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Voyage to the Mystic Jungles of Guyana Reid, Soayna, Darshen return from Guyana jungle coast to Georgetown North Carolina to support his father -- contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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Reid Stowe returned to Terra Firma on Thur June 17 2010 - 1152 days at sea

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City Sirens' Call, Voyage to Mystic Jungles
Thursday, 29 September 2011

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BY RACHEL JAMISON

Soanya leads the charge for a new kind of sailor. Standing on the shoulder's of great feminist cruisers and circumnavigators, she upped the ante for female ocean voyagers with her record breaking 306 days without resupply at sea. All the while she maintained the delicate nature and nuturing aspects of being a lady, that are so easy to lose while in a very masculine endeavour. Inspired by her story, I jumped aboard this September and have been lucky enough to have had Soanya by my side as I learn about sailing, life as a mother, and get to know Schooner Anne.

This last Sunday, over an" afternoon tea" with coffee and fruit salad, we welcomed Carly Tryens aboard who was interested in learning more about becoming a crew member on the Schooner Anne. She came with questions ranging from the purpose of the Voyage and what to expect along the way, to schematics of wrapping up her life in Bushwick. After a rousing sailor's yarn from young Darshen which caused giggles and laughter all around , Carly turned to us and asked for a list of what should she pack.

We are so excited that there are now three of us young lady sailors together answering the call of the sirens with a siren song our own. We are calling out to our fellow female adventurers to unite with us in this great city and go off on a voyage through vast blue seas, riding the waves of each other's  strengths and weaknesses, and discovering our own unique journey into mystic jungles.

 
Adventure Voyagers Sail On!
Wednesday, 07 September 2011

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After a year of boat living in the protected waters of New York Harbor, Soanya and I are feeling the call of the wild wide open sea again. We think our three year old son Darshen is ready to go too. When a storm wind blows between the buildings that line the waterfront, Darshen stands in the wind with his arms stretched out to the sides and shouts over and over again, “I love the breeze!”

Soanya’s family is from Guyana and we have been thinking of sailing there for many reasons. We want to sail to a faraway place where we won’t tourists or “yachties.” We will leave NY be leaving NY and the cold North Atlantic and enter warmer waters and trade winds. As we sail into warm tropical winds we will make our landfall on a jungle coast and begin our exploration of Guyana’s rivers.

A friend of ours had to abandon his 90 ft. sailboat. As a result, he gave us all the gear like the anchor, chain, sails, rigging, turnbuckles, ropes and pulleys. This gift freed us up to imagine we could go to sea again. We have quite a few friends who have been telling us that they want to go with us when we go again. So we are already taking crew onboard and are interviewing others. Rachel has already moved on the schooner and more are coming.


Of course we will have to work on the schooner as we go. Seamanship comes first. As we explore the outer reaches of nature where few people go. We will share our story live as we did on our previous “longest non-stop continuous sea voyage in history.”

 

 
Schooner Anne and Hurricane Irene
Friday, 02 September 2011

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Written by Reid on August 28, 2011

When my friends started calling me and saying the weather forecasters were predicting Hurricane Irene to arrive in NYC with 70 to 90 knots of wind and a ten foot surge, I knew I had to get off of our exposed dock and up the Hudson River to find an anchorage. We decided that the safest thing was for Soanya and Darshen to spend the hurricane at home with her family in Queens. My old friend Bruce helped me pilot the schooner up river to Croton Point which was recommended to me as a good anchorage. We arrived after dark and I dropped the lead line to measure our depth and move in as close as possible, but the bay was only 12 feet deep and we ended out having to anchor much further off shore than I wanted. In the morning we dropped our second anchor and Bruce caught a ride ashore to catch the train back to NYC.

I spent all day Saturday making the schooner as neat and windproof as possible. In the afternoon it started to rain hard and by night fall the wind began blowing harder and harder. The wind came out of the east then turned the schooner so that our anchor lines crossed and I was a little worried about chafe, but as the wind picked up the two lines separated a foot one over the other. I geared up in my foul weather gear and checked the lines through out the night. I was happy we made it through the night and by mid morning I thought the worst was over.

