Living Aboard Boats

" Living Free on the H2O"

A Rainy Day

Written By: Captain Curt - Dec• 17•15

IMG_1965Some times we forget to stop and look at the beauty of a rainy day. We bitch and we moan. We say things like “I can’t wait until summer. I am tired of the rain. I wish it would just stop raining. Is this ever going to stop”?
The other day my self and a friend decided to escape the city for a few hours and explore this rainy day. We ended up at Gold Stream Marina just outside of Victoria British Columbia. I have heard about the beauty of this spot before but never really took the time to check it out. IMG_1934
I have to stay that it was truly a beautiful and serene spot. IMG_1979
The marina its self doesn’t offer a whole lot of services for boaters. The docks are older and access to Victoria is limited for some one wanting to catch a bus into town. What it does offer is a place to relax and just be.
That’s right. I would say that this Marina’s setting is what I would call a “picture post card” of what British Columbia is.
Nestled at the southern end of Finlayson Arm on the Westside. Gold Stream Marina is a must see for boaters transiting this area. I would recommend you call the marina office to enquire about the availability of slips as this is a private marina. All around this rain forest you will see an abundance of water fowl, bald eagles, deer, and an endless array of aquatic life. IMG_2010
So people. If you take the time to slow down. Stop and look around. Even a rainy day can offer a memorable serene experience.

I Am Home

Written By: Captain Curt - Nov• 11•15

IMG_0117It has been two days since I have parked the 18 wheeler and went back to live on my little piece of paradise. It is hard to believe that it was a year ago that I took this new task on to explore a new way to make money. Yes that’s it, to make money. After a year of driving over 70,000 miles I can honestly say that being a “Trucker” is not really the life for me. To be completely honest with my self and you. I never entered this career as a career. I entered it as a way to make money.
There were times on the road that I thought to my self ” what the hell I am doing”? I have given my life up again to the man. Not only am I working 70 hour work weeks but I am living in the back of a truck and calling truck stops my home. I longed for my life a float. This trucking thing is really a young mans game.
There were times I would sit for hours in traffic and watch society pass me by, literally. Every one was in such a hurry but getting no where. The radio would give reports of accidents, traffic jams and up coming weather. Why do they call it Rush Hour but no one is in rush? People heading to work as early as 5 am and making the 2 to 3 hour trek home after a working day in the “mans world”. What kind of life is this? They would take their hard-earned money from the man and spend their 2 days off fighting traffic again to go the various malls and stores to acquire all the stuff the man offers. I suppose I am being cynical. I know that every one has a different story and my path in life is not for every one. It is however a free one.
It is one that I will never give up again.
So I am home relaxing and adjusting to life in my little world. I have spent the last two days settling in and slowing down my world. Tomorrow is supposed to be mostly sunny. So I will tackle cabin leaks. Perhaps after that I might have a nap or go for a walk. I really don’t care.
I am home

Dream of Tropical Islands

Written By: Captain Curt - Oct• 08•15

IMG_0117I look out thru the window and the winds blow 30 knots. I can hear the wind blow so hard that it sounds like a freight train roaring by. The cloud cover is low and the visibility is zero. The man on the radio is saying that it is best to stay inside. “Stay off the roads unless you absolutely have to be out there” he exclaims.

As I sit here in the tuck terminal my mind wanders off to beautiful tropical islands. Why am I sitting here in this God for sake in place they call the prairies? I mean sure it has a beauty all of its own and there was a time when I was a ranch hand for a few years. I can appreciate the beauty of this land. One thing I can’t appreciate is the thought of being stuck here until my dying days. Sure it sounds a little over dramatic but I look around me and here is what I see and hear.
I over hear fellow truckers bitching about the company, fuel prices and weather conditions. Some talk about the lack of money left over at the end of the month and an older guy ready for retirement says “just say 5 more years and I am done. One guy in the corner who looks like he has been behind the wheel for 50 years says ” once I pay off my Ex wife I will be able to cut back my driving time 24 days a month to 23.” How sad, how truly sad.
So why am I hear then? I ask my self. I am hear because it is an end to a means. I took this trucking gig almost one year to the day. I made the huge decision to leave the boat in the marina and set out to make a claim to fulfill a dream. Un like the old boy in the corner I am not going to be here 5 more years. More like 5 more weeks I tell my self. With that positive thought in my head. I put my pack over my shoulder, leave the warmth of the terminal and climb back in to the truck. It should be a good day I tell my self. Only 500 miles to go and 5 more weeks until once again I am at peace with my self and the world.

