• Happy Face Leaf

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 8

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Day 13, Thursday 9/11/14 After a good nights sleep, I checked in with my parents over the radio. We decided to leave my boat in Telegraph Harbor while we zipped over to Ladysmith for supplies in their boat. Ladysmith has made efforts to net their share of boater and tourist dollars by building a great short-term dock through the Maritime Society. We walked the half-mile to town where we were treated to a well-stocked hardware store and grocery store. I was able to pick up…

  • Kayaking with mom

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 7

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Day 11, Tuesday 9/9/14 My parents are trying to stick to the schedule of two nights on the hook and one at a marina. We had initially planned to head to Pirates Cove today, but Wakes Park is such a sweet spot, we decided to stay another day before heading south to Chemainus. After getting skunked on the salmon yesterday, my father and I decided to kick it up a notch and troll the pass with my sailboat instead of the dingy. We headed out…

  • Wake Cove Sunset

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 6

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Day 9, Sunday 9/7/14 I left Nanaimo around 8 am, heading to Silva Bay on the southeast end of Gabriola Island. The morning was warm and clear. A blue-bird sky without a breath of wind. I was hoping to catch a light northern wind to sail-troll my way to the next destination. The channel around Protection Island that separates Nanaimo harbor from the Strait of Georgia was almost blocked off with a huge log raft being towed by a tug. Cautiously making my way around…

  • Island within an island.

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 5

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Day 7, Friday 9/5/14 The day we reached Nanaimo, the winds were blowing 15 to 25 miles per hour out of the Northwest. Crossing to Lesqueti would be a hard beat to weather, heading due north. There was a flood tide for most the day, but with the wind and tide fighting one another, the crossing would be 25 miles of bouncing from wave to wave in boxy seas. Just getting the 6 miles from Dodd Narrows to Nanaimo in those conditions yesterday made me…

  • Rockfish

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 4

    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Day 5, Wednesday, 9/3/14 Has it really been five days? My typical alarm clock schedule has faded and I feel like we’re all getting into a travelling routine. However, I’m trying my darndest to be present in each moment. Yesterday it rained cats and dogs, and at night the wind blew fiercely at 17 mph from the northwest. We decided to hunker down and make it a movie day. We also made good use of the pub at Thetis Marina. Because there was a lot…

  • Aristotle

    Cliff’s Notes to The Good Life

    Sunday, September 21, 2014

    I’ll continue with my Gulf Island adventure next week. I decided to publish this article in order to break it up a little and continue my series of philosophical posts. As a species, we have made incredible strides the last two hundred years in our quality of life with our tools of culture and technology. But our wisdom: our philosophy and resulting social behavior, have not kept pace. Take war for example. Regardless of your ethos or religious belief, every human knows, deep down, at…

  • andy_motoring2

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 3

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Day 3, Monday, 9/1/14 God it feels good to write this date: 9. 1. 14… Nine. One. Fourteen…. How many months have I prepared for this trip? How many hours of labor did I spend with the thought of this date as my carrot before the proverbial horse? I was working for more than this trip, of course. I was building my home and carving out a lifestyle, but this trip was a focal point, a mandala to help me visualize the reality I was…

  • Tumbo to Whaler Bay

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 2

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Sunday, 8/31/14, Day 2 Saturday night we all dropped separate anchors, avoiding the kinetic pinball mistake we’d made the night before. We all slept soundly and woke up refreshed. As usual our initial plans changed completely to take advantage of the changing tide and wind conditions. The original plan was to sail from Tumbo Island to Whaler Bay, off Galiano Island. We all agreed to leave late in the day to take advantage of the evening winds for sailing. That would give us the morning…

  • Sailing Rosario Strait

    Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 1

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    I had limited time to post this at a Cafe on Ganges Island. I’ll post more pictures. For now, enjoy this time lapse I took sailing from Sucia Island to Tumbo Island: Day 0 The anticipation this morning was palpable. It was literally almost too much to take. At one point I looked at the clock and it said 11 AM. FOUR HOURS TO GO?! WHAT?! Time crawled on like an ant with a broken leg, hobbling it’s way to 3 o’clock. But finally, I…

  • IMG_1390

    Hard and Soft

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    I was listening to the podcast of an Australian radio station that had Emily Richmond on as guest. Emily is one of the most bad-ass women I’ve ever heard of, presently solo-sailing around the world in her engine-less sailboat. One phrase she said on the podcast caught my attention: “Looking up at the stars, thinking about space and what’s ahead.” Imagine that: trying to plan around all the obstacles of an engine-less voyage to your next destination while admiring the beauty of the night sky…

  • Sailing Selfie

    The Cusp of Consumption

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Consumption is the key to everything. For anyone who wants to craft a message for the general public, be it a piece of political propaganda, a viral facebook post, or a call to arms by an environmental activist, you can’t tell people they have to consume less. No one wants to hear that. It’s popular suicide. Everyone wants to heal the earth, everyone wants the American Dream of social mobility, everyone wants the consumption lifestyle we had in the 90′s, but the harder we try…

  • Fog in Rosario Strait

    We’re Taking On Water!

