Deja Vu

16 12 2013

One of the great things about cruising is coming across fellow cruisers again that you have met along the way. This has happened to us a few times and it is always lovely finding a familiar boat and then seeing an even more familiar face! This was especially true for us this past week. Over a year ago, when we were in North Carolina (Oriental to be exact) we met a french couple Dominique and Francine who were cruising from Montreal to Vancouver, via Caribbean and Panama Canal. We saw them again in Charleson, SC and again in St. Augustine, FL. Then they put their boat on the hard, did some work, and traveled to Montreal and France. We received an email from them a couple of weeks ago saying that they will be traveling down the east coast of Florida. Since we are in Cocoa, Florida, I quickly sent off an email asking them to stop by Cocoa so we could visit. Well last Monday morning I received a phone call from them saying that they would be in Cocoa by the early afternoon! What a pleasant surprise 🙂

We had a lovely week together, catching up, telling cruising stories, playing with Capt’n in Training, taking them shopping, going out to eat and just spending quality time together.

They also had some engine dramas so Capt’n spent two days fixing their engine. They were very happy with the results! Of course because Capt’n is a talented mechanic 🙂

Our French friends left Cocoa Saturday morning for West Palm Beach and then the Bahamas.

Their website is: domorochefort.com. I think you can also email them to be part of their email group for sailing updates.

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Dominique, Capt’n, and Capt’n in Training looking at pictures of some of Dominique’s paintings.

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Francine, Capt’n in Training, and 2IC

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Au Revoir!

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Waiting for Baby to Arrive…

15 12 2013

I am trying to wait patiently for First Mate to arrive. I am finding this waiting business to be a bit difficult. So I am trying to find ways to occupy my time and get my mind off of this waiting game. What better way than to make homemade Christmas presents!

To get some homemade inspiration, I checked out Pinterest. I am not an avid Pinterest user and really had no idea what I was doing. I did a simple “homemade Christmas present” search and came across homemade layered peppermint hot cocoa. Considering my love for peppermint hot cocoa, I thought making some was a great idea. I followed the recipe from this website, http://www.greensnchocolate.com/2011/12/homemade-peppermint-hot-cocoa-mix.html#LfDqdLleIrDcTk4S.03.

I used one pint canning jars. The recipe in the above link is for making one quart of cocoa, so I divided the recipe in half in order to fill my one pint jars. I made six jars of peppermint hot cocoa.

I am also not the craftiest person, so I was unsure how to decorate the jars. I followed the directions (for the most part) off of this website, http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/04/baby-shower-gift-homemade-sugar-scrub.html. The one thing that I did not do was decorate the lid. I initially tried to decorate the lid but I could not close the jar properly and it was all just a bit too complicated so I nixed that idea all together.

I purchased the card stock for decorating at Michaels. I purchased clearance card stock for $.29 a piece. I purchased the canning jars at Target, 12 one pint canning jars for $8.97. I purchased the cocoa ingredients at Target and Publix.  You may be able to find these items cheaper, but being 41 weeks pregnant and toting an almost three year old around, I cannot really bargain shop.

When I was checking out the website maybematilda.com, along with the canning decorating instructions, there were instructions for making homemade sugar scrub. I was intrigued by this idea, so I decided to use the remaining six canning jars to make peppermint sugar scrub. I could not believe how easy it was to make sugar scrub. I will never buy any sugar scrub from the store again!

The recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and drops of essential oil. I used peppermint oil for two reasons: one, to match the peppermint hot cocoa, and two, it is the only essential oil that I own! You simply mix the three ingredients and put it in the canning jar. This project literally took me 10 minutes to complete!

Although the assembly of the cocoa and sugar scrub were pretty fast, what took the longest was decorating the jars. From washing and drying the jars, cutting the card stock, printing labels and instructions, gluing the labels to the jars and waiting for everything to dry, this project took me two days. Now not two days straight, probably two hours the first day and an hour the second day. I worked on this project while Capt’n in Training was sleeping and/or when he was watching The Lorax, his new favorite movie!

