• Manifesting True Wealth

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    In some ways, it feels as if I’m in boot camp at the moment. I go to bed each night exhausted and sore. I sleep deep and dreamlessly. But I know how to listen to my body. This is a test of endurance, not a sprint. I wake each morning feeling refreshed and energized. I roll out of bed and code for for four hours. By that time I’m caffeinated and restless. I go ashore and unleash my energy into my property. Such is my…

  • Avoiding the Fog

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    There is so much unnecessary fear and frustration in the world today. I don’t think it’s always been this way. My experience is that its been building, my whole life, like a smog. At first it was barely noticeable, but with time its gotten thicker until now, when the whole world seems to be choking on it. Over the course of my 34 years of life, the world popultion has grown, local infrastructure has degraded, national GDP has gone up, and climate has gone awry….

  • Optimism in Palm Springs

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    In a very odd sort of way, the last six months have felt like a honeymoon. I’ve been easing into the new commitments my property represents. Almost like a jealous lover, I haven’t wanted to write about it. It’s been new and confusing and beautiful. Now though, I have many things that I want to write about. I’m getting ready to install 1000 watts of solar panels in order to power a chest freezer. I’m building a micro-root cellar to protect homemade wine and canned…

  • What’s Next?

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016

    As I came out of Lopez Pass this afternoon I saw a large Steller Sea Lion pop out of the water about 200 yards off my bow. He had the tail of a large salmon in his mouth. Steller Sea Lions are large creatures, equivalent in size to a large black bear or a small grizzly. As his head reached about 6 feet above the water, he quickly turned and smashed the flat side of the girthy salmon against the surface of the water. I…

  • Decatur By The Numbers

    Sunday, August 21, 2016

    I reached a fork in the road this winter where I realized I needed a bigger boat or I needed to focus on getting a piece of property to complement the boat I have. I chose the latter, and in the synchronistic way of the universe, I am now the owner of a half-acre lot on Decatur Island. Now that the dust has settled, I feel I can share the financial reality that made it possible. I am trying to live a life of true…

  • Summer Adventures

    Sunday, July 24, 2016

    It’s taken the weather a little while to sort itself out, but summer is finally in full swing. The San Juan Islands are abuzz with boaters, and adventure lurks behind every corner. For the fourth of July, I babysat a friend’s boat in Fisherman’s Bay off Lopez Island. I spent three nights rafted to the side of Tuwamish, staying handy to fend off any emergencies while she swung at anchor, awaiting her family. As usual, Lopez did not disappoint with their stunning firework display. Eager…

  • Swallowing The Anchor

    Friday, July 8, 2016

    After a tempestuous night, Friday dawned clear and sunny with a light, but stiff, breeze. Not two hundred yards outside the marina, I threw up the sails and shut off the engine. I tacked back and forth on a lazy down-wind run, chasing zephyrs the entire way to Vendovi Island.   Vendovi was purchased by the San Juan Preservation Trust a few years ago. It’s a day-use only island open to the public with a small, but protected dock in the harbor on the north…

  • Vendovi Island

    Bad Mood

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    The world is a stage and we are all actors upon it according to Shakespeare, and he’s right. Seeing the world through this lens of ‘playing a role’ is revealing. When at work certain elements of our psyche get emphasized over others. Different elements are triggered when playing with children. Yet others when alone with a close friend. We can’t help but play a different role. And what determines these roles are not so much ourselves as the environment we find ourselves in. Like clockwork,…

  • ferry in thatcher pass

    Scouting Mission

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    I spent this last week anchored within walking distance of the property that I’m thinking of buying. We’re like two people courting one another. Right now we’re getting to know the other. If we like each other enough, we might get married.   I walked around the property, erecting and demolishing buildings in my mind’s eye. I followed the lay of the land, imagining where runoff water would flow and how it might be better directed. Over the week, I visited the site at different times…

  • A Double Edged Sword

    Tuesday, June 7, 2016

    I’m trapped at the dock while I wait for a part to arrive for the outboard. I have several bids out for new freelance projects and I’m waiting on one to pan out. I’ve made an offer on a piece of property in the San Juan Islands and I’m waiting on the paperwork to move the deal to the next step. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. But I don’t mind.   The consistent summer weather has given way to a pleasant routine: I wake up to no…

  • Ice Box Upgrade

    Sunday, May 8, 2016

    Whew! I’m glad that’s over. For the last three weeks my work hours got bumped up to forty hours per week, up from twenty, in order to launch this open source project. I love the work I do, but I can never go back to forty hours per week again. It’s one thing to work that hard for a ‘good reason’, or because one has accepted it as the way things are, which I think describes the mentality of most people. It’s another thing to…