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    The day dawned glorious and bright, with the densely wooded hillside of Cypress Island for a backdrop, and good friends rafted to either side of Solace. But as so often happens this time of year, Rosario Strait, a mere quarter mile away, was completely socked in with fog. My friends and I had met up the night before for an impromptu rendezvous at Cypress Island. I planned to head back to the mainland this morning to get some work done on Solace in preparation for…

  • US Yacht at anchor

    My Off-Grid Power System

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    This article describes the off-grid power system that I have implemented on the boat. I believe it’s a good template for those wanting to build their own simple off-grid power system for a cabin, tiny-house, van, RV, or boat. I used to work as an electrical engineer planning out twelve volt electrical systems for semi-trucks, so I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how to build a robust, but simple, electrical system. I participate regularly on the Van-Dweller and Low-Cost-Voyaging mailing lists, and…

  • Bayliner 288

    Crabbing with Family

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    After years of cheerleading and encouragement directed at my parents to get a four-season boat so that they could join me on adventures, they finally got one. No-one in my family but me has any sailing experience, despite three generations of avid boating, so it was no surprise when they purchased a Bayliner 288. The four-day trip we took last weekend was months in the planning, yet only considered a ‘trial run’ for the three-week trip we’ll be taking in September. If it wasn’t for…

  • Pender Island Bridge

    Pender, Saturna, and Tumbo Islands

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    It’s Saturday, the day-after the 4th of July. One of the heaviest tourist days in the San Juan Islands. Andy’s boat, Gladness, and my boat, Solace, are the only ones at the government dock on Saturna Island. I woke up this morning to the squawk of a heron and water as placid as a pond. As I sipped my morning coffee, a pontoon plane landed and dropped off three people at the end of the dock. This seems to be the most popular form of…

Happy Face Leaf

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 8

Day 13, Thursday 9/11/14 After a good nights sleep, I checked in with my parents over the radio. We decided to leave my boat in Telegraph Harbor while we zipped over to Ladysmith for supplies in their boat. Ladysmith has made efforts to net their share of boater and tourist dollars by building a great short-term dock through the Maritime Society. We walked the half-mile to town where we were treated to a well-stocked hardware store and grocery store. I was able to pick up…

Kayaking with mom

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 7

Day 11, Tuesday 9/9/14 My parents are trying to stick to the schedule of two nights on the hook and one at a marina. We had initially planned to head to Pirates Cove today, but Wakes Park is such a sweet spot, we decided to stay another day before heading south to Chemainus. After getting skunked on the salmon yesterday, my father and I decided to kick it up a notch and troll the pass with my sailboat instead of the dingy. We headed out…

Wake Cove Sunset

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 6

Day 9, Sunday 9/7/14 I left Nanaimo around 8 am, heading to Silva Bay on the southeast end of Gabriola Island. The morning was warm and clear. A blue-bird sky without a breath of wind. I was hoping to catch a light northern wind to sail-troll my way to the next destination. The channel around Protection Island that separates Nanaimo harbor from the Strait of Georgia was almost blocked off with a huge log raft being towed by a tug. Cautiously making my way around…

Island within an island.

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 5

Day 7, Friday 9/5/14 The day we reached Nanaimo, the winds were blowing 15 to 25 miles per hour out of the Northwest. Crossing to Lesqueti would be a hard beat to weather, heading due north. There was a flood tide for most the day, but with the wind and tide fighting one another, the crossing would be 25 miles of bouncing from wave to wave in boxy seas. Just getting the 6 miles from Dodd Narrows to Nanaimo in those conditions yesterday made me…

Rockfish

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 4

Day 5, Wednesday, 9/3/14 Has it really been five days? My typical alarm clock schedule has faded and I feel like we’re all getting into a travelling routine. However, I’m trying my darndest to be present in each moment. Yesterday it rained cats and dogs, and at night the wind blew fiercely at 17 mph from the northwest. We decided to hunker down and make it a movie day. We also made good use of the pub at Thetis Marina. Because there was a lot…

Aristotle

Cliff’s Notes to The Good Life

I’ll continue with my Gulf Island adventure next week. I decided to publish this article in order to break it up a little and continue my series of philosophical posts. As a species, we have made incredible strides the last two hundred years in our quality of life with our tools of culture and technology. But our wisdom: our philosophy and resulting social behavior, have not kept pace. Take war for example. Regardless of your ethos or religious belief, every human knows, deep down, at…

andy_motoring2

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 3

Day 3, Monday, 9/1/14 God it feels good to write this date: 9. 1. 14… Nine. One. Fourteen…. How many months have I prepared for this trip? How many hours of labor did I spend with the thought of this date as my carrot before the proverbial horse? I was working for more than this trip, of course. I was building my home and carving out a lifestyle, but this trip was a focal point, a mandala to help me visualize the reality I was…

Tumbo to Whaler Bay

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 2

Sunday, 8/31/14, Day 2 Saturday night we all dropped separate anchors, avoiding the kinetic pinball mistake we’d made the night before. We all slept soundly and woke up refreshed. As usual our initial plans changed completely to take advantage of the changing tide and wind conditions. The original plan was to sail from Tumbo Island to Whaler Bay, off Galiano Island. We all agreed to leave late in the day to take advantage of the evening winds for sailing. That would give us the morning…

Sailing Rosario Strait

Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 1

I had limited time to post this at a Cafe on Ganges Island. I’ll post more pictures. For now, enjoy this time lapse I took sailing from Sucia Island to Tumbo Island: Day 0 The anticipation this morning was palpable. It was literally almost too much to take. At one point I looked at the clock and it said 11 AM. FOUR HOURS TO GO?! WHAT?! Time crawled on like an ant with a broken leg, hobbling it’s way to 3 o’clock. But finally, I…

IMG_1390

Hard and Soft

I was listening to the podcast of an Australian radio station that had Emily Richmond on as guest. Emily is one of the most bad-ass women I’ve ever heard of, presently solo-sailing around the world in her engine-less sailboat. One phrase she said on the podcast caught my attention: “Looking up at the stars, thinking about space and what’s ahead.” Imagine that: trying to plan around all the obstacles of an engine-less voyage to your next destination while admiring the beauty of the night sky…

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