Living Aboard Boats

" Living Free on the H2O"

A Phone Call Can Save $$

Written By: Captain Curt - Apr• 05•14

As the days grow further and further away from my past life of employment and commitments. I find my self budgeting every thing down to the last penny.

I literally look at every expense and contemplate if I really do need this or can I do with out. I also find my self looking months into the future analyzing future financial commitments.
If you sit back and look at how our society is set up it has been designed to rape us of your hard-earned income thru either taxes, fees or life’s necessities A good example would be some thing as simple as a cell phone. I know through my past travels to third world countries that cell phone fees are very very low. Governments have decided to structure plans in a way that the poorest of poor can get a cell phone. It is only a few dollars a month to have a cell phone in these countries. This is done not to assist the people but to take what they can from the people.

In my home country of Canada my government has decided to charge as much as humanly possible for cell phone coverage. They have also forbid most competition by other cell phone carries in to the Canadian market place. This insures that rates remain inflated and Canadians are forced, in a so-called free market, to pay exorbitant rates and high taxes.

Now I don’t want to go on a tangent into the so-called free market place because this is a boating site about living free and away from the grip of society. What I am simply pointing out is it is very important to look at each and every fee that we are subject too each month.
Here are some changes I have made and all it took was a few phone calls and a little bit of a life style change. The rates listed below are what I was paying per annum and what I am paying now. You will be able to see how much money our societies demand from us.

Cell Phone was $1800 now $ 700
Parking was $700 now $ 0
Gasoline for truck was $6800 now $4800
Vehicle insurance was $ 1100 now $800
Gym Membership Was $ 720 now 0
Total savings per year $ 4820.00

All I did was take a close look at my expenses and made a few phone calls.
So how did I do this?
Cell phone. I got rid of my data plan { There are plenty of free Wi Fi zones }
Parking. I now park on the street across from the marina
Fuel. I walk or ride my bike every where humanly possible
Truck Insurance. I no longer need insurance for work use
Gym Membership. I walk and ride and no longer go to the gym
I am not done from stopping the constant bleed of my expenses. The more I look at alternate energy sources, living on the hook and minimizing even more I would hope to cut down my expenses to next to nothing for my survival . I also plan on doing this in style

Dreaming Of The Equator

Written By: Captain Curt - Mar• 29•14

I don’t mind rainy days on the boat. Sure I am a sun lover but there is nothing better than being down below comfy cosy looking at charts and reading pilot guides. I dream about distant shores and crossing the equator some day. I read somewhere that out of all the people who dream of becoming a Shell Back { one who crosses the equator by water} less then one percent actually do it. I really do hope that I can accomplish that dream some day. I know that it is a make-believe line somewhere on this globe but it is some thing I have dreamt about since I was a young man. I also realize that I will more than likely do it alone and there will be no one there to share in the moment. I am ok with that in fact I have always thought of doing it alone and for some reason it would not feel right if I had some else there. I could change my mind but for now this little dream is mine and mine alone.

On My Second Wind the list of projects seems to grow and grow. Just when I tick one thing off the list I add another two things. It will probably never end really. That’s ok because most of these projects are fun to do and I can see the rewards. I am back to painting after taking a hiatus for a while. No real reason why I took a break. I think it is because of the small quarters. I prefer to be out side on most days so the smell of paint and the thought of being jammed into the Head is some times too much to handle. Now I have a new drive in me and I really want to see the beauty of the white bulk heads and lockers. There is some thing so nice when a ship is ship-shape.
Once the head is painted then doors can go back on. Things can be stowed away properly. This will free up space in the V Birth and the main Saloon as I have been juggling things back and forth as I continue to renovate My Second Wind .
It has been 3 months since I moved aboard full-time. I have survived the 3 coldest months of year and did it with a smile on my face.
Life is good aboard.

“Build Your Dream Or Some One Else Will Hire You To Build Their’s”

Written By: Captain Curt - Mar• 14•14

Just think it has been two weeks of detoxing and life is about to kick in. No, not detoxing from booze or drugs. Detoxing from the tread mill of life. So what can I say after choosing to fulfill my dreams rather than those of my employer? To be honest it has felt more like a holiday.

You know it all to well, you book off work for the proverbial two-week vacation, time for rest and relaxation and a chance to rejuvenate your self; so you can go for another year of fulfilling some one else’s dreams.
When I think about the choice I have made in my life a quote seems to resonate with in me.
It goes like this;

“If you don’t build your dream some one else will hire you to build theirs”

Tony Gaskins

That is what my life felt like when I was working for my employer. I felt like I was building some one else’s dreams rather than working on mine.

