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My great grandmother was a physic, she told me many things about my coming life the one and only time I met her.  She was on her death bed but her eyes were clear as the blue water I love sailing the most.  She told me things I would later learn about my self but at the time I thought she was crazy.  


One of the things I’ve always carried with me is that she told me to surround myself in a pink cloud and would always be safe.  I’ve done this from that day foreward, sometimes it’s a self induced cloud, others it’s a pink tee or some other article of clothing.  I’ll never forget when my mom brought home a pink pair of Sperry topsiders for me, I was like, why the hell would she get me these but I loved them and to date I have always been safe, even in some of the most dangerous conditions in the world.

I was really hoping for some soft of high visibility pink kilt to wear on the cycling journey that I still have yet to commit to. But have given up as I simply couldn’t find a good fit.  I did find a great Terry thermal kilt for the cold days to go over my camo mangings but it’s a very disappointing grey, although it’s super warm and will let me change my clothes modestly right in the side of the highway. Man kilts are functional as hell when used right and the fit is perfect.  

So I found these awesome pink socks to keep me safe on my journey although I’m sure the redneck idiots will have a few words but I have no issues with telling them where they can stick it.  So that’s that I have officially busted my budget and obtained everything I need except basic riding clothing tops and bottoms but for now a pair of runners and my old backpacking shirts will do. My contract ends in two weeks and that’s when the adventure will begin, I can hardly wait to see where my journey goes.

As for me, I will follow the path of the pink bunnies.” 

― Magenta Periwinkle

My new kicks 

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I’m walking home from the food store, a 12 pack in one hand and my paper bag of goodies in the other.  There is a band in the park, hippies twirl and gyrate the rhythm pulses through me.  A deer runs across the road lit with golden rays of evening.  With each passing car I try and lift my thumb but there will be no rides today.  I say a hello to a cute girl in passing, stop and turn for a second look and we are eye to eye.


She starts picking blackberrys while I drop my bag in a delicious spot of sun on the side of the road.  We share a beer and she pulls out a spliff, we share that and a meal and good conversation about the island, we share everything.  I wake up in the most comefortable bed I’ve ever slept in, silky white sheets, big pillows and it’s warm.  Breakfast is fruit and coffee.

It’s raining today and foiling my finish coat on the bow Sprite so we laze around listening to music, sitting close and giggling and this or that.  Her long hair falls across my shoulder and I don’t want to leave.  The universe is fucking with me.  She drops me off at Sookie and we say good by, no exchange of numbers, she knows where to find me.  She drives ten feet and stops the car, gets out and runs back to give me one last kiss and a giant hug. She starts talking.  ” last night was so much fun, when can we do it again?”  I reply “how about right now”, she smiles and tells me about her work.  We make plans to make plans but we make none, still no exchange and she drives off.  I have a bit of time to set up for when the sun returns.

I tuck my new and still unworn shoes away and do some organizing of food that needs to be eaten.  I’m lazy and don’t want to work on anything, I pull on a thick pair of wool socks and hope for a calm day, the wind had me running crazy all day yesterday but now it’s calm, I can smell her on me, like flowers her scent lingers and I wonder if this is a tipping point, maybe I won’t be going anywhere or doing anything.  I tuck my new pink socks into my Brompty bag, there is a story here but for now I have to go off to work…

“So many went on a quest to tame her, 

The only man to win her heart was the one 

Who was also free.” 

― Nikki Rowe

Chloe

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I bought Chloe a brand new Subaru for her first birthday, before the end of the first week she had ripped  out the steering colum to the tune of serveral thousand dollars but that was only the tip of the iceberg compared to what I paid in bribes to keep her in my divorce settlement.  I didn’t care about the house, the money or any of the personal belongings that took me a lifetime to obtain, I just wanted that fluffy little monster that made my world so frustratingly perfect.


A Brittany came running down the dock right up to me and after a good ear scratch she layed down on my foot the way Chloe used to do, I almost had a breakdown, I miss that little fucker so much words can not describe.  They say it gets easier with time, it doesn’t.  With every passing day I miss her more and more and think about her more often. For a long time I tried to block it all but I simply can’t, I miss my baby, always :(…

I miss the life I created for her and our back woods adventures together, eating road kill, living in a snow cave and section hiking the pacific crest trail.  She was the best companion a man could have.  It’s been a year since that horrible day when she went to that big fiend in the sky and I’ve been saving a special bottle a friend gave to me, for what I didn’t know but tonight I will toast my best friend with a bottle of red appropriately named Chloe, the girl who changed not only who and what I am but also how I see the world.  I have a book in me but I’m not so sure I’m ready to share our adventures with the world.

She would always eat my cooking, never said no to a few extra miles on the trail and was great for treeing a bear in my campsite if a treed bear in your camp site is what you want.  She was always up to some form of shinanigans and taught me that life is to short to follow the rules.  I’d sneak her into bars and restaurants and we would both get kicked out.  Our winter in a back country cabin snowshoeing through heavy power on a daily basis was one of the best times of my life.  She would always jump on the back of my snow shoes tripping me face first into to deep snow and then jump on my back to play.  Mornings were steam roller time when she would pounce on me and wake me up for coffe and dog chow.  

On one famous backpacking trip where all I brought were a pack of hot dogs and a sleeping bag she crawled into a dead deer carcas just before sunset. I did the best to clean her that I could but it was impossible, then the mosquitos came out in force.  We dove into my sleeping bag wet stinky dog and all and I said to her, at least it’s not raining, then the Hevens opened up, there was no place I would have rather been.  My favorite Mountian biking trail was 40 miles long and she would lap me the whole time.  We climbed every mountain, sailed all over the country and Mexico together and did the worlds best road trip.

My heart is still hurting these days but I always feel like she is close by, keeping an eye on me and reminding me that none of us will get out of this world alive.  Her daily memories remind  me to love unconditionally, play every day and to wake up with an explosion for another day and the gift of life.  I salute you Chloe, cheers my friend and thank you for teaching me that while life might not be fair it’s the greatest gift any of us could ever ask for.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.

—Gilda Radner

Barefoot bandit

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I watched my little sailor girl pull her main and slowly work her way out of the harbor.  She is scared shitless but still following her dream.  I stocked her with beans and onions and a special bottle of wine and already miss her company but she promised to come back and visit before I leave.  She just turned 18, used four years of babysitting and mowing lawns money to buy a boat and is off to see the islands.


I’m a bit worried about her but she made it all the way from Olympia so I’m sure she will just keep on gunk holing her way around till it gets too cold.  Her little Ericsson is the perfect first time boat and seemed huge compared to Sookie.  I love young people because they haven’t yet learned that they are doing the impossible, or at least the thing age and experience beats out of us.  She left in June with $200.00 and a boat full of food, not a far cry from when I pushed Sookie out to find a better life in the islands.


It’s lonely and far too quiet now back on Sookie but I have much to do and every day is like Christmas as packages keep arriving and I try and sort a way to fit it all in.  So far my only option has been to reduce my food stores.  It looks like I can fit a one day emergency supply  plus the days riding food which I hope will be enough.  Should I flip my wig and ride across the southern border I will need to carry more food but less warmies, although I’m still wondering if I will ride a single mile… Either way my new warmies are stupid comfy and I love the camo print, they fit like a glove and will be the only thing between me and the elements on the cold days.  It was them or waterproof pants, I don’t have the budget or space for both, I’m quite pleased with my decision.  They look like they are see through but they are not, it’s just the awesome stealth camo.

I don’t know why the only choices in men’s athletic clothes are black and grey and fit like a sac of potatoes but it seriously pisses me off.  I was hoping to pedal off with all the colors  of the rainbow lighting me up like a billboard so all the cars could easily see me.  Clothes should be fun to wear, note to self, learn to sew so you can make your own shit!

“You all laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” 

― John Davis

Me no like

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By noon I had reached my personal limit of exhaustion, weeks without a day off, Sunday is supposed to be an easy day.  The straits were throwing a tantrum which meant I had a pile of frazzled boaters, some staying some hiding but all of them having massive issues docking.  Blown furlers, boats dragging anchor and breaking waves over the entire end tie had my 15 hour day filled.


I woke up crumpled in a heap of my own pitiful state lying on the dock like a piece of doggie poo.  The day started out promising, I actually obtained a cook pot and wind screen, some string, and low and behold two pairs of socks to go with my new kicks, yep this sailor now has a new pair of shoes in the mail.  I gave up on water proof pants and picked up a pair of running tights with a killer print on them to keep me warm in the cool mornings and having completely given up on a bright pink don’t run me over cover up I got a Terry thermal wrap to cover my junk.  I was feeling pretty satisfied and broke when I met a very hungry girl living in her boat.  She didn’t have enough to cover her groceries so I covered it with a bit to spare for her and now I feel like a huge pile of shit having all this new gear when I’m reminded of how many people struggle just to eat in this world.

Somewhere between her and there I dropped for the count till I was awoken by a girl on the dock with a cold beer and a hand up.  Refreshed and ready to rumble I made it back to Sookie and sanded till the sun went down.  My feet hurt so badly I can barely walk but it’s tent time and my favorite time of the day when I can pile into my little cocoon and sleep like the dead, after a great glass of J.Scott that is 🙂

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” 

― Hélder Câmara

There’s a new sheriff in town

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The VHF radio crackles to life,  the boater asks permission ” is it ok if I…” I respond, this is America, you can do anything you want.  All ears are pleased and as a local walks by he refers to the mantra I’ve been spreading since day one, “there’s a new Sherrif in town.”


Its my job to keep the kids safe, round up the lost puppies and even save a float plane here and there when the weather and currents are especially nasty.  Its appearant by the smile I wear on my face that I love what I do and I’m good at it because I love it but I’m too old for this shit.  I race up and down the dock on my flame encrusted beach cruiser ringing my bell as a warming and calling out hellos as I fly by, all day catching boats and boaters, flirting with the co-eds and hauling heavy  objects up the steep ramp for my elderly guests. I know the name of every guest and thier familys and thier dogs, all good people have dogs…

When I clock out my day isn’t ending, it’s just beginning.  I hitch into town for supplies and a fresh avacodo or banana or what ever buisiness I’m up to and then it’s back to Sookie working in circles around myself.  When the sun goes down its off to the bar for a bit of rock star treatment, free drinks and BS-ing with sailors from all over the world.  

Today among the many awesome things that happened I ran into Jessie who sailed his Falmouth cutter with his wife and four young doughters, now he sails and exquisite cape George 36.  The very first thing he did was rip out the head and teach the girls how to use a shit bucket, I actually met him right at this dock many years ago when he came sailing in with his girls diving off the side like the little sea monkeys they are and livin up the island life, it’s alway fun to run into him and all the other sailors I have met from my sailing journeys around the Salish sea.

I’m going to miss this place but I miss every place I’ve been, it’s all part of the nomadic life.  I never say good bye, I hate goodbyes, I just slip out the back door and poof, I’m gone…

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” 

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Minus one

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A quick glance at my bank account confirms that I have exactly the same amount of money that I had before I started working, a big ZERO!, but it isn’t money im after today.  Sure I’m alive and kicking, I’ve done a bit of good for the world and the yachters daughters have been keeping me in very good company.  I’m  building an arsenal of fun and while on this day I’m too broke to use the freedom it affords me I have a solid three weeks before 9/11


Serveral thousand nights in my shit freezing sleeping bag has prompted me to invest in the best sleeping bag known to man, it is so plush I can’t even use it as the day it arrived so did summer, isn’t that how it always works.   My self inflating camp pad is pretty kewl as is the tent that so far has kept me warm and dry.  On Sunday 9/11 I’ll drink my last bottle of wine, have a a good steak and when I wake up it will be decision time, splash Sookie and seek winter employment or load up Brompty and hit the road in search of winter employment, I won’t think about it till that Monday the 12th but by 9:00 I’ll be on my way.   

Being single has its advantages, not that I’ve ever been the type of person to seek out singledom but on the plus side being minus one means I don’t have some nagging bitch squawking at me to cut my hair, have a shave and get a job.  If I wasn’t single I’m guessing that rather than sitting in the hotel bar getting free drinks from the uber cute girl I met today I would be at Sears picking out a new shirt for Sunday services. But my god isn’t a statue and she doesn’t exist in a church.  

She’s out there everywhere and I always find her, on the water, in the mountians, on the road and every drop she bleeds from the sky leads from her throne on the highest montian top through the valley of Eden and into the sea which sea has created for me.  I hang out with the uber rich everyday, it’s the life I know best, they are not free, they are slaves to everything that makes the brief snapshot of thier life look like a dream but come Monday thier get out of jail free card expires and back to work they go till they are 75 and free to live the rest of thier lives as they choose.

Where ever my future takes me I know there will be times when I am super afraid.  Times when I am cold and times when I am hungry.  Freedom comes with a price and I’m willing to pay for it with a little bit of discomfort here and there.  I spent he afternoon cleaning and decking out Brompty, admiring her lines in the late glow of the setting sun and once again i wonder how I am so fortunate to be blessed with everything I need in this world and nothing I don’t….

