• 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…

  • Anchored in a storm

    Riding the Pineapple Express

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    March 8th After five hours of heavy weather sailing, I stare at awe when things stay where I put them. I fluff a pillow and put it back from the center of the boat where everything piles up. A half hour later, it’s still where I put it! I got used to things flying across the boat every time I tacked. I’m anchored off Sucia Island and things are finally calm. This blustery March weather has been dubbed a Pineapple Express; a series of storm…

sailing sewing

Sailing Hibernation

New Years weekend was another one worthy of the memory banks. I went with friends to Rosario Resort for New Years Eve. This marked the fourth time in five years that I’ve spend New Years Eve there. The Resort never disappoints, but it was only a small part of the trip. The weather got cold, sunny, and calm; the perfect winter cruising weather. After two days at the Resort, we slowly started heading back east. We stopped at Cypress Island on the last night out….

Hiking Cascade Lake

New Year’s Resolutions

Tis the season for life planning and reflection. It’s new year’s eve’s eve and I hadn’t given one minute of thought to changing my plans, but I just finished watching this awesome, free documentary on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and it got my gears turning. I have no desire to hike the PCT. Ever. But I have mad respect for the people who do, like Carrot Quinn, as well as anyone who makes hiking a focal point of their life year after year. You…

Fire Building Equipment

Winter Cruising Essentials

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…

Solace anchored at Saddlebag Island

Escape the Gilded Cage

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…

Van Living

Alternative Housing

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…

Copyright 2017 SanJuanSufficiency.com · RSS Feed · Log in

Website Design by Pacific Online Promotion Strategies

Organic Themes