So now what? The two-week vacation is over and life is about to kick in. The real world is about to kick me right in the ass. No more paychecks, purchasing at will or doing what ever I want, when I want. Those days are over.
It is going to take some getting used to and to be brutally honest it is a little bit scary.

Living Free Is Not Easy

Written By: Captain Curt - Mar• 04•14

It all started with a conversation about cutting ones hair. I was asked ” Why do you go to a barber when you can save money by cutting your own hair”? “Just buzz it” I was told.
Well after careful consideration I thought why not. It is all about saving money and living off the grid right? So why not just grab my clippers and give it a trim. It can’t be that hard. It was first thing this morning and I thought ok a little off the sides should do it. I fired up the razor and went at it. In less than 5 seconds I had ruined my hair. Humm now what? I thought. I know I will try to adjust it here and there and see if I can even it out. Bad mistake. I ended up taking out more chunks of hair. This living off the grid is not going to be easy I thought.

Now what? I know; I live only 15 minutes away from the military barber. If any one can fix it I know he can. They are used to cutting short,back and sides. When I arrived at the military base I thought cool I can remember being a young man of 22 and going to that very same barber shop when I was in the Canadian Navy. Just like old times I thought. There are probably a bunch of military guys getting their hair cut and 3 old-time barbers cutting hair like they have been doing their whole lives. When I entered the barber shop I was shocked. it wasn’t the old barber shop I remembered full of old-time barbers . I was quickly greeted by three beautiful young lady’s. “What happened to your hair”? they said in unison. I had to think of a story and quick. I know I will blame it on my fictitious girlfriend. “Umm my girl friend decided to cut it last night and messed it up.” “‘Oh you poor thing” the youngest barber said. “Here let me fix it up for you”. After some careful maneuvering and a very close clipper things where back to normal.

This living free and being independent from society is not going to be easy

Time To Detox

Written By: Captain Curt - Mar• 02•14

So they say “today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
I guess in one way it is. This is the day after I gave my notice at work. That’s right I am now unemployed and trying to live as a free man in a society that demands I contribute to the well oiled machine.
Not this guy!!!

My advice to you is to just do it and do it soon. Life is way too short.
When I gave my notice at work I was approached by many fellow colleges saying their goodbyes and wishing me all the best. The common theme from almost every one of them was “I wish I was doing what you are doing.” Or ” I would love to be able to live a simple life and spend more time with my children and wife.” My answer to each and every one of them was “then do it ” They all had the same common excuses on how they couldn’t and I knew that my advice had fallen on deaf ears. I really hope that with my blog and website I am able to show like-minded people how it can be done. The ups and downs and the dos and don’ts. It’s all a learning experience to go away from what I was taught as a young child, but it is a journey I am looking forward to.

The last days at work were spent cleaning up and finishing projects, emptying my desk and handing in keys. I now realized that when it comes to business we are just part of the business machine, we can all be replaced and we will only be missed for a few days. My fellow co workers got together and presented me with a box of my chosen cheap blue-collar wine. It was only a matter of moments before we had to crack open a few bottles to celebrate my departure. I have never drank in my office before but then I thought. What are they going to do; “fire me”?

Let The Journey Begin

New Beginnings

Written By: Captain Curt - Feb• 25•14

I wrote the following blog a little while back. I never did publish it because I felt as though it was too forward and perhaps a little bit selfish. Weeks have now passed and if you follow my video blog you already know that I have since broken away from the system. I gave notice at work and with in a few seconds I was no longer a tax paying citizen of Canada. It is really odd to think that in one minute life can change so dramatically. We spend days, months and years thinking about what would happen if I lost my job or choose to quit but in less than 30 seconds my life was changed dramatically. Here is what I wrote a little while back

In the mornings when i leave the boat it feels so unnatural now. I mean it is like I am putting my true life on hold for 10 hours as I return to the system to make more money for the proverbial man. It appears to me that my new life aboard and my life on land do not mix well. There are so many more productive and enjoyable things I can be dong on board today. There is painting to be done in the head. There is mounting of my small flat screen and the endless filling of water tanks, fuel tanks and other essentials to make life comfortable.
The boat projects never end but my time does as it is being used up by the system. I know I am rambling today and i should probably just be content with my new-found home. I believe however that it is only when i experience true freedom I will I be content with my life on this planet.

