Broad Reach

Broad Reach

While anchored at Cortez and getting my internet fix, I started working on the fuel tank. I only managed to siphon out a couple gallons before it ran dry, which led me to think the problem was an almost empty tank. All the varnish coming through must have been floating at the top and it all came through as the tank emptied. Hopefully, I thought, the problem is now fixed and a full tank will be the final nail in the coffin. However, it only…

Desolation Sound Marine Park

Solace anchored in Desolation Sound 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…

Nomadic Families

Adam Nash Family

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?…

Beating Windward

Rock Quarry Selfie

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…

Canning Seafood While Cruising

Preparing Oysters to 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…

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

adventure-ducky-sunset

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…

Daily Miracles

starfish

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…

Reflections of Water and Memory

Tsehum Harbor Sunset

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…

Next Generation Journalist

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…

Freedom and Angst

Sailing with Brother

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…

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