Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

to face reality


Endless summer or not, the reality is that winter will come and we need to be prepared. These days of sun and calm waters are excellent for getting supplies in and mandatory outdoor chores finished up.. Nothing worse than lugging propane tanks up and down slippery wet boat ramps.

We went to the Husky on Tuesday for propane. The fridge alone uses 1 1/2 pounds of propane a day. The on-demand hot water and stove use the rest. We took four empty forty pound propane tanks to the fuel station.  E first carried them each (32 pounds) up the hill from our house, onto the pickup truck, off the pickup truck and down the ramp and onto the boat. Then off the boat and up the ramp to the car and then we drove to the station. All of that again in reverse but when full they each weigh 70 pounds. The propane should last us till December. We grabbed two jugs of diesel while we were there.. We will need six more to fill the diesel generator. The generator runs the electric system when the solar panels aren’t enough.

Our firewood is chopped and ready for the winter and the box next to the back (front) door is full and ready for the first fire of the season. The island is still tinder dry and all open fires are banned. We are still sleeping with all of the windows open and when we got up the house was 18 degrees and the temperature outside measured at 11 degrees.

One advantage of the drought is that our water tanks are easier to clean when they are empty. It’s a good job to do every year or so. E pumped the neighbours well for 18 minutes (thanks W’s) and was able to power wash the interior of all three tanks. MR had told us about a vacuum he had built to clean his tanks which worked much like a swimming pool vacuum. So E went into his shop and built one.. Out of copper tubing he soldered a bunch of elbows and t’s to make our own water tank vacuum… Attached to a hose and with the power of a hand fire pump to create the suction to start the siphon… we vacuumed the interior of one of the 500 gallon tanks.

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We will do the other two this afternoon. We ran out of time yesterday.

Our Alaskan adventurer friends treated us to dinner last night at the Crow on the island. Daylight is running out earlier and earlier so we headed over at four.. Drinks in the garden before a very hearty pub meal inside. We snuck back across the water at eight, just before dark. We couldn’t have delayed our return much longer. The days are decidedly shorter. We had a great time and it is sure fun to have them back on the island..

The wine and good food we have consumed in the last month has been very enjoyable indeed.. But it has to come to a stop…. Can’t keep this up or I am going to be the size of a house.. Back on the F.E.D. diet today.. No matter how we spend our time drinking lazing in the sun during the summer, in the winter you have

to face reality

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

2 thoughts on “to face reality

  1. Amazing invention for cleaning the insides of those #$%^! cisterns. It’s not really the cisterns that are so #$%^!, it’s the CLEANING. Much better than all the times I’ve crawled inside them!!! 🙂

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