Auckland Ahoy! Nature, Power and Domination at Sea!

One Point Zero
Howard Fairbank
Sun 11 Sep 2016 03:46



ANL Bindaree's position today:     30:59.50S 179:33.40E


'From the Bridge'    ('The Last time!’)



     Nature’s Art: A Celestial Rainbow Fountain!                               Sunset yesterday:  Just love the Intense Skies out here.


Well as Auckland gets closer, emotions are running higher and just like that One Point Six and ever increasing graph they look set to continue rising with our current Pacific Ocean intensity!  So today’s blog, being the last one from the Ship, I’ll be focusing it around the Sea, and its wonder!


Life on ANL Bindaree today is very much different from the Trade Wind environment of a few days ago: This is personal intensity at play, man… Fuelling my full human flourishing!


For some ‘strange’ reason this morning I woke at 2am, thought of all you ‘unlucky’ guys out there in your ‘un-rockable’ beds, and felt inwardly inspired to head up to the bridge an check thing out: Being earlier than normal, Andrei the 2nd Officer was a bit surprised to see me and probably wondering my motive said: “Morning Howard, perfect timing!’


It immediately clicked and I responded: “Are we just crossing the 180 degree line and changing hemispheres?” He said: “Come see here” and pointed to the GPS showing 179 59.9 degrees West!  Just seconds before we were in the Eastern Hemisphere. That’s timing beyond co-incidence, and bode well for my day! Small things for little boys, but it started a spiritually charged day!


I went outside the bridge control room into the black, clouded night where the 40-50 knots (approx. same mph) wind made it challenging to stand upright. It was quite a bit cooler and I could see the white caps, the occasional breaking swell, and then every so often a crash followed by a rumbling shudder as the bow ploughed into a roller!   I could hear the roar of the wind on the ships super structure, and with the ships motion I could just feel power of Nature’s onslaught. 


I stood out there for quite a few minutes, letting my senses take it all in and deliver the thoughts and feelings. I was drawn in to feeling what it would be like to be out there alone, on ‘Allone’? (My ‘yacht home’ (the only home!) waiting for me in Nelson?) As I engaged in that thought I had the well-known cocktail of adventure emotions come up: Excitement, apprehension, awe, fear, conflicting alone-ness and one-ness, a sense of a strange power exchange, and most of all a feeling of insignificant human-ness and yet belonging out there; A belonging to Nature and this Planet.  Strangely as I turned to go back inside I had this ‘unsettling’ counter reaction come up:  “Are you real, or a traitor, or coward?: You are not ‘there’ you are ‘here’ but you are pretending you’re there. That’s not real belonging.” That un-nerved me!


Coming back inside, to the un-naturalness of the air conditioned ‘control room’ the control panel ‘told me’ that the speed was down to 15 knots, and Andrei confirmed that even the Big Machine was struggling against Nature: The Captain had just made a decision to submit, and to reduce speed for the safety of ship and crew! 


So there we go, we will now be delayed getting into Auckland: Due to Nature! For me there is no schedule, we get there when we get there: I long learnt long ago not to be dependent on schedules ‘with the sea’.



      Auckland in sight: On the chart at least!                                        Without Nature we are Nothing: Slow down for whales when                                                                                                                         entering the greater Auckland area. Obey the 10 knot speed limit!  


Over a 5am coffee in the galley, ‘The Captain’ told me that he had informed the Charterer of ‘HIS unilateral decision’ to cut speed, and that ‘they’ didn’t even have the courtesy to reply! ‘We’ jokingly concluded that ‘they’ were now angry anthropocentrics: Disbelieving that ‘they’ could be ‘Trumped by Nature’, and instead making ‘The Captain’ and his conservatism the cause!


An hour later I was back up on the bridge for sunrise and ‘our regular’ threesome, early morning chat:  The Chief Engineer, The Chief Officer and myself. First I went outside to have a second injection of raw, intense Nature that included the breaking day. Always a special time for the sailor at sea, and I connected with that feeling of relief, inspiration and new energy one gets having ‘made it’ through another dark night at sea, and  dawn shows the spirit of a new day!




Sunrise 'Prism' this morning.                                                                   After Sunrise: Cloud Intensity in Bloom!


The ‘guys’ now know my sailing / adventure pursuits and my plan to head to Fiji in the next few weeks, and each day I see them trying to understand ‘this guy, Howard’ and what it must be like sailing out there alone. It’s been so interesting watching their journey to understand how their sea life on the Big Machines compares to the solo sailor’s life on the small vulnerable, wind powered insignificance!