“My life changed the day I moved beyond just wishing for things and I started earning them. That is the day I learned that we don’t get what we wish for, we get what we work for.” 

― Steve Maraboli

Burning the candle at both ends

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I’m like the walking dead, I haven’t had a day off in a month.  I’m up at 530 working on Sookie, then it’s off to work seven days a week and back to the boat till dark.  I’ve never been this burned out in my life.  Every inch of my body hurts from being run over by a boat.  My days are like running a marathon, my nights, sanctuary in my little one man tent.


Every morning I wake and I can’t move, my spine feels like it is cracked in half.  Slowly I force myself up, my knees swollen still from yesterday but morning brings coffee and the smell of teak sawdust, the rich aroma of freshly laid varnish, paint and all sorts of sealants.

Every day I swear I’m done with traditional boats, my next boat will be all plastic with metal hand rails and an aluminum toe rail and I will love it for its lack of necessary maintenance.  Each and every morning I swear this but by the pale light of the setting sun with a cool beer in my hand I inspect the days pitiful progress and I smile.  I touch Sookies bow and I proclaim my love to her.

I’m burned out on boats and sailing and living aboard, I want to be as far away from this time in my life that I can but in some deep place I know I will shed a silent tear when I walk away.  I could splash her today and spend another winter aboard  but I won’t.  I need to recharge and find a new zen.  I’ve been in a coma for over a year, my brain isn’t firing and I can’t do anything right.  My burger and fries a day that I’m alloted from the resort galley has me looking like I’m pregnant, I feel stagnant because I am, all my days blur to no purpose and I still don’t even know why.

I glance at my watch, it’s time to clock in, I glance at my calander and wonder how I can survive the next month but also know it’s nearly impossible to finish here in time, to leave before winter catches me.  I’m in a weakened  state both mentally and physically but that date keeps me focused, it’s a very small window of freedom that the road affords.  When my ride ends I’ll be broke a thousand miles from home and it will be winter, this is my freedom, my choice, my life.  I stretch and squirm and let out a morning roar.  I’m not following the path less taken, I’m making my own…

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” 

― Benjamin Franklin

Impossibly perfect

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Perfect bike, perfect ass, what more could you ask for. I was chatting about my current life with some boaters when I was reminded of my youth and how at my age it’s one thing to bonk around but my new friends had responsibilities at thier age.

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I asked how old they thought I was and she said 25, I laughed as her jaw dropped, we were the same age. When asked my secret to my youth I simply replied, “good wine and organic ciggis” the truth isn’t that simple but if you want that perfect 2% body fat, muscular physique and ripping strong cardio you had when you were in your teens, find a bike you love and ride it like you stole it.

My vacation from the web has been a nice break while the digital mechanics were sorted out but I missed writing. Not much to talk about but I have a feeling that’s all going to change right about now…

“The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.”
― Shel Silverstein

Minimalist touring on a Brompton 

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I screwed myself again, or should I say I’ve been overly optimistic about my athletic abilities.  I’ve been banking on a smaller chain ring to give me the extra oomf to get up the big hills on my fully loaded Brompty.  It wasn’t until I took the chain off that imactually looked at my chain ring and discovered that it was a 44 already and not the 50.  Nowhere on the sales receipt did it say anything about the gearing so I just figured it was standard.


I was in optimal shape in Hawaii and still got my ass kicked, now I’m doomed.  Sure I could size down to a  39 ring buts that’s way too girly for me so I’m going to tough it out in my pink riding skirt.  The big question is do I replace my chain, carry the extra weight for when I will need to replace it, or just return it and get the  kewl tool, that fits in the frame and can fix just about everything on the bike, ok not everything but it’s sweet.

Touring on a brompton
I’m a bit miffed at the size of my new t bag, first of all in thier optimal brilliance Brompton decided to switch the awesome exterior storage pocket that is huge to the right side putting the water bottle holder on the left.  Aren’t um like 99% of humans right handed and the one percent that are left ambidexterous??? Fringing boneheads, it’s virtually deadly to get a sip of water now while on the fly.

Touring on a brompton
My new Ergon GP3 grips are the bomb, the shit foam ones left my wrists as numb as the Brompton seat leaves my manhood on the longer rides.  If it sounds like I’m complaining I’m not, I don’t expect good grips, pedals or saddle on any new bike at any price. Ok I’m totally bitching about the T bag and I’m sure it will be replaced with something that is not dumber than a sack of hammers but damn she rides nice fully loaded.

Touring on a brompton
The Relevate seat bag is kick ass and you don’t know it’s there but there is a big snafu, my fault.  You can’t lower the seat low enough to lock the frame so when transporting from bike to train, ferry or what ever it has to come off.  No big deal but not ideal for me.


That’s it and a bunch of spare parts just in case I decide to ride all the way to Panama, I’m covered. I don’t  have any days off and mornings and nights are devoted to Sookie so my first real ride will be the day I leave, if I leave and I really think I’m going to leave, unless I stay which I won’t, I don’t think, unless i do.

From the log of Sookie, bonking in Hawaii, the only easy day so far on this trip was yesterday.  I wrote these words in my journal everyday until I checked into the west wing.  

Cycling the Pacific Coast

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I’ve been afraid to say the words out loud because in my current condition I won’t even be able to pedal to the mainland but still, it’s all I can think about.  My back is fucked, my budget is shit and my gear is seriously lacking.  They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting diffent results.  My one way ticket to Maui and 500 bucks was a lunatic endeavor, a journey fit for a mad man.

Touring one Brompton

Well I’m much more settled now and it looks like I will be setting off for the ferry with a cool, 750 smackers.  My goal is to make it to the ferry on Lopez island. If I make it that far I will continue one mile at a time, one day at a time for as long as my back hangs in there.  If I survive the first three days I’ll figure out a way to get a sleeping bag and cook set.

I have a pile of bike shit, new gears, new grips, a front bag for Brompty and a bunch of spare parts that I will never need now that I have them.  I’ll still need a new set of tires but the ones I have will get me to Oregon at least.  I can’t be bothered to replace them now because I might not make it that far.  Brompton makes a sweet in frame tool kit and that will find its way in my frame as well.  It’s all about baby steps on this one.

I’ve met a ton of touring cyclists this summer and I’m jacked to get out on the coast and do some exploring by bike.  My seven year anniversary with living car-less is in October so I hope my body holds out long enough.to celebrate that one on the road.  My contract ends in 35 days, holly shit that’s not enough time to finish my projects on sookie and get my ride together.

I will literally walk off one of the most physically demanding jobs I have ever had and 12 hours later be on the bike heading south with no rest or transition.  If I don’t beat the cool of fall I will freeze to death long before I run out of money and succumb to starvation. My biggest point of contention is my miserable as hell bike seat.  It’s fine for up to two hours but after that it becomes a torture chamber.

If I actually do this it will be a battle of riding as slow as humanly possible so I can explore the coast to the fullest but also a race against winter and my budget.  It’s all comming together, all I have to do is commit to the insanity and take the path less pedaled.  Maybe at the end I will finally find my bit of land and build my tiny home although in this chilly morning a tent cabin in Hawaii is sounding much more appealing, I really love my simple life…

“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls” ~ Bob Weir, Grateful Dead

A life of privilege 

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The rain came hard trapping me in the boat, it was warm and humid, the bay a dead calm boiling with heavy drops from the heavens.but this paradise had to be earned.  A long wet windward passage and a very narrow and shallow reef lined pass had to be carefully negotiated.  The big boats had to stay outside in the outer bay but Sookie fit in snug as a bug in a rug in our private little Shangri-La


I get a series of weird questions about Sookie from my family.  I’m busy and not really paying attention, then it hits me.  I respond, what are you knuckle heads up to.  My family wants to ship Sookie south for me, my shinanagans must have finally gotten to them, or maybe they are afraid I pull a respeat and head back to Maui again.  That fucking island almost killed me as did Sherrif  John Brown but in the end I won and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Let’s face it I’m an American and as such I live a privileged life.  The poorest person in America lives like a millionaire compared to much of the rest of the world, this tragedy was witnessed by my very young eyes and at one point I decided I could save the world, these these days I’m still perplexed by it all but there is very little I can do.  Instead I live my own life in search of the metaphorical bread and water that rules my world.

I’m annoyed by this offer, not that I’m not super appreciative, fuck it’s everything I want and need on a silver platter and why shouldn’t they.  Isn’t that what family is all about.  I spoiled Chloe rotten and loved it, she ate the finest food a dog could have, she got all the love and nourishment on the planet, even when I was in the middle of divorce and dumpster diving and eating road kill to survive she was still well taken care of.  I would do anything for my family without question or questioning it.

I flat out refused the offer with a thank you but… Seven years ago penniless, busted flat and losing the girl I loved more than worlds  of words can express I started a new journey with nothing.  That was the perfect storm of life, it’s when my eyes really started to fail, my life in shambles and I was living in a town I never chose to live in, I moved there for my ex, bought her the perfect boat and then it all ended, but I didn’t. I just flipped a switch and started a new journey.  If I let my family help me I’m a fake, a fraud, a phony, im no trustaffarian, my journey is real, it’s mine and I know the path very well.

Still it felt good just to think about, it feels good to know there are people out there who love you and want to help you.  I pay it all foreward whenever I can which is right now as I am working and it feels good to be able to share with the less fortunate.  

So I threw away my get out of jail free card, although I’ve already used it once this year.  It’s been really cold at night and getting colder, my body is broken from being run over by a yacht and my contract ends in 5 weeks, I’m a bit fearful for the immediate future but… I’m a fool for saying no but if your not willing to make the long and wet windward passage you will never make it to Shangri-la.  The biggest privilege any of us can demand in life is the privilege of choice, of action and of self reliance.  

Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month, — the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this, — or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the mean while, and had received a Rodgers’ penknife from his father?

  — Walden

I’m not your guru

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I stare at my in box for 10 minutes, there is an email at the top, I don’t want to open it, I don’t want to know what it says.  I delete it, then I hit control alt delete and clean my entire mail, time for s fresh clean platform in my cyber cafe.  Letting go comes easy for me, sort of. Moving on, starting a new direction it’s all part of the creative process.


Tonight I’m having wine with Barbara, she is in from Europe on her parents Catalina 34.  When morning comes she will slip the lines and a whole new cycle will start for all of us.  That’s what summer in a resort is like, people always coming, always going but I’m always here, I can’t take the stagnation.  I have a pile of gear waiting for me at the post office, I’m trading my foulies for light weight rain gear, my Xtratufs for bare feet and my fancy pressed uniform for my purple man kilt.

I’m a drifter, a vagabond, a transient a dirt bag explorer, I have many names but guru or role model isn’t one of them.  I continue to turn down advertising offers mostly because advertising sucks but it’s a double edge sward.  I’m not rich by any means but I’m getting used to having a few bucks in my pocket, the freedom to buy food, and my new shelter.  This is where it all begins, the downward spiral of upper mobility.  I spend my little free time searching for a cabin in the woods or a cabana on the beach, anyplace that I can both stand up in and lay down in.  Hot water and a flush toilet, a window to peer out of.  How far I’ve come from that day surrounded by dozens of rows of executives in thier little cubicles.  Each set of rows was a group, the rows went on as far as the eyes could see.  Staring out the window at a passing summer storm I Made a break for it.  I raised my hands to the heavens and soaked in every drop of beautiful rain.  

Soaking wet I walked back to my cubicle, my home for 12 hours a day and packed my bag and walked out on my life.  Was it really that I bad? A big leather chair, heat and air conditioning, more money than should ever be earned for sitting in that big plush chair.  I had a little headset so I could crunch numbers while I chatted on the phone, my nice car in the parking lot and a beautiful coastal home next to my boat.  Now sitting on the other side of that window, that day, that life I can’t help but wonder.  Has anything changed?  Have I changed?  I could say yes but I will say no, I’m that same old person hypnotized by money and willing to trade my life for it, to chase investments and Capitol and power.

They say once you are a smoker you always are a smoker, all it takes is one drag and you are hooked again.  Money is the same way, it’s a disease, one we all want and we can never get sick enough to get better.  Living on the hard cold ground, I’m at one with my bunnies and the deer, they all know me and that I’m safe but I know myself and I’m not.  I’m not safe, not from myself and not from the world, I’m a potential nuclear explosion of consumerism and waste and greed.  A ticking time bomb willing to have what I want regardless of its cost to the planet I live on.  I buy from communists, create a market for horribly toxic chemicals that I place on my boat in the ocean that I act like I love.  My foot print is huge, I’m willing to settle and sell out.  No I’m not a leader, I’m not a role model and I’m sure as hell not your guru.

 From the log of Sookie, missing Chloe.  If you want to live a better life follow your dog, they need nothing, love everybody and are always happy, cheerful and ready to please.  Chloe was and still is my guru…

Giving up the dream

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Some things just aren’t meant to be.  By the end of the month Sookie will be all wrapped up, when I return she will be the ultimate day sailor and gunk holer, I’ve thrown in the towel on blue water sailing with her.  Life goes on and Sookie will sail on but not beyond the reach of the Salish Sea.


