I. Your Neil Armstrong Moment
You’d be forgiven for thinking this strange blue marble was some bizarre exoplanet from a distant galaxy, one of the 2,632 (as of today) discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope:
But of course it’s Earth, via a satellite pic taken of the exact center of the Pacific Ocean. It makes one wonder why our home is called Earth, and not Sea.
Where is the Pacific’s exact center, you may ask? Cartographers have labelled it “Point Nemo,” named after the submarine captain in Jules Verne’s classic novel, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Point Nemo is the most remote place on our planet, being the furthest possible distance from three other bits of land: Exactly 1,670 miles from Ducie Island to the north (an uninhabited atoll in the Pitcairn Islands); Motu Nui to the northeast (a tiny islet off Easter Island); and Maher Island to the south (off the Antarctic coast).
Google tells me that the word Nemo comes from the Latin word for “nobody.” Pretty fitting, if you ask me, as it’s quite possible that no one has taken the time (or had the right boat) to actually stop at Point Nemo. If you’d like to do so, enter 48°52.6′ south, 123°23.6′ west into your chart plotter. Then, with the right expedition yacht (which we will talk about in next week’s blog posting), the right weather, and the right day you could very well be the first mariner to have your own personal Neil Armstrong moment! Just take that proverbial long walk of your short swim platform and be the first person in history to swim at exact Point Nemo!
Since Neil’s giant leap, I understand that the average temperature mid-Pacific has increased by 2 degrees farenhheit. A two degree increase in my lifetime troubles me greatly. Which brings me, loyal clients, to Spike Lee.
II. Spike’s mantra
Long ago (um, Gerald Ford?) and far away (Crooklyn), I went to high school with Spike Lee. Although then, in our three years of homeroom together at John Dewey High, we knew him as Sheldon Lee. But I am sure that even without this personal connection I’d still love his movies (it’s a Brooklyn thing).
My favorite film of his, and the one that provides me with my life mantra, is this one:
“Do the right thing.” Simple enough in theory, often more challenging in practice. Personally, I’ve reconciled the difficulties of achieving perfection through Faulkner’s advice on the seemingly impossible task (to me) of finishing my novel:
So now I’m trying to fail better at bringing something new and important to the yachting industry:
Carbon-neutral yacht ownership.
Here’s the K.I.S.S. version, in just four easy steps:
Step One: Buy a new or used yacht from The Fog Warning.
Step Two: At the end of each season, send me your fuel pump receipts for all the fuel you burned that year.
Step Three: I buy offsetting carbon credits, or make donations to organizations that work to directly absorb carbon, to totally offset your use for each and every year you own your yacht.
Step Four: Your descendants thank you (especially if they’re still playing on your beautifully maintained, now-antique yacht).
Easy as pie, no? I’m shocked, in an industry of smart and innovative people, that no one has come up with this before. But I’m happy to be the first.
III. The Press
The coverage for Carbon-Neutral Yacht Ownership has been wonderful. It’s been picked up by 123 media outlets, and at last count 21,300 people have read articles like this one HERE, in my local Southampton paper:
And, in the environmental press, as HERE:
Feature: Carbon Conscience Inspires Unique Business Ideas (Feb. 12th).
and HERE, in one of many articles in the biz press:
III. The Podcast
If you’d like to dive into the deeper part of the pool, please enjoy Episode #2 of The Fog Warning Podcast. You’ll hear my interview with Jason Donofrio of The Ocean Foundation’s Project Sea Grass Grow. He explains the exciting story behind a term I was unfamiliar with (Blue Carbon), and you’ll also hear a bit of what brought me to my Do The Right Thing moment (Hint:You know few people who are responsible for putting more yacht-carbon into our atmosphere than yours truly. That’s what happens when you sell +$50m in fine yachts).
Check it out:
IV. Closing Thoughts
Look, I’m just one guy in a big and ever-consolidating industry. Even in my special niches (luxury day boats, downeast yachts, expedition yachts ) I have to work very hard to punch above my weight. I’m quite pleased and proud to have been the first to come up with the Carbon-Neutral Yacht Ownership concept (an initiative that I am initially budgeting at $10,000 per year, on my client’s behalf). But frankly this plan screams out for wider industry adoption. I may be the first, but nothing would make me happier – nothing – than to know that I am not the last to venture down this path. So I close today respectfully asking two things of you, my loyal clients:
First, If you choose to buy a yacht from someone other than me (it does happen, occasionally!), please ask that dealer or builder to make a similar commitment to your carbon-neutral ownership. There is no reason this initiative couldn’t spread like wildfire through our industry. Because it should.
Second, in the course of your nautical travels, please feel free to bring up with your friends, neighbors and dock mates the story of a certain hard working, slightly eccentric yacht broker’s plan to help preserve the nautical lives of our grandchildren.
Who knows, maybe we can all fail better, together?
Thanks for all you do!
[Blue Carbon] Dave Mallach