© Biosphere Foundation, http://www.biospherefoundation.org
Biosphere Foundation has joined a “blue marble” initiative. Working with Board member Wallace J Nichols, the crew of sailing vessel Mir have a basket of blue marbles that they will place along their route to inspire people they meet to care for our biosphere. These stories are featured on bluemarbles.org
as well as below.
#27 - The circle is closed!
March 27, 2011
Lat.: 8° 5.095 - Long.: 114° 31.676
This is a story of the last marble marking a completion of a voyage pledged exactly one earlier - a story that began in the dawn at Menjangan Bay on March 10, 2010 and ended on March 10, 2011 again at Menjangan as Mir danced into the harbor making our dream come true. On this day we dropped the last marble at the eastern tip of Menjangan close to the temples and within eyeshot of the harbor where the first marble was placed. The circle closed as Mir quietly glided into the narrow channel and found safe mooring. A quiet sunset fell with light rain and a blanket of silence. We moved slowly on deck feeling the weight of the last year fade into falling light.
What had been impossible a year ago was now the past; tomorrow would mark the beginning of a new cycle. Mir was safely in Asia, Laser, Orla and Gaie were back in Menjangan, and the future was open for the next dream to arise.
- Abigail Alling
#26 - Emerald Starr
March 03, 2011
Lat.: 08° 29.86 - Long.: 115° 39.849
Motoring in a calm bright sunny day off Jasi, we passed the familiar home of Emerald Starr where we had spent many days roaming the black sand beach of Jasi and the white sand beach of Pasir Putih. A spectacular landscape with the Gunung Agung rising majestically from the land to the northwest and the deep Strait of Lombok coursing along the coast to the east. This is the sea where Alfred Russel Wallace noticed a clear separation of ecozones between the zoogeography of Asia to the east and Australia to the west. Our pervious ship and crew hand anchored off its shores for celebrations in the 1997-1998 New Year.
Emerald has been a partner with Biosphere Foundation since 1997 when we installed the first Wastewater Gardens in Bali at the Sacred Mountain Sanctuary and later with Seaecology and Livingry Fund at Tirtigangga water palace just north of Jasi. Wastewater Gardens are an ecological wetland wastewater recycling system developed by Biosphere Foundation. It uses plants and soils, protozoa and bacteria, and air and water to process waste and produce food, fodder and ornamental flowers. A perfect solution for waste management in this lovely Bali Garden island.
- Abigail Alling
#25 - Jakarta
February 26, 2011
Lat.: 06° 7.226 - Long.: 106° 48.81
Jakarta was a stop of improbable events as we navigated traffic jams and held meetings in restaurants and on the telephone from vehicles. We cycled through uncertainties regarding the location of Batavia Marina and its narrow and shallow entrance; Customs clearance with changing rules and regulations about yachts; research permit instructions that changed with the ebb and flow of the tide; crew lists with Orla and without Orla who was trouble-shooting the research permit; and weather that kept us constantly on the alert as we bounced along from squall to squall. It was with the help of Nina Marliana who took our hand that we navigated through the shoals of Jakarta politics and found our way safely through a week of turbulence and on our way to Bali.
On Wednesday, February 23, we held small celebration in honor of Reefs at Risk Revisited, a 2011 publication by the World Resources Institute with participation from Biosphere Foundation's project, Planetary Coral Reef Foundation. Phil Dustan, Biosphere Foundation's Advisor joined us in Jakarta for a few days as well as colleagues from the Wildlife Conservation Society so we could plan for the upcoming Menjangan Coral Reef Conservation Project. The night before departure was Carol's birthday so we joined together in celebration looking forward to the voyage ahead.
- Abigail Alling
#24 - Nyi Roro Kidul
February 18, 2011
Lat.: 04° 41.79 - Long.: 106° 55.404
On the 14th of Feb 2011 MIR left Singapore bound for Jakarta with a crew of seven spanning the countries of Sweden/Bosnia, Brazil, Belgium, USA, UK and Australia/Indonesian. All of us were committed to serve this beautiful 101 year old lady called MIR and make sure she was well look after and the journey to Jakarta was smooth.
