• 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…

adventure-ducky-sunset

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

As I write this, I am leaving the US and crossing the Canadian border for the second time in a month. My first attempt wasn’t a false start. I spent two weeks circumnavigating Vancouver Island’s Saanich Inlet. A very populated place, akin to Seattle. The early spring weather was stormy and made a good shake-down cruise. I got to cross Butchart Gardens off my bucket list. While the trip showed me that I was ready to cruise north, it also showed me that a few…

What is Voyaging?

It’s been about four weeks since I started voyaging and the lack of a clear goal, the mentality of conventional ‘productivity’, is starting to get to me; as I knew it would. It’s like a mini existential crisis. I keep asking myself roundabout question about my ‘purpose’ and what I’m ‘doing’. I tried to take solace in Annie Hills book Voyaging on a Small Income which I pilfered from a friend a few days before crossing the border. Here is a woman who has been…

starfish

Daily Miracles

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…

Tsehum Harbor Sunset

Reflections of Water and Memory

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…

Sailing With My Brother

I had anticipated crossing the border last weekend, but three weeks ago my brother accepted the invitation to join me on the boat. This is the same brother I took a journey to Alaska with and had some great adventures in Alaska with. Since I was already in Friday Harbor doing last minute provisioning, I took the ferry back to Anacortes to pick him up. We walked back onto the ferry with about 400 kids heading to the islands for an organized spring break camping…

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…

Sailing with Brother

Freedom and Angst

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…

Solace

Cutting the Dock Lines

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…

Create A Google Map

How To Make Trail Maps

I have been using the Open GPS Tracker app on my Android phone to make my own trail maps for a few months. Everyone I have shown it to has been blown away with the ease with which I’m able to overlay my GPS bread-crumb trail onto a satellite map to get an aerial view of where I’ve hiked and to share my own home-made trail maps. All this technology is free to use! And so, my intrepid and adventurous readers, here is a step-by-step…

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