Food Dehydration

18 11 2014

Capt’n and I had talked for ages about dehydrating food for the boat. For us, there are many benefits to dehydrating food. Dehydrated food lasts a lot longer than fresh food, which is good for sailing long passage or if we are in remote areas with no access to stores. Dehydrated food takes up a lot less space than their hydrated counterpart. This is a big advantage since storage space is at a minimal on a boat. Dehydrated food is expensive. Who doesn’t love some dehydrated apples or pineapples? If you go to the store you will find that dehydrated foods are pretty costly, and they also may have sugar or preservatives added to the fruit. In the end, there may actually be very little “fruit” ingredient at all.

However, there is a problem with dehydrating food on the boat. Namely we don’t have a dehydrator. I have read about dehydrating food using an oven. I believe I would have to run the oven about 12 hours for each batch of food. We have a propane oven and the cost of having the oven on for 12 hours plus the heat the oven would bring in the boat made this option impossible. Luckily we were discussing our dehydrating idea to some people at church who own a dehydrator and graciously let us borrow it for two weeks.  So two weeks this summer I did nothing but buy food, prep food, dehydrate food, and package food. I was so thankful to use this dehydrator but also glad to return it. I didn’t realize dehydrating took so much work.

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The dehydrator we used was a Nesco Professional Food and Jerky Dehydrator (http://www.nesco.com/products/Dehydrators/Dehydrators/FD-75PR-5-Tray-Snackmaster-Pro-Food-Dehydrator/). This dehydrator is a circular style dehydrator that comes with five trays. Our friends bought additional trays and I think there were nine trays in total. Overall, I was pleased with this dehydrator. The dehydrator did its job, meaning the food became dehydrated. I did have to baby the dehydration process a little bit. The dehydrator fan is at the top of the dehydrator so naturally the food on the upper trays would dry out faster than the food on the lower trays. In addition, the food closer to the center would dry out faster than the food on the edge of the trays. So a few times during the dehydrating process I would rotate the trays and move the food around from the middle to edge of each tray.

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The dehydrator does take up a bit of space and space is another thing we don’t quite have a lot of on a boat. Capt’n rigged up an extension cord to the cockpit and I put the dehydrator in the cockpit for the two weeks of dehydration. If we didn’t have the dehydrator in the cockpit I don’t know if I could have dehydrated because I would not have counter/prep space in the galley.

Prepping the food was also a time consuming process. I say time consuming because when you have a three year old and a six month old anything that takes more than 10 minutes is time consuming. I would have to wash, core, peel, slice, cut pounds and pounds of fruit and vegetables to dehydrate. I would go to the produce store every other day to stock up on fresh produce. As for veggies, I also went the route of buying frozen vegetables to save time.

All in all we dehydrated the following fruit and vegetables (I forget the volume of each):

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Apple

Pineapple

Strawberry

Corn

Pepper (Capsicum)

Broccoli

Bean

Pea

Spinach

Kale

Asparagus

Carrot

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After we dehydrated the fruit and veggies we vacuum sealed them to retain freshness.  We labeled the contents of each bag and the date that we vacuum sealed the dehydrated produce.

I am not an expert at dehydrating or rehydrating the food, so tried to cook meals using the dehydrated veggies. I made a stir fry using the dehydrated vegetables (and rice). I did not tell Capt’n that I used dehydrated veggies. After the meal I told him and he said that the veggies rehydrated nicely. I also used some of the veggies in soups.

As for the fruit, I have always loved dehydrated fruit so it was actually hard for me not to eat it all while I was dehydrating them. I love the way they apples and watermelon turned out.

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Although this project was a lot of work and wasn’t cheap, it was well worth the effort knowing we have a small stock of dehydrated produce for future sailing voyages.

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Friday’s Top Five: You know you live on a boat when…

19 04 2013

I think we could all use something silly and lighthearted today.

