It’s been one week since I stopped working the construction job. My body is already thanking me. I can once again bend over and touch the ground. When I was still working, my back and legs were so constantly sore that performing such a seemingly simple task was a near impossible feat. I had to sleep on a heating pad every night for 3 months. I met a lot of great people, learned some new skills, and, funnily enough, had a pretty good time working a very physically demanding job. In the end, the job served its temporary purpose and for that I’m grateful.
You may remember that Jodi hatched, arguably, a more harebrained idea than living on a sailboat. Well, it has become EVEN more harebrained. Our (her) new plan is to ditch the camper idea and simply camp out in a tent. You read that right, we plan on living in a tent for a short (or long, who knows) period of time while we drive around and try to find some place to settle.
We got to do a little off-grid backwoods living practice while on the boat as our fresh water pump (aka The Antichrist) decided to quit working . . . AGAIN. We were without water pressure for about a week. We had to live out of water jugs. I thought I had made a post or two about this little bastard, but apparently I have not. AVOID Jabsco 36500-2000 pumps if you live on a boat. I would advise avoiding pretty much anything made by Jabsco to be honest. This pump has NEVER self-primed, though it is supposed to. We have spent well over $400 in spare parts over the past 4 years keeping it running. A new one costs close to $400. The only thing reliable about it is it reliably breaks every 6 months.
It hides behind all the stuff under the sink. Here, the light is shining on it. I suppose the little pump itself is not to blame. It was made to be what it is. I suppose a lot of us fall in that same category.
Regardless, I finally said, “To hell with this piece of crap! A new Shurflo pump is as much as the repair kit for this thing.” I ordered a Shurflo Aqua King II 3 GPM pump.
The install went super easy. I turned it on and just about fell off the boat. The darn thing self-primed in less than 10 seconds and we had pressurized fresh water again. Oh the comforts of modern first world countries.
Jodi and I stopped by REI the other day for Jodi to look around. We purchased some socks that were on clearance: balega Silver No Show Running Socks. We were both sorely in need of new socks. Good socks. I had picked up a pair of these last week and really liked them. Time will tell if they last.
We then stopped by the Container Store to look at plastic boxes that we can use to store clothes and stuff in the Outback. That store kind of made my skin crawl. All the unnecessary and trivial crap that is sold to store a bunch of unnecessary and trivial crap. “Just imagine walking into your closet and it being this beautiful,” I heard a salesman say to a lady. “Oh, it’s gorgeous,” she retorted, “Simply gorgeous.”
All that being said, they had some necessary plastic boxes that we could use to store our few necessary clothes, sundries, and paraphernalia. And a pretty nifty collapsible silicone/plastic wash tub. We didn’t purchase anything as we were just browsing, getting ideas.
After that, we decided to head over to the Seabrook Hike and Bike Trail and do a little walking. We purchased a Biolite Camp Stove 2 bundle a couple of weeks ago and needed to pick up some twigs for fuel to test it out. It was nice taking a walk with no timeline, no destination, and no plans. I took a few pics and we saw quite the variety of wildlife. Butterflies, turtles, Yaupon Holly in full color, dragonflies, cranes, Bluebirds, and deer. Hopefully, in the next few months, walking and enjoying nature in the wild outdoors will encompass the majority of our days. And there won’t be the ubiquitous flare stacks just over the horizon.
When we got back to the boat, I figured I might as well test out the Biolite Camp Stove. This thing is a wonderful idea: use twigs, pine cones, or other small forms of solid biomass to charge a small battery and cook. And it’s smoke free. All the marketing makes it sound easy and wonderful. I used it to simply boil 1L of water to make some tea. It was quite the task and was only partially smoke free. I’m sure I need practice to figure out the “perfect” twig size and the precise amount of said twigs to put in the combustion chamber for optimum performance. Right now, I’m stoked about the idea of burning small twigs and pinecones for cooking. I will reserve final judgment until I have used and experimented with it further.
I started “cleaning” out the boat. We’ve already downsized and minimized twice and now we are doing it again. There are numerous boxes in storage at Bethany’s house currently. Just seeing the lot of them made me feel uncomfortable. How can we STILL have that much stuff? Granted, it’s power tools, our small generator, a few boxes of the precious few books that we have held onto, and some other things. But, man, by my count, we still have lots of stuff. We’ve started ridding ourselves of the stuff that we no longer need. Ebay, Craigslist, dumpster, other people. Maybe one day we’ll get to the point where everything we have is only what we require.
And one day that seed will be a tall Sycamore as well.