Part of our daily routine on board Sea Dragon, was the production of at least one blog post per day. These were sent via satellite phone to eXXpedition HQ and posted on the website for the world to see how we were getting along. This can be quite a tricky task, given the way the day fills up with science, watches, cooking and sleeping. So, appropriately I thought, I chose a theme of "Slow Living". Enjoy!
As Sea Dragon glides forward beneath the soft blanket of a thousand stars, a courteous reef in her main and riding a gentle South Easterly swell. I notice the turn of the planet, Orion drawing a slow arch overhead in the four hours of our night watch, we have talked about the relative speed that we are sailing at, even at 10 knots we are barely reaching cycling speed, despite the racing waves which surge along the hull. So with this in mind, my attention turns to the blog for the following day and one theme to which we continue to return. That of Slow Living……
As we congregate in the cockpit and filter sea-water through syringes to collect microbial life forms for Barbara’s research, our conversation often strays to the bigger picture and ways in which we can all move forward with regards to society, population and progression. Although the topics of these discussions are varied, everything from waste management to food sourcing and global energy production, often the conclusions we are drawing stem from the same philosophy. A need to consume less, reduce waste and slow down the pace. The proposed methods for achieving this lower impact, more considered existence are however equally varied. So what do we mean by “slow living”? For some of us the idea may mean simply taking time to home-grow food, or hand make household items. For others it may be taking time to cycle, or walk rather than drive, it could be as simple as taking the time to consider “do I really need this”?
For Lisa the notion of slow living means taking time to consider the things we throw away. Of “doing less with more” and taking responsibility for our actions. Taking time to change our pace of life is a decision that all of us can make, whether that time is great or small, there are changes we can all make in aid of a more sustainable future.
For Rachel this slow-living is more connected to our current situation. Luckily for the fourteen of us, life on board Sea Dragon allows us to re-evaluate our concept of speed and motion altogether. We have touched previously on the novelty of day and night merging into one, or ’24 hour living” as it has fondly been named, but physical and individual movements are also affected by the constant of motion. The smallest actions become tactical manoeuvres involving balance, planning and logistics. How do you fill your cereal bowl and get to the fridge and back with milk and coffee in hand without wearing your breakfast as a t-shirt? Our daily routine is concerned only primarily with the maintenance of life on board, our days are filled with the intricacies of preparing meals, conducting our trawls and samples, sleeping and standing watches. Gone are thoughts of interaction with the outside world, we exist only in the moment.