I saw a fellow liveaboard friend at church on Sunday walking around fellowship hall with her iPad and cell phone, with chargers, looking for an outlet to charge her electronics. I approached her and jokingly said, “You know you live on a boat when…..you bring all your electronic devices and chargers to shore and charge them.” We both chuckled and came up with a couple of other, “you know you live on a boat when…” and I said this would be a great Friday top five!

You know you live on a boat when….

  1. You are on shore and proceed to use every single restroom you see to enjoy the comfort of pressure running water and an automatic flush!
  2. You are invited to go over to a friend’s house and proceed to bring your laundry along with a dish to share…after all, you don’t know when is the next time you will be able to do laundry!
  3. You bring all of your electronic devices with chargers and charge them every time to go to shore, whether it is at a friend’s house, restaurant, church!
  4. You are in a restroom on shore and you look for the instructions to flush the head. Each boat has its own specific way of flushing and many have instructions posted in the head.
  5. You are using a sink on shore and you look on the floor for the pedal to pump the water! (I do this one all time time. We do not have pressure water and need to pump water by using a foot pedal. It is sort of like after driving a stick shift for a while and you switch to an automatic, your foot still pushes down on the imaginary clutch!)

That’s all. Short and sweet. Happy Friday. Hope it is looking more like Spring every day where you live.





Friday’s Top Five: Wish List

29 03 2013

I want to first apologize to you if there are weird typos or glitches in todays blog entry.Our wifi booster broke (completely our fault, not the booster’s fault), and so I am writing this post on Thursday afternoon on my iPad at a friend’s house. So I guess this post will be a testament to see how we’ll the WordPress app works and if I can successfully use the “publish” tab correctly…

Today’s top five list is a list of items that we would love to have on Dominion. When you read this list you may think that these items are necessities and every boat should have them! When we bought our boat in March 2011, it was in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on the hard, with the engine in pieces. With all the work that Capt’n had to do on the boat, we were lucky to splash in November 2011. So our actually wish list is quite long, but I will narrow down our list to five items.

1. Autopilot. I am not actually sure if this item can be included in our wish list since we do have an autopilot on board, but it is in a box somewhere in the boat, and not actually in working order yet…So I WISH we had an installed, fully functional autopilot for Dominion. In my world, this is why an autopilot is divine: for one thing, it would stop Capt’n from calling me over to the helm every time he needed to look at a sail, check the engine, and whatever else Capt’n feels he needs to do. I think he can sense when I am in the middle of something because that seems to be the only time he calls me to the helm. I also remember when Capt’n in Training was younger and required more of my undivided attention, it was difficult to leave him and go to the helm. Of course Cat’n in Training was perfectly safe – I would make sure of it every time I had to go up to the helm.w anyway, my mind is racing with all the reasons I would love to have a working autopilot, but I think you get the picture.

2. Hot water heater. I can distinctly remember having a conversation with Capt’n on whether we needed hot water on the boat. Like many cruisers, we had a plan, then changed it, then changed it again, and so on. Our first plan was to sail offshore and quickly head to the BVIs for winter (of 2011). Given this plan we figured that it would be hot enough in the Caribbean and we wouldn’t need a hot water maker. Let me remind you that 1.5 years later we have made it as far south as Satellite Beach Florida (with three trips to the Bahamas in between). So now I wish that I could turn back time to that conversation that I had with Capt’n and I would have insisted that we need a hot water maker. Why? Well because when you live on a boat in the middle of winter, and all you want is a nice hot shower but you have to wait three days until you find a marina, or friend’s house, you feel a bit desperate. One day we even heated water on our stovetop and filled our solar shower in order to have a warm shower. So yes a hot water heater is on our wish list. A friend actually just bought one off of Amazon for under $200. It arrived in two days, he installed it in a matter of hours, and now has hot water on his boat.

