Sailing in Solitude

Bowman Bay Rocks

When I set out the water was as placid as a lake. The only ripples were those from my bow cutting through the calm, cold water. This weekend I was headed to Bowman Bay, just west of Deception Pass where Fidalgo and Whidbey islands meet. This is a great little bay with a floating dock, three mooring buoys, and another dock at Rosiaro park on the other side of the bay. It’s a tricky entrance though. The mouth has three rocks, one of which is…

How To Insulate a Sailboat – Part 1

This is part one of a three part series. Check out part two and part three when you’re done with this one. This article presents the research I’ve done in anticipation of insulating the hull of my sailboat. I’ll cover the actual work in a future article. One task I’ve had stored in my winter arsenal of rainy-day to-do projects is insulating the hull of my boat. Despite a lack of rainy days this winter, I’ve managed to plow through the lion’s share of my…

Winter Sailing

It’s been a few weeks since I left the dock, and with these back-to-back inversion layers we’ve been having, the weather has been nearly ideal. I was chewing at the bit, ready to get out. The cold snap this weekend also represented some of the coldest weather this region ever sees. That made it perfect to test the heating ability of my new propane heater. I’ll be insulating the boat soon and I wanted to see how it would do, pre-insulation. Because it gets dark…

Installing a Shower Drain in a Head

head drain

This article shows how I installed a simple, inexpensive drain into the floor of the head (bathroom) so that I could install a shower. I’m beginning to seriously considering moving aboard full time in April. One of the main drawbacks to the idea is that my boat doesn’t have a shower. There is plenty of room for it, there’s just no drain or pump to handle the water. I researched several different options, originally hoping to install a filter-and-bilge-pump-in-a-box kit that West Marine sells. However,…

Surrounded by Porpoises

Harbor Porpoise

You can never count on the weather in November, but you can always count on good boating friends! Again, I had extravagant sailing plans for the weekend but they were for not. But the weekend was not without its pleasant miracle. Wednesday and Thursday were blustery and the forecast was for steady 8 mph winds for Saturday and Sunday – perfect sailing weather. Midweek I was playing with the idea to sail to James Island. The dock is gone, so I had fantasies of dropping…

Heavy Weather Sailing

Heavy Weather Sailing

Ken enjoys heavy weather sailing and after last weekends gale force winds, he was jonesin’ to get out on the water. Myself, I had a wonderful weekend at Watmough Bay and felt like a champ for reading the weather so well. At 8 PM on Saturday night, I checked the weather and saw NOAA was issuing a gale force warning for the next night. I quickly popped of my head out the hatch to revealed that all was calm on the water. It was still…

Watmough Bay, Lopez Island

Watmough Bay on Lopez Island

I set off towards the sunset, the water as smooth as glass. Every time I leave the dock I get a high, a rush, from the sense of freedom; the sense of escape. It’s a confirmation that I am not defined by my life on land. I am a boater. My home floats. The islands are waiting to feed my body and my soul and my small craft can handle whatever they throw my way. I am one with this environment. This weekend feels especially…

Fiberglassing Teak Handrails – An Experiment

fiberglass over teak

Wood on a boat can be a touchy subject. It seems as though every sailor has their own opinon about how much wood belongs on a boat, based on the (often conflicting) aspects of beauty, functionality, and maintenance. Solace has only a few pieces of teak above deck and a quite extensive teak interior. I love the rich wood interior, but abhor the maintenance required to keep the above-deck teak maintained. The hand rails running the length of my cabin make up forty percent of…

Pros and Cons of Living On A Boat

Living aboard a boat

I recently read a very inspiring book called Walden on Wheels. Not only was this some of the best writing I’ve ever read, the author truly gave a voice to the struggles of my generation (people now in their 20s and 30s) while simultaneously giving me an excuse to laugh my ass off about all these ‘serious’ problems. The basic premise of the book is about a guy who simultaneously discovered his love of nature while struggling to pay off his student loans and dealing…

Cypress Island Hiking Trail Map

I’ve written several posts on this blog about Cypress Island, and two chapters of my book are dedicated to it. This post contains links to all the GPS hiking trails that I’ve collected so far. I will update it as I hike more areas of the island and discover new, old logging trails. View Cypress Island Hiking Trails in a larger map The trails on the google map above was created from combining several hiking trails that I recorded with my GPS. You can download…

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