Our Onboard Library

"Mexico Boating Guide"
"Cruising Ports: Florida to California via Panama"
"Exploring the
Pacific Coast"

"MexWX "

"Alternative Medicine"
"First Aid Afloat"

Encyclopedia Britannica"

Creek Street - Ketchikan, Alaska

In our previous homes on land, we had many books, mostly reference books in fields of our interest such as boating, maintenance, cruising, fishing, alternative health, and health/diet topics.  They filled our bookshelves and closets with the overflow in boxes stacked in our garage at home as well as in the garages we keep at the Oak Harbor Marina for boat related storage.

When we decided to cut our land ties and have only Dreamer, and of course, some storage of personal things we have to keep for someday, many decisions have had to be made regarding what goes onboard, what stays behind and what is given away.  These are tough choices for a couple of pack rats to make.  But we do what we have to do.  

As I write this, we are still in our waterfront condo here in Oak Harbor, it's early in the morning and about 35 degrees outside.  We had wind with rain, hail, sleet and snow yesterday, then the wind died down and sun came out and melted it all away.  Winter in the Pacific NorthWest between Christmas and New Year's Day.   Makes one dream about warmer climates.

One of the things we have wished we had for many years is to have all our reference books in digital format on CD-ROM or DVD by category so that we could do research using a word search option.  In outfitting Dreamer, we decided quite a few years ago to have a main computer system together with printer and scanner.  And so we have cruised for the past six years, equipped to print out our charts in advance of a trip leg in the event our navigation system went out.  We have used the scanner with its automatic document feed to scan in many articles and documents to reduce the amount of storage space they would have required.  We are also researching the kinds of software available that will make our task of scanning and converting the scanned image to a text file while maintaining any pictures that are a part of the scanned document.  

With literally tens of thousands of pages to scan and file in an organized manner, the choice of software is critical to our success.  We will post our decisions here when we make them.

Where possible, we will try to obtain a digital version to use instead of the hard paper version we have.  Otherwise, the choice will be to scan and process, bring the hard version or leave behind.  With Internet access, we know we can find information online, but we still have our favorite reference books we want with us and there may be times when we won't have good Internet access.  There also hundreds of newsletters we will wish to access for their information.

"To Be Continued"