Monday, June 20, 2005

An Original of the Species

Voyagers have been in the press lately – let’s kick off the week with a great Q&A here in the New Yorker about “Poppa Neutrino,” an American adventurer planning to raft across the Pacific Ocean. Not your typical yachtsman, Neutrino was the first man to build a raft out of garbage and sail it across the ocean. In the article, author Alec Wilkinson answers questions about the origin and make-up of this itinerant voyager…addressing, among other things, the composition of his newest raft built for the Pacific crossing. Neutrino’s rafts are like sailboats with hulls and cabins and decks a foot or so above the water line. According to Wilkinson, the most important feature of Neutrino’s rafts is that he designs them so that they will right themselves if a wave were to knock them over. His current raft is thirty-two feet long with a small deck in the back, a transom for the outboard motor, two cabins, and a deck in the front. The mast is in front of the second cabin, which is larger. The raft is made of plywood and foam. The best thing about Poppa Neutirno is that you couldn’t make this guy up – he’s an original of the species.

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