Today with the rough conditions outside, they really wanted to know: ‘What it’s like out there in this?’ What’s the biggest wind and seas I have been in?, etc, etc.  With storms and ‘Intensity of the Sea’ being the focus the conversation moved to the chart table and Cosmin visually shared his experience of passing through the notorious Straits of Magellan deep down south around Tierra del Fuego.  I was there in 2012, and so the story sharing flowed. There were moments of kindred spirit overlap, as the sea and Nature’s Grand Adventure bonded us in adventure spirit.


From the questions I sensed they knew there was something quite different from the bridge on the Big Machine, and all its crew to the nakedness of a sailing, short-handed on ‘little Allone’! They saw my high level of intensity and excitement and provoking a response I said:  You guys as ‘The Chiefs’, have power up here on the bridge man, and I have nothing down there on my own!” 


There was silence, and I sensed being ‘men of the sea’, they knew the answer but it was hard to accept: Power lay in overcoming the potential incapacity of ones fear, perceived personal inadequacies  and in accepting one’s insignificance in submission. Rather than trying to dominate through hierarchal, material or economic power over other humans, and using brute force and ‘protective technology’ against Nature.


Pic 8

      More white water than days before!                                                         Flocks of petrels arrived revelling on the swell updrafts


Humans and Power


Seeking to feel ‘powerful’ is fundamental human need, identified by Nietzsche and many others. But what is this feeling of ‘powerfulness’? Since leaving so called powerful jobs in the corporate world, and getting naked in front of Nature, I have realised there are two types of Power: The first is anthropocentric Power derived through control of others or things, or by ‘human ranking’ success  in some competitive pursuit: Either overt or covert, whether that be business, sport, social standing, conspicuous consumption, etc.


The other Power is a 'Power within', derived from overcome one’s own fears and self- decided limitations and be able to stand powerful as a mere creature within Nature’s Grand Scheme of things. This type of power is real power as nobody can take it away from you, and it’s not dependent on anyone’s vote, one’s popularity, or accolades from others. More importantly it is derived from being fully Human, like the Albatross is fully Albatross, and the Lion, fully Lion.


The Sea which covers more of our Planet than land is one of Nature’s biggest and best human levelling grounds.  A place where one will not survive long working on anthropocentric power, or with values and beliefs that don’t fit with Nature. Out on the ocean there is no goal of happiness, just deep intensity.  One has to accept one’s insignificance, and find that deeper source of Power, one that accepts vulnerability, uncertainty, and ones place within Nature’s hierarchy and system’s rules.


I know from my capitalist, anthropocentric days in ‘big business’ how seemingly powerful and all conquering ‘That Other System’ can make one think one is. I can see so clearly now that when deep inside the capitalist system one is almost brainwashed to believe that this ‘power’ IS the ultimate ‘Success power’: To believe anything other than ‘the fact’ that ‘humans are in charge’ and ‘winning is everything’ would be admitting one is not being fully human! 

Faster, better, bigger, never enough is the never ending journey to increasing Success!  In ‘That System’ Nature was acknowledged but mostly as a supportive and ‘partitioned’ source of relaxation, rejuvenation, inspiration and awe, and a recreational ‘playground’ to be enjoyed. Nature was to be used, and where necessary, ‘conquered’.


“The British scaled earth's highest peak. The exploit was widely hailed as the "conquest of the Everest." It was not realized and is often not realized still, that the word "conquest" was totally out of place in the context of the peak which is considered an object of reverence by many. One does not "conquer" nature. Nature humours at times, man's curiosity. Conquest is, therefore, an irreverent word." (Taken from Guy Sormen’s ‘The Genius of India’)


‘Conquest of the Sea’ is not possible even for the most ‘powerful’ anthropocentric. Maybe by only seeing Nature and the Planet as the land part of The Planet, Anthropocentrics are blinded into thinking the whole of 'Nature is for them'. Surely if 'they' think in terms of the whole Planet and Nature's breadth and depth, with its vast, powerful Oceans and Seas, control and domination is not a human possibility?  Nor a powerful pursuit?  Continuing in the maritime analogy:


As one built bigger protective ‘Ships’ around one, one insulated oneself from the experience connection to real power, and yet the more powerful ‘The Ship’ was the more one could dominate and the more powerful one seemingly became!   Eventually I guess I saw that without ’A Ship’ I was almost ‘powerless’ a meek and mild, wimp. How could ‘my power’ be so fickle to just evaporate with the loss of ‘My’ Ship!  Now I can see so clearly: One has to find the ‘other power’ to be really ‘Securely Powerful’….


"The Sea has Never been Friendly to Man"


Pic 9

   An Expectant 'African' Indian Ocean


The Sea has never been Friendly to Man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.”