I’ve hit my wall, to many nights on the hard cold ground, too many days of going hungry, to many seasons of not enough progress towards my goal.  Sookie is ripe and ready for this tiny sea and that’s where she will stay.  The seasons are short here as is the crappy low paying seasonal work, living aboard during the winters can be brutal, wet and cold, I’m ready for a square  bed, hot and cold water and push button heat.  It feels good to have a few bucks in my pocket for the first time in three years.

I cashed my check, bought a small pile of food to drop at the food bank and boxed up all the things I will no longer need on Sookie, I strapped them  on the back of Brompty and delivered them over serveral trips to the free store and feel good about my long day.  Working seven days a week all by myself in a position that warrants three people has been fun but also reinforced that I’d simply rather be sailing even if it’s just my own waters.

My last day here in the islands is about 5 weeks away and then I will set off in search of a winter home, reasonable work and  a bit of warm weather.  

“We got so much food in America we’re allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain’t allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda’s got a fucking lactose intolerance?!” 
― Chris Rock

Plan B

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$6661.95, that’s the best quote I have so far for shipping Sookie from Annacortez to L.A., the first three numbers spell it all clearly and Ive completly abandoned hope of shipping the boat somewhere warm for the winter. Plan B,  I hit the pay button for bike parts and watch my meager life’s savings dissapear, I might be broke but my bug out bike is coming along slowly but surely.  


I still haven’t figured out what I want to cook with or what I’m going to sleep in but I bit the bullet and purchased a small self inflating therma rest.  My back is jacked beyond recognition from sleeping on the hard cold ground.  I haven’t had any sort of pad until a few days ago when I purchased some thin foam from the local Hardwear store, it isnt helping so I guess I’ll have to live my life hunched over form here on out.

My clothing debate is the biggest, it’s sac religious to wear spandex on a Brompton, or any time or place for that matter so Im still drawing a blank.  If my cotton man kilt wasn’t cotton it would be ideal but it’s cotton.  I have a few old shirts I can use and some rotting synthetic backpacking shit so if I can beat winter I may be ok.  It’s funny how much effort I’m putting into a trip I’m not committed to taking and a platform I at this point have no use for but its the direction my fucked up mind is going in and keeps me occupied before and after my 7 days a week of resort living.

My new gearing is in the mail as is the first waterproof jacket other than my five pound foulies that I’ve had in over five years.  It will be nice to have a shell for at least half my body.  I continue to shop discount air fare but don’t know where from or where too.  The thick fog persists but when it clears I know I will have Sookie ready and waiting and Brompty ready and waiting.  Everything from the bike can slip into my tiny mountian pack so now I have three solid platforms that I don’t have any use for.

Warm weather is all I can think about, it’s August and I spent the morning shivering… Warm, warm, warm, that’s my plan B, warm.

From the log of Sookie, I look at my olive tanned bare feet and they make me smile, this is a sign of success, bare feet.  The iron fist of winter is coming but not for me, my mistress is clear blue water, the golden rays of sunlight warming my back and a balmy wind to carry the plume of coconut that bathes my skin.  A tropical stormy is a brewing…

Girl in the buddha dress

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With the last bits of paint in my cup I give Sookie a new set of eyeballs and she is pleased.  She has always had eyes from the first time I splashed her and she always  will.  Someday I will put them high on her hull but we are still bonding and so the process continues.  Ancient maritime lore has it that if a ship has eyes she can see where she is going and will never collide. 


On again off again it seems my new windvane and my efforts to aquire it were all in vain ;). No matter, I have pleanty to keep me busy in my minimal time off and living in a resort is turning out to be quite a wonderful way to spend the summer regardless of the small squalls that come and go.  Last night all tucked in my little cocoon I slept like the dead, dreaming of sailing adventures and woke refreshed and ready to tackle another day in the yard, on the bike and with a little luck time for more research on shipping Sookie somewhere warm.  My dream would be to ship her to Ventura , then ride my bike down to meet her. 

My superstition about shipping boats is holding me back but if I do move her it will be to almost the exact place she started her life and where she was put on a trailer for her long voyage to me.  The days of summer tick by weeks at a time and now my end here is nearer than my beginnings.  I don’t expect anyone to understand my superstitions  or the way I do things but Sookie isn’t just a sailboat, she is a ship and a home and something that gives my life great meaning.  She keeps me young and strong.  As much as I hate the idea of storing her for another winter, my alternative; if I do she will be ready to rock the day I return.

For now I’m moonlighting between her and  Brompty, somehow I still make it to work everyday with a big smile, full of energy and the knowledge that there s a purpose for all this madness. Sitting in the morning sun on the deck of my resort a yachter has offered to buy me breakfast.  Steak and eggs, hot coffee and a dead calm bay as I  lounge around in my tanned bare feet wondering if there is anything such as first world problems or am I just the most fortunate human on earth. I take in a deep breath and slowly exhale, where should I begin…

I’m talking to a yachter on a 2 million dollar boat with hundreds of thousands of dollars of electronics, he is very concerned about leaving the bay on a negative 1.3 tide.  I look over my shoulder and see Beth and Cody sail in the harbor on their home built 29′ sailboat ” well if they can make it in engineless I’m sure you’ll  be fine”. 

The most beautiful girl in the world has shown up in my Marina, everytime I turn around she is there, smiling, her eyes lighter than any shade I have ever seen sparkle brighter in the sun than the diamond in her nose.  She always stands close, looking up at me with those eyes, that smile, close enough to feel like a couple.  A short flowy blue cotton sun dress drapes and perfectly outlines her soft frame and all of her curves, it has a Buddha on it, I know this dress very well and she feels like home.  More than anything I want to know her better, I flush everytime she is near, I let her go and it hurts on some deep level but I do nothing.

I help an 11 year old dock her fathers 38′ sailboat, she handles it like a pro.  The yachters come and go, friends  come and go, the days come and go.  Work is slowly progressing on Sookie but I need help if I want to finished her in time but in time for what? Indesision rules my days.  I’m in my cocoon before the sun goes down, warm enough and cozy, 5:00 Am brings a new day, where should I begin…

“There’s no advantage to hurrying through life.” -Shikamaru Nara

Any boat will do

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I’m at a stand still, I’ve hit a brick wall.  I’m challanged by my own knowledge and now finding I need to learn more about the things I thought I already knew.  I’m working with a girl to find her a perfect boat for blue water sailing, her budget is too small and she has read to many books and blogs about the perfect offshore boat written by people who have never sailed those boats they write about.


I’m taking notes, walking through another boatyard and scratching my head. Do I hate boats, have  I become some sort of eletist sailing snob?  I don’t think so, I hope not but once you’re been in the belly of the tempest you form some pretty valid opinions.  I’ve been fortunate to sail on hundreds of them, sailboats that is. A lifetime on the water front will do that to a person.  I go back to ground zero and start with the foundation. The keel, layup, rig, design.  The myth that older boats are stronger than newer ones is just that, a myth.  Newer boats are by far stronger, layed out better, at least the good ones are and will give you far fewer headaches than buying into a 50 year old sailboat based off of lore that some guy needing money wrote a book about.

Not that there aren’t good old boats, there certainly are.  I think the biggest problem is that you get what you pay for, if you buy a $3000.00 boat thats pretty much what you have in the same way as if you buy a $300,000.00 boat.  I use myself as the most classic example, I could have bought an Ericsson 27 outitted it, circumnavigated and still had money left over in my pocket for the next adventure for what I have invested in Sookie.  

My problem is that I’ve done many offshore passages in shitty old boats because that’s what I had at the time, it was great when I was 18 but I’m not 18 anymore and simply want more, once is enough.  Back to Laura and finding her boat, she challanges me in a good way, I’m learning as much as I’m teaching her.  She isn’t looking for a lake boat, or a coastal cruiser, she wants a blue water sailboat and it’s my job to find her one on her small budget, what she does with it is up to her.  I sailed the Caribbean in a 36′ costal cruiser and didn’t have a complain in the world other than the miserably challanging sailing conditions.  

Walking the docks this morning a ran into an old acquaintances sailboat, from what I’ve heard through the coconut telegraph he has kicked he cedar bucket and the world has lost a great sailor.  His boat a Coronado 25 is almost identical to my 26′ Seaquest that gave me my first solo offshore adventures.  He did lengthen the water line and add a larger rudder.  He has sailed that boat from San Diego  to Alaska  and seen every single gunk hole and harbor I between  In his stock late sixties era day sailor so I’m brought back to my drawing board, maybe any boat will do, within reason that is. 

I am reminded of a quote by David Brinkley: “A successful (wo)man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him (her).”

Minimalist bicycle touring

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Riding around the island I got into a chat with a girl about my bike and why the hell would I want a folding bike over a full size touring bike for cycling let alone for touring.  I didn’t really know how to answer other than this is the bike I have but also why wouldn’t I want to tour on a Brompton.  When I purchased Brompty it had nothing to do with touring, I just wanted a nice bike that was fun to ride.


Years of watching my beautiful bikes rusting In  the rain tied to the side of the boat was more than I can take.  I’ve gone though an average of a bike a year every year since giving up my car for a better life and cleaner earth, that was at least 7 years ago so I would count seven bikes.

Americans have a funny way about them, Be-it sailing or backpacking or cycle touring or just going on vacation they just have to match thier home life of excess to make themselfs think they are happy.  If I wanted to match my home life I would just stay home. For what ever reason I do the things I do it’s because I want to learn about myself and have fun in the process.  Touring on a 35lb road bike with 45 lbs of gear sucks ass, I tried it and quit on the fist day.  I resized down to a small load and switched out my heavy hitter and had the best tour of my life although I stayed in hotels many of the nights I was also pulling hundred milers on my fixed gear in really challanging terrain.  

Im done with all that shit now and want an upright riding position so I can see the scenery.  A bike that is light and agile and fun as hell to ride and a minimalist load making my days in the saddle fun.  I find it hilarious when people say they want to be comefortabke so they bring tons of heavy shit.  Your whole day is spent in the saddle so that’s where you want to be comefortabke.  I’ve had days that I was so tired i literally fell over hard asleep with a beer in my hand after a grueling ride. The Brompty promotes light simple fun riding and is super easy to maintain.  My total load capacity is 43 liters which is a lot plus my tent on the back rack and hopefully a little camp pad strapped to my pika.  By the end of the trip I hope to be able to find a way to fit the tent in the T-bag and even loose the pika but that’s pretty ambitious.

Having a good small bike and good small luggage is key, you can’t take it if it won’t fit.  I’m not one of those ultrlight techno geeks, my motto is that less is more so while I keep an eye on my weight I also pretty much just leave most of the just in case items at home.  I live in the United States and can get just about anything I need in less than 24 hours but honestly when you live an ultrlight lifestyle you learn pretty quickly how little you need. I’ve long given up on trying to cinvince people I don’t need things, now I just graciously decline everytime somebody tries to give me thier ten man tent for my cycle tour or a sleeping bag that weighs more than my bike.  Why did I choose a Brompton? I didn’t  Brompty chose me…

 You can’t fit a ten pound parcel into my two pound sack.

Dome sweet home

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Holly buckets of tiny, this thing is a micro pod. 12 nights of living in a wet, spider infested hard as a rock, miserably cold hell I finally have my new second home and while I don’t know anything about it other than I fit inside, barely; I’m quite excited to torture test this thing.


I already have buyers remorse due to its size but I didn’t have time to OCD on a small, light weight tent so I did a quick scan and hit the buy now button.  At $129.00 it’s a budget buster, my choice was a new sleeping bag or a tent and seeing as I have a nice down bag that keeps me comfy down to a nippy 68 degrees I jumped the tent like a seaside strumpet.

Touring on a Brompton

At some point I’ll put together a gear list but right now my mind is the consistency of well buttered mashed potatoes.  I was pleasantly surprised that even though the north face lists it at 6×22 I measure it an easy 6×14 and it fits perfectly on my rack.

Touring on a brompton

My new Pika bag by Relevate Designs is absolutely kick ass and yes it took a months food off my table, all I can say is thank god for multi-vitimans and a new age hipster fasting craze cause this vegan is on Top Ramen for the next month easy.  The Pika holds a shit load of stuff and while I don’t understand how, it rides like a dream, I don’t even know it’s there.  If I had any children I’d sell them for a new self inflating camp pad to pack better with my uber small Brompton luggage but I’m sure I can rob an old lady or commit some other minor crimes to finish outfitting.  The sun is setting and I’ve got iced cold beers chillin in the shit bucket so I’m gonna bounce, later biatches…

 “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” 

― Edward Abbey

A different kind of strength

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When the memory fades you can talk yourself into just about anything.  Night comes with a darkening sky, then one planet and the universe slowly opens to me, first constellations then the background blanketed by millions of stars.  I wonder how many thousands of nights I’ve layed cowboy camping staring at the same never ending clockwork of the heavens not once getting bored with my view from this tiny planet. 


