A report from Greenheart Director Pat:
In July I left my flat in Tokyo to meet a well-used 1982 Prout Snowgoose sailing catamaran that had been waiting for me in a sandy little harbour in the Bahamas. The 11-meter sailboat was floating quietly in the clear sub-tropical waters, more or less ready to be sailed away by its new master. This was not the start of a vacation or the beginning of a year’s sabbatical, but a return to full-time life aboard a sailboat, a sort of mobile lifestyle that I had left behind about 15 years ago.
This time, the boat will be even more than my home and transport; it will also be the new sailing office of the Greenheart Project. Other members of Greenheart and I will use it to travel to places where sailing ships might benefit societies and economies. We’d like to observe again how sails are used in impoverished and marginalised communities, talk to practitioners and learn more about what future practical sail for development should be.
We will also be experimenting with some of the same principles of clean power that will be used aboard Greenheart ship by replacing the marine diesel the boat now uses with a solar-charged electric drive system. This way, we can practice what we preach and use just renewable energies to travel around and power our office.
Another objective of our sailing office concept is to meet with the Ministries of Transport, Development and Environment in the countries along our itinerary, and impress upon policy makers, the very real possibilities available for shaping present-day maritime infrastructures in ways that ensure a better future. We are now trying to arrange our sailing schedule to be able to visit international conferences to influence thought leaders and maritime professionals for maximum effect.
The rough plan for the next year is to spend the rest of the summer replacing the diesel engine, fuel lines, filters, and tanks with a clean quiet set of PV panels, batteries and the electric motor and controls that will make it a ‘green boat’. In the fall and winter, we will be sailing south for Cuba, Haiti, Belize, Nicaragua and other places in the Caribbean Sea where future Greenheart ships might home port. By spring, we will be ready for some long distance travel, so will be sailing north for Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, reaching Iceland in time to spend mid-summer up on the edge of the Arctic circle to give our solar panels a real treat. We intend to stop by the Faeroes, on our way to Norway, Denmark and Netherlands to visit with Greenheart friends and collaborators.
Check back here for details, updates, and latitude/longitude of our new office!!