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discussing seasteading I wondered, what is the longest someone has currently spent at sea?

Salvador Alvarenga

spent 438 days adrift on a coastal fishing boat. I submit that he is currently the king of seasteading because he had a fully independant sustainable economy aboard, which is to say, he got enough food not to die, just, his crew, Ezequiel Córdoba, died, though. He had no sails or oars and was caught in a storm which damaged the outboard motor and communication equipment. They drank rainwater, turtle blood and their own urine.

Oguri Jukichi

in 1813 spent 484 days, but they lived off their cargo of soybeans and 12/14 crew members died of scurvy. Interestingly, this was when japan was closed off from the world, and apparently they where the first japanese ever to visit America.

Jon Sanders

an Australian who circumnavigated antarctica twice (non-stop) in 1981-82 in 419 days a 34 foot sailboat.
then in 1986-87 he did a tripple non-stop circumnavigation (including crossing the equator to meet technical requirement for circumnavigation) that was 658 days, on 3 and half tonnes of provisions!

Reid Stowe & Soanya Ahmad

Ried spent 1152 days at sea, with Soanya for the first 305 days, but only circumnavigated once in that time. Soanya left because she got pregnant! Probably a good decision, but proper seasteaders would birth and raise their children at sea too. One interesting aspect is they viewed their 1000 days at sea as a practice run at going to mars (the round trip to mars would be similar). When Reid eventually got back to port they reunited and now they all live aboard the boat. Oh, also: this was the longest time a couple ever spent on a voyage together, beating the previous record of 126 days (that is only 4 months!). I think this is really important, seasteaders would not be solo male hermits but actually regular people who live their lives on the sea.

their boat:

them on day one:

I would have posted a photo of them on day 300, but was unable to find one. They also blog about their relationship. They didn't set any official records though because most of the record keeping bodies are racing orientent, and their record is the slowest non-stop circumnagivation.

So anyway, that is the closest anyone has gotten to seasteading.


If you relax your definition of seasteading enough, all cruising sailors become seasteaders. There are certainly sailors who have passive incomes via some financial scheme, including Anne and Peet Hill from Voyaging on a small income although their financial scheme was their 7500 gbp they had in savings after building their boat, which they put into goverment bonds that gave them 25 pounds between the too of them, which they proceded to live on without needing to work (except boat maintenance) for the next 20 years. I calculate that is something like 16% interest, you won't find that these days...


I remember reading in Kon Tiki that they harvested plankton, I thought the idea of harvesting plankton while crossing the ocean was pretty interesting, but have never heard about it since (the Kon Tiki expedition was in 1947)
This is everything about plankton in the whole book:


That was before the oceans filled were filled with plastic. But maybe there is a way to separate them?


I've been following the Gone with the Wynns channel on youtube, done by a couple who have gone from RV to boat lifestyles.

I think their youtube channel must now be their main source of revenue, but they also have a website where they list other people's ways of making money whilst on the move.

Apart from that, there is also another couple with the Sailing La Vagabonde channel. Similar concept.

Not sure I'd like to broadcast my life as a means of making a living though, but I'm happy someone's doing it because I am learning quite a lot with them.


This blurs my vegetarian ideals quite a bit


@dangerousbeans Seaweed!

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The Schwörer's have been sailing for 16 years on and off (no super-long stretches) and 100k miles, and have raised 5 kids on board.

They recently sailed the northwest passage.

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Also, note that many "seasteading" designs are "floating cities" not constantly moving boats. But isn't this just landlubber thinking? On the water nothing stands still (indeed nothing "stands") whales migrate thousands of miles (just swimming along with their mouth open, scooping up plankton) sharks must move constantly, otherwise their gills don't work. On land, always moving would be an intollerable misery... but at sea, it's not moving, or barely moving (say, adrift on a liferaft) that would be the misery.

I guess seaweed stays anchored at one spot... but if you are gonna build some fancy structure you will need to move it anyway so probably want to make sure it's movable?


I met the Sailing La Vagabonde couple at their berth on Westhaven. They weren't there during the day, so I came back after dark on my old dinghy, and had had one of the most excruciatingly awkward conversations of my life. Then my engine wouldn't start so I had to paddle away with my hands (didn't have oars, rowlocks were broken). My mate Craig also met them in Tonga after they'd had a fight (they weren't talking to each other at the time).


@neftaly it's very unseamanlike to not have oars! that was Salvador Alvarenga's mistake!


