The Ephemerisle Experience
In late July of this year, history was made as Oceanus embarked on an epic voyage to Ephemerisle on the 1936 research vessel Robert Gray. Ephemerisle is an annual week-long gathering on the Sacramento River Delta, brimming with highly creative, intelligent, and successful people there to showcase, and indulge in, their water-based joys. In the weeks preceding the event, dozens of crew members lived and worked aboard the Gray and its 170ft counterpart, the Fir, putting incredible amounts of heart and soul into preparing the vessels for this monumental event… and it showed!
The Oceanus Experience at Ephemerisle:
By the end of the week, we had hosted over five hundred guests for our first ever Oceanus Aqua-conference, with glowing reviews and highly useful lessons to take away. Among the offerings provided was “Dolphin Tank”, a social entrepreneurship pitch competition, panel discussions, keynote speakers, art exhibitions, cook-offs, amazing musical artistry, and passionate conversations and ideation in our very own helipad hot tub!
The Gray also provided a valuable resource for testing sustainable living practices, as well as educating our guests on the principles of environmental stewardship and social innovation. And, as our primary vessel filled to capacity, with hammocks swinging from the rafters and soft conversation accompanying the ship’s rocking, we had an opportunity to ferry our guests to the newest addition to our fleet, the 300ft cruise ship, Aurora.
Floating Social innovation Hub
She was the jewel of Germany, heralding an age of pride and presence for a country still striving to mend its international image from the devastation of World War II. The first diesel-electric, Maybach-engined vessel Germany built after the conflict, the Wappen von Hamburg had all the latest in technology and style, launching in 1955 as the most technologically advanced and luxurious cruise ship to exist at the time. Since then, she’s changed hands and names over half a dozen times, traveling the world as the Polar Star, Xanadu, and more, to finally arrive as the Aurora off the coast of California… and right into Oceanus’ open arms.
At this moment, Aurora sits expectantly in Stockton, ready to be used as a conference center, private retreat, and social innovation hub on the Sacramento Delta before her historic re-entry to the Bay. With a 1,600 passenger capacity with sleeping spaces for over two hundred people, conference rooms and office areas, workshops/makerspaces, incubator space, a large pool, a grand ballroom, and much more–the Aurora is our baysteading dream come to reality.
Where do you dock a majestic ship like this though, you ask? She docks at home, of course!
Our Island of Change
Oceanus’ most recent collaboration to date is with Stone Cove Youth Camp, on architecting the future of Stone Cove Island in Suisun Bay (about 30 minutes northeast of Oakland), a five-and-a-half acre base, replete with an entire fleet of boats all its (and now our) own. Riverboats, houseboats, sailboats… all that’s missing is a cruise ship. With ownership extending fifty feet into the water surrounding the island, our concern of where to dock the Aurora, while undergoing our restoration and retrofitting process, is no longer a problem (with the end game of having her docked at the Port of San Francisco, of course).
Stone Cove will serve as our launching point, eventually housing the equipment used to build and assemble our HexaPod prototypes (our unique hexagonal modular floating platforms created from recycled ocean plastic), as well as functioning as an easily accessible base for research and development on all things related to the Oceanus dream of clean oceans, total sustainability, and vibrant community.
Our vision is to be home to a broad spectrum of human beings (and close affiliates). To entice, we plan to offer co-working and co-living spaces, makerspaces for techies and machinists, places to encourage art, creativity, play and growth, and areas to promote humanitarian, environmental, social, and political enhancement. And the over-arching theme? Sustainable, intellectual, and joyful environments, from bottom to top. And from there, we can prototype our 3D printing systems to recycle devastating ocean plastic into enlightened floating communities!
Empowerment and inclusiveness are at the heart of our principles, and in that spirit, we at Oceanus are putting a call out to you: Thinkers, Dreamers, Doers, Creators, and Visionaries of the world. Take part in our Aurora: Design the Dream challenge! What would YOU like to see promoted aboard our collective vessel? Share your vision with us, and join us for our next Aqua-conference on October 24th aboard the Aurora. This event will feature phenomenal minds promoting their dreams, and lead into the pre-Halloween event of the year, all hosted on-site in the Aurora’s glorious ballroom. Submit entries to firstname.lastname@example.org in the form of documents, videos, audio recording, or whatever captures the spirit of your proposal in its fullest extent!
Some key design topics:
- Clean Energy
- Sustainable Food Systems
- Waste Recycling
- Technology Manufacturing
- Creative Production
- Bay Area Remediation
- Community Governance
- Maritime Navigation
- Restoration and Maintenance
- Innovative Events
- Safety and Risk Management
- Culture Creation
- Inducements of Awe
Thinkers, Dreamers, Doers, and Visionaries of the world: the platform for you to shine, and shine together, is here–in an unparalleled and awesome environment of heightened consciousness cultivated to inspire awe and aid in your creative constructs; Oceanus has arrived.
See you on the waves and in the future. Your tribe welcomes you home. Come and be amazing with us.