Wednesday, September 28

Weatherman or Sailor

The more that I sail, the more that I learn about the clouds to forecast what to prepare.  Most every day or event planned this year, the weather forecasted was wrong or late.  We canceled or changed some of our gatherings because of the forecasted storms.  We can take the wind but the lightning I am more cautious.

A month ago we were out sailing in the bay.  The winds were perfect blowing about 15 knots from the east.  As we edged passed the line of cloud front, the winds stopped dead.  We had to turn on the engine and pull in the sails, but the chop on the water was still high for no wind.  We head back, and the winds picked back up under the clouds.

Sailors hear
  • "Mare tails and fish scales sailors furl your sails"
  • "Rainbow to windward, foul fall the day; rainbow to leeward, rain runs away"
  • For the barometer watchers, "quick rise after low, often portends a stronger blow"
  • "Red sky at night a sailor's delight, red sky at dawn sailor take warning"

Thursday, September 22

Lessons Learned Cooking for Sailors

Poaching Lobster

 
Head first add the 1.5 pound active lobster into the boiling water and cook for about 12-15 minutes in the boiling water.  Confirm by measuring until internal tail temperature at 165-170 F
Lobsters have harmful bacteria naturally in their flesh. The bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by cooking. Minimise the chance of food poisoning by cooking the lobster alive.
If you ordered live lobsters, they will have been out of water for almost 24 hours when you receive them. Occasionally, one may appear weak or lifeless. This is a normal occurrence. In most cases, as long as the packaging material is in good condition, and the refrigerant is still cold, your lobsters will be fine. The best way to check is to boil the lobster. As long as the lobster’s tail curls when cooked, and the meat in the tail is firm, and in one piece, then the lobster was alive when it was cooked. 
Because lobsters require careful packing and prompt shipping, you should only purchase lobsters from a company which offers a 100% guarantee if any lobsters arrive in poor condition. 
Lobsters grow by molting, or by shedding their shells each year.  Just after they molt, they are soft and fragile until their new shell has hardened, and they are known as new shell or soft shell lobsters, sometimes called “shedders.”  After their new shell hardens, they are known as hard shell lobsters
Soft shell are tender, sweet, and delicious, and represent about 90% of the catch during the summer months.  They are prized by maine natives, and are less expensive than hardshell lobsters as well, but they contain less meat than a hard shell lobster of the same size, because their body has not yet grown into its new shell, and so the lobster’s shell is larger than its body. 
Soft shell (or new shell) shell lobsters do not travel well, and should not be purchased for live delivery; most reputable companies will not even  try to ship live soft shell lobsters because they are unlikely to survive the journey.  Some companies do, however, offer precooked whole soft shell lobsters. 
The “green stuff” that can be found in cooked lobster is tomalley, which serves as the pancreas and liver.  Some consider it a delicacy. 
Female lobster can have up to 10,000 eggs. Once cooked turn red and considered a delicacy.


90 Maine Lobster ready for your bellies



Lively little Maine crustaceans from Lonestar Lobster off of I-610 W in Houston

Wood for cooking Texas meat

9 month aged White Oak Wood (1/8 cord, 16 cubic ft) with a moisture content of 9% to cook brisket and pork ribs. Chicken is cooked with applewood and charcoal



Skeeters BBQ Achievers
Brisket



Black Angus (feed lot) beef brisket (13-16 lbs packer cut, imps no. 120-ribs 1-4 are removed, remove about 3 lbs fat including deckle fat, cook with 1/4-1/2 inch of fat on top remaining aerodynamic for smoke to flow, get to room temperature before cooking), mix of 2/3 black pepper and 1/3 coarse kosher salt and garlic powder, brown kraft paper

Smoke for 6 hours unwrapped brisket at air temp 225-250F, (science of bbq brisket: after 2 hours internal brisket temp will stall at 150-170F for 4+ hours due to evaporative cooling, internal water in the fat cools the meat before internal temp rises again, after internal temp reaches 130F meat will not absorb any more smoke flavor), and wrap in kraft paper for another 6-8 hours away from heat, by a metal bowl of white to reduce temperature on outside of brisket until internal meat temp reaches the right temp, maintain internal brisket temperature of 195-203F, remove from the heat if feels relaxed, rest for an hour + before slicing against the grain. Brisket is 65% water