Just hang I there and Dream of Tropical Islands

Now Is The Right Time To Leave

Written By: Captain Curt - Oct• 02•15

IMG_0125For the first time since moving aboard and living in the marina. I feel now is the right time to leave.

Now that the Origo stove in installed it is now time to get this show on the road. I mentioned in a few blogs back that I am down to priorities. I took a step back from all my boat projects and huge wish list and thought “what do I really need to leave and make this dream a reality”? I am so close I can taste it and putting a huge list of wants in front of me now is just not an option.

I have now tackled the galley issues and other than some sort of refrigeration that is really not a priority. I do have plans of converting my ice box to a fridge by installing a cold plate and a compressor however there are others things needed before that. I can always use ice blocks like sailors have done for years if I require permanent ways of keeping things cool. The lack of a fridge will not keep me tied to the dock.
I will be returning to the boat in a week or so and I plan to stop the cabin leaks and finish installing the Air Head. I have put the installation off because I didn’t want to drill a 2 1/2 inch hole thru my cabin top for ventilation with having leaks there already. Now is the time to get that project done.
In addition to that I am trying to find a boat yard where I can haul out and live aboard for 2 months before I launch. There are many boat yards in my area but they don’t allow you to stay aboard. When I do the haul out it will be to replace the lettering, paint the accent strip and upper band of the boat, Anti foul the bottom and replace the zincs. I would also like to tackle the exterior bright work at that time. That will be the final project before I leave. I still wont give a date but it will be in 2016.
Second Wind
Other must do items on my list to complete are the following;
Rebuild wind vane
Fix or replace Auto Pilot
Repack life raft
Register boat and Epirb
Replace VHF and Antenna
Install Mast Boot
Finish interior cabin top

For the first time since living in the Marina I feel now is the right time to leave.

Cooking in the Galley

Written By: Captain Curt - Aug• 31•15

IMG_0125As many of you know cooking is a passion of mine. It has always been an interest that seems to provide me with so much more then a full belly. I believe it is a real art form and for me a great way to relax at the end of the day. There is the old saying that food tastes so much better out side camping then at home. I believe this to be true on a boat as well.
In my last Blog I talked about priorities and what is important and really needed to set out my voyage. I think I am at a place where I am able to prioritise things. One such thing is a fully equipped galley. This does not mean it has to have all the latest kitchen gadgets and electrical appliances. Far from it. It means a well stocked galley, decent cooking tools and a couple of decent appliances.
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Let me introduce the Origo 6000 Alcohol stove and oven. Yes I did it. A thousand dollars later I have my self a key ingredient to a fully functioning galley.
It was a big decision to decide on what type of a stove I should go with. Do I want propane or Natural gas? Should I go with another Kerosene stove or perhaps refit my old one? Do I need a galley stove and could I just go with my Camp stove and an electric hot plate when I have electrical power? So many choices.
Here is how I rationalised the Alcohol stove.
I have always been partial to Natural Gas stoves. They are relatively safe to cook with. They burn clean with out odor. The Cons is Natural gas can be hard to find. Especially in a third world country.
Should I go propane ? There is lots of propane available. It burns nice and cooks hot. It can however be very dangerous. Propane is heavier then oxygen so it has a tendency to sink into the bilge should a leak occur. What if
images (7)
I went kerosene. Well it is safe and easy to find but it smells, smokes and is under pressure.
That left me with Alcohol .Pros burns clean. No odor, not under pressure, very easy to find around the world and relatively inexpensive to run. Cons. I heard they do not burn as hot as gas stoves.
So the purchase was made and I am super happy. I started the installation and will update you on the performance once I get cooking with it.
The Origo is an amazing piece of kit that every blue water boat should have. Here are some of the states;