3. Alternative Power. Again some people may say that wind and solar power are essential for any cruising boat, and I would not disagree. Plugging in at marinas can be quite expensive – many marinas charge out power for a profit – and since we use so little power we can’t really justify plugging in everywhere we go. I am a professional at charging my iPad, cell phone, laptop, camera just about anywhere. I bring these items and their chargers almost everywhere I go and can be seen charging my laptop when I am at a restaurant, or a park, or even at church. But if we had solar and/or wind power, it would make our lives a lot easier. We have thought about buying solar panels rough SALT in Marathon Florida, and Capt’n has his eye on a very quiet wind generator (I can’t remember the name of it, but if you want to know, write me a comment and I will ask Capt’n.

4. Dinghy Davits. I would love love love dinghy davits for Dominion. Love love love them! Right now we just tie the dinghy to the boat and tow it along. When we anchor, we hear the slap slap slapping of the dinghy. I have lost many hours of sleep trying to ignore the annoying, consistent noise. I have not really researched dinghy davits but we would have to get one that I can easily handle. I hate having to rely on Capt’n for many boat tasks because I simply am not strong enough, so I would be so happy if I could lift the dinghy up out of the water all by myself.

5. New Cushions. I strongly believe that our boat cushions are the original – circa 1984. The foam is starting to disintegrate, they are getting saggy, and I just want new ones. And new cushion covers made of water resistant material. Ahhhh. I can just picture it now. dominion would look like new! Unfortunately new cushions are not on the “need” list (although I am trying to convince Capt’n to change that). So for now, no new cushions 😦

Happy Friday.
Happy Passover
Happy Easter





Friday’s Top Five: Non essential items I love having on board

8 03 2013

One of the most difficult things we have done while living on a boat is deciding what actually goes IN the boat. We spent many nights talking, and arguing about what items should go on the boat and what items should go in storage (aka parent’s attic). There are items that we never used and have sold or given away, and there are other items that we wish we brought on board. And there are those items that we really do not NEED but they make our lives a little sweeter by having them on board. Here they are in no particular order.

1: Bread machine. I am well aware that bread can be made with an oven (or stove top, or bbq) and some elbow grease for kneading the dough, but the bread machine makes making bread so easy! Everyone said I was crazy when they saw I was taking a bread machine on board. And I do admit, it has a few things against it: it takes up a lot of room and uses a lot of power (two major things to take into consideration when deciding what goes on or off the boat). When we first moved on the boat Capt’n said I could take one appliance on board. I thought about this difficult decision for about two weeks and I finally decided to take the bread machine. I can confidently say that I have never looked back. This summer in Brunswick Georgia I used the bread machine on a daily basis. The temperature reached the 90s and 100s there and there was no way I was cooking anything on the boat. We were staying in a marina and so I used the marina power to power my bread machine. And voila. We had yummy bread to eat every day.

2: iPad. Last winter I dropped my iPod touch in the Ashley River in Charleston South Carolina. When I found Capt’n to tell him, I nonchalantly said that he could replace my iPod touch with an iPad. In August we did purchase an iPad. I am not going to spend this time reviewing what I like and dislike about the iPad. But what I will say is how it makes our lives easier living on a boat. For one thing, we now use the iPad as a chart plotter. We purchased the Bad Elf GPS (http://bad-elf.com/products/) and charts from Navionics (http://www.navionics.com/en/mobile-pc-app). It took Capt’n and I a couple of days to wrap our heads around this new chart plotter, but all in all we are very pleased. The second reason why we enjoy the iPad so much is for storing videos. When we are sailing long passages it is difficult to keep Capt’n in Training occupied for so long. Sometimes if I run out of activities, if I am cooking, or sailing, or just need a break, I put on some videos for Capt’n in Training to watch. I will also say that when we were on our friend’s catamaran in Florida and Bahamas for two months, the iPad videos were a life saver when we were in restaurants for happy hour or dinner. The third reason why we like the iPad is the mobility of the tablet. If we are anchored and going to shore, we don’t want to carry around a laptop, but carrying around a tablet is much more convenient. We are able to check email and the weather quickly. So do we NEED an iPad? No, but we are happy to have one.

