• 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…

  • IMG_1237

    Summer Sailstice

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    I’m pointed north with two sheets to the wind. The breeze this morning is coming from the southeast and I’m on a downwind run heading northeast from Watmough Bay on Lopez Island, to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island. It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. As I write this I’ve got my Genoa jib up trying to grab as much of this 10 mph wind as possible. I’m averaging 4-5 mph and haven’t had to tack once in the last 10 miles. I’m…

  • DIY-raised-wicking-bed.JPG.662x0_q100_crop-scale

    Self-Watering Garden Bed

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    I ran across this article on treehugger a couple weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s rare to come across an idea that so completely blows my mind that it leaves me reeling from the implications days later. This is one such idea. And so, I felt compelled to share it. Not only does this raised flower bed only have to be watered once every two to four weeks, it can be assembled almost completely out of salvaged material. Even using all-new,…

  • Philosophy

    A Self-Sufficient Philosophy

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    Everyone has had the experience of not having the right tools for the job. Imagine trying to hammer a nail with a crescent wrench. It can be done, but it takes much more effort and the frustration level is much higher. Plus, the potential for physical injury is higher. Switching to a hammer is an instant ten-fold increase in pleasure and productivity. Even if the study of philosophy has never interested you, I have news for you: you have a philosophy. Everyone does. The simple…

  • whales_banner

    Orca-gasm!

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    In a word, this past weekend was an Orca-gasm. I saw more whales than I’ve ever seen in my life, combined. Staying mostly to the east side of the San Juan Islands, it’s rare for me to see even one whale. This weekend, it seemed like I couldn’t get away from them. The weather over Memorial Day weekend was rainy and there was work to do at the office. I postponed a three-day vacation and worked on Memorial Day. As compensation, I took Monday off…

  • DIY Boat Curtains

    Boat Curtains

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    The best time to buy a stock is when the price is low, the best time to buy fruit is when it’s in season, and the best time to prepare for winter is in the summer. That last tip is the focus of this post. I plan to continue to live aboard Solace this winter. In addition to insulating the hull, I have also had the plan to create curtains for all the windows and hatches. When it was cold out, I would routinely hold…

  • IMG_11691960984090

    Mary Leach Natural Area, Sinclair Island

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    “Wait a minute… you guys! There is a piece of public land on Sinclair Island that I read about. Apparently there was a lady who donated her land to the public before she died. Let’s go find it!” …That’s how our little expedition got underway. My friends Andy and Izak will be joining me on my 250 mile sail to Texada Island in September. They will each have their own boats and our small regatta plans to storm Canada together. This weekend we rendezvoused at…

  • Blue Camas and Yellow Death-Camas

    Blind Bay, Shaw Island

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    It took three hours to reach Blind Bay, motoring the whole way from Skyline in Anacortes. I had calm weather and a significant flood tide helping me. Entering Thatcher Pass on a flood tide or leaving the islands through it on a ebb tide works great. Try that with the opposite tide, and it can turn into a nasty piece of water. All the passes are like that though, but Thatcher is probably the worst because of all the traffic. The sheer rock walls rebroadcast…

  • Enjoying a Buccaneer US Yacht 25

    Ahhh… Summer

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    I have to admit that this warm, sunny weather is making me feel like a worthless turd. Those sunny rays are my kryptonite. When they hit me, I melt into a quivering puddle of beer-drinking laziness. I can barely muster the strength to strike this keyboard. I’ve gotten good over the years at transmuting frustration and disgruntlement into the fuel needed to push forward with boat projects. But I have no weapons against satisfaction and contentment. They leave me helpless, lazily basking, with no urges…

  • Making_It_Mine

    Making It Mine

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    A boat is just a boat. It only becomes your boat when you put your energy into it; when you take it apart, inspect it’s components and put it back together. Until that point it’s just so much fiberglass, wood, and steel. I find that I harbor a trepidation against all new components that I add to the boat until I’ve taken them apart and rebuilt them. Until that time, I always half-expect it to blow up and misbehave when I turn my back or…

  • blackberry_mashing

    Making Blackberry Wine

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Blackberry wine is not only incredibly inexpensive to make, it’s fun, makes a great gift, and is an excellent product to barter with. The recipe below makes a tasty wine and is very hard to mess up. Every September I pick as many blackberries as I can, put them in ziplock baggies, and throw them in the freezer for a rainy day. This winter, rainy days were not as prevalent than in the past, so it wasn’t until last month that I got around to…

Sailing Selfie

The Cusp of Consumption

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!

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

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

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

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…

IMG_1237

Summer Sailstice

I’m pointed north with two sheets to the wind. The breeze this morning is coming from the southeast and I’m on a downwind run heading northeast from Watmough Bay on Lopez Island, to Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island. It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. As I write this I’ve got my Genoa jib up trying to grab as much of this 10 mph wind as possible. I’m averaging 4-5 mph and haven’t had to tack once in the last 10 miles. I’m…

DIY-raised-wicking-bed.JPG.662x0_q100_crop-scale

Self-Watering Garden Bed

I ran across this article on treehugger a couple weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s rare to come across an idea that so completely blows my mind that it leaves me reeling from the implications days later. This is one such idea. And so, I felt compelled to share it. Not only does this raised flower bed only have to be watered once every two to four weeks, it can be assembled almost completely out of salvaged material. Even using all-new,…

Philosophy

A Self-Sufficient Philosophy

Everyone has had the experience of not having the right tools for the job. Imagine trying to hammer a nail with a crescent wrench. It can be done, but it takes much more effort and the frustration level is much higher. Plus, the potential for physical injury is higher. Switching to a hammer is an instant ten-fold increase in pleasure and productivity. Even if the study of philosophy has never interested you, I have news for you: you have a philosophy. Everyone does. The simple…

whales_banner

Orca-gasm!

In a word, this past weekend was an Orca-gasm. I saw more whales than I’ve ever seen in my life, combined. Staying mostly to the east side of the San Juan Islands, it’s rare for me to see even one whale. This weekend, it seemed like I couldn’t get away from them. The weather over Memorial Day weekend was rainy and there was work to do at the office. I postponed a three-day vacation and worked on Memorial Day. As compensation, I took Monday off…

DIY Boat Curtains

Boat Curtains

The best time to buy a stock is when the price is low, the best time to buy fruit is when it’s in season, and the best time to prepare for winter is in the summer. That last tip is the focus of this post. I plan to continue to live aboard Solace this winter. In addition to insulating the hull, I have also had the plan to create curtains for all the windows and hatches. When it was cold out, I would routinely hold…

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