Thursday, December 19, 2013


A steady breeze from the Northeast eased my kayak along. I'd paddled out far enough from the island to catch the wind. Occasionally it was necessary to paddle a bit to keep from getting too far from land. The water is clearer here than I remember. The bottom slid by, every feature visible. The fish, the birds and me, all moving along.

When the end of the island came in sight, I paddled towards shore. By staying close to shore, most of the wind was blocked and I could paddle back to the campsite. That was pretty much my day. After that it was lying around in the sun, reading a good book.

Apparently the world kept turning just fine without me. Nothing too profound about that, but sometimes it's nice to not be too important. Responsibilities are on hold for the duration.

Of course, it's not really paradise. Late at night the paving crew was hard at work. There were times when the sound of heavy equipment drowned out the lapping of the waves. Not for long, but long enough. Then there are rats. Most people camping here don't even know these islands are infested with them. That's pretty much the nature of warm islands everywhere. Our dog, true to the terrier part of her genes, wants to catch them badly. Had her leash been longer, she probably would have. Then there are the occasional biting insects.

But guess what? I'm still happy to be here. The work crews shut down. The rats keep their distance and we are careful with our food and trash. A little insect repellent keeps the bugs at bay. Beats the heck out of freezing. I'll take a real island over some mythical paradise any day.



  1. You know, they say rats taste just like squirrels. Guess that might be one way to save on expenses. (I know, my wife doesn't like the idea, either!)

    1. I've always said that I'll try ALMOST anything once, though I've never worked up nerve enough for possum. My wife says that I'll eat anything that doesn't eat me first.

  2. Glad the kayak is working out so well...

  3. Nothing too profound about that, but sometimes it's nice to not be too important. Responsibilities are on hold for the duration. There were times when the sound of heavy equipment drowned out the lapping of the waves.

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  4. Six Bears,

    Just found your blog and will be following. I just stumbled onto you while looking at examples of converted ambulances. I just purchased a 1992 Moduvan ambulance (it looked like yours was a Moduvan as well). I will be converting it a bit at a time, while also using it as a commuter condo. I'm a software engineer who lives 88 miles (or 3hrs by car) from my office. I normally ride my Harley, but have been dealing with a back issue that's prevented it. No Harley means no commuter lane and instead of a 1.5 hour tolerable commute, it grows to 2.5 and up to 4hrs each way. I don't mind spartan living, so I searched for a used diesel van and ran onto the ambulance. I think it's gonna work out great.
    A few years back, I llived completely off of the grid for 4 years. Just me n my dog a mile up a gravel road, 22 miles out of town. Best time of my life. I was cracking up when you were talking about rats. Livin in a trailer in the woods for 4 years you become exceptionally well acquainted with wood rats. I also had goats. The damn rats hat the worst habit of pickup up goat droppings and filling my drawers with them. I guess they ate the things like almond roca or something. There was a period of a month that I was away from my trailer, and when I returned, my silverware drawer was filled to the point of non-opening with goat turd.
    And once you have rats, you get snakes. In the area I was living, rattle snakes were fairly plentiful (ate at least one of them a week during the warmer months). There was once a time I was sitting on the john and out from behind the toilet and slithering across the floor between my legs shot a snake. Thinking rattler, I didn't move a muscle. It ended up being just a gopher snake. It shot across the floor and squeezed into one of the heater vents. No doubt it was busy sourcing rats in my heater ducts and walls.

    1. And to think I thought it bad when I found my dresser full of dog food.

      The van/camper conversion has been loads of fun. Got some strange looks, but lots of thumbs up too.

      Welcome to the blog.

    2. BTW... I read about you using a CPAP. Last night I converted my CPAP (a respironics model) over to 12v cigarette lighter outlet. No more need for 110 or inverters. Plus the thing barely sips the juice on 12v. I hate the idea that I gotta have power to breathe at night.
      The Name's Dale BTW. I gotta figure out how to not be anonymous on these replies. Well met. I do enjoy reading your posts.

  5. It wouldn't bother me to eat one. Not a nasty city rat, bu one from the country might be Okay. It's just a squirrel with a naked tail, right?

  6. Glad to see you making the best of a good time. I almost got relaxed just reading about it!