“the value of an idea, concept or theory...
is what it enables you to do”
MG Taylor Axiom
Camelot - Second trip to the Bahamas - 2000
Why Camelot?


In 1993, Gail and I, with then Captain Bill Lacher, took CAMELOT to the Bahamas [link bahamas].


It was a wonderful early summer trip that ended with us arriving back in the States on July 4th. Of all the experiences this sail provided, there is one moment that stands out most in my mind.


It was early morning on the sail back to the US. We had timed our passage so that we would leave the Bahamas at sunset and arrive at US port in the early morning. It was a beautiful evening for a crossing. The gulf stream can provide a rough sail but this night all the conditions were idyllic.


There are times when mental constructs, senses and reality merge. These are magic moments and we are not given too many of them in any year - even in a lifetime. Everything is different in these moments and we never forget them. Afterward, we wonder why life is ever any other way and what has to be done to bring back this kind of existence. Of course, there is nothing to be DONE that will do this. I guess that this is both the bad and good news about living.


These moments are given - not made. Right action [link the art of quest] provides the opportunities. These are moments of “Right Livelihood” [link right livelihood].


I had taken the midnight to four am watch. As I came on deck, I was instantly transported to another time and place. There was a full moon, and with it, a gentle mist hung over both the sea and CAMELOT. This was the kind of mist often called “mystical” - the kind where both sight and hearing are effected, dampened and changed.


This kind of moment arrests time, transforms the soul and you become another way of seeing. Everything looks different and is alive. Visibility was only a few hundred yards at most. The Moon was low on the horizon and diffused by the saturated air. Sound was almost non existent except for the barely audible swish of CAMELOT moving through the water.


The world was electric and strangely peaceful - almost like the beginning, or the end. It was one of those times that if the world ended, at this instant, it would have been OK - fitting and perfect. After experiencing this - it is possible to let it go. In a way, the world did end for me because I can never be the same - afterward.


At first, I just sat on the aft deck and drank it all in. An hour must have passed. It seemed timeless and instant. What is this thing we call time? How can it vary so? What brings these moments that speak, burn and make change? Why is “normal” life so different? Why do we let it be different? How do we get lost in so many things that do not matter?


The wind, on the quarter, was perhaps eight or ten knots - maybe less. A light breeze for moving a 22 ton sailboat in blue water. CAMELOT was sailing at about four knots through a totally flat calm sea - unusual for crossing the Gulf Stream. The sea was oily - with high viscosity. It was languid and silent - almost brooding... full of prospect. It seemed aware and alive.


In conditions like this CAMELOT sails herself. Once the sails and helm are set there is nothing to do on watch - but watch. In a way it seems that the boat is stationary and the world is slowly rolling by wanting to be observed and understood. Of course, it IS understood - it is perceived, taken in and accepted in a way that is, too often, difficult in our day-to-day experience. The bustle of cities, the noise of traffic, day-to-day cares of what we call life separate us from nature and the direct experience of other life.

Acquaintances often ask us “why CAMELOT?” I sense that they see her as a possession, a thing - a trophy. When I show her pictures or bring visitors on board, I sense that they think it is about bragging or keeping score. It is not - and, when people spend some time on her, they succumb to the magic of her presence and will. Because of this, I find that I do not show her pictures nearly so much as in the past - I provide the experience when I can and if they are ready.

Architecture is made up of three attributes [link architecutal practice] that must be kept in complete synthesis. CAMELOT keeps this balance with total grace. To be on her is to experience this harmony.

CAMELOT is about experience. She is about a different way of seeing the world. She is ARCHITECTURE [link meaning of architecture] the way it is supposed to be. She is a level of process, tools, environment, integration that instructs me [link process, tools, environmnet] for doing my professional work. She is an example, for our friends and clients, of what the synthesis of arrangement, shelter and expression can be. She is a symbol for the Big E [link the enterprise valueweb]. She is proof that a piece of the world can be made organic [link organic architecture], right, and expressive of human values.


As I stood my watch, time passed - it was tangible with it’s presence. It was a moment that seemed to go on, suspended, enchanting, endless.


I had two visitors that watch.