Juicy Delicious Pork Ribs: Kroger bought versus Butcher Shop ribs
Pork Ribs



Racks of pork ribs (12 St Louis ribs), remove the membrane and sternum bone, baste with butter, louisiana hot sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic paste, chili powder, foil, heat smoker 275F for 2 hours, spritz with sweet beer, and sauce cook for additional 15 minutes unwrapped, and then wrap in foil for the remainder of 2 hours cooking, remove from heat and rest the ribs for 30 minutes (7 ribs for competition). Pork ribs are 65% water, 18% protein, 15% fat, 2% sugar+ more

Beer Can Chicken 


Whole chicken, beer can, string, spread under the skin fresh smashed garlic, oil, lemon juices, zest, preheated thyme and rosemary, grapeseed oil, and add to the center remaining lemon quarters, garlic, herbs, and drink half of beer, insert remaining can in chicken cavity, foil wrap, cook at 375F for 1.5 hour and unwrapped for 15 minutes, until internal temp of 170F in breast. Remove from heat and Rest for 10 minutes, remove can.

WHITEY GARY

  • 1 pound ripe yellow tomatoes (about 4 medium) 
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) best-quality vodka 
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons) 
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 20 dashes hot green pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated, peeled horseradish 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly white ground pepper 


  1. Puree (blanched for no skin) yellow tomatoes in a blender. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl
  2. Stir together tomato puree, vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green pepper sauce, horseradish to taste, pepper in a pitcher. If not using immediately, mixture can be refrigerated, covered, overnight.  Garnish each mini jerky sticks

Thursday, August 11

USODA Optimist National Championship Comes to HYC

First weekend 220 little sailboats set up and out into the Wuzzie Bay to race all afternoon from Wednesday until Sunday.  The concept of team racing in single-person sailboats was new to us.  We enjoyed watching the coordination, communication especially the many different languages, dedication, and intense competition by these children.  

USODA stands for the United State Optimist Dinghy Association for those under 16 years old.  


Safety officials, US Coast Guard, referees, judges, spectators, and volunteers motored around the different courses.  Our captain volunteered himself and our Boston Whaler to help with races.  One story was of the children from Spain using their native tongue to keep their strategy secret until one of judges spoke to them in their native tongue.  They asked what region of Spain that he was from.  Netherlands...

Second Weekend another group of 280 boats race all afternoon for four days as well.  The series of races were based on the first to cross the finishing line.

Our new (combined wood-plastic) wonderful walkway donated by a fellow sailor was completed and perfect for the children to walk the boats on little carts to Shell Beach for launching. No more tripping on popped up boards and the walkway was raised so no more under water at super high tide.  If you fall now, it is because you drank too much.  Keep your shoes on puppies because it can get a bit hot or run fast to the grass.

Sails, vendors, children, boats, tents, parents, and water containers covered the grounds.  The sun, heat, and humidity were merciless.  There was no wind to begin the day until the afternoon.  So swimming in the pool was the best option to cool down, but by the afternoon the water was too warm from the hot sun.  Up to the bar to cool down before heading to the sailboat with A/C and Whitley.  A whole new wait staff was hired to help serve all visitors.  They must have been stress since it was difficult to wiggle a smile out of the new servers. 

Sadly the Friday night social and happy hour had been cancelled.  The menu was very limited and the kitchen help seemed confused.  Hopefully these problems will be fixed after the Club settles back into its groove.



Tuesday, June 14

Good Grief

I have been hoping that JT would do an entry about the loss and memorial for Bud, our yellow labrador Bud was his dog before me and his follower.  I asked about doing a memorial service for Bud with our close friends and family, but he is not ready.  The pain is still too much, and he wants to keep Bud just for us.  I respect his emotions since it took me nine years to let go of Natasha Baytop, my first Golden Retriever.

I wrote the memory of Bud's death on Whitley's travel blog from her point of view, so that I do not forget or change the memory.  I had asked JT to read it three months later, but it was still too much and too soon.  It brought all the grief and sadness of that day back.  I was sorry that I encouraged him to read it.  

Cruising to Bolivar and Offatts

Beautiful Spring Day at the Houston Yacht Club marina and ready to sail to the Texas coast.
HYC boat group shout at Laguna Harbor on Bolivar peninsular

Tuesday, March 29

Batten and Bruised Cruise

From Naples, Florida to Mobile, Alabama... What happened to Houston?  

