Ephemerisle 2012

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History: 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 - 2021 - 2022 - Overview

South Island at Night - Photo Credit: Matt Bell
Building the Platform - Photo Credit: Matt Bell

The first year of islands!

Ephemerisle 2012 took place from June 6 to 10 at Mandeville Tip, the same location as the previous year. The event grew significantly this year, with houseboats and sailboats numbering at least 25 and attendance estimated around 300.

This year we experimented with breaking the city into three separately anchored islands. North and South were made up of houseboats and each had their own platform. The West Island was made up of sailboats and powerboats.

A huge windstorm picked up just before the weekend with winds up to 40 knots. Anchors were pulled out. Boats were damaged. And calls were made out telling no else to come to the event because everything was falling apart.

Miracuously, the two 60lb anchors held the two houseboat islands by themselves when all other anchors had pulled free preventing these islands from drifting away.


One community; three islands connected (for a while) with a rope you could pull yourself across.

  • North: Slightly more of a party focus.
  • South: Slightly more introverted.
  • West: All of the sailors, and a couple of powerboats.

Unofficial statistics for Ephemerisle 2012

  • Population: \~290 (including day trippers)
  • Ephemerisle (the discussion group) members: 597
  • Fully funded projects: 9
  • Total donations: \$7,898
  • Unique donors: \~113
  • Avg donation: \$70 (very loose \#'s as didn't have the actual data of individual donors)
  • Number of houseboats: 21
  • Number of other boats: 9+
  • Anchors set: 19
  • Anchors lost (temporarily): 2
  • Anchors lost (permanently): 2
  • Community Platforms: 2
  • Rescues from the water: \~11
  • Whale rescues from the water: 1
  • Rescued whales hoisted to a mast: 1
  • Couples married: 1
  • Coast Guard Calls: 1
  • Coast Guard Hotties: 1
  • Injuries requiring medical attention (1 head gash, patched with skull & crossbones bandaids)
  • Deaths: 0

Art Projects

The Bearded Lady

The Bearded Lady, Photo by Stephen Payne - Paynie

Be the Bearded Lady.

Artist: Gerry Deckert; Ephemerisle 2012

Cuddle Gallery

Cuddle Gallery. Photo by Matt Bell

This 24'x28' platform and dome was the coziest place at Ephemerisle - a place to admire art, exchange ideas and dream!

With lots of padding and pillows on the floor, this shelter from wind and sun was a chill space for festival attendees, showing art during daytime and evening hours. After hours this was a sleeping space for many of those who helped make it happen.

Art on display included the Jellyfish and paintings by Kristy.

Artists: Kristy Hilands, Candice Achenbach, Christopher Rasch

Dance Platform


Lemonade and Lasers

Lemonade and Lasers

Details at: http://bonniebarrilleaux.com/2013/01/21/lemonade-and-lasers/

Past Kickstarter

Artist: Bonnie Barrilleaux


Jellyfish Photo by Matt Bell.

A tent with LED lighting and tentacles hanging from the ceiling.

Artists: Joanna, Ping, & Helen


"Jellypus" Photo by Matt Bell.

A massive underwater octopus-like light show.

The Making Of Jellypuss: Featuring Michael Clive

Past Kickstarter

Artists: Michael Clive & Cyprien Noel

Original designs: Subshine & Jellypus


(name changed due to privacy considerations)

Ephemerisle 2012. Photo credit, Jennifer Wheeler
(sung to the tune of The Ballad of Gilligan's Island)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
A tale of an acid trip