The first was a pod of dolphins [link see dolphins in the wild]. They came suddenly out of the mist and surrounded the boat. They seemed to be everywhere - and totally aware. They knew I was there. They knew that I was aware of them - as they were of me.


There are those, for reasons I cannot fathom, that find it necessary to deny the intelligence of animals. They do this despite what is in front of them every day. Few can hold this position at sea when confronted with a pod of dolphins. For at sea, we are in their domain - not ours. Here, the rules are different - and alien. Living is different. Reality is different.

Once you have truly experienced the sea, you can never, again, feel completely at rest upon the land.


I have never fit easily into the society I born into. I know that. I have done my best to make minimal the conflict that has resulted from this. Often, I know, that my disquiet [link why do you care?] is taken for arrogance - and worse. Still, I do the best I can with a situation that will never completely work. I seek to fit - to contribute. I enjoy what I can and do what I can.


There are moments, in a DesignShop,® when the world comes alive for me and I can experience a close feeling of connection with my own species - I experience it, also, with the intense collaboration of making a building. But mostly, I do not belong here. I am a trespasser that tries not to interfere too much and overstay a parsimonious welcome.


We, of this generation, are building a new world - a new economy [link upsidedown economics] - a new way of working [link a new way of working]. The Internet, itself, is the best example of this new paradigm in practice. For a quarter of a century, now, my focus [link 1974] has been on how does the transition to this new way take place. Sometimes, I feel like it is a race between a world, with no one at the helm, bent on self-destruction and the emergence of a new governance principle based on sustainable practices. I don’t belong in the old world and cannot, yet, experience the new. I do seek to bring the two together [link transitions manager’s creed]. When and how this happens is not a matter of prediction or control. It is about navigation.


That night, in the middle of nowhere, breathing with these creatures, I felt a peace I have rarely known. They stayed for about a half an hour - how can I describe it? Dolphins BREATHE. So many of us are shallow in our breath and do not take reality in. We approach life as if it was an accident waiting to break. Not a dolphin. A dolphin is THERE and drinks deeply of life and all that is offered. When a pod stays with a boat they are PRESENT. They know what they are doing - they communicate. They reach into your mind and plant a new way of seeing.


Then, they leave.


When they leave, they leave some of what they are with you.

My second visitor was from civilization.


About half way into the watch, I saw a light on the horizon. In time, it became apparent that it was on a direct bearing with CAMELOT. It silently grew brighter. In these conditions, it takes, at most, ten minutes for a ship to come into view and disappear. What emerged from the sea was a beautiful sloop on a direct course to the Bahamas. She was small and delicate - and classic - of lighter displacement than CAMELOT and healed over as she drove to her destination.


There was no one on deck.


I do not know if the captain was sleeping, had gone below for a cup of coffee - or what. The sloop came on like a ghost ship, passed a hundred feet by CAMELOT'S stern, and disappeared into the night.


A mystery. Uncanny.


An apparition of pure beauty that came and was gone without a trace or whisper. Had it really happened? What did it mean? Why was there no one on watch? She represented to me the world she came from - and, THE great question: is anyone on watch?


Words - even pictures - do not convey the essence of the experience that CAMELOT provides. It is an experience so rich that even memory has a difficult time holding it. The memory tends to fad away without frequent renewal.

There is a ritual to life on board that is part of it - a routine that is directly tied to the seasons, weather and time of day. Another aspect is the water, itself, always changing - on board you are constantly moving even at anchor. A sailboat, especially a wooden one, has a pervasive materiality that is rarely achieved by human-made artifacts. A boat is a different kind of shelter than a land-based house; it is much smaller and intimate on one hand; on the other, it is expansive as you are often in it, on it, around it - even under it. This is a multidimensional relationship rarely achieved by fixed architecture.

On a boat you go places and often places you cannot get to by other means - your landscape changes as often as you please. Even a change in anchorage will accomplish this. The vantage point by which the larger world is experienced is different than the usual from the land.

And, on a boat, the maintenance is a daily affair. This frequency of hands-on touch creates a direct link between how life is and what you put into it.

The science and art of navigation on board is both a reality for survival and a metaphor of life. You never get to where you want directly - it is the sum of winds, tides, currants and choices taken within limits that get you there. You have to think about it carefully and act appropriately [link appropriate response model] to find your way.

