October 26, 2021

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Dirigibles, Chinese Junk Rigs, and Surfboards

Spring Break Of Code, Day One.

One of the first times I met up with Moxie while travelling, we met at a dive bar in
San Francisco’s Mission District, packed with hipsters. I had nineteen years, a modified state ID card, and just
hitchhiked into town. We sat at the bar, and both ordered well gin and tonics.

I had a proposal, the sort of get-rich-quick scheme it seems that only 18th century pirates and lazy hacker-squatters are
capable of contriving: We fly to China. Then, we spend a few grand purchasing a Chinese junk rig, and equip it with a system
of pulleys so that we can man the sails from the cockpit, solo if necessary. Next, we fill the cabin with about as much potable
water as we can carry and enough dried food to stave off starvation, and set a course across the northern arc of the
Pacific – avoiding the treachery of the South Seas – for San Francisco. The choice of vessel was key, the battened sails
and flattened hull of a Chinese junk rig make it arguably one of the safest ships to make a transoceanic voyage alone, not
to mention the financial incentives: being rare in the Americas, a well-kept junk rig would go for anywhere from $50,000
to $250,000 USD – not to mention grant you free slip fees at just about any marina from Anchorage to Punta Arenas. How could
anyone turn down such a preposterous plot which included adventure on the high seas, a high mortality risk, riches and notoriety?