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Ingeniously simple, Origo stoves have been continually improved based
on feedback from boat owners and boat builders worldwide.
Origo 3000 double-burner and 1500 single-burner free-standing stoves are suitable for
a wide range of boats. These units are typically mounted on gimbals (sold separately)
to provide a level cooking surface. Origo free-standing stoves have few parts and,
because they operate without pressure, there are no sensitive components liable to
cause problems. The stainless-steel surface is rugged, easy to clean, and maintains its
bright appearance in the punishing salt air and high humidity of marine environments.
Origo alcohol stoves are easy to fill. Each alcohol-fueled container holds 40 oz.
(1.2 liters) of alcohol fuel. Pour the fuel into the container where it is absorbed by the
non-flammable material inside. A full container provides about four-and-a-half hours of
cooking time at the maximum setting, or about 10 hours at normal setting before refilling
is required.
Origo units are environmentally friendly and extremely safe. The denatured
alcohol-fuel is a clean and renewable energy source, and eliminates the need for fuel
lines or gas bottles that could leak or explode. The stainless-steel alcohol fuel containers
will not leak if deformed by impact or if turned upside down.
Just like cooking at home. Light the burner and adjust the flame with the regulator
knob. The flame diffuser spreads the heat over the base of the burner pan, giving 7,000
BTU/hr. (2,000 watts) at full heat. These Origo units can bring 34 oz. (1 liter) of water to a
boil in 10 minutes. It’s as efficient as cooking with gas, yet much safer and cleaner.
ISO 9001:2008
L–2850 Rev. 20101217
Key Benefits
■ Compact and easy to stow when not in
■ Brings 34 oz. (1 liter) of water to a boil in
10 minutes.
■ Durable with few parts to break down.
■ Easy-to-clean stainless-steel surface.
■ Easy access to the alcohol fuel container
makes filling simple.
■ Pressure-free alcohol offers a safe way to
cook on board.
■ Gimbals (sold separately) maintain a level
cooking surface in rough seas

I am getting closer to becoming a voyager.


Written By: Captain Curt - Aug• 22•15

IMG_0125In this world of endless products and technology it is amazing how ones priorities can get lost. We are bombarded by the newest items that every boaters must have. Chart plotters, refrigeration, water makers, radars, AIS, out boards and the list goes on. When I look at my self. I am the perfect candidate for getting caught up on what I want versus what is needed. Recently I have been looking at Manson Anchors, great product and yes I want one. I also want a new Zodiac, out board, radar and an endless array of must haves for My Second Wind. The question I have to ask my self is,”do I really want these items or do I really need these items”?
Recently I took a step back and thought to my self ” what is my goal here”? Am I living aboard my floating home to refit her with the latest technology and gadgets, or am I living aboard My Second Wind to become a voyager and explore this great planet? Of course it is the latter. It is so important for me to set priorities. The fear I have is that if I don’t I will end up like so many other fellow voyagers. They set their course from West Marine to their boats but never leave the harbor.
I have known people who have crossed oceans in boats as small as 24 ft. They have had nothing more than a hand a held GPS and a VHF radio. I know of a guy that has literally sailed from the United States to Australia with $400 in his bank account. Guess what? He is still alive and is still voyaging.
Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series of vlogs and blogs on what my priorities are. Why is it important to make a list of what is needed to leave the dock and why it is so important to take a step back and stay focused on the goal at hand. To become a Voyager free from the grasp of society.
My goal will be to set my course for the Isle of Hiva Oa not Aisle 2 of West Marine.

