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Old 05-03-2008, 06:55 PM   #29
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Further to my previous post, I noted that on another website Mr. Bone states, "If anyone has questions I will be happy to answer them."

Well, Collingwood and Callum have asked questions. I hope you will "be happy to answer them."

We eagerly await the response.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:28 PM   #30
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Hi All!

I have perused this thread with great interest. I would however ask that we return to the original topic title posted by "jerjacko" = "Anyone know much about them"?

We have had many questions asked - some entertaining, some VERY direct and perhaps harsh but no input from individuals as yet in reply to the original question. I believe that all that has been posted so far gives our readers some insight and ponderables and maybe something to assist them to make up their own minds and possibly conduct their own background research.

In fairness, I ask you all to refrain from continuing a public "bashing" and to submit only known information - be it good or bad. I sincerely hope that Oceanswatch will answer any outstanding queries to clear the air. Then, allow readers to make up their own minds, one way or another.

Please, do not let us have this thread deteriorate any further.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Old 05-03-2008, 07:53 PM   #31
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Whilst obviously respecting admin's endeavours to bring this discussion back on track I would say that there is very little "known information" due, in large, to OceanWatch's reluctance to post the information requested.

Of course, there must be someone who does have first hand experience of Mr. Bone and/or his organisation and, hopefully, is prepared to share that information with us. Notwithstanding, I am of the opinion that this thread would have been extremely brief if only replies to the original question were to be offered. In fact, I believe that no one has addressed that specific issue.

I do not agree that this thread has deteriorated. Questions have been asked to which satisfactory answers have not been given. It is that simple. By establishing a charity one puts oneself in the public domain and the public therefore have a right to demand answers to specific and concrete questions.

I fully agree that there is no reason for a "public bashing" but respectfully suggest that the best way to avoid such is for OceanWatch to answer the issues raised openly and honestly. Once that has been done there should be nothing left to discuss, assuming that all is above board.

Respectfully

James Lidstone-Collingwood
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:12 AM   #32
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I wrote about the R.E.E.F. organization inside the Florida USA region and Caribbean and the good work they have been doing cataloging and reporting data about the underwater world. This data never existed before R.E.E.F. started operation. Governments and academic research organizations do not have unlimited resources and spend their grants on "hot topic" areas. Underwater reefs, fish populations, etc. are not in that area so organizations like R.E.E.F. that uses volunteers to develop data are making enormous impacts on the deliberations and laws and conservations rules promulgated by various governments and agencies.

In the "oceanswatch" reply to my musing he said:

"A point I would like to make is that OceansWatch is NOT principally a research organisation.

There has been plenty of research done and there is a great deal of money being spent on research. We already know that global warming exists, we know that there are many problems facing coastal communities. OceansWatch has not been set up to further the career of academics or for marine biologists to do research projects in exotic locations."


The fact of the matter is that there is not a "great deal" of money available that is spent on research into the oceans and reefs and marine ecosystems. The oceans are too large! So volunteer and charitable or non-profit organizations do wonderful service in accumulating this data.

My thrust was to point out that to be anything other than another "hollow" money hole for donations, the organization needs to do work that is useful to the world and its people - and - get that work published and recognized so that it can affect the future deliberations of the "power centers" that can make a difference in the future of the oceans and reefs and fish population. This is not about furthering the careers of academics - it is about affecting the future of the people of the world and the oceans.

Collecting money from donations and then not producing any tangible benefits that can be used to shape the future policies of governments puts the organization one notch below even the pure "lobbying" money holes. Newsletters are neat, but are basically just preaching to the choir. Using the far reaching observations and information collections abilities of world cruisers to produce some hard data and then using that information in an presentable format is "preaching" to the powerful decision makers. That, then can result in tangible "good" for the future of the world's oceans and people.

So I could care less what the "legal" status of Oceanwatch is in respect to its charitable charter, etc. I do care about where any money is spent to produce an effective results that will actually do some good.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:51 AM   #33
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This is a new organization. Many times people want to have a positive impact by combining their hobbies or interests with a "do go" activity. With a new organization, sometimes things are a bit shaky and it takes a while to work out the details. Sometimes, the founders are quite innocently trying to do good things but don't have the specialized not-for-profit administrative expertise to do things in a way that is clearly in the best interest of their "do good" activity without seeming to be in their own personal interest. Sometimes people are quite blind to what appears to be (and frequently is) conflict of interest. Self-interest is a strong enough motivator in most people to be blinding, unfortunately. Sometimes, its only after being accused of untoward activities or motives that the founders (with good intention) find themselves sitting down and hashing through all the details of activities they can undertake without actual or appearance of conflict of interest.

