Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, December 07, 2007

1000 Days At Sea – The Mars Ocean Odyssey

DAY 229

Reid Stowe and Sonaya Ahmad continue their record breaking voyage aimed at a 1000 day isolation voyage from the populated world, just like that which will be experienced by a Mars crew later this century. Their hardy schooner Anne (named after Reid’s mother) is just about to cross below Africa beneath the Cape of Good Hope.

They voyage is exciting and can be followed on a day-by-day basis on their website The site contains nearly daily updates from Reis and Sonaya as well as photos and their daily log. It even contains a real time satellite uplinked position map.

Here is an email I received from Reid a few days ago:

Dennis - I'm glad you have been following our story. It's been a lot tougher for us than I thought, but all systems are still go. Most of our time is taken up by sailing and repairs, but we would like to develop the space analogous potential. Did you see our list of records we have already broken? None of them are official but we are saying that at 224 days is the longest space analogous experiment to take place on earth. Our skill and stamina is extraordinary… We are giving it our best and hope we can contribute something positive to man's quest to go into space for an extended period of time. We look forward to communicating. Reid

Reid wrote an interesting paragraph on the website I will include here that is an extraordinary thought from a man who has escaped the confines of the land and has dared to explore and literally go where no one ever has before. I believe his musings thus contain some uncommon wisdom from an extraordinary perspective as he reflects on a spindly ivy plant growing in his galley:

“Life itself is so fragile, but when a thing lives it does so with a fierce determination to survive. Ivy is a naturally hardy plant and it will survive however and wherever it can. We wouldn't limit its growth knowing how precious life is out here. We figure the ivy plant knows what's good for its own health and wouldn't grow into a space it couldn't handle. If only humans had the same self-knowledge.”