Sailors have always tested the limits in creating a microcosm capable of supporting the off-grid, self-reliant life. A sailboat, in this case a 70 foot (21 meter) gaff-rigged Schooner, is by definition a micro-home where efficient utilization of available space is essential. Stowe designed and built his boat, named Anne. Stowe and Ahmad will survive on the fish they can catch, the sprouts they can grow while under way and the provisions, including coal and firewood for their heater and fuel for limited motoring, which were stocked before launch on 21 April 2007. Solar panels will power the electronics on board and water will be collected from rainfall or desalinated.You can follow the adventure, officially dubbed "1000 Days at Sea: the Mars Ocean Odessey", at 1000 days and read the blog at 1000 Days at Sea Blog. In case your "corporate-BS" detector is vibrating, you should know that "Mars" does not mean Stowe and Ahmad will survive on chocolate bars; Mars refers to the planet and reflects the similarities between sea voyages and interplanetary travel. If you check the list of sponsors, you will find it refreshingly free of companies not contributing their specialized expertize. We wish them luck.
Why set sail with the goal of staying at sea, without once making landfall, for 1000 days? Well, there is the obvious reason: to break the record of 657 days set by Australian Jon Sanders from 1986-1988. But why did friends and companies sign on to support Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad in this endeavor? Perhaps they are motivated to back an attempt at "extending the limits of human endurance to promote a global message of inspiration, perseverance and human ecological self sustenance".