Here is the finished project. I can’t wait to give them away as presents! They may be late Christmas presents if First Mate decides to enter the world soon!

I made Peppermint Sugar Scrub and Peppermint Hot Cocoa to give as Christmas presents this year.

I made Peppermint Sugar Scrub and Peppermint Hot Cocoa to give as Christmas presents this year.





Pregnant on a sailboat

10 12 2013

I know that I haven’t written in MONTHS. We have had a lot going on. We felt as if we hit a crossroads of sort. We had to make a big decision: do we stay in Cocoa FL where we have been for a little while, or do we move on to some exotic destination? We have had many in depth discussions on our cruising plans – plans that included selling Dominion and moving back to Australia, Capt’n’s mother country, sailing to the Florida Keys (again), or venture off to somewhere in the Caribbean… After our discussion and no plans made, I discovered that I was pregnant. This exciting news was welcomed by Capt’n and I, but that did alter our plans a bit. So the decision was made for us. We decided to stay in Cocoa on the boat, move to a marina, and Capt’n started working a full time job to support his growing family. We are happy with this decision as we found a great church that we love, Capt’n in Training started going to school two days a week, and we were really happy in the Cocoa FL area.

So these last nine months I have been coping with being pregnant and living on sailboat. When we first moved aboard, Capt’n in Training was almost a year old, so I have never been pregnant living on a sailboat. With my pregnancy with Capt’n in Training, I was able to day sail until my third trimester, when sitting on the dinghy and climbing aboard our 24’ sailboat became a little too difficult for me. But now I had no choice, I had to stay on the boat whether I liked it or not.

Here are some of my issues that I have had to deal with and my solutions:

Sea sickness.

I have become very sea sick since being pregnant with baby #2. The slightest boat movement sent me to bed for about 30 minutes! This had been a big challenge for me the entire pregnancy. When the weather was rough, or the boat was hit with a large wake, my best coping mechanism was to climb into the cockpit, look at the land, and breath the fresh air. As a preventative measure, I are a lot of ginger. I am not a huge fan of crystallized ginger, but I always had some on hand to eat . I also cook with a lot of ginger, drink ginger tea, and eat foods that contain ginger. This method is not perfect, but it has helped me.

 

Morning sickness

It is hard for me to distinguish between morning sickness and sea sickness since I felt the same for both! But how I dealt with morning sickness on the boat was the same that when I lived on land. I bought saltenes crackers in bulk and carried them wherever I went. I also always had some crackers in the aft cabin near our bed so I could eat some crackers before I got out of bed each morning. I felt like my morning sickness was worse with baby #2 because not only did I feel sick, but then the motion of the boat rocking simply added to it! I am very happy to say that my morning sickenss is gone, but I do feel sea sick still every time the boat rocks.

Food cravings

Food cravings have been hard for me living on a boat. When I lived on land and I craved a certain type of food, I owned a car and also knew exactly where to buy said food item. However, living on the boat, not being so familiar with the area, and not having a car made fulfilling my food cravings a bit difficult. I said difficult, not impossible. So I was still able to find my waffles, breadsticks, ice cream, chicken fingers that I felt like I NEEDED, but it just took me a little longer to find them!

Maternal care

I didn’t have the slightest idea on where I wanted to deliver baby #2. I did know that I did not want to deliver the baby on the boat, but I know there are many of you who either have delivered your baby on a boat, or would like to. My first choice was a birthing center but the closest center is in Orlando and I didn’t want to have to drive to Orlando for my appointments and then for the delivery. So I figured that I had to deliver in a hospital. I wasn’t upset about this option, especially since Capt’n in Training was born in a hospital and we had a great experience. But I did know that I wanted a midwife to deliver my baby. I found that one OB in the entire county supported midwives, so that made my decision very easy. I go to Hibiscus Woman’s care in Melbourne and will deliver at Holmes Regional Hospital in Melbourne. This time around I am also planning on getting a doula, and am now in the process of meeting with doulas. I am meeting with doulas who need to witness births before they can be a certified doula. This helps the doulas out and they often do this service for free, which helps me out. So far my experience with the midwives at Hibiscus Woman’s care has been great. There are four midwives in the practice so I will have met with all of them by the time it is time for baby #2 to arrive.

