History of Ephemerisle

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

Ithaca Island - 2015

Seasteading is the movement to create autonomous communities (new cities or countries) on the sea. The Seasteading Institute (TSI) is a nonprofit that advances the movement. In 2009, TSI created Ephemerisle as a laboratory of seasteading. Patri's original website and info about Ephemerisle is still online.

After the first year, TSI stepped aside due to prohibitively expensive insurance costs. A group of seasteaders and friends decided to continue the event on an informal basis, calling it "Not-ephemerisle." In 2011, TSI graciously handed the name over to the community and we became "Ephemerisle" again.

From 2010 through 2012, there were an informal leader over the event each year who drew up the city plan and nominally had some decision-making power. In 2012, the community unanimously decided to decentralize from a single leadership team into a independent autonomous islands. That has been the nature of the event ever since.

Houseboats were a key element of Ephemerisle's early history. In 2015, every houseboat available for rent in the Delta was rented within hours of the date being announced. In 2018, Paradise Point who provided the rented houseboats closed that part of their business, and that was the first year without any rented houseboats.


Ephemerisle 2009

The event was sponsored & run by The Seasteading Institute (TSI). The only year in Ephemerisle's history with tickets.

9 Houseboats and a community platform anchored to shore.



Ephemerisle 2010

TSI officially abandoned the event about a month before it was to begin due to prohibitively high insurance costs. Instead, leaderless, decentralized "NotEphemerisle" was born.

About 120 people showed up, with 8(?) houseboats, and a platform.



Ephemerisle 2011

TSI handed the name over to the community and the event became "Ephemerisle" again. Every houseboat available was rented and we built a U-shaped city.

Approximately 200 people and a 20'x24' platform.



Ephemerisle 2012

The first year of islands!

A 40+ knot windstorm wreaked havoc and inspired the sundering.

Jack Frenzy ran from the cops and went for a swim.

21 houseboats. 9 other boats. About 300 people.




Islands gain independence.

The first independent islands were Dromhaven, Ithaka, Titan, and Shitshow/Blanket Fort.



Ephemerisle 2014

The biggest year of Ephemerisle so far.

Titan island was the "big island".

First cooking competition: Titan Chef.



Ephemerisle 2015

All houseboats were rented within hours of date being announced.

Titan grows into the Elysium Archipelago. Bump bed made a bunch of noise.

Oceanus brings out a big ship.



"Ephemerisle 2016"

First year with a real pre-build (since perhaps 2009).

A record number of islands.



"Venom" and "Artemiid"

In early 2017, heavy storms damaged the Paradise Point marina. As a result, the marina only rented out 5 houseboats (instead of the 20+ that they normally rented out).

First time in history when houseboats were not one of the major element of the event.



"Fangtooth" Submarine

First year that there were no rented houseboats.

First year with a submarine.

Tenth consecutive year with no major injuries or deaths.



Ephemerisle 2019

More / better platforms.

More distance between islands (seemed more incidental than intentional).

More big sound systems



Ephemerisle 2020

Large parts of the community stayed away due to Covid-19.

Many Ephemerisle Island leaders and old timers wrote an Open Letter advising people to stay away this year.

Those who went had a great time, and there were no reported cases of spread.



Ephemerisle 2021

A human launcher shows up (and is almost safe).

3 cases of covid on Mazapeta.

Vinyl island gives out countless hot dogs.

Bargey can't get unstuck from the mud.



Ephemerisle 2022

Electric Avenue makes it's first appearance

Human launcher is back

There are some challenges with ferry & infrastructure

Bargey breaks down a few miles away