• 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…

Stairing at Death

Man Overboard!

I came face to face with death. I broke the one rule that sailors must not break: I fell overboard. As I splashed into the water, death embraced me in his cold arms. He caressed my body with his cold, clammy hands, covering it with salty sea foam before pinching my ass and letting me go. As I struggled to pull myself into the dingy, wet and exhausted, I swear I could hear a whisper: “Don’t come back”. Two days later, I’m still reeling from…

Ice Box Separator

Upgrades

Boat work is moving at warp speed. On the one hand, I have a short list of low-priority projects that I thought I had two months to complete and now need to be done as soon as possible. On the other hand I’m doing a weeks worth of projects every two days, now that I can devote myself to them full time. Icebox I spent a good deal of time this winter pondering the problem of refrigeration on board the boat. I’m not opposed to…

Setting Sail

Wow… I don’t really know where to start or how to capture the last week, but I feel like I better make an attempt in order to put future posts into context. I was scheduled to leave my job in May to begin cruising. Progress toward that goal was developing well in every way. The cruising kitty is full and the boat is ready to go. I had a lot of vacation to burn off before my departure date, so I scheduled that Friday and…

Mushrooms on a Stump

The Story of Meaning

Once I get underway on my trip this summer, I’ll lose touch with the mentality I am exposed to at the workplace. I’ve been trying hard to understand the difference between myself and other cubical dwellers. What mental lenses am I losing …or gaining? How can I help others to break out the cube? The dominant paradigm is a story of scarcity, competition, and dominance. I want to live a different way. I want to inspire others to do the same. Foraging, cruising, living off…

Fiberglass Repair

How To Fiberglass a Mounting Block

This is an excerpt of a rough draft of a book I’m thinking about writing this summer. I hope this simple and useful guide inspires you to dip your toe into the wonderful waters of fiberglass work. As you restore and modify a boat, you’ll eventually need a mounting block. This may be a support for a shelf or something to screw into in order to hang something. You should never screw through the hull of your boat, even if you’re sure the fiberglass is…

Gladness Departing

Dichotomies of the Dominant Paradigm

Dichotomy: a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. (source) Dominant Paradigm: A “dominant paradigm” refers to the values, or system of thought, in a society that are most standard and widely held at a given time. Dominant paradigms are shaped both by the community’s cultural background and by the context of the historical moment (source) I work with a great team of people at an awesome company that makes a very ethical product. I…

Friends on a boat

How Did I Get Here?

My life is changing so drastically now. I’m losing touch with the average person, and yet, I started as a collared-shirt wearing, cubical dwelling, middle class, paper pushing loan drone and wage slave. This journey of a thousand small steps has not taken me far yet, physically. But it has changed my life drastically. In three months I’ll be living almost totally off-the-grid in my sailboat. I’m about to float around, wherever the wind takes me, but generally pointed north. I’ll be relying on my…

Solace at Rosario Head

Cornet Bay, Deception Pass

Today was one of those rare days where not one single second of it sucked. The entire day was a conveyor belt of fun and engagement. I started off this Saturday morning by waking without an alarm clock. A friend and I were going to head inside Deception Pass, but I wasn’t sure which island I wanted to end up on. I laid in bed and considered my anchorage options for that evening. Hope Island was a favorite, but the off-season is a great time…

Home Made Fishing Lures

The Elusive Contours of Enough

Two summers ago, I wrote about the tenuous contentment I had found and how I was struggling to discover the ‘elusive contours of enough’. This summer is going to expand my knowledge of the concepts of ‘enough’ and ‘contentment’. I feel like a blind man in the dark, clumsily feeling out those ‘elusive contours’. I had the deep pleasure of meeting Glenn of ToSimplify.net this summer, who lives the simple life of a vandwelling nomad. He was a great inspiration. I’ve seriously considered adopting his…

Repairing Cockpit Sole

Homemade Non-Skid Paint

Reviewing Non-Skid Paint Several years ago I needed to repaint the top-coat on my 40 foot houseboat. It was some serious square footage and I hated the idea of paying full price for the marine grade paint at West Marine. Like a ninja I snuck into the store and peaked at the ingredient list on their top-coat paints. I noticed that the majority of paints were a polyurethane blend. I then went to Home Depot and started looking for cheaper polyurethane paints. This eventually led…

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