The sun came out and the wind stopped. Fifteen minutes later rain squalls and wind arrived from the West, the opposite direction, so I thought perhaps the eye of the hurricane passed over us. I was happy to see that we turned in a direction that untwisted our lines. Now we were no longer protected by the eastern shore and the river was very wide here, so the waves picked up as the wind picked up and soon we were leaping over the waves and spray covered the deck. It was so rough all I could do is lay in bed all day and hope that the anchors didn't drag or the lines break. Sunset is coming and all  I can do is hope for the best.
 
Written by Soanya on August 31, 2011
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Darshen and I went to my family in Queens for hurricane Irene. It was a good decision because the by the time Irene passed it was a tropical storm and wasn’t as bad as we were led to believe. We enjoyed a weekend indoors, dry, with no loss of power, no flooding outdoors, and everyone enjoyed playing with Darshen. Reid had one day of waves really rocking the boat and the next morning all was calm and sunny. The Anne was no worse off than when last week. When Reid and a friend motored back down the river to our dock, Darshen and I returned to the boat. All was well and we continued to work on our books and dream about our next adventure.

 
Sailing Little Bumblebee
Wednesday, 10 August 2011

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Last fall when I spoke at a yacht club in Connecticut, an old sailor named Marty, approached me. He said, “I’m in my eighties now and too old to use a little sailboat I built. It is a Herreschoff design based on the tender for his famous Marco Polo world cruiser. I’ll give it to you for your boy Darshen if you promise not to sell it.” I answered “That’s great! It will fit on the deck of the schooner Anne and Darshen can grow up learning how to sail it. Plus, we need a rowboat/sailboat to get back and forth to shore when we anchor out. It is a perfect 11ft ship’s tender for us. We’ll take good care of it and take it on adventures.” A week later, he and a friend delivered it to us. Marty was justifiably proud of his work and pointed out all of the details.

Darshen was only two years old at the time but he understood that this was now his own sailboat. Since it didn’t have a name, we told him he could name it. Without hesitation and loud enough for everyone to hear, Darshen said “Bumblebee!” We all cheered at the perfect name for the classic boat. Bumblebee sat covered through the winter and spring. It wasn’t until mid-summer that we launched her for a sail. We used the Anne’s halyards to hoist and lower her into the water. Then we rigged the mast, sail, rudder, and dagger board. Soanya, Darshen and I climbed in and pushed off. Even though the wind was light, Bumblebee took off like an antique hot rod. Soanya and Darshen handled the tiller and drove while I held the mainsheet. Soanya had never piloted a small sailboat before. She had her hands full as Darshen held the tiller and insisted that he drive. We had a great time and have since taken a few more sails. We are looking forward to exploring far away places in the future.

 
Pirates in Red Hook
Thursday, 04 August 2011
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My friend, Ludger, enthusiastically invited us to his pirate event in Red Hook Brooklyn. I told him we didn’t really mean for our schooner to end out looking like a pirate ship. She just turned out that way after spending so many days on the high seas. I wasn’t sure if we’d fit in. Ludger, who was dressed like a pirate himself, jumped off of his custom pirate chopped up leather covered motorcycle and said,

Pirates help lift the veil and reveal the foolish nature of the power elite. They mock the rich and their gluttonous and power hungry structures. It was not the son and daughter of a king or an emperor who holds one of the world’s greatest achievements. It was you and Soanya who achieved glory on the sea beyond comprehension. This is something that is beyond their reach in purchasing power and even authority. We pirates know that we are truly bigger than they. This is global maritime history, fantasy entertainment, a family fun program, old theatrical entertainment to help children dream again. Dreams foster innovators, inventors, explorers, builders, and healers.

Soanya and I looked at each other. How could we say no to such a character? We agreed to bring the schooner and some pirate friends.

Soanya’s View:

We were invited to take part in the Brooklyn Pirate Festival this past weekend. The schooner Anne was a fine rendition of a pirate ship being that it was the only boat that looked traditional with its wooden masts in a bay lined with huge freighter ships, work barges, and tugboats to service them. Reid, Darshen, and I put on pirate costumes and walked around checking out the scene. There were all kinds of pirates, but the most popular by far were Jack Sparrow look-alikes. He seemed to have replaced the usual Blackbeard and Captain Hooks of yesterday.