On a pleasant day with clear sky, clear emerald green water, dolphins, and bright full moon that lit up the sky we left Naples for Houston.  No celestrial navigation tonight since only Orion could be seen with this bright moonlight.  Four hour two-man shifts I choose the 1 am - 5 am mark because of insomnia, a sailor's delight on the Gulf.  

Hello at the end of the trip on Monday morning, after a good sleep, breakfast, and scrub in the marina shower.
Change occurred quickly with four days of winds up to 48 knots, heavy stinging rain, lightning, numerous storms, and breaking equipment (a surprise nighttime storm, rudder chain broke, temporary emergency tiller split, autohelm broke, GPS chartplotter gave off readings, oil pressure kept dropping after adding more oil so could only use the engine until oil ran out). Passage weather and sail flow got the forecast wrong.  We changed our heading from South Pass to Biloxi and somehow ended up on Mobile Bay by the tow boats.

Lessons Learned...

Turn the radar on down below so that the helmsman can prepare for any storm cells (drop the sails and get chairs below).  

Follow the Captain's orders, do not use the autohelm when he says so.  Do not let someone else turn it on!  You have one Captain on board, and the boat belongs to him.

Do not tinker with anything if it is working.  This is not a race.

Four crew on a 38 foot Shannon sailboat 
One 43 yr old chick new to crossing the Gulf.

The weather started getting rough, the mighty sail boat was tossed.
Four sails to lead the wayJib, Staysail, Main, Mizzen.
Lost the jib sail early on.

The oil pressure kept dropping
'because diesels loves oil, like a sailor likes his rum.
Yes!  Why is that Captain Jon? Nobody knows...' If it was going to happen, it happened while we were trying to sleep in our off shift.

Offshore Foulies are a lie...
I could not stay dry and warm, no matter how many changes of clothes.
No sun to dry them out with four days and nights of rain and wind.

Endurance at the helm in the rough seas for hours is the key by willing yourself to muster on.  Be your own positive motivator.  You can do it by believing in yourself.  Ask for some assistance after an hour or more so that you do not strain a muscle.  I found a comfortable stance and kept the boat on a port tack, broad reach (120 degrees) with a staysail and mizzen sail.  Best workout available.  Don't pay for a gym membership. Go sailing instead. 

Ladies: Thermals top and bottoms, and smart wool socks by Under Armour (from Texas City outlet) dried fast enough in four hours to be used again.  Layer under the thermal if you are cold natured like myself a tank top and long sleeve shirt from Old Navy, and remember a couple great support bras (thank you Victoria Secret).  My one fleece over the thermal dried quickly. Boat shoes and boat boots kept my toes warm and comfortable when standing at the helm for an hour or two.  Prepare for water to seep in to the pants even with a full offshore jacket, and down into the boots.  Cover your ears and face.  Snow gear worked well.  I wish that I brought my Columbia snow pants from 1998 to test it out compared to Gills offshore sailing pants. Water would go straight down my backside into my boots.

Dry shampoo worked great to reduce oily scalp, and baby wipes (aka spit bath) daily cleaning of the body was very useful.

Always save at least one last change of dry clothes to meet help on the open water, USCG and TowBoatus.

Sleeping was rarely achieved for five days of super loud snoring (earplugs and earmuffs helped), being thrown about the cabin, and dumped out of the salon berth. Take some strong rope and tie your legs, bottom, or chest to the side (with no lee cloth).  The regular whacks onto the wooden floors, tossed into the table, and corner galley gave me a baseball size bruise above by right back hip.  My bottom and back are sore and bruised hitting the floor as I slept.  No sleep for you!  The next 4 hour sleep I moved to the starboard salon berth since we were heeled to starboard most of the time.  After an hour of sleep a rogue wave came across the beam pouring into the cabin from an unknown unsealed top hatch with the inflatable dingy on top. Two gallons of cold salt water poured on my head and body.  I was soaked to the bone in my once warm dry clothes and so was the berth.  A sailor's tongue is sharp and vulgar for a reason.

Some times the seas were so bad that the Captain just locked the wheel, dropped the sails, and stayed down below until the worst of the storm had passed.  I told the overheard story of William F Buckley, avid sailor, who was sailing across an ocean on his sailboat.  On a bad stormy night his crew mates stayed below as he battled the storm at the helm.  As a thank you for their help in surviving the storm, he offered a drink to everyone with a hidden ingredient, bilge water. The other crew members got sick. http://sportsmansdaily.com/thescrum/?p=2378

Fear a captain if you abandon him when in need, and do not accept a drink. One four hour session due to seasickness, injury, and lack of sleep, I abandoned the captain to sail by himself- but fate got its revenge on me with an upset stomach after the trip.

