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Scrap Raft crosses Atlantic Ocean: Housing totally Redefined!

by Peter Greg

"Son of Town Hall"

I came across the Floating Nuetrinos website a few days ago, and it totally blew my mind! My existing paradigms around housing and my childhood dream of living on the water have been blown out of the box. I’ve been thinking lately about living and growing food on a boat, and not wanting to spend many thousands of dollars, have been investigating either building a raft, houseboat or yacht out of recycled materials. This would be a great sea-faring compliment to my current permaculture housing project, which is converting a diesel van converted to run on vegetable oil and used as a permie camper.

What is amazing is that this family have built not just one, but several seaworthy vessels, sourced from various pieces of scrap and junk around the areas they lived, as stated on the website, for “demonstrating viable alternatives to modern tendencies toward imitation, factory made consumerism, and loss of individual creativity”. Many said it would not be possible, but after receiving international news coverage, generating widespread publicity and interest, and even helping Katrina victims, they have not only redefined the entire paradigm of living on the water, housing and boating, but used these projects for creating the building blocks for a fascinating “toolbox” of effective techniques for psychological healing and empowerment. Multi-faceted outputs, and changing the inner world to create a desired outer world. Oh yes, Permaculture at its holistic finest!

As Captain Betsy puts it “our outer projects were merely foils for our inner work: an ongoing experiment in human psychology, searching for answers to what makes us function and malfunction, and how to increase our own and others’ abilities to create meaningful and fulfilling lives”

And so our living environment should reflect such a journey in its design and form, of growth and creativity, innovation, and a sense of deep satisfaction through connecting with nature and community, creating a space for our family, our happiness and especially our freedom. In this time more than any other, we individually face a great need to be adventurous pioneers, even revolutionaries, in redesigning housing and living spaces that reflect ecological harmony with nature and our lives.

From my research into law I have found the current paradigms of housing and real estate, seem to revolve around lifelong debt slavery, and being the primary energy source of keeping this giant wheel of commercial destruction and annihilation turning round. By withdrawing our energy from the banking system and traditional housing, we can deny this crime of debt slavery its primary source of revenue, and start putting it towards viable, exciting and innovative solutions. That is not mentioning the massive financial and investment opportunities that will come from this much needed and inevitable change the housing industry will eventually face worldwide!

"Absolute absolution"

I highly recommend you check out the website at and the fascinating links on rafts and artificial islands, and to start to daydream about what innovative, exciting and fun ideas we can explore to create harmonious houses and living spaces, for a happier future for ourselves, our children and our planet.

Further Reading:


  1. Hi Peter.
    Great post. It’s so interesting to see people pioneering their way through this world. Challenging, accepting, experiencing, learning, creating, and living rich lives, with a capital L.

    I really enjoyed the video and reading about your experience through interaction with it. However, I disagree with the inclusion of the ‘slavery’ link to the article, “Someone is stealing your life” — by Michael Ventura — Excerpted from LA Weekly 26-Jan-90).

    The reasons are, the article is poorly thought out, illogical, very angry, and many other things that I believe Permaculture, and like sytems, to be.

    If it is necessary to include Michael Ventura’s article, could you add a note as to what exactly in the article you agree with?
    This would help with any confusion that might result having read the article and watched the video.

    Sincerely and respectfully yours.

  2. Hi Craig.
    First, I want to thank you for all your hard work on the site.
    You are really churning out some great work that is so helpful.

    Sorry, but I just realised that my comment has a BIG typo. My comment should read,
    “The reasons are… …and many other things that I believe Permaculture, and like sytems, NOT to be.”

    I am so sorry for that.
    I must make sure I have enough energy left for a decent proof read before posting.

    That being said, I am still interested in the reasons. The charastic of the article possesses a quality that would negatively taint “Permaculture” as it’s defined.

    Hoping for some discussion, when and if your schedule permits.

    Respectfully yours.

  3. Hello Paul

    While I think the article by Michael Ventura on slavery does tend to generalize on several points, I cannot say that I disagree with the spirit of what is being said

    If we look at the typical Australian from a statistical point of view, it seems that we have some of the most aggressive taxation in the world, as well as some of the highest living expenses and real estate prices. This is not even taking into consideration deflation and manipulation of the value of money, indirect taxation, and the efficient extraction of nearly all of the energy of the majority of the population.

    An excellent discourse on this topic is the book ‘Last hours of Ancient Sunlight’ by Thomas Hartmann, describing the black and white differences of natural systems of tribe and community, vs the always imploding and collapsing systems of ‘commerce’ and exploitation

    An excellent story that comes to mind is of ‘Demon Cratius’, an Egyptian priest who discovered that he could quell slave uprisings, and better control the ‘slaves’ through officially ‘ending’ slavery and replacing it with monetary compensation. I would search this story out as I believe it is an excellent story explaining the context of slavery well

    I would be interested in why the inclusion of ‘slavery’ would possibly taint Permaculture and to discuss it openly. I am happy to provide many references that have led me to this conclusion

    Another excellent video series on this topic is called “Money Masters” and it is available for free on Google Video

  4. Hi Peter.
    I really enjoyed the Floating Neutrinos posting. The ideas, the fears, the practical, logistical difficulties people face when they pioneer something. It was inspiringly real.

    Thank you also for referencing a few areas for further investigation regarding my point.

    The book is on my list of books to read.
    And the “Masters of Money viewing” is underway.

    I really enjoyed the story of Demon Cratius. (I’m definately going to use it in my English classes.) It’s a great way to stimulate people into thinking about and questioning the status quo. There’s only one thing missing in the story. It doesn’t go on to tell us where the brave, young, alert, deep thinking slave named Nard ended up. But I thought about it, and I have an idea. What do you think?

    If Nard was as clear and careful thinking as we are led to believe in the story, he went on to do a PDC and worked towards getting people to become more self sufficient. He was the ‘grass’ in the ‘grassroots movement’ that prepared the soil for the other pioneer species to bring about a forest of change through education. In other words, “He was the change that he wanted to see in the world.”

    However, if he was overwhelmed. If he lost his ability to think rationally, carefully, clearly and slowly, and his sensibilities were dimmed by negativity, if he lost respect for himself and others, and if he finally turned bitter, he may have gone on to vent his anger in public forums shouting “Viva Revolution!”. If so, he may have recieved little more than ridicule. Maybe he even ended up being subject to well funded smear campaigns that the mass media either willingly ran, or because their advertising dollars were held hostage, had to run.

    I am not trying to be sacastic. I think there is a definite cause and effect relationship here.

    The way Michael Ventura’s article is written is exactly my point. It is the surface message that most people make their impressions on.

    George Monbiot’s, November 5 article, ‘Deep Peace in Techno-Utopia’ demonstrates the power of the oppostion that supports the current staus quo of consumerism, and destruction of the environment. Even with it’s growing support, Permaculture is still David and the heads of ‘the system’ are one very rich, very well connected Goliath.

    Herman Daly’s, October 29 article, ‘From a failed Economy to a Steady-State Economy’ suggests alternatives instead of revolution. It offers 10 carefully thought out alternatives to current practices in ‘the system’.

    When I read your article and watched the video about the Floating Neutrinos, it whispered to me “Wow! Look at what these people are doing to become more independent and experience true freedom.”

    However, when I read the link about slavery, it shouted “See! You CAN go into work and exclaim your rights to your employers’ property and or profits!”

    We all need to vent sometimes. Maybe we should not set ourselves up as soft-targets.

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