As we start the second week of CoC workshops, the basic elements of the good boat have been accumulating: hulls, mast, rigging, sails. But the name has been a placeholder: the Ugly Ducking. The main hull is a very basic, somewhat assymetrical sheet steel boxy Zille – this name seemed to be the most appropriate. But more is needed for this journey, to get towards what we are aiming at with the Control of the Commons (CoC) project. So the vessel was named today, with a broken mini bottle of Champagne (well, sekt, the local equivalant) Subak. Subak is a Balinese tradition of communication along waterways, in particular irrigation channels, so that people know who is upstream and downstream of them in the water chain. If I know who is downstream, perhaps I will not take all the water, or dump some waste into the river that will affect my friend downstream from me.
The CoC project plans to investigate 3 rivers; the Danube, the Murray and the canal system in northwestern Europe, to look at the ways that people deal with water, with relationships along the water, with people’s knowledge and understanding of the rivers and waterways. But today was a lot simpler: we wanted to get the low impact vessel on the water and moving. And it did. The Subak floats, the Yuloh and paddles work, the sail drives it forward, We hope there is more wind tomorrow to learn more about how the sail works. But for now we have the basics up and running.