United Kingdom

River Clyde, Scotland
Vase planted by John Clarkson, Gavin Cullen, Nina Polli & Elaine Howatson,  May 28, 2000

“On an exceptionally sunny day, we drove from Edinburgh to Greenock, formerly one of the main Clyde ports but now an area undergoing slow but marked change from its days when the upper reaches of the Clyde provided the world with most of its shipping.  Here, we decided to use a drogue to lessen the terminal speed of the vase in its descent to the bottom of the Loch.  Nina asked, “Just how fast can this thing go?”  The two crew members looking conspiratorially like two small boys said, “Shall we go fast?”  Then they opened wide the throttles, the boat’s stern tucked itself down in the water and we were suddenly leaving a huge frothy wake behind us.

When we reached the chosen area, I quickly attached four equal lengths of cord through the predrilled holes in the rim of the sturdy plastic pot.  Then I tied them to four corners of a pink woolen blanket, one from my childhood, creating a parachute of sorts.  Thousands of air bubbles broke the surface of the apparatus as it made its measured descent into the sea.  All of us felt a powerful moment of jubilation that the operation had gone without a hitch.

Afterwards, we drove to a nearby McDonalds.  We did some meditation practice in the parking lot, dedicated the merit and then devoured a very welcome lunch.

The river Clyde valley lies in a vast basin.  On our drive home eastward, we rose to the rim of the basin as the road crested the hill.  Suddenly a long bank of high grey clouds deluged us with heavy rain and hailstones.  It felt almost as if we had just passed beyond the sphere of that particular vase’s influence.  Fanciful speculation.”  (John Clarkson)