This is the CAMELOT expereince - it is condensed life.


CAMELOT is a deep-displacement 22 ton gaff-rigged cutter-ketch [link camelot’s web site]. She was built, in 1960 by American Marine, from Burmese teak. She is sea-kindly and exudes soul as much as any human artifact [link where is matt, november 2000?] can.


She is not a possession. She cannot be owned. She has to be approached whole - as a living thing - on her own terms. If you are willing to do this - to give up normal human perceptions and values - she will grant you experiences like no other.

As I sailed with her that night, I made a promise.


CAMELOT is a blend of the natural - because she is shaped by the demands of the sea - and artifact - because she is crafted by humans.

CAMELOT is a dynamic environment that lives in a dynamic medium.

She is a work of art, a habitat, a complex mechanical system, a vessel for getting someplace. She is what few land-based pieces of architecture have accomplished: a blend of utility and art, of the pragmatic and the sublime [link cathedral building]. She is the result of a process [link taylor axioms] that took years to refine. She is one ideal example of what a human habitat can be.


You cannot go out and buy a boat like this - not for ANY amount of money. It has to be MADE, evolved, used, improved - remade. CAMELOT is earned by participation - not by power, or luck. Not by dictate of whim. Only by right action.


Therefore, CAMELOT cannot be purchased - she requires design skills, passion, work - integrity. It takes in-vest-meant.


Reality allows no substitutes. It, whatever it is, works - or it does not. People get into a new space - or not. The weather and sea, is accommodated - or not. The Crew is a TEAM - or not. The boat floats, sails - gets there - or not.


And, off shore, your life [link 1947] depends on it.


CAMELOT is everything that I set out to accomplish in Architecture in one compact package.


In Her first restoration She was the result of an intensely collaborative design-build-use process between Gail [link partners], Armour, Pam [link camelot crew and owners] and myself. Like life, she does not stand still. She can never be finished. She evolves like the environment she sails in. Constant, dynamic, unforgiving, beautiful.


Of all that I have accomplished in life - and not - CAMELOT is the ONE piece of this Earth that exhibits best what I have sought [link 1956]. She is both symbol and FACT.


That night, I promised that I would keep her whole. That I would participate in her development, evolution and use. That I would make her available to those able to experience the reality she is capable of making and giving. That, no matter the ends and outs of business and fortune, THIS will stand. This synthesis of nature and civilization - of pure process and artifact - will be maintained. This WATCH will be kept.


Of all the times on board, I love the late night. Nature is expressed in direct terms. Essence dominates. The sea, at night, is not just day with the lights out. The night-sea is different. It cannot be described although there is something about the human in us that wants to no matter how often we fail.


With the night comes visitors - and learning, if you are willing.


The night enfolds the mind. It penetrates the soul and quickens remembering. It shows the way.


CAMELOT is part of my way - my dogu. Others have their own, and different, paths. One gift - and perhaps the only true gift - we can give to each other is the unique experiences we have each have captured and brought back for sharing [link iteration/brain]. Living is like prospecting, the gold has to be used to be valuable. Life has to be spent. Too many try to keep it in the bank. CAMELOT spends.


I wish that everyone in the world could have a midnight sail on CAMELOT with a quartering sea, a full moon and an endless dream.

Consider this your invitation [link come enjoy camelot].



CAMELOT has been long neglected. It is July 5, 2013 and I have been on board CAMELOT only once since the last entry on this page made April 30, 2004. Despite all efforts there has not be sufficient resources to keep her fit and sailing. Many times, in this last decade, we were just days away from investment into MG Taylor which would have enabled me to get Her refurbished and sailing, once again the flagship of the enterprise. In 2002 I took CAMELOT off of the MG Taylor payroll and have personally supported Her as much as I have been able to. This has been every spare dollar I had free from basic livelihood expenses and necessary reinvestment into MG Taylor. My promise to CAMELOT has been difficult to keep. Each time, from 1999 to 2006, the dream of a properly financed MG Taylor faded at the last moment. We are once again at the point of capitalizing the enterprise only this time it will be different. This time, a new corporation designed to advance the Taylor Vision and Method will be created from scratch. This time, no matter the specific outcome and the mission of the corporation, my personal practice and income will not be dependent on this new enterprise nor will the venue which CAMELOT so ably served be part of the old/new enterprise. At last, there will be time for CAMELOT and a new role for Her. Wooden boats will last almost forever if you sail them often and maintain them on a daily basis. Waiting in the water for a decade, unused and with minium care, is no way to treat a 22 ton work of art. She has come to the point where intensive care is necessary if She is to have a future. I cannot do it without the participation of the ValueWeb. Nor, from the beginning, was the plan to do it alone. There has been a vision of CAMELOT’s use for many years. What has not existed was the means to accomplish this dream. The time was not right. CAMELOT can be made ready for another 25 years of service if swift action is taken.