Where The Hell Am I?

Written By: Captain Curt - Aug• 02•15

IMG_0117It was 1430 on a Thursday after noon. I was almost at my destination with only one hour left to go . Only two days ago I was 1500 miles north of where I am today. To my left is the Hollywood sign and to my right is down town
Los Angeles.

What’s this in front of me; What the hell; This can’t be happening! How can all 12 lanes of Interstate 5 be backed up. Not one car, truck, bus or motorcycle is moving. As I glanced out the window of my 18 wheeler, I think to my self,” who could ever live this way”

Years ago when I was much younger the thought of the big city with the movie stars, bright lights and endless possibilities to acquire wealth became my every thing. Wow to only succeed here in Hollywood. What a fulfilling life that would be. I could have a huge house, nice cloths and two or three luxury cars in the drive way. I could attend cocktail parties in my Armani suit and dine with the rich and famous. What the hell was I thinking? The thought of that life style is so far away from where I am to today. IMG_0965

As I pass the countless empty faces looking down at their crotches texting while driving I think to my self; they have no idea I can see them. In fact I can see a lot more from my vantage point. I see mile after mile of wasted lives; simply put on this planet to earn and spend. They live their lives in ruin. Acquiring stuff and more stuff. Spending hours upon hours sitting in traffic just to make the almighty dollar. I see children waiting for their parents at day care wondering why mom and dad are 2 hours late because they are stuck in traffic.
Perhaps I am being cynical but then again 4 hours stuck in traffic trying to get from one side of LA to the other can do that to a guy.

Let The Search Begin

Written By: Captain Curt - Jul• 11•15

untitled (8)When I first purchased My Second Wind I have always struggled with what to do about a reliable tender. My Second Wind came with a 8 ft. Montgomery sailing dingy. Great little boat but for a single sailor very hard to deploy. In fact because it is so hard to deploy. I have found my self, on more than one occasion, not deploying it at all. Another problem I have with the tender is all the different parts and pieces it comes with. There is a 6 ft. mast, removal center board, and tiller with rudder. I also have a 30 year old, 2.5 Mercury 2 cycle out board, that I have never used. All of these item are so bulky and so heavy to maneuver.
As much as I want a new tender I struggle with the every day traditional look and feel of the sailing dingy. I love the fact that it is so traditional and requires only the wind however after careful consideration I feel it is time to let her go.
“So go to what”, I ask my self. What ever brand I get I have to make sure it is light weight; no longer then 9 ft. long and some thing that has a large capacity. The new tender must be easy to stow down below when not being used. The Tender must also be able to handle up to a 4 hp. engine. The new Tender must have a solid floor of either plywood or aluminum and have at least 4 air compartments. Any suggestions?
I have been looking all over for either a good used tender or a new one. I have researched all brands from Zodiac, Stryker, Achilles, to many others. Thru my research I am finding that most are being made in China. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I think??? 3144044
Thru all my research I am starting to lean towards a Stryker 8.6 Dingy. These little machines retail for about $1250.00 Canadian and seems to tick all the boxes. Not only is the price some thing I can afford but the features all seem to tick the boxes. It is under a 100 lbs., she can be stowed in less than 15 min. She can handle over 800lbs and is small enough to be stowed on deck. Check her out and let me know your thoughts.