I’m on my bike now climbing never ending  hills in hundred degree temperatures and monster head winds.  Sookie slices through huge breaking head seas, I’m focused searching for  deadheads, I’m in my element completely one with nature.  Back at mile marker 43 I’m seven miles from finishing my first sub 12 fifty miler, I’m crushed.  I’m carrying my best friends limp body away minutes after loosing the single best thing that has ever happened in my life, true love.  I’m signing a piece of paper relinquishing a dozen hard earned  years wasted working for money.  It’s pouring rain,  I drag my backpack through six inches of Nasty skank mud, my feet like suction cups stuck in quick sand.  I make it fifty yards and drop the pack heading  back to get the bike, I do this for 12 hours straight.  I’m 19 years old sitting in the rain crying, my life will never be the same, scar’ed for life.  I start a journey that will last more years than I’ve lived at that point.  Each star represents  a story in my quiver, there are many.

   We’re all scared it’s what we are, it’s who we are.  We aren’t just scared but we’re also scar’ed, If you are fortunate some day you will learn to love your scars both mental and physical, it’s our own personal brand. I was having a conversation the other day with a person who said they weren’t afraid of anything and made fun of me for being afraid of everything.  Of course that person had never really done anything to merit the fear that I know and speak of.  My fun meter has been pegged since birth and that bar seems to raised every day.  I woke up at the crack of dawn crawled out of my sleeping bag to have pee and when I returned and flipped the bag open there it was, a huge tarantula my new snuggle mate.  I’m beyond the point of screaming like a 12 year old girl but I wanted to, it explained the phantom creepy crawly feeling I had all night as I could swear something was in my bag with be but blew it off to itchy mosquito bites.  

From the log of Sookie, Spider Island.  I’m done with the outside; I’m moving to the city getting a nice flat furnished by ikea and the biggest tv ever made, a cell phone and a fancy pair of shoes…

Livin the dream

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It’s been a yearn now but the memory is as close as it is far away.  I’d been warned about sailing the west coast of Texada island by commercial fisherman, perhaps that’s why I chose that route, I prefer a good challange.  Ghosting into the dead calm of Blubber Bay it looked like a water bomb had gone off in Sookie.  There was more gear  on the cabin sole and berths than in the lockers from which it came, everything including myself was soaked to the bone.  A rising Gale to the south chased us the whole way but we were fortunate to have a rollicking and comfortable yet soaking wet ride finding safe heaven before the tempest arrived. 


The guide book gave a very low approval of Blubber Bay which is exactly why I went there, it was one of my favorite anchorages of the whole trip, not another boat and lots of space to explore, wrapped from head to toe in foulies, camera in hand I could of easily been the only person for hundreds of miles.  The ferry came and went, the rain came and went and as silently as I drifted in I to came and went.

Now sitting in the boatyard with a jigsaw puzzle of projects and chatting with a few passerby arm chair sailors,  they tell me I’m living the dream.  I wonder if I am, my boat a hostage to the yard, winter bearing down on me and a wasted season doing anything but sailing. Is this the dream? Or the reality of living the dream.  Its been months since I felt the magic carpet ride of Sookie.  Hard on the wind, her rail burried with a bone in her teeth and doing hull speed less than 40’degress off the wind.  She loves to sail and I love to sail her.

Her anchoring system is easier than any boat I have ever experienced.  I can tuck or shake a prefe in seconds, not minutes under any point of sail and her non overlapping head sails give me a dozen working options with a genniker for those wonderful calm days dirfrting just faster than the tide.

I check my bank account and my calander, by October I will almost have enough money saved to make a critical decision, one I’m not prepared to make.  The New York Times says we make about 35,000 decisions a day but I only have to make one.  Saddle up on Brompty and pedal south or sell her and everything I own so I can ship Sookie to Southern California for a solid year of workable weather before heading south.  I’m torn on every account except for one, I’ve decided to make either journey a solo endeavor…

From the log of Sookie, on the hard.  The path less taken can’t be found until you have completely lost all roads you already know.

Cast-away

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I’ve been huddled in a soaking mass of wet down shivering for hours, I’ve reached my breaking point.  I get up, roll the whole mess into a ball and walk the short distance to the laundry room leaving everything in a pile.  My body is in near convulsions when I reach the spa. I’ll go in naked or just jump in with all my clothes on, I’m hypothermic.  The door is locked, rat fucked.  I go to the shower and my trembling hands have me dropping quarters everywhere, my dexterity is gone, I feel like a child trying to out a square block through a round hole.


The shower comes on after what seems an eternity my clothes in a pile on the disgusting floor, the water scalds me and I jump out turning the water to a much cooler temperature.  Ten quarters lasts five minutes, round two has me picking of my piles of dropped silver and putting them in the machine with a little more ease, it will take 40 quarters, more than I have used since February to shake the chill.  If I had more with me I would use them.


I’m tired, my world is blurry, I head back to Sookie, a place I’m nearly forbidden to go and retrieve more quarters and laundry soap, make a cup of coffee and head back to wash and dry my pathetic wet mess.  My new tent is still AWOL.  I feel like a criminal sneaking around, after a long day of work I limp up to the boat to asses removing her bowsprite.  I haven’t been there ten seconds when I hear a voice, it’s the yard manager.Your not living on your boat are you? 


This is total BS I confirmed with them before hauling her that I would be on and around the boat doing little projects all summer.  Before hauling I contacted just about every yard in the Salish Sea, every one of them said I could stay aboard Sookie for the summer while working on her, everyone but the one I foolishly chose. The hotel who’s property is twelve feet from the boatyard offered to let me store Sookie there so I would have a bed and a platform to work from but the yard flat out denied my request to put Sookie on the other side of the road.  Now I feel like I have to sneak around the yard even if I want to grab a snack or do a project, the thought of wasting my summer working on the boat was bad enough but leaving the island? Impossible!


I could have anchored out but a damp lonely summer working for my freedom and getting nothing done on the boat didn’t seem any better that leaving ths islands.  I have the nicest boat in the yard and also the best maintained, my work space is spotless, I pay all my bills on time or in advance, I don’t play loud music do drugs or any single thing that could annoy them other than to simply exist.


The sun is peeking it’s head over the horizon it’s blowing like stink, thunder rumbles overhead, I’m chilly but huddled up in a comfy beach chair very happy this night if hell is all behind me.. Sitting in the lazy evening light, last night was beautiful beyond compare.  It was almost balmy, golden rays showered my world, lighting crackling in the distance as big black clouds rolled and formed into eiry looking monsters, then the first drops fell from the sky.  I’m tired, worn out and near my breaking point, or at least wondering if I have one.  I feel close now, to knowledge if in no other way knowledge of who I am and what I’m capeable of. I fantasize about sitting in a heated office with a mortgsge and debt up to my ears, a safety net against myself.  I cute little house with a white picket fence and 2.4 kids, who are fucking kidding…

“I have need of angels. Enough hell has swallowed me for too many years. But finally understand this–I have burned up one hundred thousand human lives already, from the strength of my pain.” 

― Antonin Artaud

Sling blade

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Hanging off the side of Sookie with my trusty knife in my mouth I slipped and watched it splash and spiral to the depths.  I scrambled to my feet and dove over chasing the glimmering fleck as my most prised possession spiraled out of sight into the dark murky brine.


As a child one of my fondest memories is of my first knife, it was hard earned by climbing the highest peak in the local Sierra Nevada range that backed to my house.  I remember the very first day I had it, how the bone handle fit in my hand, the shape of the blade and the feel and smell of its leather sheith. I stared transfixed at the deep red blood as it ran down my leg after I accidentally stabbed myself, it was beautiful, raw and a very bonding experience.  My father thought me how to care for the knife, it was my very first lesson in maintaining ones tools and laid the foundation for the care and feeding of every one of my very few possessions.  I don’t own manny things but what I do have is maintained to the highest of standards, always.  It’s not just pride in ownership but also a great appreciation for what this world has bestowed on me.

I literally would have starved to death without my blade in Hawaii, it’s small, über light and the sharpest blade on the planet.  It cares for me in the same mannor that I care for it, like Sookie, we take care of each other.  My blade like my boat and bike are merely an extension of who and what I am, you can tell a lot about a man by the way he wears and cares for his knife.

My lost blade was a family heirloom which sucks but more importantly I had completely restored it including a new razor sharp edge, it was to be a gift for my brothers 50th birthday.  I’m such a fucking idiot.  I already have a really nice blade and never should have been using this one but I loved it so much and thought using it on Sookie would add to its karma, whoops!

I was a bit shocked to find that the maker is still in business and ordered an exact duplicate that he can pass on when he is old and grey.  Stainless steel with a flat grind and no serrations is the only way a sailors knife should be.  Strong and almost rustproof it will need sharpening a bit more often than carbon steel but it’s all part of the process in bonding with the blade.

I waited impatiently for a whole month for delivery and now it’s in the postmasters hands, very belated but sure to put a smile on a sailors face when he opens it.  A sailor has many tools but the blade he wears on his belt is of the utmost importance. A sailor without a knife is like a fish out of water.

The tin shed

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I’ve never seen a more disgusting  array of cluttered shit in my entire life, literally.  I’m living In a pile of rabbit shit, I’ve lived in some pretty interesting places over the course of this journey.  The abandoned clam plant was the most interesting and freaky, blood pans and the constant dripping of water with just enough weldimg masks spread around to make the perfect set for a horror film, there was even a Sickle hanging on the wall for a bit of added effect.  When the wind blew which it always dit it sounded like evil from the gates of hell banging on the walls.


Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, not by a long shot.  I’m willing to go through anything and give up everything if I have to in order to follow my journey.  The boat, the bike, even this blog, these are all just things and things don’t matter.  I can assure you I’m not going to get a Cush book deal sitting on my ass surfing YouTube.  


My journey no matter how fucked up is authentic, even if only to me.  By day I’m the most kick ass club master in the universe and the vacationers love it and they love me because I treat each and every one like gold, even the assholes and there are many.


When I clock out I take off my neat and clean uniform, carefully roll it up and tuck it in my little bag and become a scum sucking homeless piece of shit hiding from the sheriff although a few more days of this and three hots and a cot will start sounding pretty fancy. I lay out my tiny sun shade from Sookie to cover the shit but by morning my 50 degree bag is soaked through from either the rain or heavy dew.  Cold is my constant companion but my life is quite civilized. I sip on a world class glass of wine, I have a few, chew on a nice and all natural peanut butter and jam sandwich on fancy bread and watch the sun set into the western void.

Podcasts on my little iPad keep my mind occupied while I peck out a bit of jiberish here and there, I’m twenty or thirty blogs posts behind, so much has transpired in my life in the last few weeks.  I’ll more than likely delete them all and let the cracks fill with time.  I write for the sake of writing and rarely post more than a smidge of the shit that is going on in my humble and satisfying experience.  The bay is calm and mostly empty, not many boaters this year spells the truth about the real economy in America, not the BS one you see with all the fake numbers flashing around on Wall Street, funny how fast we all forget what happens when the bankers are given free money and allowed to run rampant and unchecked.  Either way it doesn’t effect me one bit, I own my shit and have a pretty good reserve of lentils and multi vitimans. I’m content with what I have and what I don’t.  My freedom is in my complete lack of want  or needs.  

“I had to get a close-hand view of the misery and unhappiness of a man made world, before I reached the point where I could successfully revolt against it.” 

― Emmeline Pankhurst

Bug out bike

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I’m huddled under a tree with my Brompton, it’s well past midnight now, my warmth is gone.  I’m shivering but I’m used to it. A flat tire and no tools has abruptly ended my midnight insomnia induced ride, for the life of me I can’t figure out where the hell I stashed my headlamp.  I’m annoyed that I have a beautiful home only 5 miles from here but Im not allowed to lay my tired head on a soft pillow and fall asleep in a cocoon of warmth and security.  I better get used to this because with no tent, a shitty sleeping bag and only half the freedom chips I need to get to my destination unknown I’m rat fucked.


I found this set up on the Brompton website, it’s as close to what I have been searching for as I can get although mine will be close it will also be very different.
To add insult to injury it now appears that I will have to work my way down a wet and winding coast with winter chasing me the entire way, back to being a migrant worker.  Logging trucks, headwinds, a parade of half asleep Q-tips in 50′ motor homes and no shoulder to ride on.  I don’t have rain gear, cycling wear, shoes or even gloves, not exactly what I was hoping for but sure as hell better than the alternative.

I wake up colder than when I fell asleep, it’s still dark and I have a Pitt in my stomach, I’m shivering uncontrollably, it’s the middle of July.  What the hell am I getting myself into? I couldn’t stop this crazy train if I wanted to, I’m addicted to living close to the edge, waking to sunrise, every sunrise and falling asleep exhausted with my half drinken beer precariously perched in my hand.  There is not a single mile of my intended journey that won’t be wrought with danger of one sort of another but still overall it seems more desirable and  safer than commuting to a shitty job in high speed rush hour traffic.  