Joseph Conrad


From an anthropocentric context this form of Power from Nature would seem unworthy of pursuit, but unlike on land where Human ‘virtual domination’ of Nature seems simple, the oceans provide anthropocentric humans with a challenge to their core Environmental Identity.  In their vast openness and every changing, restlessness, the oceans present the insignificant anthropocentric with a no basis for attempting to dominate. In this context the ocean is a place that all anthropocentrics should be encouraged to explore the basis of a new power through a deeper understanding of their relationship with Nature. Maybe a Ship is a start, but the learning will be best done alone on the vast ocean, however I sense, in the fear of losing their significance, most are far from ready for that harsh ego breaking experience by Nature!


In honing it’s western ideology, dominant society is increasingly use its amazing and diverse ‘Ships’ as weapons of war in the pursuit of conquering Nature. Seemingly becoming more ‘powerful’ but that’s a destructive path to the wrong Power and in the process we are becoming more and more insulted from experiencing the Real Power of naked submission to Nature. The pursuit of Happiness and Pleasure combined with increasing Affluence is taking all of ‘us’  further and further away from the nakedness of raw Nature. We are losing the courage and desire to nakedly experience ‘uncomfortable Nature’. In this nakedness we will find where we truly belong, and be to enable us to access that other, everlasting Personal Power.


Pic 10

Alone Mid North Atlantic: fixing a problem on the mast.


I meet many who have found the path to this ‘Without Nature we are Nothing’ power, and I sense if all of us chose to just explore more deeply the spiritual basis for our relationship with Nature, we will find One Point Zero is a natural condition for our flourishing earthly existence and I sense the world would be a much better place for ALL of US!  


PS:  . (“Allone” the name of my yacht is supposed to make you think whether we are ‘Alone’ or ‘All One’ in this, One point Six world of ‘Natures’!!?  You can say ‘Ours’ if you are an Anthropcentric, its ‘Yours’ then, it’s not mine! … Hope ya get it, and have a chuckle before the serious thought!!


Thank you ‘ANL Bindaree’ for this inspiration from ‘The SEA’


Switzerland Referendum and New Zealand Decision 


The ‘One Point Zero Referendum’ Vote day in Switzerland is less than two weeks away. In the next week I’ll become a virtual Swiss citizen, and in a blog I’ll take you through the thoughts / decision processes Swiss citizens will be dealing with. It will be a great learning opportunity, and also you should find it interesting thinking through the ‘what ifs’ should your country have a future vote / debate ‘on going’ for a One Point Zero, National vision or not? 


Pic 11

Tomorrow this time I’ll be a land lubber again, and looking to maybe make New Zealand my future home. Given my One Point Zero, activism pursuit a key parameter for settling in a country would be its current One Point Zero status, and secondly whether the culture / way of life can assist me meet my personal One Point Zero, ‘way of life’, ambitions. The graph above shows the ‘Ecological Footprint Demand vs Bio Capacity Availability’ picture for New Zealand. (Thanks to Global Footprint Network  for the graph. Get their free download and see what your country's picture looks like. )


Surprise, surprise!!  New Zealand is one of the few developed world countries  with a sub One Point Zero profile. Ie New Zealand has more bio-capacity than its Nation’s footprints demand.


This is great news as a first check.  Remember this is a total nation picture, so I need to dig a bit deeper to find out where I fit into the One Point Zero Gap: The difference between the largest Ecological Footprint group of people and the smallest Footprint group. Sort of similar to the Wealth Gap concept, but this based on Ecological Footprint rather than Wealth. (Read more here.


Having been based on the less populated, South Island, on and off for the past 18 months now, I value the Nation’s strong sustainability and non-anthropocentric orientation that I have witnessed. I’ll now be assessing all this more closely and sharing with you my thoughts on New Zealand’s ability to meet my long term, personal One Point Zero aspiration, needs. 


Beyond The Ship and Auckland: Join me for the Final Leg to Nelson.


Arrival in Auckland will end the USA to New Zealand leg of my Trumped by Nature adventure, and then it’s on to the final leg from Auckland to Nelson (on the North West ‘corner’ of the South Island. The blog will continue, but very importantly for you it will go back to being found at the One Point Zero website here.(


End of Voyage ‘Thank You’


A big Thank You The Captain, Officers, and all the crew on the ANL Bindaree for making my voyage such a rich and memorable experience!  


I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank my sister Ros in San Diego for helping me with the blog. She desktop published and posted ever one of the blogs while I was on the ship!  Without Ros there wouldn’t have been blogs!


Also a thank you to Ed and Sue, and their team at Mailasail who kindly donated the great web diary service we used to blog the ANL Bindaree voyage.