A disagreeable crew mate can make for some good cage rattling to entertain the other crew as I voiced my strong support about following the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Politics and religion that I have always heard should never be discussed in a pleasant community, but with the harsh weather conditions and trapped in a cabin for 5 days that was fun.

Cooking, serving, throwing up, and eating in that order.  My captain had never seen someone throw up, and then immediately eat.  That takes talent learned from early college drinking days. No corn, spicy foods, or beans are good advice that I researched when JT did his first crossing two years ago, and reduces the chances of an upset stomach. Peanut butter crackers and bread, and dramamine were my staples when I felt sick and hated the light.  My first migraine?

Too many apples, bananas, and oranges were purchased when someone else had the list and refused to use two grocery carts.  I was born without the shopping gene and hate crowds. When I got thrown into the ring with a shopper for provisions, I breathed and followed along up and down every aisle getting food not on the list. Everything was a disagreement.  I foresaw this happening when asked, but sucked it up until now.  Worse than the worst storm at sea.  Stinging rain versus shopping, I would choose the stinging rain.

The captain's wife had prepared a few frozen meals for the trip.  They were perfect for the high seas except the fact the pot rolled around the stove top as the wave broke on the beam and stern.  Lunch varied by the sandwich variety, Boars Head low sodium roast beef, or ham with swiss cheese (pre made before leaving), or peanut butter and grape jam.  First night was delicious beef stroganoff (added sauted green beans with smashed garlic, herbs, and oil), second was sumptuous chicken and rice (rough waters), and for the next night was peanut butter crackers, and bread for me. Another crew mate heated up some taco soup for the other crew and the next day was pulled pork for them.  Where is that dramamine?  

The last day Sunday we were towed in 48 miles from shore on smoother water and little waves.  I opened all the swollen wood cabinets to prepare a final feast.  There I found the cilantro, new potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes that we purchased.  I made a hot vegetable medley that was delicious with salad and dressing, and fruit and ginger snap cookies for dessert.

That night everyone left for a hotel room at 11:30 pm but me.  The boat was quiet, drying out, and cool from the AC and fans blowing.  I had tons of food, some Maduro Brown Ale, and adrenaline pumping.  I had a case of the sea legs like walking on a trampoline.  Walking to the showers, I was worried that I might fall into the water.  I looked around for a ladder just in case. Seeing none I walked close to the grass.  

There is one female shower stall at the Turner Marine Supply which I choose the perfect hour and could use as much hot water that I wanted.  After exposing a new layer of skin, I contemplated using the two sets of washers and dryers ($1 each) but decided with my wobbly legs and need for vitamin beer I would stay in the cabin.  I found a container of southern style pimento cheese (is there any other style) in the refrig that got lost, and toasted some whole wheat bread on the stove, added some lettuce, and slices of tomatoes, with the cheese and crispy pretzels and beer.  After texting JT to inform him of my whereabouts and witching hour dinner, I finally crashed about 3:30 am and did not move until 10 am.  Solitude and quiet I do so enjoy it.

I did not hear anything from anyone that morning or lunchtime.  The night before they discussed fixing the engine and rudder chain, but since West Marine did not open until Thursday, that would not be happening.   Hopefully the captain can file a claim with his insurance for all the damage the storms did to his boat.  The Mobile Yacht Club was closed most of the week too.  So at 1:30 pm I started making another even better pimento cheese sandwich wth sauted sliced tomatoes and lettuce, and a beer.  As I piled the food in a napkin heading up to the cockpit, the captain came aboard and said that the truck is ready to go back to Houston.  What truck?  I always said that I was staying.  So I tried to finish my lunch in the cockpit, while another crew mate was chomping at the bit to go.  Since our captain had his daughter there to help, he did not really need me, and the boat will not be headed back anytime soon.  I agreed to go after I finish my lunch.