Just took the time to read that Kon Tiki passage on plankton. Wonderful, the whole thing, but especially the bits about blowing water through one's mustaches and the experience of the breathing whale!

So that's one book that I'd like to add to my collection, but as expected not easy to find on ebook format. I might have to settle for a PDF version or even a dead-tree one.

@dominic I read a review that the english translation mistakenly translated 'wave' as 'sea' throughout the book. Is that the case?

@Trigger Warning
Voted this

@ktorn well, you might say "a heavy sea was running" or a "confused sea" that is talking about waves but that is how sailors call it. it's been a while since I read it but I don't remember anything particularily strange. Maybe the translation error is in the review?

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@Julien Deswaef

@Dominic Maybe also add to the list : Bernard Moitessier who almost won the first solo circumnavigation without stopping competition but, as he was in the lead, rerouted himself and landed after 10 months in Tahiti.


it's misleading to say "almost win" he was well in the lead and would have easily won but decided he didn't want to return to the crowds of europe and become a sporting celebrity, and so just continued sailing halfway around the world again, to become the king of the sailing vagabonds. Indeed, a great seasteader in the broader sense.


That's very interesting. Often the problem with eating algae, be it macroalgae or microalgae, is that it's simply too salty and extracting the salt is problematic. However, if you can manage to eat mostly zooplankton that keep their bodies at a significantly lower salinity than the surrounding water then I guess it would be edible in larger quantities. I wonder what the ratio of saline-bodied to non-saline-bodied creatures would be. It'd likely vary quite a bit though it may be that zooplankton above a certain size generally have non-saline bodies.

Regardless, you should definitely boil it:

Zooplankton can also act as a disease reservoir. Crustacean zooplankton have been found to house the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera, by allowing the cholera vibrios to attach to their chitinous exoskeletons. This symbiotic relationship enhances the bacterium's ability to survive in an aquatic environment, as the exoskeleton provides the bacterium with carbon and nitrogen.[5]

from zooplankton ecology on wikipedia

Also good point about the plastic. I don't know how one would filter e.g. microbeads unless the plastic floats or sinks, and even then waiting for plastic to settle to the top or bottom is somewhat problematic on a boat.

I wonder if eating plankton instead of eating fish would be better or worse for the ocean. I assume it would be better in terms of efficiency since you're eating the plankton directly instead of eating the thing that eats plankton but it might disrupt the ocean ecosystem in even worse ways.

@Julien Deswaef

Yes. Sorry about this "almost win". I guess the french sailing mythology still has a strong influence on me.


@xuv in my book he did better than win! He bet the whole idea of the race.

@juul there is also this idea of algae needs iron to grow, and if you sprinkle a relatively small amount of soluble iron (i.e. rust) into the ocean you'll get a lot more algae... which then trickels up the foodchain to plankton and so on. The other text I found on this suggested washing the plankton in fresh water, which removed most of the salt. for plastic, if the plankton eat the plastic, and then the fish eat the plankton, then bigger fish eat those fish... and there are things in the plastic which they can't process... that seems like a bad thing


@Dominic Cool! know a marine biologist who specializes in ecosystem modeling. I'll try to get her to join patchwork and answer all our questions :)


Spirulina, or blue green algae, is super easy to grow in fresh water too because it can thrive in extremely alkaline water (pH of 10 and above) that other microorganisms cannot. Therefore you can grow it without worry of competing or harmful organisms such as bacteria. Also, because of it's long spiral shape it is easy to filter out for consumption. Just bubble pump it through a fine mesh cloth. Heres a good instructable.

@Julien Deswaef

@Dominic Indeed, it's better than win.

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Re: %SAP8iasSN

I'd try to make it go as fast as everyone else when it needs to if you want to promote the solarpunk lifestyle and they ask how fast or far it goes.

No way! the great thing isn't that it's fast, but it's slow yet basically silent. And you don't get all greasy. You will never get the range a diesel engine has - batteries just do not have much energy in them compared to the same weight of diesel. But with a solar focused setup, you have basically infinite range...

Like a sailboat, which can just keep sailing and sailing as long as there is food for the crew

Solarpunk won't win by doing the same thing capitalism does but ecofriendly - because that's not possible it has to win by making a different thing that is ecofriendly seem way better.

the problem I see with the party boat idea is that people usually like to party at night, and that means batteries, and batteries are evil.

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