From Long Beach with Pics: Back at Sea, Owner's Cabin & 'Inconvenient Truths'!!

One Point Zero
Howard Fairbank
Sat 27 Aug 2016 19:04




                                                                        San Franciso as we 'sped' by at 4am this morning, late for Long Beach!



                                                                                                                                                            ANL Bindaree's position today:     36:58.50N 122:50.40W



              Back at Sea, Owner’s Cabin & ‘Inconvenient Truths’!!



The Ocean Diary


We are finally on our way, and yeah in the place of concrete jungle, I’m in the fringe of ocean wilderness, with even a few whales around, as we sail down the Californian coast on track for Long Beach The ship was delayed by more than a day, which would certainly have stressed the ‘go, go, go..’ flying everywhere passenger! With ‘The Owner’s Cabin’ my new home, and a whole lot of new ship and port novelties to deal with, I hardly felt the ‘lost’ day!






  Yeah, when Vedran, the very friendly, Croatian 3rd Officer welcomed me on board and showed me to the Owner’s Cabin, I couldn’t believe the relative luxury of my new ‘cell’: That’s a pic of the ‘lounge/ office’ area, complete with my own  Flat screen DVD player and separate music system! Separate bedroom, and en-suite bathroom!  Far more square metres than I need, but being human I’ll take all I am can and use it! Ha-ha, can’t help myself hey!


Gee, a new ship, a whole new crew, and I can feel it will take me a few days to get ‘back’ to the wonderful familiarity and belonging that I had on Cap Capricorn! It takes a while to build trust with the crew, but after just over a day now I feel like I’m accepted by the Captain and the three officers, but still got some work to do with the most important people, the ‘Cook’ and the ‘Messman’. (These titles are the ones used on the ship.) Things seem a bit more formal than the past galley operations, and hey for a boy who likes informal, self-help, snacking rather than strict formal meal times, I’m going to have to work on relationships!! 


Picture from my Porthole looking towards San Francisco and The Bridge!        Nicely equipped gym that will help me maintain my level of 'physical intensity'!!



Those of you who followed my June Cap Capricorn voyage to Long Beach, may remember the ‘spot the difference’ competition mid Pacific with the engine problem? Well here is today’s ‘spot the difference’ (above) from my new ANL Bindaree cabin (luxury prison cell!) ‘port hole’, and it’s not ‘just’ the fact that we are in port, nor that that’s San Francisco and Golden Gate in the distance!! (That’s a view from our Oakland harbour berth.) This ‘Difference’ is a ‘whole voyage experience’ difference that has really disorientated me! Answer in the next blog…



We had a 4am departure from Oakland, and having now done a few port departures, and so when the alarm went at 3 30, and thinking about my still very newbie status, I was in two minds as whether to get up for the occasion or not? Forcing myself up, was well rewarded, as I almost always find: Effort and combined with a curious exploring mind does! After standing silently at the back of the bridge until the tugs had been discarded, and the ‘tricky Oakland Bridge had been passed, I made a contact approach to the Oakland pilot who was in charge of our safe departure from the San Francisco Bay area.


Well we just hit it off straight away, and we spoke almost no stop for the next half an hour as we crossed The Bay, went under the Golden Gate Bridge, and finally to a warm hand shake as he said he “had to rush now” to head down the seven flights of stairs from the bridge to be picked up by the now alongside, Pilot boat!  In this piloting time we passed two other ships coming the opposite way, and he was on and off the radio but seemingly on low stress, ‘auto pilot’ confirming that our departure was “easy, as the weather was calm, and this is a small ship”!


Being an avid outdoorsman himself, we spoke about wilderness, Nature and the outdoors but the real connection came when I mentioned Siberia, and it turns out he had been to the same Kamchatka Peninsula, in Siberia on a trout fishing trip. When I said I was just starting out as an activist, he appropriately asked me: "So what are you activating???"  Well the full on One Point Zero story followedand the signs on huis face were very familiar: He knew the picture, and I didn't have to spend time on the concept, just filled in The Facts, to which he was deeply shocked, saying: "Hmmm, that's worse than I figured!"  Waiting for a quiet passgae channel ahead, I leaned over tapping him on the shoulder in kindred spirit style and said:  "Sorry mate, but do you know that if all 7.6 billion of us lived like the average American we would need Five Point Zero planets??"  In what seemd like a confusion bewteen shock, guilt, and embarrassment, he switched between shaking and nodding his head, in a sombre acknowledgement. I know now that acknowledgement is a wee step from behavioural change, and herein lies my 'painful' USA exploration experience!


We'd had probably the most frank conversation I have had about USA, Capitalist System, Planet rape and pillage, and he implied that there was nothing he could do, saying he was thankful he has experienced as much as he has, "before it is totally destroyed"! He finished off saying: "I admire what you are trying to do, but you are taking on a huge issue, and I wish you the best of luck!!" I know exactly what he was saying, and I felt the 'admiration comment' was almost like a "You silly boy" kick in the teeth.... No malice meant, here was a real nice guy, he was just offering the best polite conversation ending piece he could.....




