My Life's Works.
In the Past.
My preoccupation with vessels began when I was four years old, living in Hollywood Hills, California. I found a small wooden door with a round hole on Santa Monica beach and brought it home. After nailing wood to fill in the hole, I convinced my mother to take me back to Santa Monica beach so I could sail. The rudimentary raft floated, but barely, probably weighed down by the nails.
Throughout my life I have undertaken many projects, but there are two which stand out. They influenced the course of my life delivering me to where I am today, they were my children, and like any father their growth and development has made me a proud man.
Restorarion of the ELISSA.
My first baby was the ELISSA, a three-masted barque, and my place at the head of the rescue crew of volunteers who voyaged to Piraeus to restore her is what I still consider to be one of my greatest works and adventures.
"Indeed, the restoration of this graceful barque of 1877 is reckoned by many to be the finest restoration of an active sailing ship extant."
The Secret of Tulum.
My first delving into Experimental Archaeology, 'proving' points missing from the historical record, was my work to reveal the Castillo temple of Tulum for what it was: a very sophisticated navigational aid. I found the apparently 'misshapen' windows to be, in fact, horizontal range lights that varied their intensity with a vessels correct course within a channel through a treacherous and dangerous reef opening, allowing the maya to navigate the landing at night.
Looking to the Future.
And now, pitched up on the Arabian Peninsula in the UAE, observing how perhaps the last of the dhows for the East African Trade are a built, I work on my final big project, my last baby, the book I waited my entire life to write.
And all the while, my mind races on; Why is Wadi Hiluw so special? Does the topography produce a Bernoulli Effect that fanned the flames for the Copper Age? Always the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. Can’t stop asking now… Perhaps a new adventure will reveal itself...
Do you know about the Hindu concept of the Avatar?
Well, every five to seven hundred years some self-realized being comes along to kick humankind up to the next spiritual level. A new religion usually grows up around each succeeding Avatar. Their vision replaces the old values. The new sect spreads, matures, undergoes transformations, until the former True Religion is replaced by the new. Then it too grows old, atrophies and becomes less and less relevant as humanity evolves - until the appearance of the next Avatar.
Krishna, the Buddha, perhaps Confucius, certainly the Christ, and maybe Mohammed are all separated by the magic five to seven hundred year cycle. We seem to be missing an Avatar for the 15th century. Was it Leonardo or St. Francis? We are due for another One just about now.
Only this time, perhaps for the first time, the ‘Avatara’ is a woman. Not one woman, or two, but three. This is their story…