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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life on the Hook

As we set out to attack this new lifestyle, we are leaving with the intention of living on the hook. In nautical parlance, this simply means we won’t spend our time tethered to a dock. This implies having your hook (anchor) holding you in place. Some folks even tie their boats to trees to hold them in place. Living attached to a dock has many benefits including shore power, easy access to facilities, and the like. However, one of our Strategies is to live self-sufficiency and living attached to a dock isn’t that. Does this mean that we will never tie up to a dock? No. It just means that at the outset, the way we plan to live, the way we will rig our boat, the way we will adjust our mind set is that we will live on the hook.

Living on the hook really pushes self-sufficiency. Consider power, ground transportation, and waste.

We will have to figure out ways to create our own electricity. On boats, this comes in a few forms. The obvious is via generator. Many boats do this, but being tied to gas on a sailboat isn’t ideal and we plan on minimizing this form. The other forms include solar panels and wind spun generators. These latter two will most definitely be forms we exploit to the maximum. Of course, energy needs depend upon energy consumption. If we can reduce our needs, then the amount produced by solar and wind may be enough.

Ground transportation is an area that will be a change too. We won’t own cars. Docks have parking, so if you had a car you would have a place to put it. Plus, even if you didn’t have a car, some offer courtesy cars for local runs for food and the like. Being on the hook, we will have to leverage other methods. For example, we will have bikes. We will load out bikes in the dingy, row to shore, off load the bikes, and then go get whatever we need.

Docks have pumping stations for liquid wastes and garbage receptacles for trash. On the hook, different methods have to be used including schlepping your own “stuff” to proper receptacles. Nasty, but that is the way it is done. As a modern family, this will be something we will have to adjust to.

Power, ground transportation, and waste are but 3 of many concerns, but some of the most interesting ones for a modern family to get use to.

Planning for a life on the hook, being as self sufficient as possible, allows us the most flexibility. It also enables us to visit the ports of call that are more of interest to us; the exotic out of the way traveled places.

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