My increase girth and moving around in the boat

I feel like my stomach is getting bigger by the day – well, it probably is. This growing girth makes me a little nervous about maneuvering around Dominion. Dominion does not have the widest companionways, and the galley is another space constraint, but so far I am doing just fine. I can also still climb up and down our companionway ladder and get on and off the boat easily. The biggest problem I have is bending down to picking items off from the floor, or to clean the floor. This is when I really try to get Capt’n in Training’s help and Capt’ns help. Capt’n in Training is sometimes very helpful in picking items up from off the floor, and other times he just adds to the mess! Other times I will wait until Capt’n gets home from work and he will clean the floor for me. He also has the jobs of cleaning the deck, filling the water tanks and filling the solar showers because I can’t walk on deck anymore. Since we spent summer in Florida, we have shade cloths covering the boat and it is tied to a lot of the rigging and I just can’t bend down and climb over these ties anymore. But honestly, I do not mind that I cannot do these chores anymore!

Even doing laundry has become more work than I anticipated. It is hard for me to put our bags of laundry on the dock and then carry them to the marina laundry facilities. I will often wait for Capt’n to get home and bring the laundry to the clubhouse. Theoretically I can make it work by retrieving a marina dock cart and toting the cart up the elevator to the laundry, but then add an almost three year old toddler in the mix and it takes me about 30 minutes just to get to the laundry….

My new project is working on how to have a newborn live on a sailboat. Where the baby will sleep, where the baby will sit, where the baby will play. What they baby will sleep in, what the baby will sit on, and what the baby will play with. I am making some great headway, so I will post my conclusions and plans in the next posting.

I guess I want to encourage all those people out there who are nervous about being pregnant on a boat, that it can be done! And has been done by lots and lots of women. And if I can do it, you certainly can do it!

An update since I wrote a draft of this post but had not published it. I am now officially past my due date. And we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our First Mate. We have felt a ton of support from friends at the marina and friends at church. We cannot wait to meet First Mate.

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Here I am at 41 weeks pregnant.

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Capt’n in Training looking forward to meeting First Mate.

 





Homemade Laundry Detergent

20 06 2013

I grew tired of spending lots of money on laundry detergent. Since I live on a boat and have to carry my laundry to the laundromat, or other place, I could never buy the large, bulk, money saving size of laundry detergent. It took up too much room, and was too heavy to carry. On top of this, I would have to buy two types of laundry detergent: one for clothes and one for cloth diapers. For those of you who use cloth diapers, you know how expensive the detergent can be. The thought then dawned on me: why not make my own laundry detergent? And make a detergent that I can use for both diapers and clothes.

Then I spent about a week researching different recipes for laundry detergent and thinking about the pros and cons of each. I finally decided on the below recipe. I made this while Capt’n was on his trip from the Dominican Republic to Florida, which was about five weeks ago. All in all I can say that a am pretty satisfied with this recipe. I live with a man and a toddler boy, so their clothes always have lots of stains. I haven’t been able to remove all the stains with this detergent. I still have to use a stain fighter solution. I am open to great stain fighting techniques though!

Here is the recipe for laundry detergent

1 box of Borax (4 lb 12 oz size)
1 box of Washing Soda (3 lb 7 oz size)
1 box of Oxyclean Free (3 lb size)
Baking Soda (8 lbs)
3 bars of Dr. Bronner’s Soap (I used two bars of peppermint and one bar of lavender)

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1. Finely grate the three bars of soap.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large five gallon bucket (or whatever large container you want to use).
3. Put detergent in smaller, more manageable containers and enjoy!

