16-Jun-2007 -- "Towards Zero" was the name of our project. We are Lina Faller, Marcel Mieth, Thomas Stüssi, and Susanne Weck, an artist group called FMSW, settled in Berlin, Germany. Since 2001 FMSW deals with positioning and the question: "where are we actually?", the GPS is one of our tools to approximate. "Towards Zero" was the idea of branding Point Zero to verify the GPS-System. In our luggage we carried a high vakuum, enclosed in a hollow steel ball. Branding zero with nothing as consequence of our studies. (more information about the concept will be published in a book 2008, further information about our work: www.fmsw.net)
We started on 11 May 2007. We embarked the Grande Argentina in Hamburg, which shipped us to Tema, Ghana. It was the idea about moving slowly towards zero. We had three weeks to observe the horizon and to concentrate on the project. After stops in Dakar, Cotonou and Lagos we entered Ghana on 1 June.
There we had to find a small but good and fast vessel which could bring us to point zero. That was not an easy affair, because good ships which are affordable are rare in West Africa. After a few days we checked out a vessel called "Tropic Sun", an oil rig supply vessel, which seemed to be the one and only. After times of hard negotiations about the price, especially about the bunker issue, we had a horrible long week of waiting. Then we started on 14 June.
Transcription of the log-book:
10:00h stand by eng. And tested nav. equipment for sailing
10:45h sail out and set 180° to Equator
Noon: 12kn, true course 180°, gentle breeze, drizzeling wr, slight sea.
16:00h pitching and rolling, heavy swells and cloudy wr
19:30h reduced speed due to high swells
21:00h reduced speed due to high swells
24:00h 9 kn, T.C. 180°, moderate brize, cloudy wr, moderate swell
04:00h Moderate breeze, cloudy wr and moderate swells, 6,5 kn, T.c. 180
08:00h 6,5 kn, Tc 180, Moderate breeze, fine wr and moderate sea
12:00h 6,5 kn, Tc 180, gentle breeze, fine wr and slight sea
12:40h increase R.P.M. 14°°
24: 00 Arrived at the equator
At sunset of 16 June we reached the area of 0N 0E after times of heavy swells and some of us were not in good condition. The zodiac was prepared and we began, accompanied by Kosina Mensah, to navigate by GPS to point zero exactly. The "Tropic Sun" followed us.
The current let us drift and the waves were quite heavy, so we had a long time crossing from northwest to southeast and southwest to northeast and so on. After nearly 20 minutes crossing around point zero, we matched zero; the GPS showed N 00°000' W 00°000', it was 8:08h in the morning.
We plunged the high vacuum at this point. It sank quickly, to reach the ground it took almost 20 minutes (5000 m deep, the engineer who constructed the ball made the calculation). At the same time we scooped 25l gallons of zero water, which is now available as an edition. Besides that, we took a 360° panorama shot, to show the view from point zero. After that, we returned to the "Tropic Sun" and left home.
Transcription of the log-book:
00:25h stopped for drifting
04:30h com´ced ab´d
06:20h at po´sn Lat 000° Long 000°
07:00h releases Zodie for their project works
09:20h completed project works
09:40h set Lo 000° for Tema
10:20-45h stopped for pictures and continued
12:00h 11,2 kn, tc 000, gentle brize, fin wr and slight sea
16:00h 12kn, tc000, gentle brize, cloudy wr and slight sea
20:00h 11,5 kn, tc 000, light breeze, cloudy wr, smooth sea
24:00h moderate breeze, cloudy wr and mod. Sea
04:00h 11,5 kn, TC 000, gentle brize, cloudy wr and slight sea
08:00h 12kn, TC 000, gentle brize, fine wr, slight sea
12:00h 12,5 kn tc 000, moderate brize, sunny wr, mod sea
The project was supported by DAAD, Germany and Kunstfonds Bonn, Germany. More and detailed information about the trip was published in a magazine, you can read it online, see