Calm Before The Storm

Written By: Captain Curt - Feb• 16•14

It has been interesting these last few day on My Second Wind. The weather has been stormy and with 100 km winds in the marina I feel as if I am sailing Cape Horn. Thru out the night the boat slams up against the dock and the creaks and groans make one wonder if the rig will come tumbling down. I would rather the rig come tumbling down now then to have it happen miles out to sea.

For you animal lovers I was concerned about my cat thru all these strong winds. I thought will she freak out and feel worried with the boat moving and making these loud sounds. To my surprise I have never seen her so calm. She sleeps thru it all and has no problem in adjusting to her new surroundings. In fact I try to put her on deck on the calm sunny days and she walks around nice and relaxed with out a care in the world.

As for my self I am doing well. I never regret coming home to a wet, rocking, cold boat. I thought that perhaps I would run out and rent a hotel by the month the first chance I got. No way. This is my home and I love it.

Here Comes The Sun

Written By: Captain Curt - Feb• 10•14

Here comes the sun… do do do do… Here comes the sun … After over a week of frozen below 0 temperatures the sun finally appeared on February 10 2014 the year of our lord. This is a date that will live in infamy.

Well at least in my mind. Man was that a long haul of cold and misery. As life continues on My Second Wind with The temperatures hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit ..not fun. My days look like this. First I get the two heaters going then comes the layers of warm cloths. After that it is a matter of getting some thing warm to eat and then under the layers of comforters, blankets and sleeping bags. Evening on the boat in these temperatures is not fun. One thing I am finding is how well I can actually adapt to my surroundings.

It is not easy to return home to a boat that is sitting in ice bath in the Northern Pacific. Then again this is the life I signed up for. For some strange reason I would not trade it for the world.

There is a great sense of realism when one thinks how simple we can actually live. Picture your self in a cabin in the mountains. The wood stove going as the snow piles up out side. You are sitting by the fire watching the snow reading a book and having a cup of hot chocolate. There is nothing better than smelling fresh bread in the oven and knowing that no matter what happens you are as snug as a bug in a rug.

Why Complicate Life?

Written By: Captain Curt - Feb• 06•14

So it’s now February and I am still alive. I say that because I choose to move aboard during one of the coldest months of year, the month of January.

It is really strange because when I speak with others they have this puzzled look on their face when they know I survived another cold night. I get comments like “it sure was cold last night. I bet you where wishing you where back in your apartment” or “you must be really uncomfortable with the temperature being below zero”. The answer is, no I don’t feel cold or uncomfortable. In fact as each day passes I feel more and more at home.

Sure there are evenings when it is colder and I have to throw on a warmer pair of socks or a thicker hoodie but I would never even think to change my new-found life style. Life on board is good. Hot coffee tastes better. A warm meal is welcoming and sleeping under a down quilt just feels right. There is some thing about living on a boat that makes life so simple. You learn to appreciate things a little more. You learn to not to take the simple things for granted. An example would be some thing as simple as hot water.

My Second Wind has no hot water tank or pressurized water. When I first moved on board all I could think about is installing pressurized water and a hot water tank. Now that i have been on board for a month I am starting to have second thoughts. Why complicate things? If I install both then it is more to go wrong, another expense and some thing I will need to service. I have no problem boiling a kettle or pumping water with my foot. Why complicate life?

Round & Round We Go

Written By: Captain Curt - Jan• 30•14

To day was once again given away to the system with next to nothing for reward. Sounds depressing I know and perhaps it is presumptuous of me to expect more these days. Perhaps this is just life.

The Matrix

I started my morning as I usually do with freshly brewed coffee and a trip to the marina showers. Shortly after that it was off on my bike for a 2 and a half mile ride to work along the ocean. This right now is my best time of day. There is little noise out there and only my thoughts as I peddle my way up hills and along trails as I make my way to the proverbial tread mill. I really shouldn’t be complaining as I have a decent job with a good company. I really do have it better than most. I should consider my self thankful to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the world. It was not too many years ago where I had met a Mexican man in Mexico that could not even afford a whole onion and had to buy it by the slice in order to prepare a dinner for his family. Here I am bitching and complaining about riding my mountain bike along a beautiful ocean trail with a full belly and a good job to go to.
What is wrong with me? Why can’t I find content with what is all around me. I feel this pull to get out there and live.