Am I insane? Do I live for misery? Perhaps its self induced torture feeding some subbliminal internal loathing gyre to the abys for all the days of my life that I didn’t use to the fullest extent of my ability.  It feels retarded putting money into Sookie that would be better spent on food and warm clothing, I’m beginning  to feel like I can’t keep up with myself, my insatiable hunger for life and the simple smile it puts on my face.  

Call it what you want, I’m happy to a fault, I’m good to everybody and feel 20 years younger than my damn birth certificate says.  I’m strong, fit enough and at this pace will never need viagra to open the flood gates.  Even when I’m sitting still contemplating life, testosterone surges through my veins.  Maybe I’m not trying to keep up with the joneses, maybe  I am the joneses of youth and vitality.

Im out in a flash in my mountian Hardwear kilt and my mankini, tearing  down country roads my back is in agony from being run over by a yachter. I’m testing for anything comfy and modest to ride in other than spandex, it’s pretty good so I slip off the mankini to see if it’s better, fail… Back to the original set up, it’s almost perfect but to hot, the cloth is thin but not thin enough.  Im hell bent on cycling in a pink running skort, is it any more offensive than spandex and all of its banana hammock glory?  It can’t be, can it?  It just can’t be beat for super light comfort and high visibility but I can’t find one long enough or short enough depending on where I search.  

I put clothing off for now and order a seat bag, the Pika made by Relevate designs, it’s 12 liters at its largest capacity and can shrink to 6.  I also order a PCH cycling guide even though I’m not even remotely committed to cycling anywhere. I’m building a bug out bike but for what?  My next payday Is Friday at 5:00, by 5:15 I’ll be broke again but my new front T-bag by Brompton and all my new gearing and what ever else will be in the mail, food be damned if you want shit that’s out of your means you need to scrimp, besides; I have piles of lentils stashed in the woods and a half gallon of whiskey my brother sent me for my birthday, life is good.

I won’t spend a single penny I don’t need to but I’m turning Brompty into an uber light touring machine and keeping her as simple as I can for quick hops on public transportation should the need arise to B-line it somewhere warm. My budget is ten bucks a day with enough silver left over for a one way ticket somewhere warm, anywhere as long as it has blue water and a chance of finding work.

Debt free

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All clean and smooth as a baby’s bottom I admire my little ship.  The slings left some pretty nasty stains on her hull and being hit twice this year has me needing to do a bit of cosmetic work but I need a clean pallet to start my masterpiece.  I say clean pallet but this yard is filthy, one minute after her scrub down and a car driving way too fast up the dirt road sends a plume of acidic dust in the air.


Tuesday I will pull her bowsprit for the first time in five years for a full inspection and proper paint job In between my regular job.  This will also give me a chance to inspect and varnish my well worn bow chocks.  I’m still searching for a small bronze hawse hole for my stern anchor and trying to get the nerve to install a permanate 4 gallon gas tank with a proper fill hole and vent, that will give me a 48 mile range at 4.5 knots with an extra 12 from my one gallon backup tank.  I can’t ever imagine using more than 4 gallons in a year so this would be a good upgrade and one that’s easily removeable if and when I ever build a new sculling oar and go engine-less again.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to install my wind vane but it hasn’t arrived yet so all I have to work with are my drawings and a few mocked up pieces of wood.  Nothing will ever be done half ass on this boat so blending in a cross beam to my beautiful boomkin is slow going.  I have an amazing shipwrite on the island, if only I could get him to help me install the bases for my boom gallows.  I’m working on a good bribe to lubricate the process and get him to show up for what will take him less than an hour to do what is an Impossibility for me.  Sookies cockpit feels very exposed in large and steep seas without proper lifelines in the cockpit,  lee cloths will finish the womb and while I’ve give up on a dodger for now the spray curtains will be a huge upgrade in comefort and safety as the FC has no combing.

I have three envelopes filled with one dollar bills, it’s not a lot but  I’m feeling very wealthy these days. One of them says boat, one says bike, the one labeled food is empty but I’m well fed these days so I continue the endless cycle of filling and emptying my little envelopes as work very slowly progresses toward and unknown future.  I’m continually reminded how many of my friends have plans for my life, as of today I have none. I’m a drone now, my mind dull and clouded by the present life I have chosen.

I get an email titled Gale sail, an invitation to cross the straights on a brand new tri sail and staysail made by Carol Hasse, I want to sail more than anything but instead I will work for pennies.  I meet a couple, perhaps in thier 70’s they are dressed from head to toe in brand new travel clothes, they even wear expedition sailing boots for the one minute walk from the hotel to thier little boat that hasn’t moved since they blamed me for crashing it.  I study them intently and wonder what amazing stories they will tell thier friends  and the pictures of them smiling looking like Indiana jones.  

I’ve fought my entire life to never end up old and rich and running on emty yet here I am doing the one thing I despise more than anything on the planet.  I’ve become a psychologist studying anger and why so many people simply can’t be happy.  I don’t get to experience the root, just the present, pissed off vacationers.  I’ve decided to roll solo, my empty coffee cup tells me it’s time to start my one and only day off this week, I have much to do.  I look down at my watch, not because I want to know the time but because it’s shiny and glimmers in the sun and it makes me happy to no end, I love shiny shit.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

I’ve been around

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Not exactly exciting but a fun find on the web, Sookie had already been christened by her builder so we just gave her a splash of love and a blessing for safe travels

We slipped her into the water and slowly drifted away on a sea of time. Chloe has gone off to that big field in the sky.  Angela is due to have a baby any day, her life’s dream.  Roy sailed south in his Bristol Channel Cutter and Mathew is still building his dream Lyke Hess 26 and sailing her every chance he gets.  As for me?  I’ve been around.

Hard aground

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The old saying goes, if you haven’t been aground, you haven’t been around.  The crunching of fiberglass as it hits the reef sends chills up the spine of any sailor as his dear ship does one of the few things it should never do, touch land.


I’m so fucking bored a want to pull my hair out,  my soul was never meant to be a part of the corporate cog.  A friend pulled into my island and gave my stale mind a breather, something to chew on, then Karen and Jim stumbled around the corner and my head nearly exploded, I love these guys like no other, Jim didn’t even recognize me as I look so respectable it would even make my own mother want to puke, I was born unshaven with a rag a muffin wig, my hair is better worn wild like the wind that carries me.

I was just notified my new tent is back ordered so I may just have to start sleeping in the bar or ferry terminal, so yeah other than being land locked, bored out of my fucking mind and homeless life is  good, I get a almost free burger evey day which is what I’m living off of and it would be a really nice treat if I wasn’t vegan, don’t get me wrong, i still eat that shit but…

 Take  note children, this is what happens when you trade your life for money and put your boat on dry land, Poseidon curses you evey damn day until you do the right thing and float your boat.  

From the log of Sookie, why is it that when life is good it goes by so quickly but when it sucks ass it is like a slow painful death.  

The Windward sailor

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A seagull flying overhead asked the fish “how’s the water?”. The fish responds “what the hell is Water?” Every day of my life is an uphill battle but like the fish, it’s all I know, so in my reality it doesn’t even exist.  My sailing instructor Captian Lea started me off with long windy and wet windward passages, I figured that’s what sailing was and I loved  it, it was all I knew and so they have never bothered me.  Let’s face it, I can’t sing, I can’t dance and I can’t play and instrument but I do all three.  


Wet decks, cold spray across the bow and living in a small boat heeled well over isn’t a bad way to go if it gets you to your destination.  I’ve been working my ass of and spending nil, hoping to scrape the much needed funds to get the boat to San Carlos, or Ventura or Florida, somewhere warm, a place where I can have a full year to work on Sookie and get her ready to cross oceans.  

My accountant tells me I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of doing it  this year so I’ve adjusted my course fallen off a bit and am settling in for a long wet winter.  I’ve applied as a charter master in the Carribean, a banker in Nevada, and a broker in Florida, I doubt I will do any of the three but I’m covering my bases.  I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that there will be no little sailors or sailorettes in my life, I took my eye of of the ball and just like that 14 years of my life has vanished. When I adopted Chloe it wasn’t because I wanted a dog, it was because I wanted children but wasn’t sure if I was good enough of a human being and worthy of the honor of raising children.  Pretty much up until very recently I’ve held onto the belief that little tanned feet would eventually rule the decks of Sookie.

As of today I have 75 days until I have to spin the bottle and decide my winter, I’m poaching s tree house until my tiny new one man tent replaces the one I temporarily borrowed, I hope it’s better than the last but after living in a giant two man tent I think it may be a bit cramped.  My knees are blown from my job, basically I’ve been running a marathon a day, every day, I’m too old for this shit.  Two and a half months is far to long to wait for my next journey to begin but not nearly enough time to cross everything off of THE LIST. One day at a time is all I can do and should it all become too much I’ll just mount my trusty Brompty and pedal off into the sunset.  Sailing hard on the wind only sucks if you choose for it to.

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” 

― Theodore Roosevelt

Foot prints

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The sailors bouquet is made of paintbrushes, varnish, whipping twine and blue masking tape. I’ve got a pile of supplies that a few of my life’s units bought for me, a long list of this and that I and a few very serious decisions to make about my steering system. I dont know if I still have a heater or not but one way or another Sookie will have a heat source right after water and fire and hopefully before the winter that I have no plans of enduring arrives.

I packed up my pack, pulled the tent and nothing was left but her footprint, a sign of me having rested my weary head long enough for the outside world to change and die while beneath my bed of grass a green reminder will slowly fade away like the days of our lives. 


Sookie got a quick rinse but tomorrow she will get her first proper bath in quite some time as will I, we are both beginning to smell like yesterday’s trash.  I sail vicariously with Mary as she crosses the South Pacific on her Falmouth cutter, I am landlocked but now for the first time I am seeing all the good in having Sookie in the yard, at least for now.  I miss her cozy berth, having logged over two thousand nights in my crappy down sleeping bag I am in desperate need of a new one, the cold nights are a reminder of many things other than the simple fact that I am freezing in July.  Fall is now closer than spring, the days are noticeably shorter and it’s time to pick from my bouquet and paint some magic so I can get to the real task at hand.

From the log of Sookie, land locked.  The fog is slowly rising,  from my Perch in the boatyard I notice that Sookies compass is pointed due south, she is speaking to me.  

Totems

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The rain comes each night and occasionally in the mornings, this has so far been a no summer, summer and my brain is confused by the lack of warmth I wait so long for each year.  I’ve postponed my entire future waiting for a sign from the sea, no more sailing, the bike trip is off and now I have to figure out what road lies ahead. 


I don’t know why but I sent off for payment instructions for my new wind vane.  I haven’t been able to find much motivation to take advantage of Sookie being in the boat yard, my brain is in knots.  To many choices will do that to a person.  I slowly read about a girl and her solo circumnavigation on her Falmouth Cutter 22.  

It’s been nearly a year without Chloe and the void continues, I play with every dog I meet but deep down I know there will not be another in my life.  I piddle around Sookie wondering why I didn’t just sail off broke for the summer but reading through the manuscript of a book I wrote and will never publish about my accounts in Hawaii and I’m reminded that I don’t need any more adventure in my life, my fun meter is pegged.

A slow boring simple life is out there, it’s calling me and now all I have to do is say yes, but I have already said no.

Descent into minimalism

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My journey into my minimalist lifestyle started  shortly after the turn of the century.  I had many addresses that I called my own but was happily living out of a very small backpack.  My transition was simple and painless, I walked out my front door and left everything that wasn’t in the pack behind never missing or wanting to see any of it again. I would close million dollar deals from my laptop while parked at some off the map mountain summit camping in my car with my dog, I was well on my way.


Riding my bike through Lahaina I noticed a fair bit of seemingly homeless guys riding thier clunker old beach cruisers around with a small daypack in thier front baskets.  I assumed that those packs contained all of thier worlds possessions and was very envious of the freedom it afforded them over my very heavy 38 liter backpack with my tent, Uke and camp pad strapped onto the back; there was no mistaking that I was camping out.

Later in that journey while swimming in one of my favorite off the tourist track waterfalls I met Marina, she had the smallest pack of any Trekker I had met.  I shared a  rolli with her as we discussed traveling light.  When I asked if I could see what was in her pack she took her sarong off, laying it gently on a patch of dirt and carefully remeved everything placing it all in neat little piles on her makeshift picnic blanket. She didn’t even have a sleeping bag, pad or tent, just a hammock and a tiny blanket from the plane for chilly nights.  No cooking gear or a stove, just a single mug.  She had a few bags of fruits and nuts to last each day between hitchhiking to the next roadside stand.  She told me that everywhere she went guys would offer to buy her dinner but that she hadn’t accepted a single one not wanting it to ruin her solo zen existence. She was about half way through her one year stay and easily living off of less than 500 per month and contemplating a second year as she was way under her travel budget.

