Dana 24

Adams Family

This weekend I got the opportunity to sail on a Dana 24, recently purchased by my friend Adam. His Dana bobs in the background behind him and his kids.

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 my job during the week. It’s keeping my commuting costs down, and the sweet mobile office I have set up in the van encourages me to get some serious after-hours work done. After a 7 hour work day, I typically explore a nice hiking trail for an hour, cook dinner, then get another three to four hours of work in.

I’m working hard to get my second book ready to publish. The first draft has been written and proof read by several amazing readers of this blog who volunteered for the duty. A huge thanks goes out to Julie, Dave Scobie, and Hollie Butler. I’ve been blown away by the quality of your edit suggestions. You have helped me write a much better book.

I’ve signed up my second freelance client. It’s going to take time to build up a business as a freelance web designer. I’ve watched my brother build up his local business through word of mouth and it took him a solid two years to find steady, year-round work. I’m going into my business with the same attitude. I need to find the right clients too, which will take additional time. That’s OK as I have plenty of work to do on the boat this winter and a lot of new technology to learn about.

Solace is starting to show her age. The support post, which holds up the cabin top and supports the mast, has slowly been sinking into the floor. Over the last year, with all the sailing I’ve been doing, it’s gotten worse. I need to step my mast, remove the support post, tear up the floor, and redo the whole support structure. I spent a lot of time this week researching the materials I’ll need to get the job done. This weekend I hope to remove the boom.

Mushroom Hunting

We took advantage of the fall weather to go mushroom hunting on a nearby island.

My new job is encouraging me to digest large amounts of new technical knowledge as quickly as I can. I’ve been given the freedom to study and implement cutting edge JavaScript libraries. For me, this is stimulating stuff. It’s also something I would like to do whether I’m paid or not, and it’s exactly what I should be doing to further my freelance business goals.

I know that’s the kind of stuff that guidance counselors and promotional posters tell people to look for, but honestly, who actually finds it?! Needless to say, I look forward to going in to work for those three days a week. Something until now that I’ve only dreamed of saying. My manager is impressed, and once I learn the ropes, he’s agreed to let me work remotely.

Adam Nash, a sailor friend of mine, recently purchased a Dana 24. This is like the Rolls Royce of blue-water pocket cruisers. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to attend a Halloween party at his house, in the hopes I could talk him into going for a sail. Luck was with me and we loaded up his family for a day sail around Lopez Sound. What a smooth ride. Twenty-four feet long and it has 6′ 2″ of standing head room. The teak woodwork is classy. The diesel engine purrs like a kitten. No experience has made me consider blue-water cruising more than my ride in this little beauty. It was easy to imagine tropical, exotic beaches in something that moves through the water with such surety and style.

Tonight I’m camping in the van near the Anacortes ferry terminal, watching the ferries come in and out as a huge lighting storm plays out in the sky over Vancouver Island.

Data 24

Adam’s Dana 24 bobbing gently at anchor.

Related posts:

Clamming Tools
Fiberglassing Teak Handrails - An Experiment
Adventures at the Friday Harbor Film Festival
2 Responses to “Dana 24”
  1. kenny says:

    Would love to hear more about the vamping ( van camping? ) how do you deal with bathing and toilet facilities. Do the guys at the office start to comment after 3 days with out a shower? How do you deal with the ” it’s 2am and I GOTTA GO” situations. Portopotty? Find a bush? Or do you have to find an all store w/restroom or hold it till you get to work? I know on my boat I can always hang it over the side or a bucket, plenty of water for staying clean but I could see that being difficult in stealth vamping close to town?

    • Chris says:

      Let me first start by saying that I prefer the boat over the van. But other than preference, it’s not so bad. I try not to camp in town but instead head out to a rural area. The other secret I’ve found is to hang out someplace else. When it’s time to go to bed, I drive to my camping destination, turn out the lights, and go to bed. I don’t hang out where I sleep. That makes the camping much more stealthy.

      I’m really only going two nights without a shower. I could get a gym membership if I really cared, but I don’t. It’s winter and I don’t sweat a whole lot during this season. I can go for two nights without smelling too bad. My bowel movements are on a tight schedule. So far 2 AM emergencies haven’t been a problem. I keep a role of toilet paper on hand for emergencies, and I’m not shy about to shitting in the woods, but I haven’t needed to so far. Plus, most the areas I camp at, even the remote ones, have port-o-potties near by.

      I have a 5 gallon jug that I use for drinking water and as a makeshift sink. That’s way more water than I need for three days, including doing dishes. It’s cold at night, but I’ve got a 3 gallon propane tank and catalytic heater. I just installed curtains between the front and back of the van. I’m in the process of making black-out curtains for the windows. I haven’t had a problem staying warm yet.

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