One man took at Ephemerisle

Out near Mand'ville Tip.
Jack Frenzy's trip began midday
With sun and spirits high
But soon dark thoughts and fears took hold!
And reason went awry.
Into the Delta waves he dove
The wind and currents fierce
Fears grew as rescuers' offers
Of help fell on deaf ears.
Neither smiles nor threats nor pleas
Nor sirens' breasts aflare
Could lure Jack Frenzy to a boat
'till Jungle Jim got there.
Back to the north isle Frenzy went
With friends, laid safely sound
But a mayday already had been called!
And the Coast Guard soon came 'round.
The kindly Guard gave options three:
Stay here, or rejoin your ship;
Or if you like, you can come with us
in cuffs for a one-way trip.
His frenzied brain was laced with fear
He eyed the distant shore
With a glance behind, and a sudden leap
He chose option four.
He chose option four.
Back in the dark'ning waves he leapt!
Stunned faces in his wake
Mightily he swam, not seeing
A police boat on his flank.
Boldly he climbed up those rocks
Cheeks shining in twilight
He reached the road, he ran, but no!
'Twas not a long-lived flight.
Those cops tackled him to the ground 
And hauled him off to jail
But safety was their real concern
They set him free, no bail.
Jack Frenzy's tale had a lucky end
Neither death nor felony
But bad trips at Ephemerisle
Won't always come for free.
Won't always come for free.

Photos and videos

Please add links to your photo albums and videos of the event below!


  • Add a talk here

Planning documents

City design

Directory of boat & craft captains

Central platform schedule

Memocracy talks schedule

The detailed anchoring plan.

If you just need a place to stay at Ephemerisle, you can make arraignments with The SleeperService. If you need water transportation from H&H Marina, see the 2012 transportation document

Add an event to the 2012 central platform schedule or review the currently proposed events.

If you want to view the performance/broadcast schedule, make your request to thipdar ta gmail tod com. If you would like to play CDs for Radio FMerisle or be a performing DJ, you can send a request for a time slot to the same e-mail address.

Fill out the boat/platform survey so we can plan the city. Learn how to build your own floating platform!

Come to the build your own land event, April 7-8.

[images/2011-platform-design-final.pdf Download Ratha Grimes' 2011 platform design.]

Fundraising efforts

  • Central Platform **FULLY FUNDED** - Bring back the Central Platform from last year and expand it to be 24'x28'.
  • Cuddle Platform / Gallery **FULLY FUNDED** - Ephemerisle needs a space where community members can chill out, cuddle among friends, admire art, practice yoga, and talk about all the great ideas that our floating festival inspires!
  • Anchoring **FULLY FUNDED** - This has been a problem in the past at Ephemerisle. We met our original goal. Now we're looking for a couple of hundred extra dollars for additional rope and chain. Help ensure Ephemerisle literally doesn't get blown away.
  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/22415368/jellypus-floating-flashing-art-thing-take-2 [Jellypus] **FULLY FUNDED** - a massive underwater octopus like light show. There is a [second round of funding](https://www.wepay.com/donations/jellypuss-round-two) to cover extra costs to the project.
  • Lemonade and Lasers **FULLY FUNDED** - a floating lemonade stand with lasers.
  • The Amphibious Red Couch **FULLY FUNDED** - a Bicycle-Pedal-Powered Paddlewheel Pontoon Couch
  • Performers and equipment fund
    • support the Radio FMerisle Saturday Night Dance Party. About $1,400 in expenses paid out-of-pocket and the event was cancelled due to high winds. Still time to donate, if you want to express appreciation for Rion Fish's Friday evening performance.
  • Speed Limit Signs **TIMED OUT** - temporary floating speed limit signs, to warn boaters to slow down near Ephemerisle. These signs will be reuseable for years. Overly-optimistic; signs were not stable in high wind.
  • Well deserved rum **FULLY FUNDED** - send bottles of rum along to Paul Wheeler and the two people (who despite not being able to attend Ephemerisle) loaned us the big expensive 60lb anchors.
  • Repay for Paul's Cut Anchor **FULLY FUNDED** - Paul lost an anchor at some point; most likely someone motored over his anchor line. Adam found a nice used anchor, but let's get this and his bottle of rum.
  • Platform Storage()
    • rental on the storage unit for the platforms

Matt Bell Quote

“Oh Ephemerisle -- I went for a vacation and ended up doing an intense 5-day group workshop in leadership skills, team-building, community design, crisis management, technical problem-solving with limited materials, seamanship, and mediation. Thanks to all the awesome individuals who made the event happen!”

Meeting Notes



Year-round events

A list of Ephemerisle related events that happened throughout the year.