I just took a nap, and something magically productive happened.
One of my firm goals with sailing full time with Ad Astra is to nap more often. I see no good reason why we do not simply nap when we are tired. Anyone who knows me well knows that when I get tired I can be quite irritable, and that is not a great trait for being on a boat full time. With a boat, you need to slow the fuck down. Really slow down. Cannot be in a hurry. Weather, parts, trades, airplanes, dozens of logistical gremlins get in the way of The Plan. The Plan and Your Expectations are the demons that lead to needless damage to equipment, injury, death and most usually relationship friction. It is actually a matter of core safety.
That is a key goal for me over the next six months. At our dojo, Elite Martial Arts, sensei John Roberson puts up monthly goals for people to pursue with some public accountability — pushups everyday, more cardio, reduce clutter and other life goals. For me it has to be Slow Down. I have been working hard since I started in the game industry back in 1994. My craziest week was 125 hours, but many many weeks I did 70–90 hours. I remember early in my marriage when Kyle was young, Kaiwen would bring Kyle to the Taldren studio so I could see my newborn boy, and I would look at him, overwhelmed and simply turn around and go back to work. There was nothing cool or redeeming about it. But I did it. We shipped the games. The publishers made some money. Our employees had jobs. Not the worst thing in the world. But not the best thing in the world.
For the last two months I have been working at a breakneck speed to prepare our house to be sold, and to get rid of all of our stuff. I have had a ridiculous amount of help, professionals, friends from the dojo, friends from homeschooling and friends from the game industry. Even still we did not take a single day off in two months. Kyle and Max also worked very hard, I am very proud of them. That was the right thing to do for every day we stayed in Austin paying a mortgage, trades, eating out, and paying for Ad Astra without charter customers is pure burn in the the thousands of dollars per day. So it was appropriate to work hard. But now we are on the boat.
This nap? So check this out, I have two new systems on the boat: a Spectra Newport 400 water maker and a pair of solar panels on top of the new hard bimini on the fly bridge. After fully provisioning Ad Astra with $1000 worth of food and supplies, emptying our owner’s locker of an embarrassing amount of stuff, and getting most of the boat sorted it was time to get the boat moving. Our first destination being Cooper Island an easy motor to windward of just about an hour. We wouldn’t be sailing, but we would be getting the boat to swing freely on a mooring so she can get a proper breeze. I didn’t choose to install A/C on Ad Astra, as it is an expensive add-on and breaks down relatively commonly, and honestly the only time I want it is when I am tied up in a marina without getting access to a breeze. And I do not want to spend my time tied up in a marina. We would also be able to check out the engines, and dinghy and other systems. Cooper Island is also a green resort with their own power generation and rainwater collection, and I had to check up and see how their CRAFT BREW system was working as they were just getting started with the build last summer. Now, I am enjoying the fruits of their labor $2.50 a pint at happy hour for a craft IPA that tastes like Lagunitas brewed 100 feet away.
We motored just one hour, and then picked up a mooring ball with no drama, Kyle and Max knew what to do without hesitation. Later we could enjoy that inappropriate self-satisfied smugness watching other people fail with their mooring attempts. We were those guys before, now we are not. I think it is okay to feel smug as long as you keep it to yourself? So back to this nap. We were tired, despite it being just 2:30 in the afternoon, we already accomplished a bunch of boat chores. So we napped. But first! I pressed the button on my new Spectra Watermaker to auto-run for one hour. I did not turn on the generator on purpose, the house bank was at 12.6V and I wanted to see how the systems work. Went to sleep, woke up an hour later. The water maker had already put itself into auto shutdown procedure, after making us about 15 gallons of reverse osmosis water. The house battery was down to 12.3V and then the water maker turned off. Moments later the house came back up to 12.4V. As I stared slack-jawed, it came up to 12.5V. In celebration I jumped off the boat and enjoyed the 82 degree caribbean water. In case this seems stupidly geeky to you, several amazing things are going on: First of all we can make our own water. Plenty of water. This is absolutely key as having access to a freshwater shower at will gives a +5 to morale checks for a radius of 60 feet. Also it means that Su-Kuei can indulge her hobby of washing any stray t-shirt that has been mislaid for 30 seconds without imperilling everyone with dehydration. Directly, it means that Ad Astra can sail with much more latitude. And the solar bringing the house battery backup? It means that we can keep the batteries much more healthy and full, and we can avoid using the diesel generator for small stuff and of course it is another layer of redundancy on Ad Astra. We have three methods of generating power for the batteries: running the engines, running the generator, and solar!
Happy hour is over here at Cooper Island. The sun is setting, and we have better food on the boat. I am going to pack my laptop back into the waterproof bag, and get back to Ad Astra for some gourmet food from Su-Kuei!