think you will have done this anyways. I don’t know the exactly problem you have – drop me a email when you need a special solution. Whatever happens: I think you can load your batteries without a loading controller in case it doesn’t work anymore! So a not working controller means not the end of your journey. In worst case connect panels to the batteries … disconnect from time to time (hourly) to measure the voltage of the battery. You must prevent over loading off course then!

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