Many, many, many not-for-profit organizations have a very hard time of keeping on top of filing the proper paperwork and doing all the admin as they should be done in a timely manner. I wouldn't find it surprising nor do I find it an indicator of any sort of underhandedness if this group found itself scrambling to file paperwork AFTER folks at Cruiserlog started asking questions. Same with budget. Good intentions don't always enable good administrative behavior! I have a close friend in Washington, DC who routinely "rescues" such not-for-profit groups from themselves (he helps them get their paperwork in order and keep things transparent) because its a common problem with small or new not-for-profit groups. He does his "rescues" for free. Its his way of contributing to charitable organizations with goals he wishes to support.

I would suggest that the Cruiserlog community take a breather on pointing out inadequacies of this new organization and instead keep an eye on the activities of Oceanswatch. It would likely be most constructive for folks to send private emails to Oceanswatch if/when folks see something that appears not-quite-right or in conflict-of-interest/self interest. We've alerted the cruising community to many questions with this thread; we cannot have much more of a positive impact by blasting them in this forum; we can have a positive impact by sharing what we value and in discussion of the sorts of things we'd like to see Oceanswatch engage in (or not). Oceanswatch can take that information and work with it. They, or any other organization, will not work with the sort of bashing that we're falling into here.

My 2 cents worth.
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:26 AM   #34
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Hi All,

As the 1st paying member of Oceanswatch I feel I'm in a position to add to this thread, which i must say I believe has drifted well away from the original post.

I am mate on this trip on Magic Roundabout to Vanautu. I will be leaving the boat prior to it sailing to PNG. I am a cruising yachtie myself and as the owner/skipper of a Hans Christian 43T, I don't need to go on a " paying hoilday " I can cruise wherever I want on my own boat, however, I want to be involved what Oceanswatch is doing.

I first came in contact with Chris Bone through his company Pacific Yacht Deliveries, as a crew on a delivery. Chris told me about Oceanswatch, the ideas, goals, dreams etc and I found them in tune with my own values. I have spent a fair bit of time now with Chris, his wife Julia, Jane Pares and Lily Kozmian-Ledward and have found them honest, driven and fully committed to helping others. Those of you questioning the integrity of these people are so far off base you have no idea. I've seen no " feathering their own nests " exactly the opposite, all these people work long and hard for Oceanswatch with no financial benifit to themselves, in fact I have seen many incidences of them paying for things from their own pockets. These people are not trying to " fund a lifestyle ", scam the public or fleece anyone, they simply have a good idea, a dream and the drive and motivation to make it happen.

They are not lawyers, accountants or speech writers, so if the answers arn't word perfect, understand that, also they're busy, really busy, especially Chris so don't expect answers immediately. Ask yourself, in the bigger scheme of things, is this forum the most important thing Oceanswatch will do today.

Now about Oceanswatch.

Remember Oceanswatch is about environmental AND humanitarian aid.

Cruising yachties are in a unique place to help remote island communities, either with delivering supplies or giving much needed expertise. Until now there has not been an organisation that can bring the yachting community together as a useful and viable network. Oceanswatch is trying to do this and more power to them.

Many cruising yachties want to help local communities but just don't know how, to have an organisation that can give direction is a huge help. Yachties have many skills useful to these remote communities and the means ( their yacht ) to get them there. remember these communiteis are remote, no shops, no reading glasses, no painkillers, no books or pencils for the kids to do their lessons, no fibreglass repair kits for the hole in your fishing boat, no fabric for a dress. No engineers, no doctors, no horticulturists.

So if Magic Roundabout and other Oceanswatch boats can go to these remote areas and identifiy problems and needs and then pass this information onto their members I see this as all good. But then I know the founding members and know they are serious about helping these communities and are actually doing concrete things to that aim, so stop getting caught up on the small stuff and lend a hand yourselves.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:56 AM   #35
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Many thanks SVVelela for helping to put things into perspective. It is good to hear a positive argument, especially from someone with first-hand experience.

I am all in favour of the "fix the problem first" attitude. In fact, that is the way many very well respected charities started, living more or less from hand to mouth.

Regarding your opinion that "those of you questioning the integrity of these people are so far off base you have no idea" I sincerely hope this proves to be correct. If that is so then I do not think Mr. Bone would have had any problems in responding to my simple request to see the Workplan and Cost Estimate nor to answering Callum's questions regarding expences. In this respect I do not believe that either of these requests are "caught up on small stuff"

That aside, once again many thanks for adding another viewpoint.

James Lidstone-Collingwood
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:45 AM   #36
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Hi,

Work plan and expenses graph I can't help with but the crew contribution I can. As crew I've seen a workplan for this trip

Oceanswatch is currently operating without the benifit of grants and just on it's memberships. Therefore the costs of feeding the crew and skipper, fuel and other running costs would have to come from membership fees, if we, the crew didn't help. It is money freely given by us, seen as much as a donation to Oceanswatch as anything. As I am provisioning the boat I can assure you everything is split 3 ways, with Chris paying the same as James and myself.

