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May 19, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #17

Day 16. Wednesday, May 19, 1999, 0307 GMT
Wind ENE Force 3-4. Heading 195M.
Latitude: 15deg 38.132N
Longitude: 164deg 04.621W

The wind I was praying for yesterday finally came last night, miraculously from the NE at first, making pedaling after dinner from 7.30pm onwards a dream with the wind at our tail. By midnight it had shifted more to the east and I slumped exhausted into the rat hole with a feeling of accomplishment that a few miles had been cranked out during the course of the day. By this morning the wind had veered further still, and so today it's back to the easterly beam on sea that brings a very popular breeze down the hatch, but on the downside is very hard to purchase miles south from. Every inch has to clawed at and won by sweat alone (today made only 2 miles south in 5hrs pedaling - very depressing). I think the current has changed slightly against me too which doesn't help matters.

On a slightly different note, one that is relevant to classes doing Footprint analysis for the Classroom Expedition, I wanted to - on behalf of both Steve and I - say how proud we are for Moksha to now be a completely self-sustaining vessel as far as FUEL is concerned. Having fuel from only 'renewable' sources might not sound like a big deal, but when the ice caps melt and all land on the planet sinks beneath the ensuing flood waters, the Moksha crew will be laughing! As we had on the last crossing, solar panels (Golden Genesis) nd a wind generator (South West Windpower) generate all the power that is needed for electrical appliances, desalinating sea water for drinking (PUR Drinking Water Systems) and re-charging AA and AAA batteries via a small DC-AC inverter. We now have a cooking stove that burns denatured alcohol - derived from plants as opposed to fossil fuels. Last but not least we have the engine - a human - that burns vegetables also. The pollution produced from all the above is minimal. The only thing we might have to look at if the ice-caps melt is growing vegetables on the boat (possible in theory) and producing alcohol for cooking (also possible from something fairly gruesome-like sweat dripping off the pedal seat?).

The point of mentioning all this is not to seriously propose a preparation for a natural disaster. Rather it is an attempt to demonstrate to kids (and anyone for that matter) how in this ever increasingly dependent world we live in, it is possible to live sustainable within ones environment and to minimize the effects of ones actions upon it - for example in the form of waste and pollution. It is by developing ones level of MINDFULNESS - the theme central to the whole Classroom Expedition curriculum - that a better world can be brought about from the bottom up by individuals acting locally.


As I mentioned in the main update, all the fuel on board Moksha comes from renewable sources. Discuss in class the differences between renewable and non-renewable sources of energy/fuel, citing some examples of each.

Try and find out the origins of the fuels you use at home for your:

1. electrical appliances/lighting

As well as their origins, list beside each fuel whether it is renewable or non-renewable.

If you were able make changes to your home, or perhaps are planning a house you might one day have of your own, what renewable fuels could you use to replace those that are non-renewable?

Jason Lewis,
The Moksha motor

Posted on May 19, 1999 1:17 AM