10.30.2009

Adios Cincinnati

Daisy is a warrior, she defies the life expectancy for Dalmations.

The home of my parents and sisters tucked away in the suburbs outside of Cincinnati.

Recycle, reduce, reuse. With a recession in the making consumption is on the downfall for most people. No worries, this is good. What do we need to survive in life? Water, food, shelter... I like to keep things simple. A good dog by your side is also very handy.

Earlier today the little kid was working hard out back raking leaves.

After an hour I suggested she take a break and let's cruise the block on our cool bikes.

Locked and loaded. Second season on the Ice and I now know what to bring. Last year my cook books weighed down my bags costing me an extra penny or two, this year I'm mailing them down. Tomorrow at noon I head to the airport with my Grandpa. Totally excited for this trip.


10.27.2009

The Final Belize Post

I received my new camera today and am now able to upload my finals shots from Belize. The solar oven...

Hot water rain fed shower.

The only Lobster I saw in a week of diving. Where have all the Lobsters gone? Belize used to supply Red Lobster, but the waters have been overfished = no lobster = locals sad = learn the hard way I guess.

Behind me I felt eyes and I when I turned I saw a giant Eagle Ray... wingspan of about 2 meters. Once I stopped it went around me, how long had it been following me?

A great ending to the Belize Marine Conservation journey... now for Antarctica!




video

10.22.2009

24 Hours Remaining on this Island

Of all things, what I will take away most from this island experience, is the need and power of simple living. Yesterday it was hot and I was thirsty, so I break a coconut and drinks it's water... hydrating, medicinal, tasty, this be all I need. Pretty soon I will be out of reach the fresh fallen coconuts and rainwater barrels, and will be required to consume city filtered tap water and bottled/canned drinks. After spending months in the wild, limited access to pure natural resources can be the biggest culture shock.

Starting in June I've been living off-grid in three entirely different environment in Alaska and in Belize. Over the course of three years I've acquired a DOI of 55%.

%DOI - % of days off-grid index = Days Off-grid/On-grid

The rest of the island interior looks like this.

My simple room. As a fan I just leave the door open at night and the sea breeze kees me cool. If the wind is stronger than 7 MPH the bugs keep down.

Drinking rainwater is majestic. Speaking of which, it just started raining.

Taking showers with rainwater is natural tambien.

Only yesterday when taking these photos did I realize we have a solar water heater on the primary shower house. I like cold water showers though, it keeps your water use short and wakes you up.

A Grill Chef's Paradise. To get some hot coals... throw fallen, dried palm leaves on some burning cardboard and top it with dried coconut shells. Within 10 minutes you'll have a toasty fire for grilling steak or Gibnut.

I realized the importance of Rena's and Alex's research yesterday. It's good to have watchdogs in parks. What I think will make the biggest impact on conservation is the footage and photos they take. Rena needs to make a video with her footage... it's quite surreal, totally IMAX or Nat. Geo. worthy. For me, artwork capturing natural environments is more motivating than natural science statistics.

In the evening I took a boat ride to Glovers Atoll Resort to finish my scuba diving lessons.

Getting my gear together.

After all the wind we've had the vis. was not so good. There were a lot of groupers feeding. A week-long crash-course in scuba diving has been great and it's a good skill to have in my travel bag just to explore new environments. But, call me a hippy or whatever, I like snorkeling more. I've come to know more about the atoll reef ecosystem by snorkeling in the shallow reefs. It feels more natural to me and I'm closer to all the elements of the marine nature (wind, waves, birds, sun, fresh air, reefs, currents, tidal systems, etc.). With snorkeling you float most of the time and maintain a big picture viewpoint of the reef system. Breathing for 60 min. with an air tank strapped to your back and having to equalize is just more work than is needed. Snorkeling will make your lungs stronger. Many reasons why I think snorkeling is cooler, but that's just my opinion and I guess it depends on where you're at.

Heading back home to get the BBQ going I rendevue with Alex and the team midway between the islands.

These guys and girl have been a great to cook for. They appreciate the work I put into the dishes and I really appreciate the work they do to keep the oceans protected. All is chill and good here. Good vibe mon, mad respect.