Moksha capsize drill in Exeter canal basin
By mid-April, Moksha was ready for a proper sea-trial. First, however, we needed to make sure she would automatically self-right in the event she capsized. Before taking her down to Salcombe, we took advantage of the hand-operated crane at the museum to flip her over in the River Exe. After an initial unmanned test roll, Kenny and I clambered inside the cabin and buckled up using seat belts reclaimed from the Ballistic Cleaning van. Kenny had borrowed a camera to film. Steve and Chris operated the crane.
As she tilted to ninety degrees, water began spewing in around the sliding hatch. My head was resting on the plywood roof, hair swimming in a rising pool of water. Continue reading
Thirteen years earlier. Paris, August 1992
“It’s incredible isn’t it,” Steve exclaimed, “how no one’s thought of it yet?” As he’d already pointed out, the Earth had been circumnavigated using everything from sailboats, to airplanes, to hot air balloons. Yet the purest, most ecologically sound method of all and doable for centuries, without using fossil fuels, was still up for grabs. “It may even be an original first!” he continued excitedly.
My old college pal Steve Smith and I were slumped on the kitchen floor of his flat in Paris, drinking Kronenbourg 1664 at two in the morning. A map of the world lay between us, paddled by the slowly revolving shadow of an ornate ceiling fan that gave the apartment an air of French colonial panache. Continue reading