• Solace anchored in Desolation Sound Park

    Desolation Sound Marine Park

    Saturday, June 27, 2015

    The northwest wind was heavy and steady at 15 to 20 knots. It had been like that for three days with no end in the forecast. My engine appeared to be running well, so I shoved off the dock and carefully dodged the other boats transiting the Lund Marina. As I rounded the most northern point of mainland before Desolation Sound Marine Park, my engine began to sputter. I throttled down to just above idle, hoping I could limp in. No dice. With a half…

  • Adam Nash Family

    Nomadic Families

    Saturday, June 20, 2015

    I don’t know at what age I learned to fear poverty. I don’t know at what point I became convinced that wealthy people had better lives. I think it had more to do with watching how people acted and the culture portrayed in the mass media than anything I was specifically told. This whole trip I’ve been going out of my way to connect with cruisers – especially families give their extra risk and cost – to ask them… what? How do they do it?…

  • Rock Quarry Selfie

    Beating Windward

    Saturday, June 13, 2015

    I left in the afternoon from Pender Harbor. The Blues Festival was underway and I pumped gas as guitar strumming pumped out of big speakers above the marina. Dodging the islets guarding the entrance, I worked my way into Malispina Strait and raised the genoa. Texada Island cast a wind shadow on the far side and I tacked to avoid it. I’ve read a lot of firsthand accounts of the psychological states a long distance, solo sailor goes through when crossing the ocean. The boredom…

  • IMG_3895

    The Sunshine Coast

    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    From Nanaimo, I sailed due north, up to Welcome Passage. On the back side of the peninsula that houses Smuggler’s Cove, is another, mush lesser known anchorage called Frenchman’s Cove. It’s a crazy tight anchorage. I accidentally (fortunately?) arrived at low tide and idled through a passage that was only twice the width of my boat. At one point a huge boulder loomed in front of my boat, only a foot underwater. I threw the boat into reverse, then forward again, slowly creeping by it…

  • Preparing Oysters to Can

    Yes, I Can Can

    Sunday, May 31, 2015

    At Frenchman’s Cove I came across a pile of perfectly sized oysters in clean water. As a local recently reminded me, the ‘red tide’ will soon be making an appearance with the warmer waters and so the availability of oysters will only go down hill from here. How can I preserve the harvest? I’ve flirted with canning, but it’s always seemed like more trouble than it was worth. The canner I have in storage is a *huge* 24 quart monster. Canners, jars, and supplies take…

  • Yahtzee Goodby

    Charging North

    Sunday, May 24, 2015

    This is it. I’m here. This is what Solace and I have spent almost two years preparing for. I’m in the middle the Strait of Georgia. Water stretches out in all directions. The hills of both sides are mere outlines. I’m doing 4.5 knots beating into the northwest wind with a single reef in my main and my working jib hoisted. Solace is charging through the three foot chop rolling down the Strait. I can feel the tension. It feels like every piece of rigging,…

  • adventure-ducky-sunset

    Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    As I write this, I am leaving the US and crossing the Canadian border for the second time in a month. My first attempt wasn’t a false start. I spent two weeks circumnavigating Vancouver Island’s Saanich Inlet. A very populated place, akin to Seattle. The early spring weather was stormy and made a good shake-down cruise. I got to cross Butchart Gardens off my bucket list. While the trip showed me that I was ready to cruise north, it also showed me that a few…

  • IMG_3742

    What is Voyaging?

    Saturday, May 9, 2015

    It’s been about four weeks since I started voyaging and the lack of a clear goal, the mentality of conventional ‘productivity’, is starting to get to me; as I knew it would. It’s like a mini existential crisis. I keep asking myself roundabout question about my ‘purpose’ and what I’m ‘doing’. I tried to take solace in Annie Hills book Voyaging on a Small Income which I pilfered from a friend a few days before crossing the border. Here is a woman who has been…

  • starfish

    Daily Miracles

    Saturday, May 2, 2015

    The spring wind is gusting in fits and starts. Like a teenager suffering from premature ejaculation, it spends its energy quickly, but builds up fiercely again after a short rest. I’m anchored in the very center of Tod Inlet so that my wind turbine can capture as much of the wind as possible. I’m snuggled into my sleeping bag, reading a book and listening to the turbine spin up and spin down. Spin up, spin down. Through the window I watch the tops of trees…

  • Tsehum Harbor Sunset

    Reflections of Water and Memory

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

    My boat slid over the glassy waters of Haro Strait like a hockey puck over ice. The last two weeks of blustery weather laid down to give me a becalmed passage. The Gulf Islands were welcoming me back! Just as a dog can ask a nonverbal question with a look, it seemed as if the perfect reflection of the sun on the water was asking me, “What took you so long?” “Better late than never” I replied to the empty air. I felt like an…

  • brian

    Sailing With My Brother

    Saturday, April 18, 2015

    I had anticipated crossing the border last weekend, but three weeks ago my brother accepted the invitation to join me on the boat. This is the same brother I took a journey to Alaska with and had some great adventures in Alaska with. Since I was already in Friday Harbor doing last minute provisioning, I took the ferry back to Anacortes to pick him up. We walked back onto the ferry with about 400 kids heading to the islands for an organized spring break camping…

  • 4138997_1428806141.7951_funddescription

    Next Generation Journalist

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    There is a young, ambitious journalist living in the San Juan Islands. Her name is Emily Greenberg and she kicks ass. But she needs your help. Over the last few months I’ve gotten to know Emily, both in person and through her writing. She recently left her job as a journalist at The Journal of the San Juan Islands in order to persue her passion of sailing. Together with her boyfriend Alan, of ArtOfHookie.org, they plan to sail their Falmouth Cutter up into the Gulf…