There are several stages of work to be performed to get to get CAMELOT back to work. The first is stabilize her and repair the damage of the last few years. The second is to raise the money through a crowd sourcing campaign to return Her to the prior Bristol state as can be viewed on this page, equipped for the new program, and then delivered to the San Francisco Bay. There, a group of investor/owner/users will be able to employ CAMELOT for a variety of dialogs, interactive codesign and sail-training exercises to be conducted under the guidance of a professional captain and facilitation crew. Think of this as a floating Chautauqua experience with peer groups of innovative, future-focused, individuals with the San Francisco Bay as supporting cast.
These are all venues that have been successful on CAMELOT’s decks before. The difference now from the last ten years, is that The San Francisco Bay offers an ideal sailing environmnet for CAMELOT and NorCal is densely populated with individuals who can respond to this venue. This will be a totally unique experience for San Francisco and San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where this kind of dialog on the water can work.
This work will take about a year and a half. It is possible to experience CAMELOT sailing at “The City By The Bay” by the Spring of 2015. If you have any interest in any aspect of this happening and you wish to participate, click one of the pictures below to go to the Program and Work Statement. Along with CAMELOT’s history, the Program is being developed in greater detail as is the Business Model of Her ownership and use.
Why CAMELOT? Some things have soul. Some things, are representative of a type and deserve preservation and use. Some things can provide an experience that is unique, transformative and reminds us to be human. Some things are a near perfect blending of utility, craft, technology and art.

picture by Captain Armour Rice 1996
Sanibel Island, Florida

click on the picture to go to CAMELOT‘s Program Statement

UPDATE August 12, 2013:

I was finally able to get down to CAMELOT, two weeks ago, and started the process of Her return to use. Armour Rice, William Wehunt and I hauled Her out and worked the bottom of the hull so she will be good in the water for 6 months to a year. It was a tremendous effort on their part to do this work and get CAMELOT back in the water in a few days. I will be forever grateful for this contribution to Her future. There is some worm damage which will have to be addressed at some time with some plank replacement Yet, She is strong now, stable and on program to a full restoration and the objective of bringing Her to San Francisco. Go to the Program Statement to see what has to happen and contact me if you want to participate in any way. There is a lot to do and it will require skills and resources of all kinds. There are use and ownership options outlined in the Program. It is a worthyProject. “it takes a ValueWeb...


Matt Taylor
707 684 0833
SKYPE: rmatttaylor • FaceTime: rmatttaylor@me.com


picture by Matt Taylor 2013
Ft. Myers, Florida

CAMELOT is back at a public dock getting cleaned up, varnished and outfitted with TLC by the Wehunt family. Soon, CAMELOT will be available for B&B overnight use with a day sail option. This will keep Her busy and happy as she goes through the first phase of Her first end-to end restoration process since 1988-1995.
Return To: Index
GoTo: CAMELOT’s Legacy web site
GoTo: postUsonian Project
GoTo: EcoSphere Bungalow
GoTo: Metatron Cube Patio System


Matt Taylor
Hilton Head
December 30, 1998


SolutionBox voice of this document:


click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox

posted: December 30, 1998

revised: August 12, 2013
• 19981230.562098.mt • 19911007.111520.mt •
• 20001126.297537.mt • 20020830.651190.mt •
• 20040528.211209.mt • 20040430.344310.mt •
• 2013.0705882019.mt • 2013.0812.333911.mt *

 note: this document is about 99% finished

copyright© Matt Taylor 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2013

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