What is it about pirates that have captured the imagination of the masses? Is it their lawlessness? Mockery of society? Their cursing and bad grammar? Their tattered costumes complete with an assortment of blades carried with a “black heart”? We romanticize characters who thumb their nose at the establishment when they are on TV and in our virtual world, but pirates in the real world cause people real fear because they are infamous for their violent acts and often get away with them. During the 1000 Days voyage, we received many emails from concerned fans asking whether we saw pirates and were we afraid of running into them. We never went anywhere near pirate territories and never saw them even in the distance. However, Reid did have a run-in with pirates on the Amazon over thirty years ago which he survived. So they do exist in this day and age. The question we might ask is if the real characters are so despicable why do we love the pretenders so much?

 
Captain’s Ruminations
Friday, 22 July 2011

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Soanya's View:

Reid was going through some old writings he had kept from as far back as the 70s. In addition to hundreds of pages of his yogic experiences, he also wrote about life at sea with a crew and some of what he had learned as a captain of his own vessel. I found it to be useful even today and applicable to family life and human interaction in general. Here is an excerpt from his notes in 1993 that never became a full-fledged essay using human psychology to draw parallels between space travel and seafaring:

In the olden days, the captain was master under God of the ship and the cargo. Does this apply to space age sailing?

The masculine macho captain might not affect the best balance of efficiency on a long duration voyage with a space age crew. The masculine macho drive to power is based in archaic patriarchal myth. The aim of this drive is domination which, according to the myth, allows men to transcend their human vulnerabilities and limitations. However, domination creates isolation, fear, and paranoia with little satisfaction for the dominator or dominated, bringing more anxiety than pleasure. This traditional type of captainship might work for the military for normal lengths of time, but will not work for a long duration Space Age voyage at sea.

The essence of the captain’s method is not to tell or command, but to show.

A good captain in many circumstances waits for others to comment first so they will feel the responsibility of taking initiative and not leave the whole job up to him.

A captain who consistently gives the most of himself is given full support.

An enlightened captain creates a community of the spiritually aspiring who can live together without needing direction from institutional authority.

Each week we will check up on the progress we are making and ask ourselves what mistakes we have made, discuss possible improvements and what lessons we have learned for the future.

In the complex and unknown social order that the crew family of the 1000 days non-stop at sea expedition plans to live in, perhaps space should be allowed for dissent and rebellion. Since success depends on facing and overcoming a whole range of human emotion and experiences, all reactions should not only be permitted but tacitly encouraged. Impulses to dissent will arise and being expressed under these conditions they will be less harmful and not threaten overall order and harmony.

It is important for the whole crew family to cultivate the habit of giving honest and sincere appreciation to their fellow mates. The crew family’s faith in their fellow expedition members is realistic if it is counterbalanced by an awareness that sometimes people slip, misrepresent themselves, and go under when the pressure becomes unbearable. Forgiveness, sharing, caring, and understanding that we are all in the same boat should be kept ever present.

If a fellow crew member advances an idea or opinion different from our own, we can listen to it. We can occasionally let strong emotions stand without direct contradiction. We may also advance our own notions without pointing out that they differ from someone else’s.

We try not to impress our opinions and pressure our fellow crew members so we ourselves will not attract the same in return.

On our voyage we will encounter things about people we cannot stand but we are in a situation such that we must stand them. We must be able to excuse faults in our fellow crew members or we will not be able to exist in this long duration, isolated, high performance mini-society.

Each crew member works to develop the best in their fellow mates by appreciation and encouragement.

It gives the greatest pleasure to everyone to have their labors noticed each and every day. Everyone, including the captain desires to be appreciated.

Each crew member who can put themselves in the place of the next crew member can better understand the makings of the mind.

We recognize that we have made an effort to surround ourselves with the best people we can.



 
The Green Runners
Thursday, 30 June 2011

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A year ago, our little family posed for a picture on the bow of the schooner. Now we take another photo and not much has changed except we are all a year older. Much of life is imagined and unseen to our normal eyes. Many people see us as "green runners" because we reach out into the unknown and discover new territory for the plant of humanity to grow. Most of the plant of humanity is made of roots and a trunk, solid and responsible. We liken ourselves to the new shoots of a giant plant or vine. Branches and leaves wave and bring in the energy of the sun and send the most digestible  juices out to new shoots so that we can grow fast and reach out to new places for the humanity plant to grow.


However, it is dangerous because we are tender and fragile and easily eaten by animals or broken by the upheavals of man and nature. Most of the plant doesn't want to take that chance or doesn't know that the opportunity to reach out and break away is possible. Other leaves think it is irresponsible not to follow the rules and conform to the strucure of stability. Many of the leaves are busy in their own world and not even aware that the green runners are out there exploring and feeling out new places for the whole plant to spread into. But the consciousness of the plant understands this is a vital role for its ultimate survival.