You Only Get So Many Trips Around the Sun

Written By: Captain Curt - Jun• 09•15

IMG_0005Recently I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with a close friend. What made this afternoon so special is I was asked for my advice. When asked about my thoughts on a certain matter I was both surprised and honored. I mean no one really ever asks for my opinion. The few times that it does happen I really feel honored. I guess one could say I feel like I am living the right way. My life has taken the path of true authenticity. Another thing that made this meeting with my friend so special is that my friend is 70 years old and asking me for advise. Shouldn’t it be the other way around I thought?
I have always lived a life where I have been blessed with having friends from all walks of life and all ages. I have always felt that every one on this planet is equal and the waitress is just an important as the doctor.
In fact as a young child I felt it weird to call some one Mister or Doctor when they didn’t all me Mister. Sure I was 7 years old but to me it didn’t matter than and it doesn’t matter now. images (3)

Getting back to my story about my friend. She had asked me what I would do in her situation? You see in her life she has had struggles financially. As hard as she has tried and as hard as she has worked, life has not been kind to her financially. It has gotten to the point where at 70 years old she still goes to work every day to supplement her meager pension. My friend felt trapped and like time was passing her by. She was right time was passing her by. I told her she was only trapped by her own sense of comfort. I asked her if she could do any thing today what would she do? She mentioned how her dream was to live in a small town in Mexico and live out her years going to the markets , learning the culture and be friending the Mexican people. She was tired of not making the same money as her counterparts because of her age. She felt trapped in her life and thought there is no way she could ever live out her dream. She asked what I would do?
Through our conversation I found out that she could rent out her house and have a positive cash flow. There was enough money between the rent from her home and her small pension. There was really no reason to work the rest of her days for the man.
IMG_0260When I left our dinner she was pumped and phoned the next day to thank me for giving her the push that she needed.
I don’t think I really told her any thing she didn’t already know. What i did do was give her the push to go out there and live her dreams.
Life is so short and one never knows when we are unable to fulfill those dreams due to health, family or a countless amount of other factors.
Get out there people. You only get so many trips around the sun.

They Are Trying To Suck Me Back In

Written By: Captain Curt - May• 04•15

They are trying to suck me back in;
As I drive these endless miles across this great big country I can’t help but let my mind wonder. What in store for the future. I suppose it is not a smart thing, when I am flying down the highway weighing 87,000 lbs., to let my wander but I can’t help my self. I find my self passing the time by listening to pod casts of some of my most inspiring mentors are Glen Beck, Mark Levine and Dave Ramsey. All of these people are free thinkers and believe in living free now, so you can live free for the future. Ok I just confessed. I am a libertarian. Now the purpose of this post is not to get political. This is not the place for it. In fact after my 49 years on this planet I am finally sick and tired of politics. Those who know me personally would be shocked to hear that but it is true. I have finally figured it out. It is not about the left or the right. It is not about Bush, Obama, Clinton or Harper. They are all in it for money, power and control. They re not there to help the poor or make our lives better. Sure they may say that but in reality it is not true. Ask your self this . If they were in it for the “little people” then after 150 years why are there still “little people”?

The bottom line is, is that if you listen to these political parties, of all stripes, they will slowly suck you back into the system with out you realizing it.

When I sent upon this journey of minimalism and freedom I shed my life of all items keeping me down and stuck to the system. I threw out most of my connections to the system. First went the bills and debt. That in it self keeps you a slave to the system. Then went most of my material items. Bed, sofa, dishes, knickknacks all gone in the trash heap or to charity. Some I sold to get me out of debt. I got rid of my apartment and countless boxes of useless things I had been hoarding around for years. Then finally my connection to land, my apartment. All of this cleansing was so freeing that I struggle with the words to describe how freeing it truly was. It has gotten to the point that I am still trying to down size. Do I really need 5 pairs of jeans or 4 sweaters. Perhaps 2 of each will do? Do I really need a vehicle? That will be a tough one.

There was one thing that I never did purge. It was my connection to the political system thru different forms of media. It has gotten to the point where the bastards are starting to suck me back into the system. The negativity and constant fighting has really taken a toll on my connection to what matters. The simple things. I made a pledge to my self the other day as I went barreling down that highway. No more!! No more negatively and following of politics!! It is like a cancer on the mind and my inner being. Sure I will keep informed and tune into the news every day just to make sure the planet is still spinning but no endless negativity of those wired in to the system. Try it your self and se what effects it has on you inner being.