Do not guess what people want or mean. Ask first.  I was planning on staying on the boat and help out where needed.  But someone else was making demands that were never agreed upon so reluctantly I agreed to come back to Houston since more storms were moving in.  All creatures are horrible mind readers.
Lighthouse at Dauphin Island and Mobile Bay
At the Naples marina
Around the harbor in Naples

Jump down onto the Shannon


Cabin on the water
A bungalow on the water
Improvements to Naples neighborhood
Bye Naples

Assistance from some US heroes 48 miles out

Visitor on the Gulf, as David Jones went into the engine locker
Going to Turner Marine Supply on Dog River
We were very lucky since Monday I meet a catamaran from Fort Lauderdale that left on the 23rd as well and got struck by lightning over a hundred miles off shore from Alabama.  Blew out all their electronics and their toilet for a day.

Meclizine found in dramamine suppresses the nervous system by blocking acetyl-choline in the Vestibular region and reduces the excitation.  It has the ability to block the transmission of information from the vestibular apparatus of the middle ear to the emetic center in the medulla.

Wednesday, March 9

Galveston Art Walk

 On Saturday March fifth, we left Whitley on the boat with a big cushy dog bed, water, and 'Law and Order' playing on TV.  We headed to Galveston to meet up with over a dozen of our close friends to sip wine, and stroll around downtown Galveston looking at beautiful works of art for sale.

At the elite Rooftop Bar of the Tremont Hotel we watched the sunset over beautiful downtown Galveston.  We lubricated our minds with wine and spirits, and coated our stomachs with fancy local cheeses, crispy table crackers, and halite-rich charcuterie.  Frank Billingsley, KPRC's weatherman, came by our table and gave us assurance of the night's cool weather forecast for the art stroll.

Heading out on our long stroll down 23rd Street, we stopped at a new pub-gallery called the Proletariat (Marxism term for working class, meaning selling their labor to live) and enjoyed some Goose Island beer from the GI representative while examining melted vinyl albums with hand and face imprints.  Onward to Post Office Street we meandered around five packed galleries with painting, sculptures, and photographs as they graciously gave out wine to sip (remember to tip if you sip):  
  1. Affaire d'Art
  2. Peck Art Gallery
  3. Vacation on Canvas
  4. Wiley Gallery, 2128 Postoffice St, (met James 'Jim' Phillips wood sculptor (Hurricane Ike killing 30,000 trees, national attention of Ike-wood sculptures, and his amazing talent with wood carving changed a hobby to a profession))
  5. Galveston Art League

Friday, January 1

End of the Year of Travels, 2015

Pre-Christmas Trip east to see family
Entrance to the Hideaway in Brookhaven
Frost in the field for a chilly morning walk, after enjoying the warm firepit, pizza, and s'mores the prior evening

Tuesday, September 29

Art of Night Time Sailing

After the end of summer on the bays in Texas, I can let the secret out, and reflect on all the cool, relaxing, and solitary evening sails. With normal afternoon temperatures ranging from 98 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, high humidity, and low wind, we have learned to bide our time in the air conditioning until the perfect hour, nightfall. We love an evening sail.

Monday, August 31

The Amazing Mr. B, canine crew

Bud at the dog park 2014
As active outdoor people, our dogs represent our lifestyle and personality. For the past year we have had to slow down since Bud could not keep up due to his cancer and age. Last year the canine oncologist gave him a few months of life without their treatment, and well over a year later he is still our traveling companion.  We are loyal to Bud as he is loyal to us.

Life with Bud has been filled with funny, frustrating, loving, joyous, heroic, and sad memories. Bud's whole life with us (12 years with me) has been a Bucket List. From hiking in the snowy mountains of Colorado and New Mexico and the deserts of Arizona and west Texas to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico Bud has seen more and done more than most.  The funny and loving memories with Bud are the ones that I cling to keep me happy.

Thursday, July 30

Somethin' 'bout My Dog

Jimmy Buffett sings it well in 'Somethin about a Boat'...

"Just a-waggin' that tail
Grinnin' that grin
Somethin' 'bout my dog
Makes her my best friend...
That gives a man Hope"
Bud's spot as JT plays his guitar, 9-3-2015
Enjoying the marina by the water

Friday, July 24

Eyes of a Sailor

Once this sailor, Yachty, hit 40, her vision was supposed to change overnight.  Well it did.  Six inches in front of my face things got blurry, but it got better.  Or as much wiser people have told me that I just got used to it.  I tried out a few reading glasses at Target.  The lowest level of 1.0 diopter worked, but I did not like any of the styles.  

When do I need to see details 6 inches in front of my face?  Playing the violin, I have discovered.  I cannot see the bow on the string without closing my left eye.  Glasses, I will need when I decide to play the violin again.  Too much humidity to keep my violin on the boat.

