Winter Cruising Essentials

Fire Building Equipment

It seems there has been fewer cruisers this winter than any year I can remember. The weather has been typically foul for the months of November and December, so I suppose my observation is not terribly unusual. There is usually a lull in January and February where the winds calm down before picking up again for the months of March and April. If you’ve been cooped up at the dock and thought about heading out, this article will be of interest to you. For the…

Escape the Gilded Cage

Solace anchored at Saddlebag Island

When is a cage not a cage? How nice does it have to be? How big does it have to be to stop being a prison? How many choices do you need to forget that the limited options of A, B, or C is merely the illusion of choice? Long ago I developed my own concept of the ‘gilded cage’. That’s how I think of modern life. You think you’re free? Why don’t you go to the beach today? Think you own your home? Why…

Stepping the Mast

I’m less than an hour away from the dock and I feel like I’ve just dropped a hundred pounds of stress that have slowly accumulated onto my psyche over the last month. Strong winds yesterday and tomorrow, but this morning the wind was peeking at only 15 mph, so I used the window to escape the marina. I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test the repairs to the mast I just finished. Over the last month I stepped the mast, ripped out the…

Snooty Marinas

I wanted to write this week about stepping my mast, but that project has been put on hold because of a snooty marina. What constitutes a snooty marina? Here is the definition of snooty: There is serious problem with gentrification of marinas and over the last few years I’ve noticed it getting progressively worse. The federal government isn’t helping, but beyond that negative force, marinas are progressively catering to a higher class of boater and marginalizing what I like to think of as ‘true boaters’….

Becoming Minimalist

I found some great motivational posts on Facebook over the last week. These sorts of things go viral because they appeal to people, but what I once suspected were simply base, motivational statements now ring with the clarity of truth. I’ve come so far in the last three years. I started out as a miserable fuck, slaving away in a cubical. I had the conventional lifestyle locked down: a cushy corporate job, an awesome wife, a cute little house in an old, safe neighborhood, two…

Dana 24

This week has been productive. It’s refreshing to be able to say that. I’ve been stuck in transitory limbo for the last couple months, moving from a cruising lifestyle to a lifestyle of winter work life. Summertime cruising feels great, but it also feels good to get into a productive work routine and know that each week I’m a little bit further ahead financially than the last. I’ve managed to change my work schedule to Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday. I’ve been camping in the van near…

Alternative Housing

Van Living

Let’s face it: Living on a boat is hard. There are significant barriers in terms of both cost and experience. Experienced cruisers are the most stoic people I’ve ever met. Very few people who try at cruising succeed in the long term. It’s simply not a practical lifestyle for most people. VanDwelling on the other hand is catching like wild fire. Since beginning my amphibious lifestyle I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed with the number of people who are successfully and enthusiastically living in vehicles. When considering…

As Good As It Gets?

Throughout my twenties, I was haunted by the question, “Is this as good as it gets?” Prior to my twenties, I was growing and the question never entered my mind. It was the introduction of adult nostalgia for high school that inspired that fateful, introspective question. For many people, high school seemed to be their ‘golden years’, as good as it got for them. That seemed really sad to me. Later, in college, I met even more adults who reflected on their college days as…

Back to Anacortes

Cypress Island seems to be the center of my universe. My life rotates around it. I’m in Anacortes, then I’m in Friday Harbor. I’m in Canada, then I’m in Oregon. It’s an elliptical orbit to be sure. This winter my revolutions have brought me back to Anacortes. I had my heart set on Friday Harbor, but a new, part-time job on the mainland forced the decision. I’ll be working as a website designer for a local newspaper. At the same time, I’ll be building up…

Birthing a Brain Child

Camper Van

For the last two weeks I’ve been visiting family and working on my van in Portland. I purchased the van on my way out of town during my last visit and it had been patiently waiting for me to give it a thorough inspection and a little TLC. My new home-on-wheels is a 1995 Gulfstream full-sized GMC van with a V8 Chevy 350 engine. I chose a van with a Chevy 350 engine and mid-90’s era body because both are very easy to work on….

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