  • Another Day In Paradise

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Like a pendulum swinging back, I got my need for solitude satisfied by a few days alone on Cypress Island. The next weekend was time to celebrate Julie’s last day of work. She was a successful digital nomad until she moved to San Juan Island. There she accepted a government job. The promise of a steady paycheck meant financial safety while she acclimated to her new environment. It wasn’t long before the shackles of an office worker began to rub her raw. Once again she…

  • solo sailor

    Finding Tranquility

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016

    I’ll tell ya, I never quite find my zen like I do when I am at Cypress Island. When I left, my skin was crawling with disgust at modern life. My bank account was severely dented by van registration, boat registration, tow insurance, and fishing license fees all due at the same time. And of course I’m already feeling paranoid about ‘the man’ getting his grubby little hands on my pocket book so soon after filing my taxes. My last stop before cutting the dock…

  • A Perfect Blur

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    I hate sail bloggers that don’t post regularly. But sometimes, life is so good, it’s hard to worry about the digital world that may or may not be anticipating your next post. So, Dear Reader, I will attempt to bring you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. But it’s life. It has no simple narrative, no character progression, no arc. It’s a random jumble of experiences that does not easily flow onto a page. I spent a week in Portland, my old…

  • Code Pirate

    Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    I haven’t been writing much English lately because I’ve been writing so much code. Besides the 21 hours per week I do for my job, I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing with the idea of starting my own Open Value Network (OVN) for Raspberry Pi developers. The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer with a funny name. Right now I’m programming one to track my boat’s position and update the Find Solace Page. Eventually I will program it to steer my…

Yee Ha!

Whitecaps danced along to top of the waves as I drove by Rosario Strait on my way to the boat. Today was going to be a real test of my growing skill as a sailor. For the last three days I’d been planning my trip. The weather called for steady 15 mph winds from the NE and slack tide right after work. These would be perfect conditions to sail due west, through Lopez Pass, and into Lopez Sound. I figured I could duck in behind…

Sasquatch and the Wilderness Trail

When my brother proposed a camping trip, I jumped at the opportunity. We missed a previously planned trip on the boat, and we hadn’t done anything together since our journey to Alaska. With as much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve never done a multi-day backpacking trip; certainly not in the Pacific Rainforest in the middle of February. The week before the trip was stressful. I knew that if I was not adequately prepared, the trip would be miserable. The two things I…

Insulating a Boat Hull Part 2

Insulating a Boat Hull – Part 2

This is part two of a three part series. Be sure to check out part one and part three. After identifying the materials that I had at my disposal, the real work began in earnest. The first step was to remove the old vinyl covering that had been glued to the inside of the hull. I’m sure that when the boat was new, this stuff was great, but 20 years later large swaths of it had turned black from mold growth. It felt very healthy…

Leisure Time

Over the years, I’ve come to value leisure time as the ultimate value to measure wealth and success. When I was a very young man, I ‘collected’ CEOs. At 21, I was sure I wanted to build a business, sell it, make millions, and then retire in the San Juan Islands. I began to ask CEOs for an interview for an imaginary book ‘I was writing’. I took six months off college to work as the personal assistant to a CEO of a startup software…

Rosario Strait Fog

Who Needs Radar?!

Living on a boat requires a significant downsizing of possessions. Before Christmas I warned my family that I can no longer accept physical gifts, but gift cards will be gladly accepted. I was delighted to receive a gift certificate from my parents for the Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. I set out on an early Saturday morning and the conditions appeared perfect: glassy water, a flood tide, not a breath of wind, and warm sunlight glancing off the nearby islands. No sooner did I poke…

Infrastructure Independence

Infrastructure Independence

I’m increasingly feeling that I should focus my blog on promoting a lifestyle of … I’m not really sure what to call it. Cruising? Living aboard? Off-grid tiny houses? ‘Infrastructure independence’ is the best phrase that comes to mind. The point is this: I believe the root of ‘the problem’ with our world today exists in our infrastructure. Most people today still live the lifestyle of the industrial age: Income obtained from a single job, paying taxes to a central government. Groceries obtained from a…

Bowman Bay Rocks

Sailing in Solitude

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…

debt and murder

Debt and Murder

Recently I watched ‘The Green Mile’ staring Tom Hanks and based on a novel by Stephen King. It’s a great movie and I highly recommend it. One of the side stories is of a death-row inmate named Wild Bill who kidnaps two girls from their home and murders them in the woods. He is able to abduct them from their home without awakening the parents because he tells one of them, “If you scream, I’ll kill your sister.” Then he says the same thing to…

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…

Alaska Hiking

Why Blog?

Over the last six months, I have come into contact with both amazing people and kindred souls. In the last week alone I have hung out with Katie and Mark of controlledjibe.com and Katie J of Spyhopper Travels. In July, I rendezvoused with Stormy of artofhookie.org. I always stay in touch with Teresa and Ben of sailingsimplicity.com. I have also spent time with several people who do not have an internet presence, but who’s alternative, adventurous life is equally beautiful and intriguing. I sat down…

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