A freerange Associate Nathaniel Corum who works at Architecture For Humanity has been involved with the design of the Plastiki boat seen in the diagram below.    This is a remarkable project with a boat that is almost entirely designed from recycled plastics.  The project aims to educate the world about various environmental issues including the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the horrifying floating rubbish island twice the size of texas floating in the pacific, and other environmental causes and recycling opportunities.   Its also a pretty remarkable example of how resource scarcity can inspire the best of human creativity.

They have set sail on a 17 thousand k journey from San Fran to Sydney, currently 69 days through and well into the Polynesian Islands.  Go Well.

Check it out. Care of the NY Times.  Check the main Plastiki website here.

30 Years!

There can be no doubt we are living in confusing times. The social pressures alone are enough to start one thinking about living an alternative lifestyle. Already many people are leaving the cities to live on the land, simply because they can no longer afford the costs of urban life.

Let us take a look at city life, the frantic rush and bustle on the streets, all that traffic and factories with all their pollution, noise and waste, and cynical exploitation by big business. And where are you? In the midst of the frenzied grime, paying high rent or struggling to cope with mortgage payments. Food and heating costs have rocketed, and we know they can only go up. You are working as many hours as you can to pay for city life, with little time for leisure, even less time to get to know your children, or to spend a few days with friends. Altogether it’s a vicious circle, a struggle for survival, with no time to think and be oneself. No wonder that crime is on the increase and mental institutions are overcrowded. If you haven’t fallen victim to one of these social ills, then you could be facing a coronary in your efforts to maintain the pace.


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Should to Shall

pal·in·drome (p?l?n-dr?m) n.

  1. A word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. For example: A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  2. A segment of double-stranded DNA in which the nucleotide sequence of one strand reads in reverse order to that of the complementary strand.

The dictionary definition aligning  language with DNA makes for a convenient metaphor. Words are after all much like the building blocks of our whole whatchamacallit matrix.

In the video below, the words make the opposite of a palindrome. Instead of reading the same  both forwards and backwards, the message is the exact opposite when read in reverse, reclaiming the pessimistic view that there’s just no hope in our generation. It’s likely to warm the cockles of your heart.

The video has been youtube’s version of an Avatar blockbuster. It was made for a competition with AARP – American Association of Retired Persons – that strange “NGO”/insurance provider for people over 50. Even stranger, it was inspired by this political advertisement from Argentina.

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We are very lucky to have a Guest Post from Wade Doak, Wade has published numerous books on his great passion, the underwater world. He has also worked on the television natural history series ‘Wild South’ and ‘Deep Blue’. His titles include Beneath New Zealand Seas (1971), Encounters with Whales and Dolphins (1988), and his diving autobiography, Ocean Planet (1989). Most of Doak’s books are lavishly illustrated with his own photographs.  Please go to for more information.


Jan and I made a trip to the Poor Knights last Monday: a weird day of mists, dense sea fog and scorching sunshine. Although it was howling from the norwest, El Tigre found a series of flat calm anchorages on the east side. And I thought I did not need to take my hat.

We had guests from Canada and Oz who had booked with Dive! Tutukaka and when I inquired when they were due back in port in order to meet them, we were invited to join them for the day.

As has always been our experience on these modern dive boats, the staff are just so utterly exceptional; so obliging to all on board.  Sam, the skipper, did a fantastic job explaining Poor Knights history and what was to be expected at each dive site and with overseas visitors on board, he made us very proud to be kiwis. I was impressed with the hands on, fine tuned details he gave, such as the packhorse crays crawling in the open and the eight lounging stingrays the crew had seen at Frazer’s Landing a few days before. These days people are helped as if on a flight in the first class cabin by all those young folk in the crew.  But running a safe and enjoyable dive operation for so many people is a damned sight harder than caring for a bunch of airline passengers.  Our guests were elderly and received superb attention. For Ling, the Chinese lady, her dearest dream was to go into the vastness of Rikoriko Cave. Despite the jobbly N.W. situation, El Tigre fulfilled that and dozens of cameras clicked, capturing frames of that dream. For a woman in her mid-seventies, taking a kayak trip under those immense towering cliffs just north of Hope Point, helped by dive guide Kieran so sweetly and unobtrusively, was a high.  He even gave her a tow with his kayak on the way back and Sam hauled her aboard with immense strength: clean and jerk. I guess he has done that before.


Stark Reminder

We should mostly be aware of the importance of the time we exist in, and how the next few years ahead of us are critical in dealing with  the various economic and environmental threats we face.  It is however important to remind ourselves of the nature of these threats.  This is a very well elaborated talk from Jeremy Rifkin.  Don’t let his slightly annoying delivery get in the way of the importance of what his is discussing. Quite inspirational.