How To Make Trail Maps

Create A Google Map

I have been using the Open GPS Tracker app on my Android phone to make my own trail maps for a few months. Everyone I have shown it to has been blown away with the ease with which I’m able to overlay my GPS bread-crumb trail onto a satellite map to get an aerial view of where I’ve hiked and to share my own home-made trail maps. All this technology is free to use! And so, my intrepid and adventurous readers, here is a step-by-step…

Upgrades

Ice Box Separator

Boat work is moving at warp speed. On the one hand, I have a short list of low-priority projects that I thought I had two months to complete and now need to be done as soon as possible. On the other hand I’m doing a weeks worth of projects every two days, now that I can devote myself to them full time. Icebox I spent a good deal of time this winter pondering the problem of refrigeration on board the boat. I’m not opposed to…

How To Fiberglass a Mounting Block

Fiberglass Repair

This is an excerpt of a rough draft of a book I’m thinking about writing this summer. I hope this simple and useful guide inspires you to dip your toe into the wonderful waters of fiberglass work. As you restore and modify a boat, you’ll eventually need a mounting block. This may be a support for a shelf or something to screw into in order to hang something. You should never screw through the hull of your boat, even if you’re sure the fiberglass is…

How Did I Get Here?

Friends on a boat

My life is changing so drastically now. I’m losing touch with the average person, and yet, I started as a collared-shirt wearing, cubical dwelling, middle class, paper pushing loan drone and wage slave. This journey of a thousand small steps has not taken me far yet, physically. But it has changed my life drastically. In three months I’ll be living almost totally off-the-grid in my sailboat. I’m about to float around, wherever the wind takes me, but generally pointed north. I’ll be relying on my…

Cornet Bay, Deception Pass

Solace at Rosario Head

Today was one of those rare days where not one single second of it sucked. The entire day was a conveyor belt of fun and engagement. I started off this Saturday morning by waking without an alarm clock. A friend and I were going to head inside Deception Pass, but I wasn’t sure which island I wanted to end up on. I laid in bed and considered my anchorage options for that evening. Hope Island was a favorite, but the off-season is a great time…

The Elusive Contours of Enough

Home Made Fishing Lures

Two summers ago, I wrote about the tenuous contentment I had found and how I was struggling to discover the ‘elusive contours of enough’. This summer is going to expand my knowledge of the concepts of ‘enough’ and ‘contentment’. I feel like a blind man in the dark, clumsily feeling out those ‘elusive contours’. I had the deep pleasure of meeting Glenn of ToSimplify.net this summer, who lives the simple life of a vandwelling nomad. He was a great inspiration. I’ve seriously considered adopting his…

Homemade Non-Skid Paint

Repairing Cockpit Sole

Reviewing Non-Skid Paint Several years ago I needed to repaint the top-coat on my 40 foot houseboat. It was some serious square footage and I hated the idea of paying full price for the marine grade paint at West Marine. Like a ninja I snuck into the store and peaked at the ingredient list on their top-coat paints. I noticed that the majority of paints were a polyurethane blend. I then went to Home Depot and started looking for cheaper polyurethane paints. This eventually led…

Fiberglass Over Teak – Part Deux

Fog Horn, Depth Finder, and Compass

I tried an experiment with fiberglassing over the aged teak hand rails on Solace. I talked to several old salts that were doubtful fiberglass would adhere well to teak. I also found very little information online about fiberglassing over teak. What little information I did find was conflicting. I decided to go ahead with glassing over the hand rails, but would refrain from gelcoating it so that I could monitor over the course of a year the epoxy fiberglass I painted over the teak. In…

Downsizing

Storage Unit

It’s generally accepted that a boat is a never ending project with a never ending to-do list. That’s why I was surprised to realize that my to-do list only has about a dozen projects left! I suppose that is one of the benefits of setting a date to cut the dock lines. At some point, ready or not, the to-do list has to end. With four and a half months left, I decided it was time to get serious about my storage unit. After the…

Sailing and (Meteor) Showers

Sailing Mount Baker

Dark grey clouds hung low in the air, muffling sounds and lending a stillness to the morning. Not an ideal looking morning to take the boat out, but the forecast was for clear sky this evening. Still salty from a sauna I’d had late last night with friends, I longed to take a shower but the day beckoned me with a promise of adventure. After a quick trip to pick up a Friday Harbor friend from the ferry terminal, we set out. It was an…

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