What we are offering on this trip is very inexpensive. We are doing Reefcheck surveys and sending the information to Reefcheck, we are doing Coralwatch surveys and sending that information in. We have invitations to several villages for a variety of reasons, to train some divers, deliver ( purchased by us ) and help install marker bouys on an MPA, train people to make vanilla extracts, we have also been given or purchased reading glasses, pens, notebooks, solar lights, fibreglass repair supplies, first aid items etc to give where needed. We will also use this trip, and all future trips to promote Oceanswatch.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:56 AM   #37
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Thanks for your posts SVVelella. They have certainly helped to restore some balance in the debate and I hope Callum is satisfied with the answer regarding expenses on the coming voyage. I have a feeling he will be back soon and give us the benefit of his opinion.

Collingwod's question remains, as you pointed out, unanswered.

I have a feeling that we are getting back on track here. It is just a shame that it has taken so long to get a few answers. In all honesty, I have to say that the delay has not been to OceanWatch's advantage but maybe we are getting to the point where we can say that all seems to be well? Let us hope so. Until then I look forward to Collingwood's question being answered and Callum's response.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:02 AM   #38
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Come now Mr Bone. Don't just keep sending your spamming team here (Velella - new here) - see http://hanschristian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?...83f3dcbd8#18900

Come back here and answer some questions - don't send others in an attempt to cover for you.

Every where I look I see hundreds of your posts and the posts and profiles are all full of links to your yacht delivery business. You have been very guilty of spamming for your business all over the internet. Talk about conflict of interests?

The idea of Oceanswatch may well be good but, give us the nitty-gritty PLEASE. I want to know where my $25 will go - I want to know that it will not just be funding someone's "lifestyle" like:

"collect up the writing pens and solar lights around the world and then have a diving/sailing holiday (for the trustees & paid for by the trust) delivering them".

Please excuse me Mr Admin, but, he is ducking my questions that are of interest to all. A google of oceanswatch and Chris Bone supports my statement above. I am not "bashing" but just trying to get some important information about the group. Unfortunately, this group is not handling this very well.
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:50 PM   #39
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I was convinced that Callum would come back with an interesting argument and he certainly did not disappoint me. He raises a very valid point regarding the conflict of interest issue.

As far as I can determine the two questions raised, Callum's asking for an explanation of expenses and Collingwood's request for the Workplan and Cost Estimate, remain either unanswered or unsatisfactorily answered. To this the issue of spamming and conflict of interest has been added. I cannot see leaving such issues open doing OceanWatch's reputation any good and must concur with Callum's point of the "group (OceanWatch) not handling this very well." As a charity swims or sinks on the tide of public opinion I would assume it to be a key issue to address these questions.

As a direct comment to Mr. Bone, it really is in oceanWatch's interest to clear this up instead of allowing the debate to cloy. Please do not disappoint the members of Cruiser Log by not responding and, essentially more importantly, do not leave those who already have contributed to OceanWatch wondering if they have supported an honorable charitable organisation or have been conned into subventioning a life style to which many of us would like to become accustomed.

I am not taking any side in the debate but I remain convinced that if you show yourselves to be the open and honest organisation you claim to be instead of being generally unwilling to engage the wider public in open debate about your methods, preferring to promote your agenda sub rosa, then you will gain support from many of this forum's readers

Aye // Stephen
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:05 PM   #40
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Posting the project plans for our Vanuatu/PNG or our Tonga projects on this forum is not going to happen.

I have discussed this with other Trustees and our decision is that we will not risk having our projects jeopardised. It is obvious that some forum posters are looking for ways to find fault with OceansWatch and we have a concern that they may contact our Pacific contacts to check up on us, thus casting doubts with the people we want to work with.

We may consider allowing the forum moderator to view the documents via private email if we get a promise from him/her that they will not pass the document on or discuss the document in any specific details.

I have 1 week before we leave. I am hauling later today. I do not have time for a long winded defense of OceansWatch on this forum. If readers do not trust us or do not want to support us then so be it. I invite then to sign up for our newsletters and let us get on with it.

Chris Bone

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Old 05-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #41
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Well, we have an answer albeit a non-answer to a large extent.

It is obvious from Mr. Bone's answer that Collingwood will not get a look at the Workplan and Cost Estimate, which as he pointed out should reasonably be in the public domain.

Regarding the possibility for a moderator to examine the documents Mr. Bone only states that "we may consider" this. Not quite the same as a offer for a moderator to examine the document(s).

No response to Callum regarding either the issue of costs, spamming or the conflict of interest.

Summing up thus far, we have got not one step further. I am sure this will not be the last we hear of this though.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:52 PM   #42
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Quote:
We may consider allowing the forum moderator to view the documents via private email if we get a promise from him/her that they will not pass the document on or discuss the document in any specific details.
Hi Chris

I would prefer that this did not happen as it would place CL (and moderators) in the middle of all this and unable to pass comment supported by any documentation. We cannot pass "judgement" on any such documentation anyway so would be a waste of time and energy. If you wish to pass this information to any member it is of course your prerogative. Kindly do not place the administrators of this forum in a difficult position.

Thank you.
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