Saturday, June 12, 2010
"When in danger or in doubt, hoist your sails and bugger off out!"
A Law Unto Himself - No money, no registration, no worries! Kris Larson wanders the Indian Ocean battling bureaucrats and ignoring snobbish yachtsmen aboard his steel junk.
I may have pointed to this article in my blog once before, but I don't remember. It's worth a repeat, either way. This fellow Kris Larson must be my long lost brother I think, or soul mate, of sorts. Thanks to AtomVoyages.com and James Baldwin for his great reportage.
Here's the link:
To summarize, Kris is a fellow who James met back in the '90's I believe. Kris epitomizes the individual who proclaims the worth of the individual in an era of the collective. Of course, he probably wouldn't put it that way, but I do. Kris merely sails his home-built sailboat around the world and thumbs his nose at all the government over-reaching which dominates contemporary culture.
Here's a passage:
' From Darwin (Australia) he enjoyed a trouble-free 40-day passage on port tack all the way to Mauritius, where he began his first of many battles against port officials. His lack of boat-registration papers caused customs officers in each country Kris visited to react with anything from mild annoyance to shocked disbelief. We can imagine the scene: Boat registration, please. “No registration. Build her myself.” Inoculation certificate? “No papers, mate, but here’s a smallpox inoculation scar on my arm.” There are port charges. “Sorry, no money.” And so on. Rather than conform, Kris prefers to haggle with and outfox the port authorities. He usually gets away with it. '
' With his inability to obey the bureaucratic buffoons, certainly Kris will never be a candidate for membership in the Seven Seas Cruising Association. Kris said, "when those brown-shirts in the SSCA tried to tell me to 'leave a clean wake or you make it more difficult for all of us', I told them that by spinelessly accepting every new restriction and tax on our freedom, they are the ones making it more difficult for sailors to move around freely." '
The point is, sailors and non-sailors, in all aspects of modern life, are faced with more and more restrictions on our freedom.
For instance, right now, I'm struggling to upgrade Empty Pockets to legal status for a liveaboard. I especially need a working head (toilet) of adequate size. The thing is, I don't plan on actually USING the nasty thing. I piss over the side or ashore, and either go ashore to shit, or "pack it out," backpacker style. But the law requires a certain set-up, and the water police will ticket me if they board me and inspect the vessel. The sad thing is, with a properly working head and holding tank, when I have the thing "pumped-out" at a marina (for a fee) this untreated sewage will be circulated to a commercial sewage treatment plant where it may or may not be treated before being pumped INTO THE SEA. Millions of gallons of untreated sewage is deposited along our coasts every year by these commercial interests.
If we allow it, these pompous fellows who like to call themselves, as a group, GOVERNMENT, will tax our bank accounts and our RIGHTS right down to nothing.
(By the way, the title is a quote by Tristan Jones, who has buggered off out of this life, but still has influence. He was a sailor and a writer and a madman.)