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I price checked all items at three places: drugstore.com, Target, and Publix (grocery store). I was surprised to find the items were the least expensive at Publix.

I cannot find the receipt, but from memory here are the costs of the items.

Borax $3.99
Washing Soda $3.99
Oxyclean $7.50
Baking soda $0.75 each
Dr. Bronner’s soap $3.50 each

So the total upfront cost was about $40. But it made a LOT of detergent. Not sure exactly how many loads in total though. The other great thing is that you use less detergent per load because there aren’t any fillers in the detergent.

Now I put the laundry detergent in a smaller glass jar (I am now using a pasta sauce jar) to take with me up to the marina laundry room.





Diapering a baby/toddler while living on a boat

14 06 2013

Probably the number one question I get from both sailors and land lubbers about sailing with a baby is, “So how do you diaper your baby?” I thought about this question long before anyone asked me. 

The big question that I had before we started this whole boating adventure was whether I should use cloth diapers or disposable diapers. But in reality, it wasn’t a difficult decision – I was committed to using cloth diapers for my child. Here are a few of the reasons why I chose to cloth diaper my child while living on a boat:

 I was dedicated to using cloth diapers on my child while living on land, so it made sense to carry on using cloth diapers while living on a boat.

  1. Cloth diapers are more cost effective than disposable diapers. Even taking into consideration that I sometimes have to wash diapers at the Laundromat.
  2. Where am I going to store all those disposable diapers on the boat? Storage space is at a premium and I didn’t want to “waste space” by storing disposable diapers.
  3. Many disposable diapers are non biodegradable. I think about the disposable diapers that I was in when I was a baby just sitting in the landfill probably as intact as they were when my mom threw them out.
  4. Cloth diapers are just so cute! I love the colors and prints of cloth diapers and I love how Capt’n in Training looks in his cloth diapers. 

I admit cloth diapers are not cheap to purchase. When money is tight, it can be difficult spending $20 on one cloth diaper when you can use that $20 to buy two packs of disposables. But to minimize the large upfront cost to cloth diapering, I bought many of my diapers off of Craigslist. I lived in an urban setting before venturing off into the great blue sea, so there were many advertisements selling cloth diapers and I did not have a problem finding second hand diapers. I love Craigslist and have gotten so many good deals. One of the best deals was purchasing one dozen organic prefolds, four covers, and snappis for a fraction of the retail cost! The other diapers I bought were either seconds, or on sale. Some websites have promotions that you can purchase diapers and earn point s to go towards free diapers.  

In addition, I also use cloth wipes. I figure that I am already washing cloth diapers, why not also wash cloth wipes as well – there is no extra work. I purchased my cloth wipes used on Craigslist and also on a website that was selling seconds. I also made my own by cutting and sewing flannel squares. Since I use reusable wipes, I also make wipe solution. There are so many recipes out there on the World Wide Web…. 

My recipe is: 

Add olive oil (not much – but I do not measure it), a few squirts of Capt’n in Training’s soap/shampoo, and water to a water spray bottle. And shake. I simply spray Capt’n in Training’s bottom with the solution and wipe him with dry wipes. It seems to work really well for him.  

So how do I store these diapers when they become soiled? Great question. I purchased two large wet bags for storing soiled diapers. These wet bags have two layers: one inner waterproof layer and an outer cloth layer. The inner layer is supposed to keep any moisture from escaping and the other cloth layer makes the bag look pretty. I have used these bags for about 20 months and they have definitely seen better days, so I am in the market for new ones. To remove soiled diapers the method changes depending on where we are. If we are sailing far enough from shore, I throw the poop into the ocean. Of we are docked or anchored, I throw the poop in the toilet before putting the diaper in the wet bag. To minimize the odor of the diapers once they are in the wet bag, I use a scented powder from Rockin’ Green.  