3: Kindle Paperwhite. If anyone is reading this who has known me for a long time, maybe this item is making you smile or laugh. Why? Because for a really long time I was so anti-ereaders. I could not stand them. I love books and libraries and did not understand why the ereader would be more advantageous over an actual book. I swore I would never own an ereader. Then I moved onto a boat where my books started to get moldy. Or I couldn’t remember where I stored a particular novel. Or space is so precious did I really want to fill two cupboards with books that in all honesty I probably wouldn’t get to read? Then came the iPad and I discovered that I could use it as an ereader. Then I discovered I could take out ebooks on loan from the library! I was in heaven. I loved the portability of storing books on the iPad. I found that I was reading more books than I was before I bought the iPad….but then I went to the Bahamas and tried reading outside with my iPad. It was a failure. I began to resent that the iPad was forcing to me to stay indoors in order to read. Then someone introduced me to the Kindle. I was able to read outside and with my sunglasses on! But I hated that the Kindle was not a touch screen. It was difficult to transfer from the touch screen of an iPad to the buttons of a Kindle…and then came the Kindle Paperwhite. It was like this ereader was made for me, just when I needed it! Capt’n bought it for me for Christmas and I am reading more than ever before. I max out the number of ebooks I can take out on both of my library cards. I am reading more young adult fiction than ever before! (I just finished the Lois Lowry Giver Quartet). I am now being transported in time and reading the Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon. Sure I could live without my Kindle Paperwhite, but I don’t want to. And I am proud to say I am an ereader convert.

4: Cooler (or as Capt’n says, esky). When refrigeration is on the fritz, or I just simply buy too much food, or if we need another seat, the cooler has come to the rescue. Sometimes I curse this cooler because it takes up so much room. We have it in the cockpit and I am always stepping over it or tripping on it and I just want to through it overboard. But on a hot day, it is nice to have the room to store a bag of ice and have a nice cold drink.

5: wifi booster. I don’t know, maybe some people would say that a wifi booster IS an essential item! We had been living on our boat for a year without a wifi booster. And we were still alive. However, we did always complain if we did not get a good internet signal. The most irritating would be when we would fork out money to spend a night in a marina, expecting to get decent wifi, come to find out that our boat is too far from the signal and therefore no wifi for us L One of the reasons we waited so long to get a wifi booster was we were basically intimidated by all of the boosters that are out on the market. Some are so big that they look like light sabers, others are so small you wonder if they do anything at all. Not to mention the variety in cost. But this past December, Capt’n and I decided to bite the bullet and buy one as a Christmas present to ourselves. After searching the web for a booster and taking cost, power requirements, and size into consideration, we finally decided on an ALFA wisp-nsr http://www.alfa.com.tw/products_show.php?pc=28&ps=130. We actually bought it off amazon.com for less than $40.00. We weren’t sure what to expect when we plugged in the booster to our computer, but we are so thankful that we made this purchase. The booster is portable, so we can move it around the boat in order to get the best signal strength, it connects to the USB ports and there is no external power requirement, we have received signals from ½ mile away. Now this booster is not a long ranger booster – some of those boosters brag that they can receive signals from miles away, and this booster is not it. However we have been most pleased with this booster and am always grateful we have it. A perfect example is we are currently anchored at Satellite Beach Florida and I am typing this from my boat with full strength wifi signal using our little booster.

And there you have it. My five items that we can live without, but don’t really want to. Happy Friday, whether you are facing a snow storm, strong winds, or sunny skies.





Friday’s Top Five: Saves

22 02 2013

Capt’n was excited to hear about this Friday top five suggestion and it has taken him two weeks to come up with the perfect list. Since all of these have occurred under some sort of stressful condition, I did not think to take photos, so I don’t have any of the actual “save.” If I could find photos of the general area where the save occurred, I included them below.  So here we go….

5. Boats Collide, But in a Good Way

Capt’n took a dinghy ride at Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas in March 2012.  As he was coming back to the boat, he saw a grounded boat. But have no fear, Capt’n is here. Capt’n once again saved the day. The boaters were really stuck and weren’t sure how they were going to get into deeper water. Capt’n sped toward the boat and ran into it on the port side and kept revving the motor until the sailboat heeled over and found deeper water. Capt’n says, all in a day’s work!

