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…

Cutting the Dock Lines

Solace

I finally did it! I cut the dock lines. The sendoff party last night was small and intimate, just the way I wanted it. We had a propane fireplace on the dock and poured everyone a glass of my homemade blueberry wine. The weather cooperated by clearing up and calming down from the steady drizzle and gusty winds we’ve been having the last few days. March is hanging on with an iron death grip. The forecast for the week was for unpredictable, gusty winds that…

Final Preparations

Less than a week till I cut the dock lines!!! I’m not sure how that makes me feel. There is a strong sense of confidence based on my years of preparation for this trip. That confidence has only increased due to the recent upgrades to the boat. That feeling is tinged with a bit of itchy feet to go use all my new toys and books I’ve brought aboard. At the same time though, I have no doubt that I will miss my friends and…

Man Overboard!

Stairing at Death

I came face to face with death. I broke the one rule that sailors must not break: I fell overboard. As I splashed into the water, death embraced me in his cold arms. He caressed my body with his cold, clammy hands, covering it with salty sea foam before pinching my ass and letting me go. As I struggled to pull myself into the dingy, wet and exhausted, I swear I could hear a whisper: “Don’t come back”. Two days later, I’m still reeling from…

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…

Setting Sail

Wow… I don’t really know where to start or how to capture the last week, but I feel like I better make an attempt in order to put future posts into context. I was scheduled to leave my job in May to begin cruising. Progress toward that goal was developing well in every way. The cruising kitty is full and the boat is ready to go. I had a lot of vacation to burn off before my departure date, so I scheduled that Friday and…

The Story of Meaning

Mushrooms on a Stump

Once I get underway on my trip this summer, I’ll lose touch with the mentality I am exposed to at the workplace. I’ve been trying hard to understand the difference between myself and other cubical dwellers. What mental lenses am I losing …or gaining? How can I help others to break out the cube? The dominant paradigm is a story of scarcity, competition, and dominance. I want to live a different way. I want to inspire others to do the same. Foraging, cruising, living off…

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