How to Install a Raw Water Pump

454 water pump

The engines on the Rock ‘n Row are both OMC Cobra’s, which are really just marine versions of the Chevy 350, the same engine in the Corvette. Instead of a radiator, like a car engine has, these engines have a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is really just a copper container. Engine coolant flows through one side and cold sea water is pumped through the other. The liquids are not allowed to mix, but heat from the hot engine coolant is transferred to the cold…

Mushrooms at Home and in the Wild!

Mushroom Hunting In our attempts to become more self-sufficient, we have acquired a number of books and other reference materials on mushroom gathering. We love mushrooms but, frankly, gathering them in the wild scares the shit out of me. I’ve eaten one or two without harm and we’ve gathered many more to subject to the various spore print and other tests. To our surprise, many yummy looking mushrooms turned out to be members of the Deathcap (Amanita) variety. Because of this, I have become respectfully…

Fighting Fear of Failure

fighting fear of failure

As I continue to prepare for our departure in May, I’m experience a rainbow of emotions throughout the day. Fear and uncertainty plague me constantly, but I have developed some powerful weapons to fight fear. I think this is the best that can be done with fear. I don’t think people can actually ‘overcome’ fear. That would be like overcoming the need to breath. Fear is natural. It must be accepted and lived with. Fear of failure is something that plagues everyone. I’ve had some…

Gunkholing in the Salish Sea

gunkholing in the san juan islands video

From Wikipedia: Gunkholing is a boating and sea kayaking term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays, and a minimal draft is preferred, since gunkholers tend to go…

Saving Space With A Plastic Organizer Box

small part organizer

With five and half months (or less) to go until we plan to be on the boat full time, I’m making greater efforts to condense and organize all the ‘stuff’ in my life to make it fit on the boat. For more than a year, basic repair has been the primary focus on the Rock ‘n Row. Now that focus is shifting to making the boat clean, comfortable, and livable. I need to get a better handle on all the parts and tools scattered around…

Wild Rose Hips

Wild Rose Hips

Winter is setting in. The mornings are getting colder, it’s getting dark earlier, and most of the leaves are on the ground. As the foliage of the forrest dies back and the first frosty morning threatens to rear it’s head, the wild rose hips glow like fiery winter jewels. I’ve long read about the edible and medicinal benefits of rose hips, but I’ve continually been frustrated in my attempts to harvest them. The edible part of the wild rose hip is the red skin. It…

Marine Engine Heating and Cooling Problems

We have been salt water sailing and cruising for many years and have had a variety of issues connected with the heating and cooling of our inboard (and outboard) boat engines. This article deals primarily with inboard boat engines though most of the same issues apply to outboards. Cooling System Basics Inboard marine engines have two basic cooling system configurations: Fresh Water with heat exchanger, or direct raw water cooling. The primary difference between fresh and raw water cooling is that a freshwater cooled engine…

Living Aboard and Loving It!

great blue heron

It’s been several weeks since my last blog post entry. Life has taken a sudden up tick in busy-ness for me. It goes to show that just because you live on a boat, life doesn’t automatically switch to ‘island time’. I’ve been living aboard the Rock ’N Row since July, and almost three months later, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The old girl stays at the dock most days, but every day I smile when I see the water on my return home. I…

Backyard Blackberries, Bounty or Bain?

http://sanjuansufficiency.com/wp-admin/media.php?attachment_id=2333&action=edit Foraging Wild Blackberries There are many among us who consider wild blackberries to be the bane of our existence, especially when they try to take over our yards. Here in the Pacific Northwest Costal areas, blackberries grow wild and without constraint, can take over any reasonably sunny and moist area. A lot of people expend huge amounts of time and money trying to eradicate blackberry bushes. I choose to take a more moderate approach and try to allow a generous growth for harvest while…

Black Beans & Sausage over Rice

Drying Beans In our efforts to become more self sufficient while cutting costs, we have been experimenting with ways to home prepare and dry beans, vegetables and other products so that they are durable, easily transported, easily prepared, convenient and tasty. Sometimes, we use commercial products to augment our own efforts. This is more a matter of convenience than of necessity as nearly all of these products could be (and probably are), done at home. After months of trial and error, I think we are…

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