4.  Shackles Anyone?

This save happened while we were on our friend’s catamaran, crossing the Gulf Stream for the first time in March 2012. We had been in Riviera Beach Florida for almost a week waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream. We had about a day and a half of good weather before the winds got too strong to cross. We left early in the morning, crossed the Gulf Stream and arrived in West End, Bahamas rather painlessly. We patted ourselves on the back as we were glad to be in the Bahamas as the storm picked up. We had a restful night’s sleep and woke up refreshed the next morning. We were going for a walk along the beach when we saw a catamaran slowly limping in to West End. They pulled in right behind us and Capt’n helped tie the lines to the dock. The boaters looked awful. They looked exhausted and frustrated. Capt’n asked how they did with the storm the night before. The boaters had an awful crossing getting caught in a storm with strong winds and huge waves. The boat had a self tending jib and the block and tackle got torn off the deck and destroyed in the storm. The boaters were happy just to make it to West End. They were not sure what they were going to do as there were no marine shops or mechanics for miles and miles…..except for Capt’n. Capt’n was more than happy to help. He used his excellent rope work skills and made a few soft shackles out of rope, gave them two blocks, and made a great temporary rig until they could get to a boat repair shop. We saw the boaters three weeks later and they were still using the temporary rig and said it was better than the original!

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3. Double Trouble

This save also occurred while we were on our friend’s catamaran but during October – December 2012. We had been in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the international boat show and to wait out Hurricane Sandy and were leaving to sail down to Key West to haul the boat. The boat owner was in Barcelona on business, so it was Capt’n, Capt’n in Training, the boat owner’s inexperienced friend (who had never gone sailing before in his life), and me. It was early in the morning and we were quickly approaching Port Everglades. All of a sudden the boat started to “shiver and shake” on the port side. Capt’n stopped the boat and anchored right in the middle of the channel. He put the boat in reverse and something came to the surface. Capt’n took a boat hook to bring in the culprit. A black plastic contractor’s bag got caught in the port prop! The bag did not seem to damage the prop so we pulled anchor and continued on our way. Not five minutes later, the starboard engine alarm sounded, the alternator light went on, the temperature light went on and alarm sounded. Capt’n heard flapping and knew it was the fan belt. We pulled in to the shallows and anchored while Capt’n replaced the fan belt….and forty minutes later the same fan belt broke! Thank God we had enough spare fan belts. We were all traumatized at this point and were wondering what else would go wrong that day. FYI – other things did go wrong: one of the winches broke and we didn’t make clearance going under a bridge (by an inch!) and broke the anemometer.

2. Hell’s Gate is an Understatement

When we started sailing down the East Coast in November 2011, we couldn’t wait to sail through Hell’s Gate, in New York City. I have seen the East River plenty of times during my visits to the Big Apple, and was looking forward to sailing (or rather being swept up in the current) down the East River. We were buddy sailing with a friend from Connecticut to New York and spend the previous day looking at the charts and working out the currents. We had to leave early if we were to make it through Hell’s Gate with a flood current. It was early December 2011, cold, rainy, and foggy. Not ideal conditions for….well, anything. But nothing could take away from our excitement. When we began that day’s voyage, we were off to a great start. I took photos of everything (yes, in the fog – I was that excited). We were only about three to four weeks into our trip and we were still nervous about sailing next to large barges, tugs, etc…A tug towing a barge was approaching and I was getting nervous and Capt’n put the throttle on and tried to move to the starboard most side of the channel. However, when Capt’n turned up the throttle, the engine stuttered and Capt’n could not move to the side of the channel. The barge was getting closer and closer. Then to make matters worse, the engine stopped altogether. At this point I was convinced that the barge was going to hit us and the boat was going to sink. So I had created a mental escape plan, choosing what belongings were going to come with me as I swam to shore with Capt’n, Capt’n in Training and the three dogs….But while I was working on my escape plan, Capt’n ran down to the engine room to see what was wrong. I was trying to steer the boat the best I could, and at this point our friend turned around and motored next to us so he could help us avert any potential collisions. Capt’n discovered that our fuel filter was completely clogged, and switched the fuel filter within ten minutes. When he said he changed the filter in ten minutes, I said, no way, it was an hour! Well, it seemed like an eternity to me. After all, I was the one who could see all the boat traffic while all Capt’n could see was the boat engine. Needless to say, once Capt’n replaced the fuel filter, we had a great time going through Hell’s Gate, and spent about four nights anchored behind the Statue of Liberty.

