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Learning to live on water

I have been asked multiple times recently about how I learned about boats, how to sail and a myriad of other things lately. Here is a little bit I have thrown together in case someone out there might be interested in being a liveaboard in the Santa Cruz harbor.

As soon as I got the idea to be a liveaboard I researched on my own, through friends and through the internet and within two months I had bought my boat and completely moved out of my former living space.

This link is a journal of someone who became a liveaboard. He is a great writer with a sense of humor and very insightful about the things you will need to know. Read everything on this site: Sleeping With Oars

This link is the noaa sailing conditions webservice. Always refer to this and refer your friends to it when planning to sail.

This is the link to the Santa Cruz Harbor. This has news, slip information, rules, regulations, etc…

Here is where I looked for boats to buy:
Craigslist
Yachtworld
Pacific Yachts
Wizard Yachts

Remember that to get into the Santa Cruz south harbor with a sailboat you will need a boat between 27 and 32 feet with a tabernacle mast. If the mast does not tabernacle it can be modified to tabernacle if it is a deck-stepped mast and not a keel-stepped mast. You will want either an outboard motor or an inboard diesel engine. For loan purposes, you will want a 1980 or newer, unless you have cash.

When I finally had the boat I needed to learn to sail. I tried scheduling a class with someone to learn but the person never showed up and I decided that if you don’t need a license to sail, it couldn’t be that hard. I read two books:

Sailing Fundamentals
Chapman Bible

Also on my first trip out I had my grandmother and grandfather there to answer all of the questions I still had after reading that book. They were very helpful and I suggest going out the first couple times with someone who knows how to sail. The hardest parts to understand are right-of-way, tacking/gibing and setting the sails based on the wind angle.

I have now lived on the boat for 7 months and gone on 12 sailing trips.

-Aaron

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Maddie, Daddy and Daddy

In case you are not in “the know”, our friends Randall and Vinny have had a baby! Maddie is healthy and cute and I have never seen her two fathers happier than they are now. For more baby goodness you can visit their baby blog and here is a picture:

-Aaron

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Adventures in Interwebbing


As you may know, this service is provided to me by a company called Stagecoach Wireless. The service is pretty good, sometimes there are outages or very low bandwidth that make it impossible for me to do things like raid in WoW or watch movies in Hulu (two of my most common internet pastimes). Overall it is great to have a reliable and affordable access point from my boat, in fact it is a requirement for my living situation.

So a few weeks ago my wireless internet went down. I contacted the owner of this internet service who may or may not live there on the Harbor but now it says his voice mailbox is full an all of my support emails to his company have bounced. Now, I have pre-paid for a full year of this service, 6 months of which has been rendered. Also, I am a little worried about him. The last time I heard from him was April 23rd. I called the Harbor Police and they are looking into the matter.

In the meantime, I just could not live that long without internet service. I looked into the available wireless broadband services (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) and decided to try the AT&T service since it has a 30 day return policy. So far it seems to work pretty well, in fact marginally faster than the wireless service I was using. The major problem seems to be with the limits of usage. I am allowed 5GB of upload/download per month. They have a handy website that you can monitor your usage with and this pro-rated billing cycle is 13 days long. For that 13 days I am allowed 2.2GB. As of today I have used 1.6GB of that watching 7 shows (~4 hours) on Hulu, zero WoW raids plus some light browsing. Something tells me this arrangement will be disappointing and expensive.

Update: The harbor called and said they were able to get him to answer and he is on vacation. One would think he would have someone take care of his business while he is away on vacation, you know, in case someone has a problem that causes them to not have internet for 18+ days. I knew that it was a likely possibility and I am sort of sorry to have bothered him but, I also feel a little bothered. I was already calling local ISPs inquiring if they would be interested in filling in that opportunity to provide service to the harbor. Even now, the problem seems to be either a mis-configured or damaged wireless bridge that took him 4 weeks to deliver to me when I first started the service. I feel like as an American, internet service is an inalienable human right. This situation is very trying for me.

-Aaron

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Star Trek Experience

Well, due to some mis-information I went to see the midnight showing of Star Trek on Wednesday. The movie is EXCELLENT though I won’t go into details as that would spoil it for everyone else who is going on Friday. I did make a costume:

Unfortunately I cannot afford to rent the electric wheelchair twice so I won’t get to wear it on Friday, but I did have fun the first time. The theater even let me use the super secret wheelchair cave!

-Aaron

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Funny pictures that will live long and prosper.



-Aaron