  • Sailing with Brother

    Freedom and Angst

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    Jean Paul Sarte, the father of existential philosophy, was fond of pointing out that true freedom is experienced as angst. The example he gives is that of standing on the precipice of a cliff. The angst is what you feel, knowing that you have the freedom to take that last step. Freedom is scary. So much so that most people can’t handle it. They’d rather sacrifice freedom for security. I feel that angst every time I dock. I know my little $10K boat could do…

  • Solace

    Cutting the Dock Lines

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    I finally did it! I cut the dock lines. The sendoff party last night was small and intimate, just the way I wanted it. We had a propane fireplace on the dock and poured everyone a glass of my homemade blueberry wine. The weather cooperated by clearing up and calming down from the steady drizzle and gusty winds we’ve been having the last few days. March is hanging on with an iron death grip. The forecast for the week was for unpredictable, gusty winds that…

  • final-preparations

    Final Preparations

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Less than a week till I cut the dock lines!!! I’m not sure how that makes me feel. There is a strong sense of confidence based on my years of preparation for this trip. That confidence has only increased due to the recent upgrades to the boat. That feeling is tinged with a bit of itchy feet to go use all my new toys and books I’ve brought aboard. At the same time though, I have no doubt that I will miss my friends and…

Solace anchored in Desolation Sound Park

Desolation Sound Marine Park

The northwest wind was heavy and steady at 15 to 20 knots. It had been like that for three days with no end in the forecast. My engine appeared to be running well, so I shoved off the dock and carefully dodged the other boats transiting the Lund Marina. As I rounded the most northern point of mainland before Desolation Sound Marine Park, my engine began to sputter. I throttled down to just above idle, hoping I could limp in. No dice. With a half…

Adam Nash Family

Nomadic Families

I don’t know at what age I learned to fear poverty. I don’t know at what point I became convinced that wealthy people had better lives. I think it had more to do with watching how people acted and the culture portrayed in the mass media than anything I was specifically told. This whole trip I’ve been going out of my way to connect with cruisers – especially families give their extra risk and cost – to ask them… what? How do they do it?…

Rock Quarry Selfie

Beating Windward

I left in the afternoon from Pender Harbor. The Blues Festival was underway and I pumped gas as guitar strumming pumped out of big speakers above the marina. Dodging the islets guarding the entrance, I worked my way into Malispina Strait and raised the genoa. Texada Island cast a wind shadow on the far side and I tacked to avoid it. I’ve read a lot of firsthand accounts of the psychological states a long distance, solo sailor goes through when crossing the ocean. The boredom…

IMG_3895

The Sunshine Coast

From Nanaimo, I sailed due north, up to Welcome Passage. On the back side of the peninsula that houses Smuggler’s Cove, is another, mush lesser known anchorage called Frenchman’s Cove. It’s a crazy tight anchorage. I accidentally (fortunately?) arrived at low tide and idled through a passage that was only twice the width of my boat. At one point a huge boulder loomed in front of my boat, only a foot underwater. I threw the boat into reverse, then forward again, slowly creeping by it…

Preparing Oysters to Can

Yes, I Can Can

At Frenchman’s Cove I came across a pile of perfectly sized oysters in clean water. As a local recently reminded me, the ‘red tide’ will soon be making an appearance with the warmer waters and so the availability of oysters will only go down hill from here. How can I preserve the harvest? I’ve flirted with canning, but it’s always seemed like more trouble than it was worth. The canner I have in storage is a *huge* 24 quart monster. Canners, jars, and supplies take…

Yahtzee Goodby

Charging North

This is it. I’m here. This is what Solace and I have spent almost two years preparing for. I’m in the middle the Strait of Georgia. Water stretches out in all directions. The hills of both sides are mere outlines. I’m doing 4.5 knots beating into the northwest wind with a single reef in my main and my working jib hoisted. Solace is charging through the three foot chop rolling down the Strait. I can feel the tension. It feels like every piece of rigging,…

adventure-ducky-sunset

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

As I write this, I am leaving the US and crossing the Canadian border for the second time in a month. My first attempt wasn’t a false start. I spent two weeks circumnavigating Vancouver Island’s Saanich Inlet. A very populated place, akin to Seattle. The early spring weather was stormy and made a good shake-down cruise. I got to cross Butchart Gardens off my bucket list. While the trip showed me that I was ready to cruise north, it also showed me that a few…

IMG_3742

What is Voyaging?

It’s been about four weeks since I started voyaging and the lack of a clear goal, the mentality of conventional ‘productivity’, is starting to get to me; as I knew it would. It’s like a mini existential crisis. I keep asking myself roundabout question about my ‘purpose’ and what I’m ‘doing’. I tried to take solace in Annie Hills book Voyaging on a Small Income which I pilfered from a friend a few days before crossing the border. Here is a woman who has been…

starfish

Daily Miracles

The spring wind is gusting in fits and starts. Like a teenager suffering from premature ejaculation, it spends its energy quickly, but builds up fiercely again after a short rest. I’m anchored in the very center of Tod Inlet so that my wind turbine can capture as much of the wind as possible. I’m snuggled into my sleeping bag, reading a book and listening to the turbine spin up and spin down. Spin up, spin down. Through the window I watch the tops of trees…

Tsehum Harbor Sunset

Reflections of Water and Memory

My boat slid over the glassy waters of Haro Strait like a hockey puck over ice. The last two weeks of blustery weather laid down to give me a becalmed passage. The Gulf Islands were welcoming me back! Just as a dog can ask a nonverbal question with a look, it seemed as if the perfect reflection of the sun on the water was asking me, “What took you so long?” “Better late than never” I replied to the empty air. I felt like an…

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