Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

Voyage to Ungava – 11 – Simplicity is Complex and Complexity is Simple

June 23rd 2012. All ready for departure from St. Anthony, Newfoundland.

Complexity is simple and simplicity is complex. We all know the quotes from Thoreau in Walden calling on us to “Simplify, simplify.”

Next time you flick the switch to turn on a light – simple, right?,  think of the immense complexity behind your action that puts electrical power at your command. The wires in the wall, the meter outside, the transformers, power station and even the monthly billing. The might of modern industrial society.

Conversely, you might imagine – as many do – that sailing away on a boat is “simple”.

Think of that switch again. Just to get power on a boat requires an engine and alternator and battery bank or a wind or solar generator.  All of wich has to be planned, installed, paid for and maintained. Now think of ALL the systems on a boat.

Getting everything up and ready has taken weeks, even years. But all is now as ready as it will be for “Kuan Yin’s” departure down the Labrador.

My thanks to so many friends for their continued help and support without which I’d never have reached this moment.

Hope you are having a great summer. You can check where I am by clicking on the “Where Am I? at the top of the page and following the link to the Spot page.

My aim is to reach Kujjuaq in Ungava Bay, the destination of the voyage of 1811. But I’ve worked too hard for a long time to get to this point to want to spoil everything by stressing out over a destination; so from now on I plan less on pushing the pace and more on enjoying the passage and beauty of Labrador and its people.

2 comments on “Voyage to Ungava – 11 – Simplicity is Complex and Complexity is Simple

  1. Mark
    July 11, 2012

    I like to think Thoreau’s edict was related to the ripples our actions create in the world. A simple action creates few if any ripples and is local and is within our means. Like the Amish. Nomadic life in my van can be complicated but the complications are almost exclusively within the realm of the van. There is no vast supply chain or multitudes of employees on different continents united to preserve the van. I can manage all the affairs of this particular kingdom and that’s the core meaning of simplicity that a resource intensive life eschews. “Live simply that others may simply live.” is another quote that reminds us that the ramifications of our actions may not be within our immediate experience, but the ripples we set in motion are there nonetheless. When you reach Battle Harbour, Island please tell the staff that Mark sends his best wishes and is well. Remember to save some food for the return trip!


  2. Rick Werwie
    July 29, 2012


    I wish you well! I love the passage concerning simplicity ~ in that are things so simple, even the most simplest of things!?

    Little Ricky is almost 4 years old; we’ll be in Wisconsin for one month (Sept) and then to Hawaii for one month (Oct). My father has passed away, about three weeks ago…it’s been hard on our family; however, we’ll move on.

    Best of luck ~ see you back in Bangkok this fall.


    Rick, Lee and Little Ricky


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This entry was posted on June 24, 2012 by in Kuan Yin, Labrador, Sailing, Uncategorized and tagged .
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