Another Day In Paradise

Goat Petting

Julie pets some goats on Lopez Island.

Like a pendulum swinging back, I got my need for solitude satisfied by a few days alone on Cypress Island. The next weekend was time to celebrate Julie’s last day of work. She was a successful digital nomad until she moved to San Juan Island. There she accepted a government job. The promise of a steady paycheck meant financial safety while she acclimated to her new environment. It wasn’t long before the shackles of an office worker began to rub her raw. Once again she is a successful digital nomad and Friday was the day to celebrate the transition.

I picked her up at Orcas Landing on Friday afternoon and we motored the short distance to Blind Island Marine State Park. The island looks like a slow-motion firework display right now with all the Blue Camas and other wildflowers abloom. If the earth laughs in flowers, Blind Island is a full belly roar.

On the way to Orcas Island the water stream coming out of my outboard, the stream that indicates weather or not the cooling system is working correctly, stopped. I noticed it was no longer flowing about a mile east of Orcas Landing. The exhaust was also visible, indicating the engine was getting hot. I throttled down the engine and crept the final distance to the Orcas Island ferry landing. The engine had plenty of time to cool down before I started out for Blind Island.

Outboard Harness

Hoisting the outboard into the cockpit via a harness and the main halyard.

After grabbing a mooring ball, I had Julie help me hoist the outboard into the cockpit. Before leaving on my trip last summer, I bought a harness for the outboard. With the harness properly attached, I can hoist the engine into the cockpit with the main halyard. I can do it alone, but it’s a much smoother operation with two people.

In about twenty minutes, I had the impeller changed and we put the engine back into the water. It ran like a champ the rest of the trip. I thought back to when I had first bought the boat and paid a mechanic $600 to service the engine, including replacing the impeller. I’ve been practicing a life of True Wealth for a few years now and one of the main tenants is called True Materialism. It means buying stuff you can fix, then taking the time to learn how to fix it. True Wealth, self sufficiency, and good seamanship all have a lot in common.

The next day we motored-sailed to Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island and met up with several sailor friends. I made a salad from the last of the cattail hearts I’d picked up on Cypress Island. I’ve never seen a gallon of apple wine disappear so fast. It was wonderful to catch up on everyone’s life after so long an absence.

The next day we walked into Lopez Town for a slice of pizza and a stop at the Take it or Leave it, Lopez Islands recycle center. It’s like a Goodwill, but everything is free. It’s equivalent to a ‘free store’, which is more common in the Canadian Gulf Islands. I picked up a new pair of jeans that were just my size.

The next day dawned warm and calm. We rode the currents through Obstruction Pass and motored to Cypress Island. I harvested a fresh batch of cattail hearts and we sailed back to Anacortes the next day. The northern winds were perfect for a fully canvased sail. We sailed almost the entire way from Pelican Beach on Cypress Island to Anacortes.

Related posts:

Northwest Coast Clothing
Full Disclosure – Financing My Liveaboard Life
Escape the Gilded Cage
10 Responses to “Another Day In Paradise”
  1. Controlled Jibe says:

    Give our congrats to Julie! Can’t wait to hear more about her new adventure!

    Katie and Mark

  2. Stormu says:

    that was the best salad ever, the wine was good too 🙂

  3. Doug Bostrom says:

    “True Materialism. It means buying stuff you can fix, then taking the time to learn how to fix it. ”

    Lovely thought. We’re collectively turning/being turned into Eloi but a few people are holding the line. In so many cases it’s actually not only less expensive to DIY but vastly faster and more convenient as well, as you just demonstrated once again. If folks will just remember that other people not so different put these things together, it’s not quite so over-awing to take ’em apart and reassemble.

    But I’m preaching to the choir. Great post, as always.

  4. allen gibbard says:

    Chris – I particularly enjoyed reading of your impeller repair at sea. Could you provide some detail about the outboard sling you used? I’d like to have that available on my boat.

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