My washing method also depends on our location. My preferred method to wash diapers is to use a friend’s residential washing machine. This way I can spend time with a friend and save money by washing diapers for free. If I am in a town where we do not know anyone, I either go to the Laundromat, or use a marina’s laundry facilities. When I would go to a Laundromat, I would first rinse out my diapers using a bucket and some cold water. I would then rinse out the diapers and take them to the Laundromat. I would run the diapers through two cycles. The first cycle is a hot wash cycle, using half of recommended laundry detergent, followed by a cold rinse, or wash cycle using white distilled vinegar. I would hang dry the diapers on our life line on the boat. I am currently at a marina where the cost to wash is relatively cheap so I actually run the diapers through three cycles. The first cycle is a cold wash (I cannot select rinse only). I add ½ Tbsp of my laundry detergent to offset the odor. The second cycle is a hot wash cycle using 1.5 Tbsp detergent, and the third cycle is a cold wash cycle using white distilled vinegar. Unfortunately this marina does not allow you to hang dry laundry on your boat, so I have to put the diapers through the dryer. I purchased felted wool dryer balls off of Etsy.com  and throw those in the dryer with the diapers to cut the drying time. On really nice days I will take the diaper covers and lay them to dry in the cockpit. 

But we don’t always have the luxury of washing machines, so we have to find creative ways to wash diapers. Before we moved on our boat, we purchased a hand crank washing tumbler called, “Wonder Wash.” You basically put clothes in the tumbler, add detergent and water, seal the washer and tumble the canister for a few minutes. Then drain the canister, refill with clean water, tumble again and drain. This machine does not spin so you have to manually rinse the clothes and then hang dry. If you purchase this machine, I highly recommend purchasing a devise to wring out the water from your clothes. When I used this devise to wash cloth diapers I would first rinse the soiled diapers in a bucket of cold water before washing them in the wonder wash. This method is very time consuming and uses a lot of muscles and I found it to be difficult as my only washing option. It also uses a lot of fresh water and we do not have a water maker. We would catch rain water and use rain water to wash clothes, or fill collapsible 5 gallon water jugs when we were at shore.

I also make our own laundry detergent that I use for both cloth diapers and our own clothes, and I will post the recipe in a couple of days. 

I hope these explanations were helpful for those of you thinking about living on a boat with children still in diapers. 

In a few months I am sure I will create another post entitled, “Toilet raining a toddler while living on a boat!” 

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Hanging diapers on our life line in Newport, Rhode Island.





Reunited And It Feels So God

8 06 2013

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy at Dominion. We moved our boat, we found out our dog is suffering from kidney failure, Capt’n got a job and then laid off six weeks later, and I am sure there are more things that I can think of. So needless to say this blog has been the last thing on my mind. But here is a (not so brief) update.

I don’t think that I mentioned where we are currently docked…we are in Cocoa Florida. We moved up to Cocoa from our anchorage in Indian Harbour Beach because Capt’n was offered a full time diesel mechanic position. We thought this would be a good opportunity to refill the cruising kitty and try to pay down my student loan (will it ever go away?) To make a long story short, Capt’n got laid off about six weeks after the job (very fishy to me, but I will not speculate on the reasons here). While he was wondering what to do next, we received a phone call from a friend who was in Turks and Caicos and wanted to know if Capt’n wanted to go sailing with him for a while. Capt’n is never one to say no to a sailing opportunity. We agreed that he would go for 10 days and I would hold down the fort until his return. Now remember, Capt’n in Training is a 2.5 year old firecracker and we also have three Jack Russell Terriers – one who is sick and on a demanding medicine/fluid injection schedule. But I thought – I can handle 10 days. I am a modern independent woman! Well, if Capt’n was a writer I would totally have a he said/she said segment to this blog because we had two completely opposite experiences.