Though we, long endurance sailors, received some exposure we are mostly invisible as we strive and thrive and take chances following fantasy leads into the unknown. Where would the plant of humanity grow without vision and spiritual explorers who roam and make pilgrammages to sacred heights and return to share the mysteries of life?

 
Art Materials
Friday, 10 June 2011

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I use a lot of different materials in my art. I paint on my old sails adorned with grommets, tears, stitches, and stains. I paint on my old charts which are made of very good paper and given character with coffee spills, finger prints and lots of thoughts and emotions impregnated in them. I use all kinds of paints, thick and thin, and glues to glue on more canvases and charts. I have a lot of different collage materials that I use which include every kind of fragment from the schooner. Each piece shows wear and tear and has its own history, a life story complete with storm scars, strife and chafe. Bits of leather, wood, brass, bronze, canvas, burlap, and manila all retain the charisma of their heritage.
The mixture of all these elements creates an alchemical brew that affects our physiology.

I’ve always used aggregates in my painting, but in 1987 when I realized I was going to depart the touch of terra firma longer than any human had, I started to use earth in earnest in all of my paintings. So bags of earth, sand, and sawdust of various colors and consistencies from many places became a standard part of my cargo aboard the schooner. I also use bits and pieces of my old paintings. Some were in an accidental welding fire onboard and they have burn marks on them. Some were under drips and have holes from rot and others have rust stains. Yet all of them have character from the exciting demanding life they have been through.

I collage parts of my life into the paintings. There are pieces of press from magazines and newspapers with illustrations and stories about the life of an adventurer. I use my old photos, proposals, brochures, and out of date promo materials. I use my crew lists, clearance papers, ships papers, weather charts, and inventory diagrams. I recycle the paperwork and records of my life. All of these elements in the paintings create a vibratory rate that has dimension, body, and life that extends off the paintings in all directions.

All of the treasures and junk incorporated into the art are imbued with the hopes, anguish, and love of their own intentions. They were all supposed to have done something to help the missions on the sea succeed. Many of them did help. Some in ways I can’t explain. Others had high hopes but never made it off the schooner to promote the voyage or fulfill their prophesies. The paintings are full of my words and the hands of other writers describing the fantastic art inspired voyages to sea.

From a distance, my art looks abstract. A closer look will show an old sailing course across a worn and torn chart or the minute details of where hundreds of items are stored. As often happens, finished paintings of the moment live a life and then they are used in another creation, on another adventure. All the materials of daily life on a sailboat find a place in my paintings.

 
Sailing On and On
Monday, 16 May 2011

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When spring arrived we called our friends and took everyone sailing. For financial reasons we have not been able to begin rebuilding the schooner after her historic sail of over three years non-stop at sea. The difficulty of rallying help after sailing the longest non-stop without re-supply sea voyage has been quite a surprise for us. But on the other hand, we are lucky that our little family is together, healthy, happy and that we are continuing the epic voyage of life. It is simply amazing that the mighty schooner keeps sailing through timeless mythical realms exciting and reviving the spirits of the greatest sailing adventurers from story books and in real life. Yoga, painting, and sculptures have kept us in a magical space through these trying times. Even without the necessary rebuild on the physical level, the schooner Anne still sails on and on.

 
Spring Sails
Monday, 18 April 2011

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 A few warm hints of spring and we are inspired to unfold our ancient sails and lash them to our veteran masts. Here in NYC we had one warm day and were able to eat outside and do yoga in the evening on the yoga platform. Then the cold north wind blew and we lit our fire once again. Putting on our wounded and stitched sails is like raising a war-scarred battle flag. It means inspite of all our travails we are ready to sail and to not give up. It is the only set of sails we have anyway. We would rather be discrete and put on new sails than draw such attention to ourselves by putting up sails with such soul.

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Our sails are recognizable from far away. People might not know what we have been through or what we face, but they will be inspired and outraged because where else can such sails be seen? Sails like these can only been seen in the dreams inspired by the old classics and mythology. Imagine what the sails of Ulysseys looked like and what they had seen. Our sails are the same way and we'll wear them until the lucky day we can create new ones. Then I'll paint the old one with many of our affirmations like, "Somehow, Yes!"

 
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