Most of the Trekkers I met carried the biggest packs I had ever seen with front packs larger than my main pack.  They had silly wide brimmed hats and wore full grain leather boots.  It exhausted me to watch them trying to gear up for the long hike from the baggage claim to the taxi stand.  Those guys reminded me so much of my previous over stuffed life.

My disconnect started with my television and home phone.  My laptop and cell phone were shut off at 4:00pm every day and not turned on until the next work day.  I found my phone to be a devil that created a false sense of urgency, clients would call me at 2:00 Am and I would answer even though there was literally nothing I could do till the next day.  Shutting off my phone relieved 50% of the stress in my life, having no TV made me smarter-happier and much healthier, it also made me much more of a fun person to be around. The car was next and again now that I’m human powered. I have far more time to ride my bike as I don’t have to work to pay for my car, phone, tv or any of the other stuff in those subliminal ads that are fired directly at my brain 500  times a second.  By this stage I was given back a full 8 hours a day of my life, time that is much better spent walking to the market, riding my bike or napping in the shade of my favorite tree, the more time I found the more I wanted, I was becoming addicted to living my life.

As a true minimalist I haven’t gotten rid of anything important to me.  I don’t count my poesssions, or get rid of anything simply under the premise of getting rid of things.  I simply don’t aquire what I don’t need.  I recently closed all of my social media accounts other than this blog.  I had been browsing Instagram when I clicked on a picture I really liked, it turned out to be someone I know and I flipped through all thier pictures and captions and realized the whole page was 100% BS then I started looking at all the pages I followed and my tiny brain stated to click.  I looked at my own feed, no captians just pictures that I made and that I liked but was like, who fucking cares, I had these same images on my fb, my blog, my Instagram, I didn’t even know it but I was on Twitter and Google plus, what a fucking waste of other peoples most valuable commodity, time… So I killed them all.

The reason my posts are so short is that I don’t believe my words or experiences are worth more to others than one minute and thirty seconds which is the average time people stay on my blog.  Now having literally nothing that the joneses insist I do, I have no debt, no revolving debt, my total monthly expenses as of today are zero.  

I can get anywhere on the island by bike in about an hour including the ferry which is free because I ride my bike on, all of the other islands and the mainland are also free, not that would ever go to the mainland.  I have time to make strange concoctions of food in my camp, I  take at least two naps a day, I get up early and do a lot of shit in a day so I need em. There is always time to BS with other people and best of all I’m not a slave but   I do work a bit, the other day at work I was asked  to clean because it was slow and my answer was, bite me; it’s not my job.  If I want to sit around all day at work I will as long as my duties are done and they are always done because that’s how I roll, the rest of the time is for socializing, if they don’t like it I’ll get on my bike and go ride the coast.  Just because you are on a payroll it doesn’t make you a slave. Because I’m not desperate for a paycheck, I’m not at anyone’s beck and call.  Sure I’m working a menial job but it’s only for 2 months and it’s really fun, I don’t worship money, I worship freedom and freedom is a very powerful thing.

So when ever I feel like it, I will wash my small load of Landry by hand and hang  it to dry. I guess I should make my way to the lodge for some free wifi so I can post this.  If I don’t get around to it today there is always tomorrow, or next week.  I never once asked myself how I could live a simpler existence, just why would I want to and once I found the answer it’s been all down hill.

So I’m reading this journal and it says that less than ten percent of the people on the planet will ever follow thier dreams.  Of those ten percent 90 will be back at work within the year.  So its Independence Day week, I take time I reflect on my life and what I’ve made of it.  Reading the statistics above aren’t hard for me to understand.  With so many distractions in this world how is one ever to even find the time to think clearly.  If your not living your dreams it’s nobody fault but your own.  You can sit around blaming the world for the mess you’ve gotten your self into or you can look into the mirror and see how much you’ve aged, perhaps you don’t need that new car or iPhone or cloths or fancy dinner. Perhaps you just need to face the fact that your days are numbered and if you don’t start living your true life now you just never may get around to it which is also ok, without spectators there would be no parade.  Happy Independence Day

“A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
Lysander Spooner

The illusion of freedom

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The early mornings are my favorite, cool and quiet.  The bay is calm now but this is that calm before the storm, by 10:00 am it will be go time, crazy boaters, bitchy yacht clubers, campers, cyclists, tourist by the dozens.  The whole world has shown up to my sleepy island to celebrate Independence Day, but are any of us really free. 

 The day after the 4th there will be a mass exodus, back to work, back to traffic, id say back to the stressful life of the city goers but most of them brought thier stress to the islands so they will be taking that back with them.  My camp is neet and tidy, I have a very small Footprint.  I set up my picnic table for breakfast and went to the shower, when I returned all my stuff was on the ground and my table has been taken by campers, theses sub human beings who can’t think beyond their own needs trash mine and I’m left wIth a pile of my junk scattered around in rabbit shit. Is this what they are teaching thier children?

I wonder what the world has come to but watching people scream at thier kids, beat thier dogs, berate my staff, its all a bit surreal, I let it roll off my tail like a drop of water down the backside of a duck.  I am as free as any human in this world if not more.  Not because I think I have rights that I clearly don’t but because I’ve made a concious choice to live a minimalist life, debt free, and easy on the planet I live in. My world is perfect so I can’t be angry, stressed, or just generally pissed off at my world because those elements don’t exist in my realm.

Do you remember when you were kid, the smell of a musty tent, the dry summer grass, chasing frogs and trying to catch a shark  on that one week summer vacation, the crackling of dry summer earth with each step, not a care in the world, that’s where I still live.  In my generation we found status in the cars we drove and houses we took lifetime loans out on, how much money we could convince people we had, you remember the old slogan he who dies with the most toys wins.  I’m quite far removed from that world. My world all about a life well lived, time to smell the roses, a good meal and a nap in the park.  Wandering eyes and a wonderful world to explore, the truly simple things in life that anyone can afford.

Yes I was born in the wrong skin and also the wrong generation but it doesn’t mean I have to be trapped in that ancient and backwards mindset.  Today Americans have less freedom than at any time in the history of this country but our prisons are self enduced, we chan break the shackles that bind us at any time we choose.  I’ve chosen my freedom and I mainline in like heroine. 

My coffee is especially good today, I have many friends in and many more coming, in a few days Melissa will be sleeping next to me in our little tent, our vacation home if you will.  I soak up every second of every day, when we pedal out of here we have no idea when we will return, Central America keeps getting thrown into the mix but who cares about tomorrow today is as beautiful as any I have ever known. It’s through having nothing that I have gained everything, to become a minimalist is to set our selfs free from the prison we have created for our selfs.

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” 

― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

The Orgin of Canada day

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Happy Canada Day. My grandfather who loved all Canadians very much as did his father and that before him as well, passed this story on to me to share with future generations.


 When John Smith and Pocahontas were exploring the north west passage they were captured my a motley group of woodsman who were quite friendly. They apologized profusely for capturing them and shooting at them but explained that they were protecting a great nation that would some day be famous for hockey and bacon.  

When John Smith enquired about the name of this great nation his captors proudly called it the C.N.D. territory which stood for Canuck and native democracy. John Smith asked how it was spelled and his capturer said C,eh N,eh D, eh and so John smith pronounced it Canada and he smiled and the Canadians smiled. The explorers were released and a life time friendship of two nations was born.

  This date was July first and all Canadians will forever celebrate this day as the day they joined as neighbors with America. This would explain why they decided to put their border so close to ours and why they give us great gifts such as the blackberry phone and maple syrup. In exchange for these most wonderful gifts we created Costco and affordable cheese and milk and that is how two great nations came to rely on each other and the Orin of Canada day.   

Tent dweller 

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I wake up with a crick in my back, I roll over and feel my entire body cracking into alignment, it’s time for a bit of tent yoga. Going through my journal this is my 51st day in the last year sleeping in a tent, then there was the tin shed I had in Oregon for a few months, not half as creepy as the adandoned clam plant I lived in for serveral months a few years back.


Hotels, hostels and couches filled the rest of the year minus about 100 days on board Sookie.  I sure will be happy to be a full time liveaboard again but I don’t see that happening this year, or any time in the near future.  I’m slowly packing her for a long nap.


It’s cool in the tent in the mornings, today I was awoken by a very loud fog horn, I almost jumped out of my skin thinking I was being run down in the right, quite the rude awakening.  It’s still cold  and foggy but I can already feel the tent warming which will chase me away till near sunset.  My time would be better spent working on the boat but I think I have a long slow ride in me and then a nice afternoon nap under an old shady tree.  I don’t get my once a week shower till tomorrow so today it will be a swim in the frigid waters somewhere off the south end of the island, then I will lay around like a sea lion letting the sun warm my naked body before jumping back on the bike for the long downwind ride home.


I’m tired and can’t seem to find my boundless summer energy but I’m also working hard and getting stronger by the day.  My body is getting drunk off of vitiman D, water is my new drug of choice, cool and refreshing from my metal bottle.  There are no more meals, just snack, all day little bits of chewy crunchy love filling me with enough energy to find the next sidetrack in my slow island life.  


Unlike my recent jaunt to the tropics these islands don’t have hurricane force winds at this time of year or torrential rains.  There are no scorpions, turanchulas, fire ants, centipedes, or any of the other creepy crawlies that kept me in such good company in my little island paradise.  The San Juan islands are the safest and least toxic place in the entire northern hemisphere, yawn.  Maybe a quick nap and one more cup of coffee before I start my day.


“I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning.

There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes?

I know you are unable to imagine this.

Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.” 

― Meg Rosoff, What I Was

Six is enough

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Ounce for ounce Fritos have more calories than any other food in the planet.  They also happen to make great fire starters, I’ve even used them to cook my coffee in an empty tuna can and to this day they still only have three ingredients, corn, oil and salt.  Call it junk food but it’s always been my go to survival rations. Be-it after a long day sailing in the relentless sun or a pavement pounding hill climbing 80 miler into the wind and up hill the whole way on Brompty.  I get my sodium fix, calories and they just taste good, I prefer the scoops and use then to shovel spoonfuls of tuna into my pie hole. 


Reading though dozens of bags on the self I can’t believe how many ingredients all the other Chips have, even the so called natural ones.  I grab my bag of Fritos and am reminded of the simplicity of my trusty Brompton, six gears is enough. Most bikes these days have thirty gears and fragile and sensitive derailers, WHY?  As humans are we that lazy the we want to completly remove the experience of hill climbing from our lives.  Why do we always need to add more expense, complexity and weight to something as simple as riding a bike?  If my knees weren’t blown I never would have sold my trusty fixe but let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger.  

My Brompton has a three speed internal hub with a high low derailer giving six speeds.  She was designed for commuting and while she did fine in my 750 Mile fully loaded tour through Hawaii I’m reducing her gearing by 12% which is easy as switching from a 50 tooth chain ring to a 44 and clipping a few of the chain links giving me a bit of extra oomf for the hills and head winds we expect cycling the west coast. Neither of us will train for this ride other than just playing around the island so the first few weeks will be a very rude awakening.

Our loads will be as simple and minimal as our bikes with just one extra set of clothes so I can only imagine how stinky we will be but we have already vowed to skinny dip every body of water we cross in an attempt to save money We neednt spend for such silly luxury as showers.  We will be fully dirbaging it as we each only set off with a grand and want to make this trip last as long as out bodies can hold out.  There are people out there who go to great lengths to never be to hot or too cold.  To never be afraid or push the limits behind thier boundarys.  To never take a chance in finding a true adventure, we are not those people, we are gypsy lovers and this is our dirtbag diary.

Fritos scoops 9 ounce bag, average price $2.50

1200 calories

270 calories from fat

45% RDA sodium

32% dietary fat

18 grams of protein 

Mainlanders

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The water is hot and it soothes my aching bones, chatting with a few tourists they are always impressed and Intrigued that I’m fortunate enough to live in the islands.  One of the girls, pink in the face stands to sit on the edge of the jacuzzi, water droplets cascade down her naked body, this is the way of this resort. People come from all over the world for one week a year, shed thier inhibitions and do thier best to live the life they dream of, I shyly avert my eyes.


It’s barely six months since I gave my tent away to a homeless person and here I am living in a tent again, Brompty faithfully waiting to carry me wherever the day goes.  My new tent is an oasis, a thick wool blanket from the Hudson Bay company lines the floor, it’s big enough to sit upright and I can actually almost do yoga in it.

My food cooked on a single burner, water from a metal bottle and sunsets, every day glorious sunsets with nothing to do but sit and watch them.  I received my first paycheck and while It’s already spent, owed to the small obscure yard where I decided to store  Sookie till we set off in the spring.  I feel rich if only for a day, a tourist buys me a burger for dinner and I’m greatful, once again everything has worked out.

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” 

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Between a rock and a hard place

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Navigating the open sea is without a doubt the purist form of adventure one can achieve in this world tamed by the almighty dollar.  Rich men in thier yachts have sea stories and while the experiences of these yachtsman surely exist they pale in comparison to those who made the same journeys in sailing craft that at first glance may appear to be more fitted for lake travel than that of crossing oceans.


