The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to

Surfing (6)

Surfers Hotel in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Shelter Publications had a visit from Steve Pezman, the co-creator and recently-retired editor of Surfer’s Journal, and his long-time surfing buddy, photographer Leo Hetzel. Steve interviewed @lloyd.kahn and Leo shot photos for an article in the magazine. This was the cover of a scrapbook Lloyd made of a surfing trip to Costa Rica in 1990. It shows Kurt Van Dyke on the balcony of his hotel for surfers in Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean coast southeast of Puerto Limón. When he saw Lloyd about to take a picture, Kurt said, “Classic, eh?”

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Electrician Builds Off-Grid Van to Surf the World

Imagine waking up each day in a stunning new location, stepping outside your home, grabbing your surf board and hitting the waves. Kiwi electrician Johnny Johnston is living that dream, traveling and working all over New Zealand while hunting down the countries best surfing locations all in his converted van.

Johnny’s van is completely self contained, with toilet, kitchen, living area, bed and of course stunning and ever changing views. As an electrician he has installed an impressive solar system in the van to keep his adventures powered up and to help make his van home regardless of where it’s parked up…

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Visit from Cyrus Sutton and Anna Ehrgott


Cyrus Sutton and his girlfriend Anna Ehrgott dropped by the Shelter office last week. Cyrus is a surfer, director, photographer, and all-around amazing person. His girlfriend Anna Ehrgott is just as an amazing person as Cyrus: a great surfer, she started her own surfboard bag company, Sagebrush Bags (made with recycled coffee bean sacks), and is an amazing photographer.

I met Cyrus the other year when we were working on Tiny Homes on the Move; he had just built a van for a trip down the West Coast in search for surf (featured in the film Compassing, below). He just sold the van recently to the owner of one of the local surf shops and happened to be in town for a week. Cyrus recently got the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and has plans to do some conversions soon.
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ANIÁN Surf Shop in Victoria, BC

Annian surf shop


I did a tour for Tiny Homes on the Move a few months ago in British Columbia. On my way into Victoria, I noticed a little complex of buildings constructed out of used materials. I stopped in and met the owners. Everything was perfect. A tiny village in a kind of industrial area, built out of scrap, clothing manufactured in Canada (I bought 3 beautiful wool T-shirts), surfboards, an outdoor stage. I asked Paul and Nick to send us a writeup of what they are doing:

What started as a trip to the beach has grown from infatuation into obsession. Created in 2013, ANIÁN represents travel, adventure and nomadic culture. ANIÁN products showcase the beauty within simplicity and the importance of quality. ANIÁN clothing is made in Canada to ensure a quality product and fair wages for those who make it.

Nick and Paul, the two owners of ANIÁN (named after a mythical channel between Asia and the Americas) have transformed a rundown lot used for storing dumpsters in Victoria, B.C., into Canada’s first 100% solar, off-the-grid store. The store is best described as a cabin in the woods in the city. It is complete with a lawn, junipers and a small outdoor stage where local artists come to play all powered by four 250-watt panels, one 80-amp charge controller and eight 210 amp-hour, 12-volt batteries. By showing people that going 100% solar in a downtown location is possible they hope to inspire others to follow their lead.

ANIÁN is comprised of an outdoor stage, showroom/retail store, an interactive work shop, and a shipping container where finished goods are stored. 95% of everything is either made or covered in reclaimed material.

Most of the materials came from an old blimp hanger in the Comox valley (central Vancouver Island) where some of the material was pieces of Douglas fir up to 40 feet long.

The interactive workshop is built entirely out of the Douglas fir. The tongue-and-groove pieces ruggedly fit together, giving it a wonderfully rustic feel. The floor of the showroom is one laminated beam cut in half and then bookmarked into four amazingly golden white 3½-inch-thick ten-foot-long boards. All of the patio and boardwalk decking is made of four-inch wide Douglas fir tongue-and-groove. Slightly thinner planking; 2½-inch tongue-and-groove was used for the stage. The shipping container is faced with cedar shakes to help it seamlessly slip into this downtown escape.

Along with showcasing ANIÁN and providing Paul and Nick a place to display their coastally nomadic clothing the location has proven to be a great as a destination for outdoor musical festivals and charity fundraisers.

Next time you find yourself in Victoria, stop by 516 Discovery Street.

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Drew's Veggie-Powered 4×4 Mitsubishi Delica Van

Diesel 4x4 Surf Van

Drew and Justin

I have been seeing this van around for a few weeks and trying to catch up with the driver. I love these vans and wish California/U.S. Customs would relax some of their crazy import laws and allow some of these in. I finally found them in Bolinas today! This is Drew De Panacis and his friend Justin Artuso. They are on a surfing/rock climbing road trip from Vancouver, Canada and went as far south as Big Sur for surf and out to the sierras for rock climbing. They are slowly making their way back up to the great north and hitting as much good surf as they can along the way. The van is a 4×4 diesel and it has a veggie conversion kit on it and holds 35 gallons of oil. To get something like this in America, you’d really only have one option — a Sportsmobile — which start out in the $30-$40k range for a used one. These Delicas go from $5-$10K in Canada which makes them a lot more affordable to younger folks and people who don’t make a ton of money.


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