I will start off with my 10 days (turned into about 20 days) without Capt’n. At first I thought it would be fun to be alone with Capt’n in Training and do whatever I wanted to do. And to a degree I was right. Tim’s friend rented a car for me so I was able to drive around Central Florida. On that Sunday, we met our niece at Downtown Disney for lunch and a fun afternoon. We ate at T Rex Cafe and Capt’n in training was so excited that he couldn’t even eat a bite of his ribs for lunch! We enjoyed checking out all of the dinosaurs. Stephanie ordered the burger and I ordered the fish tacos. All of the reviews that I read said that you don’t go to T Rex Cafe for the food, but rather for the experience. Well, I thought my fish tacos were delightful. And Capt’n in Training loved his ribs. He ate every single one once we got back to the boat. We had a great rest of the afternoon looking at lego land, sharing a sundae at Ghirardelli (which reminded me of the vacation I took to San Fran in 2002 with two of my friends!) Downtown Disney was basically the highlight of Capt’n’s time away from us.

The day Captn left I decided to take our 10 year old Jack Russell to the vet because he was not looking good. His health has been slowly declining and we had reached the point where we could not justify his health anymore. So I took him to the vet for him to be diagnosed with kidney failure (a chronic, fatal disease). Great. He was given about five different types of medicine and saline solution I had to give him in his subcutaneous tissue. Now for someone who can’t stand needles, or even give blood, I could not believe that I had to stick a needle in my dog, every day! And all of this happened on day 1 of Capt’n leaving. What had I gotten myself into?

We spent the rest of the time taking care of Rolly, keeping Capt’n in Training occupied and working on small boat projects. I say small because I only have about 2 – 3 hours a day (during Capt’n in Training’s naptime) where I can work independently. I cleaned or navigation station (which turns into our dump and run spot – where we put all of our “junk.” I decluttered and deep cleaned the cockpit. And the project I am most proud of is putting up lifeline netting on the entire port side of the boat. We have had lifeline netting from the bow of the boat to the entrance where you walk on the boat, but not the stern. Now that we are at the dock and I want to keep the dogs up on deck (and for Capt’n in Training’s safety, of course), I wanted to finish installing lifeline netting so the dogs (and the toddler) cannot get off the boat. It took me about two days (two nap times) and I finally finished. Granted, I looked like a fool putting up lifeline netting in a skirt and tank top but there was no way I was going to go into the aft cabin to change and jeopardize walking up Capt’n in Training. So after flashing just a couple of people, and suffering only a minor sunburn, we are now reaping the benefits of this lovely lifeline netting.

Now Capt’n was in the Dominican Republic and he didn’t bring a tablet or laptop, so he had to rely on our friend’s computer in order to communicate with me. Well Capt’n rarely had the chance to get his laptop so I didn’t hear from him often. We were in about day 7 and I am getting into a routine and dealing with being a single mom a bit better when I get a voicemail message from a friend we met in St. Augustine. They are now in Luperon, DR. Her message said that she met Capt’n in the anchorage and I swore the message said he would be another 10 days. I almost had a breakdown. I quickly emailed/skyped/facebook messaged her to get an accurate time and thank God she said an additional 5 days. OK, I can handle this I say to myself. But a few days later finally get a phone call from Capt’n. They are in the middle of the ocean and he is only sailing at 2.5 knots and honestly does not know when they will make it to Florida….and then I had a real breakdown. I am learning what my limits are, and I had certainly reached mine! Finally over two weeks after we dropped Capt’n off at the Orlando airport, I get a phone call and they made it to Marathon, Florida! Well, I got the crew together and put them in the rental car and six hours of driving (in Memorial Day weekend traffic) we finally had our reunion! I was looking forward to spending time in the Keys while Capt’n was going to work on our friend’s boat (the reason why he went on the trip in the first place). But life sometimes has other plans. We ended up leaving the Keys on Tuesday instead of Friday and work had not been completed. We are still working out the emotional drama that happened, but the important thing is that Capt’n is home safe and back with his family. Phew! I am so thankful that the family is back together again.

