Here is a drone video of the solar boat I am crew on traversing Canal Lake, in the Trent-Severn canals of Ontario, Canada. We are well over halfway to being the first solar boat to complete the Great Loop of North America!

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I have given up trying to play catchup for now, but here is an update:

I reached Middletown, California only to find the Vanagon having some problems (ended up being the harmonic balancer, which caused other issues as well). Fortunately I was heading there to meet with a friend, so I spent a couple weeks with a place to stay and way more money than was in my budget getting things fixed.  Some I managed to do myself, but some I simply did not have the tools or parts to do.  The folks at unique auto were great; I slept in my van in their lot at night, and by day was able to work with the mechanics Chris and Rob to get the Vanagon running again.  The harmonic balancer proved hard to find, but I tracked it down thanks to the folks at Rocky Mountain Westy (http://www.rockymountainwesty.com). Chris had to do some creative thinking/welding/grinding for some pieces, and even had to weld a very unique wrench to get the balancer on; I really can’t thank him enough for his ingenuity and dedication to getting me back on the road.  He knew I was on a big trip with limited budget and really went out of his way to help and keep costs as low as possible.

Once the van was fixed, my friend from Middletown (Travis) and I were ready for a very specific adventure….

…that of going to be crew on a solar boat traversing the Great Loop of North America; a journey that, once completed, will have our boat “Ra” being the first solar boat to complete the Great Loop.

We jumped in the van and drove to Oswego, New York in 3 1/2 days… taking time to stop and enjoy various points along the way.  And yes, taking lots of photos that I’ll begin flooding you with when this trip is done, or possibly before.

When we arrived, the boat was still waiting on a few batteries, so we explored Oswego for a few days; really quite a lovely town.

The batteries arrived and July 20th, we set sail across Lake Ontario. Since then we have traversed the Canadian lock system (during its 150 year anniversary) and are now making our way through the Georgian Bay; we should reach Mackinaw Island and Us waters in about a week.

Part of the reason I’ve not had time to blog here is because I am the photo/video/media/tech and crew guy for our group… they found out I have skills and oh how said skills are being utilized.

So even when I can’t blog about my personal experiences, I am posting daily updates and pictures for our group, The Pirates of the Sun, and the journey of our solar boat “Ra” (named after the Egyptian sun god)?  The website (www.piratesofthesun.com) is still slowly forming, but we are very active on Facebook and Instagram, and can be found here:

http://www.facebook.com/piratesofthesun

http://instagram.com/solarvesselra

You can also track where our boat is at any time on the website, at:

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0GgaOkmNbq8JJjqxxd2yr11XCTv5buzgB

I am still wondering how I am fortunate enough to be a part of such a worthy venture, but just accepting and helping all I can….

…all while taking sooooo many pictures, that you will see eventually (I am fairly up to date on my sorting, thankfully!)

If you don’t hear from me soon, you know where to find me; we are the Pirates of the Sun, and we move entirely from the power of the sun.

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Visuals of our Sponsor OR now ewe sea mee

While I am not a fan of taking or sharing pictures of me… I was also doing the travel by myself, and figured a memory or few crossed with a funny might not be so bad.  Combined with it is the day and age of cult of personality movements requiring such individual specification; and since everything these days seems to be CoP based….

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Message from Sponsor

Playing catchup with blogging is never the way to go; the recent travel blogs are from June 15 to June 21st, 2017. Whoa, that’s a lot in a little; I know!  And I had low to no wifi the whole time.  To really blog properly, I am going to have to find a way to afford at least a couple gig a month hotspot, it seems.

It is now July 10, and clearly I have some stories and photos since then.  I have slowed movements since then, and been in Middletown, California for the last 10 or 11 days, after spending a few odd days in Mendocino. While here, I have gotten to know a wonderful local community, as well as a land recovering from being burned to the ground 2 years ago. I have seen an amazing amount of happening in a town of 1000; I have volunteered and helped their vision. I have had van issues, and learned an amazing amount about VW Vanagon engines, electrical and inner workings… and spent more than I budgeted on making Vanagon happy.  I have built some shelving to convert I have reconnected with a good friend, and found that I am in a space where near everyone seems familiar to me, and I seem familiar to near everyone.  I have been catching up on internet things while I have such, and forging the next movement.

The next movement starts in some few hours.  Driving east with my friend, and we are going to try to catch the Pirates of the Sun in Oswego, New York… before they head off through the Canadian locks, to Michigan, down Mississippi before branching off to Tennessee, then down through Gulf, then Cuba.

Now to try to finish catching up the blog stuff… good thing I’m not first driver, think I’ll be going to bed right as we depart.

 

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Bird photos from Mendocino

I like birds….

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Mendocino: A special place

I have spent a fair amount of time in Mendocino; in 2013 I joined with the Regenerative Design Center and some other doers and makers to cultivate community and communities that love plants.  I had not been back since, and was very looking forward to enjoying such a lovely space again.

The first place I went was to the Mendocino Headlands State Park; a free place to wander paths, glimpse amazing oceans, see a water geyser, sit in giant benches, and so forth. I am happy to see Chard and Arugula growing rampantly; planted by  a friend of mine over the past few years, and self seeding strongly on its own.

 

 

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Hwy 101/1 crumbles, and welcomes travelers

Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast highways, have been falling apart lately.  I was told, before coming, that multiple parts had collapsed and there was no way through without detour; I came anyway…. gotta see for myself.

Turns out highways are open, but with MANY points having one way traffic only since, like… the cliffs under the highway had eroded away.  As had the highway.  Construction everywhere!  Plan for double travel time, and sometimes just sitting there, waiting….

As I neared Ft Bragg, I found that many others wished to stop and appreciate this magical stretch of coast, camping style, and that the state seems to allow for that. After passing a few pay campgrounds, directly on the cliffs, I saw some less monetary based places to park folks were taking advantage of.  The hippies on what looked like private land seemed to expect me to stop (blame hoops and firestaff strapped to the roof of the van)….

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… but I opted for the next spot down, which was an obvious non blocked off state pullout, filled with “legit looking” RVs and other vehicles.  By evening, the site was full and latter arriving folks went to the hippy spot.  I probably shouldn’t say this, but this is one of the most legit free camp sites off the pacific highway system; both a place to just stop on the trek, and a place to be happy you are camping at.

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