• 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…

great blue heron

Living Aboard and Loving It!

It’s been several weeks since my last blog post entry. Life has taken a sudden up tick in busy-ness for me. It goes to show that just because you live on a boat, life doesn’t automatically switch to ‘island time’. I’ve been living aboard the Rock ’N Row since July, and almost three months later, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. The old girl stays at the dock most days, but every day I smile when I see the water on my return home. I…

Backyard Blackberries, Bounty or Bain?

http://sanjuansufficiency.com/wp-admin/media.php?attachment_id=2333&action=edit Foraging Wild Blackberries There are many among us who consider wild blackberries to be the bane of our existence, especially when they try to take over our yards. Here in the Pacific Northwest Costal areas, blackberries grow wild and without constraint, can take over any reasonably sunny and moist area. A lot of people expend huge amounts of time and money trying to eradicate blackberry bushes. I choose to take a more moderate approach and try to allow a generous growth for harvest while…

The Victoria Clipper Shuttle

Hope Island Marine State Park

Labor Day weekend dawned and my wife and I were badly needing a get-away. Things have been just crazy at both of our jobs and stress had been running high for several weeks. Before setting out on the boat, we decided on some criteria our destination had to meet: Be calm and relaxing Have good crabbing Be somewhere we haven’t visited before Skagit Bay and Similk Bay, tucked between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands met this criteria nicely. To be fair, we had been to Hope…

Black Beans & Sausage over Rice

Drying Beans In our efforts to become more self sufficient while cutting costs, we have been experimenting with ways to home prepare and dry beans, vegetables and other products so that they are durable, easily transported, easily prepared, convenient and tasty. Sometimes, we use commercial products to augment our own efforts. This is more a matter of convenience than of necessity as nearly all of these products could be (and probably are), done at home. After months of trial and error, I think we are…

retail sales growth

Is Recession Around The Corner?

This post originally started as an email that I sent out to my friends and family. I’ve been seeing some disturbing trends in the economic data recently (who hasn’t), but the desperation in the reporting that I’ve been reading makes me worry even more. I’d love it if you added your opinion in the comments at the bottom. Retail Sales – Something’s Not Right All week I’ve been reading good news about how retail sales went up 0.8% in July and they were expected to…

Shaw Island County Park and Indian Cove

We had quite an adventurous weekend on the Rock ‘n Row. My friend Andy was in town. He and a bunch of friends (including me) went to James Island for a welcome back party. As this was forecasted to be one of the nicest weekends of the summer, a lot of people were out on the water. I got to James Island at 4:30 PM on a Friday and the dock was full, all the buoys were taken, and several campsites were already full! I…

1978 Cruise-a-Home

The Future of Change

So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life – peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food. Animals eat one another with out qualm; civilized men consume one another by due process of law.   -Will and Ariel Durant,    The Lessons of History An Off-Handed Comment A friend of mine made an off-handed comment to me the other day. I generally try to keep my…

plants that we eat

Cat Tails Plant: Plants You Can Eat in the Wild

Cattails are one of the most important survival plants for foragers to know. They are widely covered in edible plants books, but there are rarely details on how to prepare the cat tails plant after harvesting it. This post shows you how we prepare cattail stalks for use in a stir fry or other dish. Cattail stalk can be harvested from early spring till mid or late summer. We rely on this common edible weed as a staple food when we are on both long…

San Juan Islands, 7 S. Dungeness Crab – Week 2

Week two of the 2012 Dungeness Crab season and we are talking about pots, traps and all the different crab fishing equipment there is available! Crab pots and crab traps: Sherrie & I took care of some yard work on Saturday morning and then decided to hop on the boat and take a short cruise. Now there is a surprise! We left at around 2:30 PM with fairly strong tides against us, so it took about 3 hours to reach our planned destination. Upon arriving,…

freezing spinach leaves

Freezing Spinach Leaves

My home is in Skagit county, which is known for how well spinach grows. In my own garden spinach does extremely well, and due to our temperate climate, I can easily grow two harvests per season. By freezing spinach leaves, I can preserve spinach from the garden for use throughout the year. This is a great way to incorporate fresh vegetables into your diet during winter time when fresh vegetables are expensive. Freezing Spinach From The Garden The first step to freezing spinach from the…

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