Capt’n’s story is a little different. He spent almost seven days in the DR, eagerly awaiting the sailing voyage to Florida. Capt’n did enjoy seeing Puerto Plata. He loved the change of scenery, and it was a nice and relaxed place.They stayed at Oceanworld Marina, which had a Sea World type park adjacent to the marina.

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Capt’n and the lovebirds at Oceanworld in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

But spending seven days there was a bit long for him – so after threatening to fly back home, they finally left…..for Luperon, DR. I think they had a late start leaving Puerto Plata, so sailed overnight to Luperon. When Capt’n woke up, he looked around the anchorage and saw some friends who we met in St. Augustine Florida. In true Capt’n form, he starts whistling and yelling to get our friend’s attention. A few minutes later, out comes Jack and John! They couldn’t believe that they saw the Australian Cowboy (their nickname for Capt’n). They immediately got into their dignhy and came over to the boat. They were glad to see Capt’n but disappointed that Capt’n in Training nor I were there (ahhh, thanks!) They had a nice reunion and then off Capt’n went for another sailing adventure.

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John, Jac, and the “Australian Cowboy” at the anchorage in Luperon, Dominican Republic.

They stopped in at a few more places, met some lovely people, and then the winds stopped…completely. They were in the middle of the ocean sailing at 2.5 knots. Capt’n finally got the boat Captain to put on the engines so they could go a bit faster! They finally made it to Marathon on a Friday, ready to go to Key West to get hauled out. But of course it was Memorial Day Weekend and they could not get hauled out until Tuesday. And then you have the two stories meet.

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The still still ocean.

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A local Capt’n met along the way.

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The local taxi.

So I am really glad that Capt’n got to go sailing on a nice trip (they sailed over 700 miles), on a beautiful boat, but I am not sure I can cope with him being gone again.

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Here are two photos from T Rex cafe. Capt’n in Training loves dinosaurs!





Cooking on a Boat: Making Pickles

23 04 2013

For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that I am not much of a cook. I don’t find pleasure in baking a cake or cooking a meal from scratch. However, I do love great food. I love to eat great food….so I basically forced myself to learn how to cook so I could eat yummy food. Living on a boat adds a whole new element to cooking and baking. My powerful propane stove and oven has two temperatures: hot and hotter. I started using cookware that I had never heard of before (what is a pressure cooker anyway?) I even became quite proficient in kneading bread (and even have Capt’n in Training participate). 

Well one of the most frustrating things about food and boat life is the actual food shopping.  If we need to go shopping and we are at a port, I cannot be picky as to where I can purchase my food. I can’t bargain shop, cut coupons, go to my local Trader Joes, etc…I am also limited to the brands that I can buy. As someone who does not like to eat any foods with preservatives, I am sometimes stuck between three options: eat the food with preservatives, don’t eat that particular food, or make my own. Which leads me to day’s blog topic: making pickles.

I love dill pickles. But most of the dill pickles in the grocery stores have preservatives. So one day I decided that I would try to make my own. I was pleased at how easy it was to make and how yummy they tasted. The other great thing is that you don’t need any sort of canning equipment, so I was able to make them from the confines of my small boat galley. Now I can’t remember where I put my recipe, so measurements may not be exact – you will have to play around with it.

 

Ingredients:

Fresh pickling cucumbers, washed and free from blemishes

3 cups of water (purified or bottled water is best)

1/2 teaspoon (maybe more?) of non iodized salt. The only non iodized salt I had on hand was Trader Joes Pink Himalayan Salt. 

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, diced

sprinkle of chili flakes

Mason jar or used (but clean) sauce container

 

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1. Wash and clean pickling cucumbers. I used three cucumbers and they filled the container I used. Make sure you remove the blemishes if there are any.

Image2. Slice cucumbers however you want. I made spears and had great texture.

3. Boil water and add salt.

Image4. Dice dill and garlic.

Image5. Place cucumbers, garlic, dill (and chili flakes for spice) in your glass jar. After water boiled and has cooled, pour water and salt solution into glass jar. Tighten jar and put in fridge for one week.

 

Enjoy