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1. “Man (or toddler) Overboard!”

We helped a friend bring his catamaran over from the Bahamas to Florida in October – December 2012. Capt’n was getting the boat ready to cross the Gulf Stream. Capt’n was cleaning up the ropes at the base of the mast, and I was doing laundry. I remember specifically telling Capt’n that he had Capt’n in Training duty as I was going to be on and off the boat doing laundry. I came back from doing laundry and I saw Capt’n and Capt’n in Training in the water. I made some sort of joke about them taking a swimming break….and then I heard the real story. Capt’n was working on the ropes while Capt’n in Training was playing on the trampoline at the bow. Capt’n said everything was fine and he turned his head for one moment and then heard “splash!” Capt’n in Training got on one of the seats in the bow and lost his balance and fell overboard. Capt’n jumped right in and saved the day. Capt’n in Training was perfectly fine but now Capt’n and I have very specific rules about Capt’n in Training on deck and our responsibility when we supervise him on deck.

We hope that these top five saves encourage you if you had similar problems, or made you laugh at how we get ourselves in these predicaments. In any event, Happy Friday!





Friday’s Top Five: Marinas

8 02 2013

I decided that every Friday, or every other Friday…. I will post a top five list. This week’s top five list is a list of the best marinas that we have been to from Marion, Massachusetts to Satellite Beach, Florida. This list is purely our opinion based on the following factors: price, location, amenities, friendliness of staff and other boaters, and all around good vibe. So drum roll please……..here are our top five marinas, in no particular order….

 

  1. Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina, Newport Rhode Island http://www.thenewport-hotel.com/

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We arrived to this marina in November 2011 after facing 35 knot wind and 15 foot waves traveling from Cuttyhunk Island, MA to Newport, RI. Even though it was just the start of our trip, Capt’n and I were ready to end our adventure a mere 1.5 hrs (driving) from our house! The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina was a paradise compared to the seas we had been facing. We arrived to Newport during the “off season,” where it is less crowded and less costly. We spent a week at Newport Hotel and Marina and loved every minute of it. For starters we loved the location of the marina. You literally walk outside of the hotel and marina property and you are in the middle of the Newport attractions. Newport is a walking friendly town and we were able to walk everywhere we needed to go. Also the people at the marina were great. The staff was friendly and low key, the liveaboards were some of the nicest people I have met. We really felt at home here. So much so that someone found Capt’n a full time job to try to coax us to stay! Since we were there during the off season, the rates were quite reasonable. Also since the marina is affiliated with the hotel, we were able to use the hotel sauna and heated pool. The hotel has a restaurant, Pier 49 and they served free coffee to marina guests each morning. All in all, we had a great time at this marina and were reluctant to leave.

