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Naomi, Sam, The Boat

The first 3 days Part 1: Launch Day

Lexia waiting patiently at the jetty

The day jolted me awake in Brislington at our friend Isobel’s house. I’d had 3.5 hours of sleep. The previous night, I’d had words to write, video to edit and files to transfer. I’d also had hours of deep chats with Isobel, a friend who is so constant and so ready to offer help and company in the happiest and darkest times that it’s more accurate to say she is family. And at the end of the night I just had to spend one last hour luxuriating in a warm, soft bed, on a solid floor, and all alone with a book.

I regretted all that luxury as I stumbled out of the house, but by the time I reached the boat laden with bags and found Sam nestled in a sleeping bag with the hatch open, excitement began to take hold. I woke him up and we spruced ourselves up in time for a sheepish BBC Bristol radio reporter to arrive with a piece of kit that refused to work. After missing our live morning slot he jumped into Lexia to perch between us and do an interview, focusing mostly on how small she is. At the end he asked if there was anything else to say and I launched into a lengthy treatise on the motivations of our trip, including the economy, climate change and peak oil.  It became a 5 second news item, 1:28:24 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/p00whzjq Ah well, he tried!

After that the heavens opened and we sat staring at the walls, less than a foot from our faces. Trying to imagine this as our actual home.  By the time we’d had two pots of coffee it all seemed possible, and when the rain slacked off we headed off for a crazy dash around Bristol- picking up parcels, dropping off the final remnants of our stuff, paying final bills, taking and making calls. At 4pm I met two friends at the Watershed and we put the final touches to the edits for the launch.

Now time for… The Launch Party!

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Discussion

11 thoughts on “The first 3 days Part 1: Launch Day

  1. I wish you all the best guys. What a crazy and brave adventure you are embarking on.

    Posted by Geoff | August 23, 2012, 10:56 am
  2. Hi both, hope your trip goes well. There’s a UK forum you might be interested in that deals with survivalism at http://www.p2s-prepared2survive.co.uk.

    Looking forward to your updates.

    Stay safe.

    Posted by Luddite | August 23, 2012, 11:13 am
  3. Good luck and god bless from the survivalists and preppers on SUK.NET, we wish you save voyage to your new bug out location.

    Posted by Steve | August 23, 2012, 11:51 am
  4. Good luck to you both. I have just read your story in the newspaper. I think you will do well!! Regards, Matthew Middleton

    Posted by Matthew Middleton | August 23, 2012, 12:33 pm
  5. I read about your ‘quest’ in the Daily Mail, and I am a bit concerned that they are presenting you as a couple of starry-eyed and wildly unrealistic fools, which I hope is not the case (after all, most things the DM published seems to have an agenda of some kind).

    Quotes like “We want to learn from the people in Greece what it is like to live without the internet or the National Grid” make it looks like you haven’t done your homework before setting off. Despite the extremely grim times we’re experiencing in Greece, we are not yet cut loose from the Internet and electricity. In fact, more and more people (at least those under 50) are turning to the web as hard times continue to bite. Jobs, salaries, the meagre benefits offered to a few by the Greek version of the welfare state., health services, schools, etc – they’re all being cut, but so far we still have power, telephone lines and running water. Despite what some people would like to believe, Greece is not a third world country. And as many Greeks have been urbanised for generations and so have little idea about blacksmithing, foraging, etc. In fact, many of my friends here think I’m rather eccentric for tackling the brambles to gather blackberries in the early autumn.

    When you get to Greece, you’re more likely to learn about surviving summer temperatures of 40 deg C (or more) with no air conditioning, getting through surprisingly cool winters on a budget, battling creaking and illogical bureaucracy, raising your eyebrows at the incompetence of the powers that be, and marveling at the resilience and warmth of a people that still manage to raise a smile and a warm welcome despite the hell they are being put through.

    If you’re interested, my blog http://shemeanswellbut.blogspot.com might give you an idea of the situation here for ordinary people, written from the point of view of a Brit who’s lived here for more then 20 years.

    Meanwhile, I shall be following your progress and I wish you well. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    All the best,
    Mandi.

    Posted by Mandi | August 23, 2012, 1:34 pm
    • Hi, thanks for your input. Yes indeed, I am aware there is electricity and internet in Greece! Not so long ago I was speaking to a friend who lives there and works in TV, over Skype. We’re not expecting some back to basics paradise of permaculture I promise you!
      I think the main point they missed is that although Greece is our end destination we are not making it the be-all and end-all of this project. Nor are we expecting any one country or town that we visit to be full of blacksmiths,farmers or foragers. It’s more that we want to find individuals and specific communities in the UK, France, Spain, Italy AND Greece who are cultivating these skills that might be more useful to us all in the future than we may have thought in the past few decades.
      The naive starry eyed fool thing is definitely the hook the tabloids have grabbed onto. There’s an element of that in us or we wouldn’t have set off, but it’s not the whole story by any means. Thanks for your blog link, it looks really interesting and I’ll be reading further.
      Best, Naomi

      Posted by naomisurvive | August 24, 2012, 4:05 pm
      • I suspected that the comments I picked up on were the typical DM spin on things, and I’m not in the least bit surprised that they simply picked it up from local media rather than coming direct to you. The fact that you have said you’re looking to visit Greek islands and they illustrate that with a photo of riot police in Athens pretty much speaks for itself.

        When are you actually setting off, and how (and how) often do you think you’ll be updating your blog? I shall be following your progress with interest and hope to get some vicarious survival lessons myself by doing so.

        All the best!
        Mandi.

        Posted by Mandi | August 24, 2012, 4:13 pm
  6. We set off to live on the boat on the 15th, but did plenty of running around after that so we’ve been living aboard continuously and moving forward every day for about a week. We’re still only in the West of England near Trowbridge, but like I said it’s about the journey. We are going to need to launch our crowdfunding campaign very soon so that we can pay crew on land to edit and administer the site for us, we can only spend a couple of hours a day each doing that stuff or we wouldn’t go anywhere or learn anything new! But today I am hooked up to the mains in Hilperton Marina getting on with prepping the first few films for upload.

    Posted by naomisurvive | August 25, 2012, 9:31 am

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