After 4 days of sailing finally we passed Bangka Belitung around 7 o'clock in the morning when a squall hit us for about 10 minutes. The Captain called "all hands on deck." With some of the crew that never experience this before, it was such a buzz, trying to bring the Genoa down ASAP, but we are so happy that we all did it, and the captain said again "well done guys, that was a fantastic job." However, moments later one of the steel cables at the top of the snapped, and we had to stop using the sail for our remaining two days to Jakarta.
Thus, I told Gaie the story about "NYI RORO KIDUL". NYI RORO KIDUL is often illustrated as a mermaid with a tail as well the lower part of the body of a snake. The mythical creature is claimed to take the soul of any who she wished for. Sometimes Nyai Roro Kidul literally can be spoken of as a "naga (Dragon)", a mythical snake. This idea may have been derived from some myths concerning a princess of Pajajaran who suffered from leprosy. The skin disease mentioned in most of the myths about Nyai Roro Kidul might possibly refer to the shedding of a snake's skin.
The role of Nyai Roro Kidul as a Javanese Spirit-Queen became a popular motif in traditional Javanese folklore and palace mythologies, as well as being tied in with the beauty of Sundanese and Javanese princesses. Another aspect of her mythology was her ability to change shape several times a day. Nyai Roro Kidul in a significant amount of the folklore that surrounds her - is in control of the violent waves of the Indian Ocean from her dwelling place in the heart of the ocean. Sometimes she is referred as one of the spiritual queens or wives of the Susuhunan of Solo/Surakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta. Her literal positioning is considered as corresponding to the Merapi -Kraton -South Sea axis in Solo Sultanate and Yogyakarta Sultanate.
While in Javanese waters and about 86 miles to go before reaching Jakarta, Gaie asked Captain Laser to stop. It was around 6PM, we had dinner on the deck facing a beautiful moon on one side and an oilrig on the other side. After dinner we made an offering for Nyi Roro Kidul by singing, reading a poem from sweets given by a Singapore friend and giving of gifts to the ocean so our journey will be protected while MIR voyages through her waters.
- Dhany Sudirwan
#22 & #23 - Equator crossing
February 16, 2011
Lat.: 00°00.000 - Long.: 05°23.21
In the early hours of the morning of Wednesday 16th February 2011, Mir crossed the equator at E105°23.21' travelling South from Singapore, Raffles Marina to Jakarta, Batavia Marina.
The night before had been the celebration of Oliver's 23rd birthday with a stack of 23 Belgium/Indonesian home-made banana and coconut sugar crepes (made by Mark and Dhanny). Just after midnight a pod of dolphins visited the ship and played alongside in the choppy waters, and a shooting star lit up the sky.
Around 5am on Gaie's watch with the Bosnian bread that Jasmina had made rising in the Galley and Satyavan on the helm, we crossed from the North to the South hemisphere and dropped a blue marble into the dark sea.
It is easy in the hussle of life to forget that we are flying through space and spinning on an axis in constant motion on this spaceship earth. At the equator we are maximum distance from, and travelling faster around, our axis, the forces up on us changing with latitude. Here is a moment on the edge of North and South, between directions, a pause to catch a breath.
- Carol Milner
#21 - Singapore, Mir on the road again
February 14, 2011
Lat.: 01°11.984 - Long.: 103°48.893
Mir is back in motion and on Feb 14 she headed swiftly out of Raffles Marina and into the Singapore Straits! Time had finally come to take the old girl MIR back out to sea with three of us who had sailed her before and four who had not.
Singapore is an amazing city, gigantic harbors and a lovely Marina called Raffles. The moment we departed our home port Raffles Marina we made our way through big ships lying at anchor. Gaie navigated us through the maze of red, green and yellow beacons to find a small green fuel barge to bunker some fuel before our trip to Indonesia. As we drop the blue marble I gratefully think back at our stay in the garden city and think of new and old friends we made there...
Just before departure Yves dropped off a new Garmin GPS and fueled up Mir, Little Fairy (LFA) stocked us with all the food one can dream of going to sea with, and other friends gave us dive bottles, life raft inspection from Viking, ropes and more.
This blue marble is the first of the last blue marbles to connect the chain between Malta and Bali. There we dropped our first marble in Menjangan last year when this ship was still a dream in the making at a shipyard in Malta. As we get closer, the dream is becoming more vivid.
- Laser Van Thillo
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