  1. Marineland Marina, Marineland Florida http://www.marinelandmarina.com/

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This marina is probably one of the marinas that are freshest in our minds since we were just there a few weeks ago. Marineland Marina is owned by the town of Marineland and just underwent a major renovation. We had heard about this marina from a few couples from St. Augustine Municipal Marina. The $1.00/ft/night was the driving force to spend the night at this marina. And we are glad we did. We arrived there either at mid tide or low tide and although we draw a 5.5’ draft, we did touch ground as we were turning around in their turning basin. So a warning for those people with deep drafts. The staff here was also great – friendly and full of information. At the time they were having a special of 50% kayak eco tour if you docked at the marina. The laundry was free, which was great, but had two drawbacks. One was that the laundry closed at 5 pm, and two, there was only one washer and dryer so there could be a line to get clothes washed. Since we only spent one night here, we didn’t have a lot of time to check out the place, but we liked what we did get to see. The marina is right across the street from the dolphin center, and the ocean. We took a nice long walk and checked out both places. Marineland seemed to be occupied by Universities – they had many research labs in the area. Marineland Florida is the smallest town in America (as far as I know) with a population of eight full time residents. This marina is also very small so if you decide to go, make sure you call ahead to see if there are spots available. All in all, we really enjoyed this marina. Below is a photo on some information about Marineland. 

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  1. Miamogue Yacht Club, Bridgeport Connecticut http://www.miamogue.com

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We had heard about this Yacht Club from a Canadian friend who we met in Newport. As cruisers with a toddler and three dogs, we are always on the lookout for free or low cost dockage. Well Miamogue did not disappoint. This yacht club is very welcoming to transients, offering one free night of dockage (electricity, water, and bathrooms included). They also have a clubhouse that is open for drinks and food, so of course we went there for dinner. The food was good and reasonably priced. Everyone who was there was interested in hearing our story so we didn’t pay for a drink! We called ahead to let them know we were coming and a member went out on the dock to help us tie up. Before we left, the members wanted us to make sure that we told people that the Miamogue Yacht Club in Bridgeport, Connecticut offers one night of free dockage to transients. Call them if you are interested. (You can find their phone number on the website link I provided).

 

  1. Solomon’s Island Yacht Club, Solomon’s Island Maryland http://www.solomonsislandyc.com/

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We traveled through the Chesapeake in December 2011 and spent one night in Solomon’s Island Maryland. I don’t remember what brought us to this Yacht Club. I think the anchorage was full and we thought that perhaps the Solomon’s Island Yacht Club would reciprocate membership from other clubs. In any event, we pulled up and tied up to one of the docks and walked into the clubhouse to talk with someone. We were able to spend the night for a nominal fee which included internet, bathroom and showers and laundry. It just so happen to be the evening of a potluck so we were able to meet many members and had a great time. They were also celebrating everyone who had a December birthday and Capt’n in Training was born in December and was the youngest member at the pot luck. Everyone enjoyed playing with Capt’n in Training and I enjoyed his impromptu birthday party. I would say that the people at this yacht club are the reason why it has made our top five. We often look back at our night there and smile.

 

  1. St. Augustine Municipal Marina, St. Augustine Florida  http://www.staugustinegovernment.com/visitors/municipal-marina.cfm

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As we traveled South, we always planned on stopping at St. Augustine, and it did not disappoint. We were not going to dock, but rather use one of St. Augustine Municipal Marina’s mooring balls, which cost $20/night and included internet, bathroom and shower, water, pump out and access to coin laundry. What I didn’t know was that this marina also had a water taxi that would pick you up from your boat and take you to the dock. The shuttle runs from 10 – 5:30 making runs approximately every two hours. We spent four nights in St. Augustine (and only planned on spending two nights) and the weather was extremely windy, so I was very grateful that I did not need to take  our dinghy with Capt’n, Capt’n in Training, and the three dogs to shore, but was able to use the water taxi instead. Not only was the staff lovely, the city of St. Augustine is wonderful. We spent days taking self guided walking tours of the city, shopping, spending an afternoon at the Fort, going to A1A Brewery for some microbrew beer and root beer. Another thing we really liked was that there for four other Whitby 42 boats moored at this marina. That had never happened to us before. It was fun talking with the other Whitby owners.  We enjoyed St. Augustine and the marina so much that we have even talked about sailing North to spend a few months in St. Augustine. Time will tell.

So there is our Top Five Marina list.  If anyone has any suggestions on other Friday Top Five topics, we are all ears.

Happy Friday!