Since the beginning of time the true sailing yacht has come sans engine, a proper and seaworthy yacht with a seasoned and confident crew can sail in and out of any situation the captian finds the need of entertaining. Put the Falmouth Cutter designed by Lyle Hess next to any other boat in any yard across the world and you will see one very distinct difference.  The FC wasn’t designed to sell to sailors wives at boat shows, she wasn’t designed to be mass produced or built by any economy other than that of surviving the ravages of the sea.  She is a work of art, strong, simple, beautiful from any angle, a true blue water ship that can be obtained by any blue collar sailor with the passion to do so.

Unfortunately for this little ship we are at a financial standstill, a cross roads where ownership came with its costs but finishing the last fidly bits in a region where not only the weather dictates progress but also very seasonal employment.  The thought of passing this boat on is a painful one but it’s Either that or find a way to ship her somewhere where we can both earn an honest living and finish this little masterpiece we call home.l

With her long run, hollow bow and fat Buttox she is a lady of very few moods.  She doesn’t squat, get cranky off the wind, doesn’t suffer from weather helm and can easily carry a bounty fit for the small crew that she can carry across the sea in comefort and style.  It’s the crew and thier courage, skill and desire that makes the voyage of a small yacht a success.  No need for inboard engines, radar or depth Saunder or any of the other modern day instruments that destroy the challange of crossing oceans.  To the voyagers on thier small yachts it’s the wind and waves that they set off to seek and where thier challange lies.  To navigate by the stars, steer by the wind and truly feel thier diminutive size on a sea larger than the land from which the ship and her sailors kcame.  A battle of wind and waves, ships in the night, uncharted islands, fog, lightning and all the other things that frighten the most experienced of us for we know full well what lies ahead.

Working on Sookies self steering is turning out to be far more of a challange than I had originally thought, she will set off from the east coast straight into the Bowles of the Bermuda Triangle, short stacked seas too much wind and currents that will challange the best of the best of sailors, even those with thier huge rumbling Diesel engines and a every modern aid to navigation, we will do it with paper charts, a sextant and a lead line.

I know for a fact that thier are dozens of modern adventures out there, they slip through the cracks preferring the quiet solitude of ananymity so there are no charts for us to follow.  When Lin and Larry Pardey retired from voyaging it was the end of an era for those of us who prefer the purist form of sailing and enjoy the ramblings of others who share the sail though books and the web.  There is nothing easy about living this life of simplicity but I have been given the gift of gab so as much as I would prefer to silently drift about, the story will continue.

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” 

― Rosa Luxemburg

Katie and Jessie on a boat

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The wind is angry, she lashes at my pennant slowly and methodically beating it to death.  The boat lurches in a gust and my internet dies, the sounds of the spring storm are my only company, the Erie moan matches my mood.  Time stands still… With a ping I’m alerted that my small connection to the outside world is back and I follow the trail of my electronic mail to Katie and Jessie on a boat.


I lay back in my bunk and contemplate words. Words like journey and authentic.  I ask myself, is it possible to tell an authentic story and still create an authentic life; or do we merely become puppets on the end of a string dancing and performing for people we will never meet, people we will never know and most importantly people who have never and will never care about us beyond the superficial shell that amuses them in thier time of need for escape.

From the very first day we met through the web, the photography and writing of Jessie’s has held a deep place in my heart.  I had never heard of the blog until the one day I had a chance meeting with her father, a very generous and kind man, the type of person you would expect to have raised such a stellar young force in this world.

A good story, the truly authentic type needs more than good character development, it needs truly authentic charters, enter Katie, co captian and co conspirator.  Two young humans, practically children by today’s standards when they set off but what they lacked in experience they gained through chemistry, teamwork and mutual trust, more elements in an authentic journey.

Over the years I’ve read every word, dissected ever image and played them like an old time movie in my head while the story unfolded in front of my eyes.  The gaps always filled to the exact preportions necessary to tell enough of the story without ever stepping across that invisible line where an adventurous soul is lost to the story, or the readers or…

Just a few days ago I was bitching to a friend that there are no authentic stories being told, no blogs worth reading and no writers that aren’t in it for more than the misguided attention one receives from the blogosphere. More than ever I needed to be reminded that there is and there are Truly talented individuals out there telling a real story of a real adventure.  And so today I stand corrected as I followed a link to a story that is far and away beyond any form of art, authentic is far too small of a word for Five miles per hour

I finish the essay, turn off my iPad and fall asleep listening to the sounds of the storm.  My last memories before drifting off into that private world where all your dreams can come true are the words journey and authentic, if you don’t know the definition of either of these words you might just click here and go for a magic carpet ride…

From the log of Sookie,   Most people in this world despise authenticity, mostly because they are envious of it.

The minimalists

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I never should have come back to the boat, I knew I wasn’t ready to face it and the memories.  I was mentally  prepared for my arrival and I was prepared for what I would surely face in the first few days or weeks but I wasn’t prepared for what would turn into a daily bout of depression.  I miss Chloe so much and while I thought time would heal the wounds and in some ways it does but being here without her has opened the flood gates of loss on a constant and daily basis.


Another cold and blustery day, I’m glad I got out on the bike yesterday because it’s just too cold for me today. The haul out is scheduled, I’ve borrowed a tent till my one man cave shows up. I pulled out my trusty pack and it’s time to start thinking like a landlubber. I have everything I need and nothing more.  My bike and my pack are ready to roll.

Drifting off to all the experiences I’ve had in the last year I feel them so close I can almost touch them.  How far I am from this day last year, drifting through the Desolation Sound and Discovery Islands in hundred degree tempuratures.  Backpacking Oregon and making wine.  Carrying my best friends lifeless body and trying to let go.  Hawaii, Maui, Sherrif John Brown, I’m always reminded of the scene from the Big Lebowski  ” Stay out of Malibu Lebowski”. The journey home to a place that felt like home more than any I know, yet always empty and cold without my pup. Dealing with my fucked up brain and becoming a medical pin cussion. And now letting go of my sailing dreams of rounding Vancouver island this year.


Sometimes you just need to run away and that’s what I’m doing, more journeys to try and settle the soul. Maybe next year will be different, it doesn’t matter because I don’t plan anything more than a few days in advance if even that.  Mel ordered her new Brompty and with a little luck we will pedal off into the sunset in September chasing the long days of summer.  I know I’ll miss the boat the second I step off her but sometimes it good to want and need and mostly just know that if you ever want or need it that you have a home out there somewhere patiently waiting your return…

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
― Josh Billings

The bitter end

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Sooner or later every sailor will be unfortunate enough to learn the painfull meaning of the bitter end as the last bit of anchor rode slips through thier fingers and then nothing…  I’ve been bipolar to the A.D.D.TH degree these last few months in a desperate landlocked voyage to point my bow north.


Sooner or later we all have to pay the piper and with a great deal of indesision I’ve thrown in the towel for a summer cruise and bit the bullet so to speak.  Sookie is getting hauled till next spring.  I’ve been playing too much and ignoring the final stages of my refit, new pintles and gudgeons, a rudder cheek rebuild and my barrier coat.  In my typical voyaging on a hundred dollars a month budget constraints I’ve decided to patch my existing barrier coat and save the real job for some hot and steamy third world boatyard.  You can’t fit a ten pound parcel into a two pound sack.

I’m bent to say the least but it has to be done if I ever want to get anywhere beyond my 300 mile circle and I do.  Back and forth we went but there is simply no way around it.  So now that I’m getting ready to put on my land legs,my list is impossibly long, a jigsaw sort of puzzle to finish only what is completely necessary on my beer budget.  I have a feeling I will still be rebuilding this little girl for many years to come but so is the nature of being blessed with a good old boat.  Both my master and my servant she needs my full attention right now and so she will get it.

I’ve potentially lined up the lowest paying job on the planet and a free dusty, dirty patch of dry land to store Sookie where I can liveaboard and work on her.  It’s going to make for very long days, up at dawn for a few hours of work, clock in for a long day in the sun and then back to this and that till the sun goes down. November first is my weather cut off and then it’s of to somewhere warm for the winter, I’m already looking into the Caribbean and the many sailing oppertunities in that beautiful sea. 

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”   ― William Wordsworth

Brompton bicycle, best of the best 2016

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The only thing better than a puppy for meeting  people is a Brompton.  I’m stopped everywhere I go, the grocery store is where I get the most questions about my funky, cute little folding bike neatly  stashed in my shopping cart.  I can’t even imagine how many thousands of smiles and hellos this quirky little folder has made.


The first question I’m always asked is how does she ride, she rides like a bike with 16″ tires, exactly like she was meant to.  The owners manual clearly says that Brompton is not meant for touring or aggressive riding. Barreling down the side of a volcano from eight thousand feet to sea level and I’m sure topping 40mph was only one of the many infractions I have made on this bike.  Within a month of finding this little gem I had voided every single warrany Brompton has.  Touring Hawaii was brutal in many ways but it had some the smoothest roads and widest bike lanes in America as long as I was actually on the main Hwy which was a rarity, “some day I may publish the real Hawaii story” heading to either end of the island was a different story with rutted roads, zero shoulder and more wind and water than is imaginable.  My free advice is always ride the island clockwise so when, not if you are run off the road you will be pile driven into a cliff or roadside ditch as opposed to being hurtled off of a cliff.  I stopped counting car bike infractions after the first few days when I learned it’s all part of cycling in the islands.

Eight months  and serveral sets of tires down the road and my gearing is still perfectly tuned.  Should it ever need adjustment it’s easy and takes about 3 seconds and your on your way again.  Changing flats on the other hand can be a major project although a good set of tires will all but eliminate this issue.  It took me at least fifty miles to really dial in my ride on this bike but now I can’t see ever owning any other bike again for any reason.  Ive done the whole hucking myself off a cliff on my MTB thing for half my life and that part of cycling is behind me.  Now I ride for fun or to get places which is also fun.  I can easily see riding this bike around the world over a few years and that’s where her foldability comes in.  The Brompton is bar none the best riding, easiest and most compact folding  and highest quality folding bike on the planet.  I’ve ridden many other brands into the ground but I must say I ride quite a lot, the average person could find a lower end folder on Craig’s list for a few hundred bucks and with basic maintenance it will last them a lifetime.

I’ve never been a fan of panniers, Infact I gave up cycle touring in favor of credit card touring on my fixed gear because I was so sick of riding a bike with panniers on it.  The Brompton has many luggage options and all are centered and low, the front bag attaches to the frame and not the fork so the load never shifts although these bikes are not meant to tour with. While you pay a bit in comefort for small high pressure tires, climbing is a dream as is jumping a shuttle when you’ve hit your wall and hitching with a Brompton is as easy as it gets. My longest ride to date is a relative whimpy 83 miles although I could have easily ridden further on that day had I not found a nice little shore side park with lots of coconuts and no sign of the man so I called it a day.

Living on my little 22′ boat my Brompton is easy to store, I have also carried her onto a train, ferry, in a cab, a helicopter and float plane, hitchhiked, and she fits perfectly in the over head on larger commercial jets.  Mainetnece is easy with a full list of how to videos on youtube and Brompton has the highest quality paint of any bicycle company on the planet.  These bikes hold thier value very well.  When I started shopping I was hoping to find a nice used S model in pink but I fell into a MR6 in orange and am very glad I did, I love the upright riding position and the little wheels are good on my wrecked knees, Infact since finding this bike all my cycling induced knee pain is gone.

What else can I say about a bike that while might seem a bit pricey upfront is worth every penny in fun. It will add 25 healthy years to your life, firm and tone your body, make you smile everytime you ride and generally is the planets fountain of youth and viagra all rolled into one, if you want mine you will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

If it sounds like I love my bike I do, 7 years ago when I decided to try and live  car free for one year I never could have imagined how much of a better quality of life I could have on my bike.  The upfront cost at 2k might send you into sticker shock but compared to automobile ownership this bike will pay for itself very quickly and not just in monatary ways.

There is a slow life out there waiting for you. My morning ride is heaven on earth.  A quick trip to the farmers market on a sunny Saturday morning affords me a pile of locally grown veggies and if I’m really lucky a scoop of the best Icecream on the planet.  I can eat as much as I want as often as I want and never have to stoop to stupid exercise videos or going to a skanky gym.  My Brompty is my health insurance, psychologist and amusement park all rolled into one, it also happens to be the most romantic form of transportation known to man.

Disclaimer, I have no affiliation with the Brompton bicycle company in any way shape or form.

Ancient mariner

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I watch a young couple slowly working the bay with thier lead line from the deck of a skooum folk boat.  Unlike all the couples that motor in on thier large boats yelling and screaming back and forth, this couple is silent, they work as a team.


I’ll never understand why people make anchoring so fucking complicated, find an open spot and drop the fucking hook.  I don’t even bother setting Sookies anchor, I ghost in down wind, motor shut off and when I feel good I kick it over, let out a pile of line and snub it on my mooring bits.


