Wednesday, December 22, 2004

new Spiral Island Blogging site is up an running: 1st Day

THE REAL SPIRAL ISLAND WEB SITE HISTORY: From November 2001 to August 2003 I created and maintained the Real Spiral Island web site for my good friend Richie Sowa. In September 2003 I decided to no longer maintain the site on Apple's .Mac domain server due to costs and limited editing flexibility. Over the past year I have been searching for the best delivery method to make Richie's island wonder more accessible to visitors, and finally decided that a weblog or Blog was the best format.

DECEMBER 22, 2004: The Real Spiral Island Blogger is the start of a new web journal allowing the curious fans and many friends of Richie Sowa to make comments and publish stories about their visits to the island, to keep abreast of Richie's progress on the island.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SPIRAL ISLAND: Spiral Island composed of over 250,000 discarded plastic bottles held together within fishermans netting, and is covered with old sheets and scap pieces of plywood, over 10 tons of pearl white beach sand, and includes mangrove trees and various native vegetation that grows atop this buoyant sea mat consisting of plant roots or other organic detritus.

The area beneath this floating sea mat is exceptionally rich in aquatic lifeforms and is feed from the surrounding vegetation that has grown on the island.

The island's buoyancy is maintained as a result of a combination of the air tight plastic bottles aided by the oxygen generated naturally in the island's root mass ffrom the surrounding vegetation for support to retain their top-side-up orientation.

Spiral Island has been featured on an episode of the popular Ripley's Believe it or Not television programme, and was also featured on various other media outlets including the Spanish TeleMondo channel.

As promised to Richie, I am now getting around to designing, maintaining and republishing the real Richie Sowa Spiral Island web site to allow family, friends and curious web visitors to post their comments so many more adventure travellers who are planning a vacation to the Maya Riviera have a chance to visit this man-made wonder.

Over the next few weeks and months I will be posting photos of Richie's floating paradise to assist in gaining popularity. as there is no other site that has the depth of information on Richie's Spiral Island.

I met Richie Sowa, a unique expatriate British street musican and street mural artist in early January 2001 during my 8 months in the Yucatan peninsula from Oct 2000 to May 2001.
I ventured to many maya ruin sites, including out of the way ruins and all the tourista sites. I carried my digital camera and digital video camera to every location and documented most every unique site. Spiral Island holds special memories for myself and many people.

I've seen about one episode of SURVIVOR and haven't watched since. It's popular, but it pales in comparison to the 5 days in January 2001 that saw 20 friends and tourists help Richie Sowa to move his large tennis court sized floating tropical wonder from it's safe location in a canal in the south corner of Puerto Aventuras to a new location 1/2 km down the coast. A few weeeks later Richie and friend Kenny Coleman moved Spiral Island back to it's original home in a back channel of Puerto Aventuras.

I will never forget the day that we helped Richie move Spiral Island out the channel towards the ocean, and then into the choppy waves of the Caribbean, where we were drift towards Cuba for an hour before a parasail boat rescued us and towed us into the location of choice 1/2 km south of Puerto Aventuras.

If you are planning to visit the Yucatan peninsula, then a visit to Spiral Island is a must see. Spiral Island is located in the lagoon of Puerto Aventuras about 90 minutes south of Cancun or 25 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen, or 15 minutes nort of Tulum. To visit Richie Sowa and his island wonder, you can most likely find him at one of the street cafes in the Puerto Aventuras village where he might be playing his popular street musician music to appreciative guests. All the locals know Richie. If you visit is floating island bring him a bottle of water. He'll really appreciate it.

Please come back to this site as it will be updated regularly by myself, and hopefully as a result of contributions from those who enjoy and want to add to this Spiral Island adventure story.

RandyMac - (Randy McCallum, Trail, BC, Canada)


At 10:22 PM, Blogger RandyMac said...

VISITOR COMMENTS ABOUT SPIRAL ISLAND: To post a comment, click on the underlined comment at the bottom right of the blog (message).

I am just getting used to Google's Blogger tools, and as I learn more about what can be posted to the site, I will post messages here.


At 10:24 PM, Blogger RandyMac said...

VISITOR COMMENTS ABOUT SPIRAL ISLAND: To post a comment on a particular message, click on the underlined word comment at the bottom of each message blog.

I am just getting used to Google's Blogger tools, and as I learn more about what can be posted to the site, I will post messages here.


At 7:18 PM, Blogger james said...


I have some questions, about Spiral Island, I was wondering if you could answer for me.

1) Has Richie Sowa put out a book about building spiral Island? If not, are there any plans for one?

2) Did he have help in building it or is it mostly self built?

3) How much actual time was put into its construction?

4) How much money did he invest into building it?

5) The plants/ trees ............................many appear to be mangroves. I assume that their roots go all the way down to sea water. is this true? What other plants/ tress does he have growing on the island? How are they set up to be protected from salt in sea water? How often does he water the non-mangroves?

6) Do you have any plans or sketches that you could share?

7) I read that Sowa plans on attaching some sails and a motor...................has he already attached a motor? At what speed does the island move?

Obviously a book of details needs to be put out.

I would very much appreciate whatever technical info you could give me. I have been inspired to try it myself.....................


At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Richie have a reverse osmosis
machine for water or does it have to be carried on?
Is telephone communication possible on the island?

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the netting used to contain the plastic bottles made of? Can the netting deteriorate in time?
What kind on maintenance is needed?
Can the plastic bottles biodigrad in time? How were they sealed shut?
I know this is a lot of questions.

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