UK or Bust: Endorphins, Flying Fish, and Burning Man Rant

Day 17

10:39pm Ponta Delgada – Portugal time

Location: About 400 miles southeast of Grand Banks (where the film The Perfect Storm was set)

Weather: 1.5 metres swell



After lunch, I went up the bow, and tried jump roping and dancing around while listening to my ipod playing electronica thinking about Burning Man which is currently raging in the Nevada desert.


Speaking of Burning Man, I was glad to read that a group of burners is attempting to spread awareness about BM’s climate impacts, and even make Burning Man “carbon neutral,” attempting to absorb all the carbon from the RV’s trucks, cars, generators and er….burning men. As things stand now, Burning Man, fun though it may be for those attending, is no fun at all for those whose houses and towns are being destroyed by rising sea levels and stronger storms resulting from all that carbon being emitted into the atmosphere. Creating a temporary city of 30,000 people, with all their crap, in the middle of the desert for a week, can in no way be considered low impact. In my opinion (and this might change if I ever actually attended) Burning Man is a disgusting hedonist planet destroying indulgence fest for those with nothing better to do over labor day. I’m sure my burner friends will send me lots of hate mail for this, but that’s just the way I feel. When oil prices rise, and the true scope of the climate crisis becomes clear, Burning Man in its current manifestation, will be over. Likely to replace it are a series of local celebrations of music, art, dancing and culture that don’t require long distance car, air, or RV travel. Why not move in this direction now, without having outside circumstances force the organizers hand?


As far as attempts to buy carbon credits, to offset emissions from Burning Man, I think this is largely bullshit. Trees are planted to theoretically absorb a given amount of carbon over the course of their lifetimes. However, climate change is already killing forests, and there is no guarantee that these poor saplings will ever get the chance to absorb the sins of Burnings past. The only way to realistically deal with the looming threat of climate chaos is to STOP OR AT LEAST REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FOSSIL FUELS WE BURN. Oh well, at the very least, the Cooling Man effort will raise awareness, and could lead to stronger efforts in the future. Check it out at


And to be fair, groups like Burners Without Borders have done great work traveling to Louisiana and volunteering to aid Katrina victims etcetera. But it’s still better not to spill the milk in the first place rather than make heroic efforts to mop it up…..


So anyway, it was great to get some exercise. I’ve been lying around for the past couple of days, reading and watching movies, and I began to feel a little like a blob. After dancing around on the deck, looking very silly, I went down to the exercise room and rode the stationary bicycle for a half an hour, sweating like a pig as it was warm in there, being right above the engine room. It’s easy to forget sometimes how good it feels to exercise, and I feel sorry for the millions of people out there who are missing out on that great endorphin high, sitting in a traffic jam or in front of their TV’s eating processed food. Get out there and ride your bike people!!!! It’s fun!


Right now I’m sitting in the crew’s lounge, with a couple of very drunk German officers, and Warren, an AB (able-bodied seaman) watching a DVD of Shakira, drinking beer and celebrating Friday Night!!!! I saw flying fish earlier- thought they were birds at first, but they disappeared underneath the sea. Pretty cool…….I’ve never seen that before.


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