I’ve been blessed more and more each day with pocket cruisers sailing into our little bay.  This sitting around and waiting is killing me, yes I need to work but still I could survive without it, it think.  Even the luckiest of us will only get 75 summers in a lifetime, if your 35 half of them are over and you have to wonder how many great ones you will get, maybe 35 more??? What if it’s only 25, time is a wastin…

So I contemplate rowing out with the man can and pouring them a glass of my shit box wine but they look so peaceful I don’t want to spoil thier party, I retreat to my cabin and pout.  Sorting through paint brushes and varnish to take my mind off of my dockside prison I spy a cruising rag a friend dropped off, garbage.  There is a reason blogs will always have thier place in this world.

I love occasionally watching sailing videos but I can’t imagine being a slave to a video camera, sure it pays the bills but at what cost, every memory is talking to a piece of glass.  I really want to expand into video but like my blog, 15 minutes a day is more than too much time to spend on such trivial things.  I throw the rag in the corner and pick up a literally destroyed copy of the cost conscious cruiser, this little book of mine has been through the ringer and many many sailboats with me.  The broken spline is from when we took a mast in the water knock down after having lightning strike within touching distance.  Blind and deaf I left my little boat to tend to itself while I dove below to check my through hulls, I slipped on the book that had been hurtled across the cabin splitting the spline and almost my head in the process.

Those old time writers really had a good strategy, go play for a few years till you find somewhere to swallow the hook for a bit.  Write a book and then wash your hands of it all and go sailing again.  I’m pushing closer and closer to going completely rogue, cancelling my Instagram account which I truly loved was one of the many steps I have been taking to unplug.  And so back to the young couple heaving thier lead line as they slowly practice what the ancient mariners  for many a generation passed down to us, seamanship…

From the log of Sookie BUSTED.  A late eventing call to help move a friends boat and his wife looks at me “are you wearing a skirt?”  No it’s my man kilt is my simple response.  “Stormy, that’s a full blown skirt”. Yes I know that, I say with a  🙂 ” I understand”. She says with a ;).  My friends don’t think I’m nuts, they know I am and they still love me which is why I love them so much.

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play, 

Came to the mariners’ hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine;

“God save thee, ancient mariner! 

Full keel 

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I’m beginning to feel like nowhere man, not a single place where I can work on Sookie, and a dismal employment scene.  I turn my attention to Sookie and and the neighboring yacht I’m helping out with a little splicing.  Both heavy displacement full keel cruising yachts, one displacing 60,000lbs and one a smidge under 8000lbs.


At 5 net tones Sookie is the only pocket cruiser I know of that can be US Coatgaurd documented.  I turned her little galley into a rigging station, I’m always surprised how much space she has for everything.  Her long sweeping forefoot isn’t a true full keel but Lyle Hess was able to find a balance where she will always tack a bit slowly but easily and will heave to instantly with no fuss, this safety factor is why I chose her over all other cruising boats.


Her 33% ballast ratio is spot on and the reason I can haul so much food around without sinking her beyond her lwl.  I’ve been doing an absolute ton of research lately on under 30′ cruising boats and am constantly surprised at the high end ballast ratios, the higher the ratio the more you pay in loss of comefort and load carrying ability.


I searched for years of a FC without an inboard for many reasons and while I’ve cursed the outboard in so many conditions I’m a sailor, not a motor sailor.  Of all my years at sea all of the most frightening and dangerous situations have been while under or do to our powerlant or laying at anchor.  The internal combustion engine is a miserable beast but I still very reluctantly use it on average about 10% of the time.  My brand new Tohutsu, is a joy to have and runs perfectly but she is still auxiallry which means I work hard at not using her if at all possible.  My old Yuloh was a work of art but Sookie is just to small to carry it so a new sculling oar will be added after the new wind vane goes on if I can make it all fit.


Which brings me back to my full keel from her very long waterline to her hollow entry everything about Sookie is easy on the eyes which is why it’s so hard adding solar and at the same time keeping her simple and traditional looking. Finding a place to add a small solar panel is a challange without destroying her beautiful lines.  My new solar charger has arrived, a gift for a friend through AOH so now it’s time to start drilling holes, feeding wire and trying to sneak in a good location.  On a boat of Sookies size the only instillation worth doing is a fixed one and I think I’ve found a home for it and this is super exciting at the prospect of no longer having to pay transient moorage  while cruising to top my batterybank.


The very first thing I did when Sookie arrived from Southern California was to remove everything from the top of her mast, both antennas and the wind chicken.  Nothing makes you a worse sailor than staring up at that damn thing all day with a crick in your neck, it’s also danegeous because you should be staring at the water.  I pulled the deck lights from the spreaders and dewired  half the boat.  Now two small batteries  power nothing but lights and a small cigarette lighter that I can plug my little hand held vhf into to re charge, the big one was given away the first day I was aboard.  My lead line still works perfectly as does my hand held compass for taking bearings and no need for a knot log in this day and age.   It’s both fun and a challange keeping with the tradition of Sookies design and full keel but also her simplicity makes her substantially safer and more fun to sail, or in my case sit around the dock working on her for our next big adventure.

“A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” – Bernard Moitessier

I love my Brompton

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I freaking love my Brompton, I cant believe we’ve already been together for 8 months.  She’s been on trains, planes, buses and a trolley, boats and planes that float, cars, ferries and even in a baby carrier.I will never forget my first day with mine, amazing these bikes are.


Sookie spent her first and last night as floating boarding house when I met two adorable young girls in desperate need of a bed.  I spent the afternoon cleaning and getting her all ready and then moved aboard a friends boat next door for the night.  I have to say hearing the giggling voices of this amazing mother daughter dou made me a bit jealous of them and thier beautiful home for the evening.  It was good to have an arms distance view of what others see when they walk by Sookie.


When I moved back aboard Sookie now two friends richer in this world she was spotless and had fresh herbs hanging everythwere, it smells so good in here and I love the look . So backtracking, with a pile of things to do I sent the girls off to play, while they were out I signed  them up for sailboat race to give me time to make Sookie perfect.  As usual I was able to sneak in an amazing ride on Brompty, my legs are finally in full recovery mode and hopefully my lungs are soon to follow. 


Dragging Brompty through 6 inches of horrible Hawaiin clay and a full load I cursed the weather, her small tires and every turn in the road that revealed yet another emty stretch and no relief in sight.  Looking at her after a complete detail I could plop her on the shelf in any bike store and you would think she is new. 


I did a massive amount of research and riding of all folding bikes and now well over a thousand miles into my second set of tires I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Brompton is the highest quality folding bike in the world.  My map is stretched out in front of me, the only question is where shall we ride  for the winter

“I thought of that while riding my bicycle.”

~ Albert Einstein in reference to the Theory of Relativity.

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A life on the sea

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There is a slowness to this sailing life, simple living and minimalist travel.  A new anchorage every day and all for pennies compared to basic living ashore. Simple freedom to explore at your own pace.


Anchor wherever you like, know body owns the ocean.


There is no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing.  


There is an anchorage over there, somewhere.


Simple systems offer simple sailing.


Canada…


Drop the hook and get ready to explore a new world.

” Some people never find it, some… only pretend,  but Me; I just want to live happily ever after, now and then.”  Jimmy Buffett

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Death of the boatyards

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Driving from California to Alaska I stopped in Bellingham for 5 minutes to look at a boat I had zero interest in owning.  Seven minutes later I owned said boat, broke in a town is never heard of I started the long process of integration.  The boatyard had a very strict no liveaboard policy.  After serveral weeks I was confronted by the yard manager and did my best to convince him that I was not living aboard.  He smiled and replied, “if your still not living here at the end of the month I’m going to have to start charging you electricity”,  and walked away.


It seems that all of the Washington boat yards have a zero tolerance policy these days which make life a living hell for yachts in transit that need a lengthy stay for major overhauls such as drying and re sealing the hull.  Each year one more of my secret yards falls off the map and while they are willing to take every penny you own from thier chandlery to yard expenses they couldn’t care less about serving the needs of the hand that feeds them.


Washington has changed so much since I’ve been here, once a welcoming sea for boaters now the rules are through the roof and even the anchorages are being ruined with the hundreds of morning balls that make you anchor so far off that it takes forever to get to shore.  I suppose that’s why I have to listen to dozens of outboards zooming back and forth all day.


The gentle pull of my oars, the swoosh of water sliding under my hull and the sound the water makes as it drops from my blades.  These all are the call of the sea to me.  Now replaced by huge diesels running for hours on end, smoke filled bays and crowds of non boaters who own boats.  


I ask myself where have all the sailors gone and I was given my answer.  Chris sailed in on his little 18′ sloop that he raced solo in the race to Alaska last year, today he left for the Broughton islands in the same boat.  Another couple sailed in on a beautiful 23′ lapstrake from Port Townsend and another from PT in a beautiful Cape Dory 25. 


We’re  still out here but every year the numbers seem to be getting smaller. Is the marine industry killing sailing and turning it into an eletist hobby.  The small slips are all disappearing making way for larger boats that sit unused 50 weeks a year while the ones of us who use our boats are being slowly pushed out.


My frustration mounts and more than ever I’m feeling like it’s time to leave what was once a boating Mecca but now more and more seems to be gridlock of huge boats polluting the slow quiet ways of the islands. Where have all the sailors gone?

From the log of Sookie, they call it progress, yet another word that should be stricken from the English language. 

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Bow spirit

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I’ve moved the boat 5 times in as many days and I’m right back where I started from, staring down the barrel of June 1st.  Today is a rest day, one of coffee and boat drawings.  I just got word today that a friend though AOH and fellow sailor is sending me his old solar charge controller and with a little bit of cutting into my control panel it will be a perfect fit.

“So dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.” 

― William W. Purkey

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Anchoring in a runway

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The planes come and go, today was my first shore leave since Wednesday, A hot jacuzzi, trim the beard, go for a walk. The sun is out and it’s warm, calm for now and I’m already scheming a way to get back to the dock and plug my heater in for another month so I can finish my annual maintenance on Sookie.


The Pacific North West is a cruel mistress but I suppose if it was always warm here my sleepy island would look more like Miami than a floating farm far removed from Amish country.  Clean, trash runs, water, more cleaning and a bit of inventory of my stores with lots of reorginasation to make space for Melissa and her backpack full of stuff.  It’s slow today and after the constant roller coaster I’ve been living in a need a good break.

I can’t believe how much juice my little iPad sucks from the battery bank, two group 31’s.  Solar may be my first priority after adding a hundred feet of chain and new 5/8″ anchor line.

Big puffy clouds drift by, I miss my girl and the voices and laughter of my neighbors.  To much time alone out here, I’m starting to talk to myself which is just scary.  Maybe a quick cup of coffee and a tour of my neighboring boats in the anchorage, not a bad day for some socializing and boat tours.

“Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” 

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Life on the hook

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Another cold day, the strongest  gusts slowly abated as the wind backed to the south.  Gusts still, pour over the hills but the water is flat excentuating  the big puffs as Sookie leans into each one with a tug on her ground tackle. The morning news crackles across my little short wave, my only lifeline to the real world and proof it still exists.


Yesterday was the first day of the season for retards with boats.  Fish bay is a full mile long which would question why my dumbass neighbor from the Marina decided to move his 36′ steel ketch with no motor. Right next to me, ok he’s a really nice guy, just clueless when in comes to boats.  With an outboard powered dinghy on both sides they waited till the wind was 13 gusting to 18 GENIOUS!!!!  First they tried to literally drop thier anchor right on top of mine, I only have 100′ out so it was inevitable that they were going to hit me one way or another.  I’m that asshole that walks to the bow and is like do you see my boat?  See this rope off the bow, that’s my anchor line, look where it goes, you just dropped your hook on mine. For reasons unknown one of the tow dinghy left at this point to go schmooze  around the anchorage.  They then tried to ram a power boat and with a bare miss the wind started to pick up and they drifted down on me.  I walked to the bow “hey fucktard, your prop is about to cut my anchor line”, it was a negative tide, that water about 6′ deep and my line was in danger.  They put it in foreward as I watched the prop miss my line by inches.  This is when I realized a collision was imminent.the full weight of the wind pushed them on to me, luckily Sookie is so light I was able to hold the boats at bay while that big steel piece of shit dragged the length of my boat.  At this point I still hadn’t seen the skipper touch the wheel.  They then tried to anchor with 28′ of chain in a rising breeze and were shocked that they were dragging into the yachts at the guest dock.


The scene went on like this all day with many boats including a 47′ powerboat that hit moneymaker reef twice.  The planes came and went as the relentless wind had us hobby horsing in the steep chop that had zero effect on the larger boats.  I will never be shocked at the sheer stupidity of boaters.  They spend a hundred grand on a boat, then are to cheap to pay a few hundred bucks to learn how to safely use them.  It really pisses me off that these people have such a small regard for other peoples property but so is the nature in America where you can buy anything on time and just keep replacing it everytime you crash it up all for one low monthly payment.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” 

― Albert Einstein

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