Surf’s Up!

We caught the early (8 a.m.) high tide and hauled Big Surf onto the beach.  We do this by dragging it up two large logs that are run parallel into the shallows like a marine ways.  A winch (as you’d expect) is attached at the high and dry end and, with a little pull and tug, she comes up pretty easily.

Good way to start the day.

But, tragically, Big Surf may be there forever.

When you live remote, looking, sourcing, finding, buying, procuring, acquiring,  and obtaining stuff is a challenge.  We work hard to get. The internet helps but, generally speaking, shopping (comparing and pricing) is too difficult logistically.  Basically, you take what you have time and opportunity to get. My window of access and time is short.   And we hermits are obliged to make fast, executive decisions when it comes to shopping.  “I don’t care what the price is, I am here.  And so is it.  That is magic.  A sign from the Gods. Gimme dat!”

When I am at Home Depot the clerk always asks, “Did you get everything you wanted today, sir?”   I laugh.  “Five out of nine this time.  Not bad. Anything over 50% of what is on my list is a lucky day!” 

As I have said, shopping is a challenge.

But selling!?  Selling is impossible!  Think about it……………

I put an ad on Craigslist: 17′ Surf, good shape but not pretty.  Dry.  No engine.  To view take several ferries, and drive a 4×4 15 kms down a remote logging road, launch a similar boat to the one you are coming to look at and take the following compass bearing until you hit a distant island.  If you have not found me by dark, fire off some flares.  Price is negotiable.

Unsurprisingly, things on islands tend to stay on islands.  It’s the way it is.  Most of my neighbours, for instance, have several boats.  They have to.  It is de rigeur for life abroad.  But, when they get a new one, the old one often just gets ‘hauled up’ and becomes part of the landscape.

This is especially true for vehicles.  Some folks even include appliances in the phenomena.  In fact, anything that is heavy enough to sweat over or invest barging fees in is likely to remain ‘in the remote’ forever.

Boats – because they float away (if they can) – have a theoretical chance for re-use but selling them just requires too much in the way of synchronicity.  Buyer and seller are literally too far apart.   Boats with a chance for a second life (actually, island boats are like cats – they have nine lives) usually go to friends, neighbours and/or family.  They can check out any time they want but they can never leave.

Many are just given away.

Bottom line: I may be the proud owner of Big Surf for a long, long time.

8 thoughts on “Surf’s Up!

    • You are right, of course. Hard to complain about having surplus. Mea culpa. But I was trying more to explain that off-the-gridders are far from the market place. Still, whiny, spoliled brat is deeply part of me and it showed.


      • I wasn’t being critical. I live in a place that is the opposite of your situation, the urban core of Calgary. Minimalism and respect for the environment is not part of the culture here by any means.


      • Well, you were right in both contexts. Excess and garbage is a largely first world problem and, despite my lofty aspirations, I am part of that. No offence taken. How can I ? You are also one of the most regular commentators. And from Calgary, no less? Does Alyson Redford know you’re talkin’ to me?


    • There is an upside to NOT being in the loop. You don’t get hung! Read latest post. Seems being in the loop may mean being slated for disposal. According to Al Gore it DOES mean slated for disposal. They call it downsizing right now. But they have also called it ethnic cleansing in other contexts. Seems the margins are growing wider and many of us ‘in the loop’ will be marginalized. Might be time to find a loophole.


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