The Inconvenient Truths


Yeah, now to the “Inconvenient Truths”, and there are quite a few, and seemingly ‘Very’ Inconvenient!!!


The first one is potentially going to affect ‘your’ journey across the Pacific with me?? How seriously it does is up to my writing skills and you low or high need to be visually (rather than optically) entertained!!  Having just organised an email sending solution on the ship, I have now discovered that I cannot send photos!   Sadly, this is just the way their system works.  (I have just taken some shore leave here in Long Beach to send this, hence the pics, maybe the last ones!)




I am still hopeful I will have a pic solution for 'us' before we leave Long Beach and normal civilisation, and luxury internet infrastructure!   … Cos I like pics too…!!  


Oh well this is ‘a truth’ and like One put Six and ever increasing ‘Truth’ ‘we’ have to deal with ‘The Facts’, transform our expectations and find a new vision of success!  For me I’ll be trying to make up for the ‘no photos’ with richer text content, and for you, well you’ll decide how you deal with it, hey??: I would like to think that my message is much more important than the pictures, and that you will ‘still be around’ when we arrive in New Zealand??!  So there we go, the challenge is firmly in my court and the realities of how I deal with it and how you respond will be the realities! 


At heart I am ultimately a fatalist, and I do see this Inconvenient Truth as being an ‘assisting intervention’ to help ‘us’ move along the One Point Zero path ‘we’ need to move along……  It’s an unknown journey for me and just like I felt in 2004 when I set out on my 12 year advententure to The Truths, it feels scary, exciting, and a true journey of exploration. Like back then one without a detailed plan, but with a huge dose of ‘Ulysses factor’, passion, inner belief, and ‘Instinctual’ Vision.



Well the second ‘Inconvenient Truth’ is an even more personal and unexpected one: It turns out I’m the only passenger on board, and will be for the whole duration of the voyage to Auckland!  I was under the impression there was going to one other, but maybe ‘something urgent’ cropped up and they decided to ‘Fly instead’??!!  Ha-ha!



This initially felt like a serious ‘Inconvenient Truth’ as I really enjoyed the ‘passenger friendship’ diversity on the Cap Capricorn voyage, but with my fatalistic cap on, I’m saying to myself:  “Maybe this return voyage is for Real reflection on what the time in USA was all about, and you need to do it alone and without ‘distraction’…??”  Hmmm, that could make a lot of sense, but it wasn’t what I would have chosen, and doesn’t seem like the ‘easiest way’ back by ship to New Zealand??  Ha-ha, we all know that easiest, is very seldom the best for us easily socially distract-able humans, and this is going to test or disprove that… 


It will be quite different to Cap Capricorn blog I’m sure about that, if not only because I have new perspective…!  Stay tuned, all I can guarantee you is the authentic Howard on an extreme adventure!


I look to your feedback as a follower as to how the ‘solo passenger’ blog meets with your approval (or not!)??


Putting all two Inconvenient Truths above together with my luxurious cabin, and the amazingly great gym, maybe in hindsight I’ll conclude that I have been delivered  the most Convenient Truths for The Best outcome! We shall see…..



The last ‘Inconvenient Truth’ (for today!!) goes back to leaving Oakland, Al Gore, and his books:  There I was in this amazing used book store in Oakland: Probably the best used book store, and one of the biggest I have ever been into. I love book stores, and browsing around I came across a small section titled:  “Nature, Ecology and Sustainability”.  There were three Al Gore books, all in pristine condition yet many years old. The earliest was published in 1998, I think?  The Inconvenient Truth, Our Choice, and Earth the Balance. 


I picked each one up paged through it and had this huge emotion turmoil inside me… On the one hand I felt my One Point Zero fires get further stoked up, and on the other hand, I thought to myself:  “Here an ex- vice President of the USA has put out these books, made a movie forecasting / stating largely what is happening and what One Point Zero is all about yet actually ‘Nothing has Changed’ as a result?  The One Point Six and ever increasing situation is on the same trajectory is was back then when all these books and the movie came out, and it looks like it is set to continue the trend…..


“And he was ‘The Vice President’ of the USA” I thought:  A person who had almost the best the connections, influence and power to get real change happening. Many of us admire his work, and he certainly has made a name for himself with his books and their message. Maybe the real time for understanding the effectiveness of his message is coming, or has its window been missed. It would seem that he has moved on frustrated, disillusioned, or ‘having done his bit’?


Alongside Al Gore’s books was a book that I find extremely useful for those who want a deeper understanding of Nature and our Planet: “The Revenge of Gaia’, by James Lovelock. I'd encourage anyone wanting to get a Truths perspective on Nature and the functioning of The Planet in quite a spiritual way to read this book. After all we don't have a sustainability problem we have 'A Spiritual' problem:  We don't know where we belong in the context of our home, Nature and the Planet!



BTW:  I don't like the headline:  "Why the earth is fighting back…"  Nature doesn't care about us and doesn't "fight" just does what Nature has to do, to keep 'Gaia' alive…!



Ok, there we go this was just a reconnection from the ship, and to let you know ‘the state of the nation’ in my new home