8 November 2017: I bought a 2.3 horse Honda outboard for Chuuchki! It was kind of a lot of money for me to spend, but it looks like brand new and cost about half of the list price. It’s tiny. It has two-point-three horses, not twenty-three horses. Think kitchen egg-beater. But it’s small enough for me to handle it easily myself – I can carry it with one hand, actually. It will make it easier for me to do longer-distance adventures, like up to the head of Seldovia Bay, which would be quite a trek if I did it all by rowing. Joe told me about the “outfitter sale” and hauled the motor home in his truck for me (since carrying it on my bicycle would have been… challenging), and helped me get it started to make sure it worked.
My god, I haven’t owned anything with a spark plug for almost five years! This is crazy.
9 November 2017: George Matz, coordinator of the Kachemak Shorebird Monitoring Project, based across the bay, in Homer, wrote to me today. He said, “My purpose in contacting you is to see if you might be interested in participating in next spring’s shorebird monitoring, but in Seldovia Bay. When we did some aerial surveys a few years ago, the most shorebirds we saw were in the upper part of the bay. It would be nice to get some data from there to see how it correlates with the Homer Spit. I’m pretty sure that the shorebirds that stopover at Seldovia Bay don’t come to the Homer Spit.” I was able to write back, “Of course, I would be interested in participating in the 2018 shorebird monitoring. Interestingly enough, a friend of mine gave me a small boat this fall and just yesterday I bought an outboard for it. So, I should (fingers crossed it all works) be able to access the upper part of the bay now.” Interesting timing. I love it when things align like that. One possibility or action leads to the universe offering up other possibilities… It makes me feel like I might be on the right path, rather than being wildly irresponsible. Rather than being completely nuts for buying an outboard.
10 November 2017: Found the outboard manual on line and spent quite a lot of time reading it this morning. It’s a four-stroke, water-cooled engine, with on on-board gas tank for straight gas (not mixed gas, like a chainsaw). Good thing I read the manual, as we assumed at first that it was an air-cooled engine that used mixed gas. We could have destroyed it so easily. Here I am again, on the upward slope of a learning curve. Climb, baby, climb!