Wednesday, July 22

Bottlenose Dolphins of Texas

Enjoy watching Delphinidae Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin) pods in Galveston Bay, Texas every year.  

Last summer every evening a female and her baby would swim up Clear Creek Channel by the Seabrook Marina pool to feed and play.  We would sit by the pool and watch the dolphins jump and play with each other or the kayaks and SUP, stand up paddle boarders.  Unfortunately we have not seen them this year maybe because of the high level of fresh water and hyacinth this year kept them away.

My first dolphin sighting was right when I visited the Texas coast in the summer of 1999 crossing on the Galveston ferry to Port Bolivar.  Majority of the passengers walked to the front of the ferry to watch the dolphins jump the waves.  It was fun and free for my first time dolphin watch.  But what got even more exhilarating was when the dolphins seeked us out on the sailboat.

Tuesday, July 7

Gnarly Dreams from Sailors

First Canoe Trip, fast asleep, life on the water
Hiding eyes to sleep together
If I ever decide to crew on an another boat, knowing the crews' training, idiosyncrasies, and sleep irregularities are essential for a safe and fun journey versus dangerous and scary.  Since everyone sleeps or naps in shifts, watching another sleep can be a real education about problem sleepers.  Whether it is sleep apnea, dream enactment (RBD), sleep talking, sleep paralysis, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, lucid dreams, or insomnia affects the lives of the other crew.

Tuesday, June 30

I Feel Happy!


Occasionally in the boating community I meet a curmudgeon, 'an angry, surly, mean' individual who wants to make other people unhappy.  People I call a^* holes.  I have met my fair share of them in my life.  I learned to hang up, walk away, and avoid them as much as possible because they seem to thrive on spreading their negative vibe.  I have tried engaging with them to see the positive but they rarely cheer up and make me upset.  So if I ignore them and walk away, I feel better.

I am a naturally happy and positive person.   Seeing the glass as half full helps me cancel out any negative people around me.   Being a rational optimist, I do not understand why some are so negative.

Friday, May 15

Love in a Squall

Since the recent squall that hit Mobile Bay, Alabama, JT and I are reminiscing about our first squall (only squall since). We were dating for a few months and just returned from a cross country drive to meet my parents and explore the Texas Hill country with Whitley.  We were blissfully happy.  

Whitley, the puppy, enjoyed looking out the window and could not believe what she saw.  As I was napping in the back, Whitley, puppy, was sitting up for the first time in the front passenger seat (riding shot gun) staring across the wide open country of west Texas.  West Texas had no green that summer, and she only pees on green.  Once we left Tyler, TX, she refused every rest area until JT found a potted plant in front of the CVS with a green spike grass in it.  She finally made water.  On the return drive we left the interstate to confirm why we both love Texas and the citizens so much.  Driving behind a vehicle where they have the courtesy to pull over into the driveable shoulder to let you pass while using their turn signals, this is where I want to always live.

Thursday, May 7

Good Wood for our Boat

Let it be sung in the streets that I love wood.  To me it is warm, strong, firm, hard to bend, my protection, and my shelter,  When we were searching for a sailboat, I love the all-wood deck sailboats like the Cheoy Lee.  JT reminded me of all the maintenance, work, cost, and possible leaks that could come from wood decks.  We found a boat with lots of wood inside and a little wood outside that we must yearly do maintenance on in the Texas heat and humidity.

Thursday, April 23

Life Jackets and You


I heard it time and time again, "Auntie I don't like it.  I'm hot. Why. I know how to swim." I start with the authoritarian approach that you wear it, no option or negotiation.  Later, sometimes way later, once they understand that I mean business and will not weaken.  I explain to them why, and I will now use this detailed story because stories have the most impact for memory.  

Friday, April 10

Wedded Bliss for another Sailor

Groom's Cake from Kemah, German Chocolate cake chest of jewels
Oh what a joyous celebration there was in Galveston as we witnessed the joining together two wonderful sailors in wedded bliss.  No detail was missed.  We were so grateful to be invited to their beautiful wedding and rollicking party with boat themes, dinner, dancing, and much merriment into the late hours of the night.

Two sailors who share the love of adventure, exploration, and excitement have only started their voyage together.  They complement and adore each other that I foresee great joy together for them.

Friday, February 20

Nominated for Liebster Award

Questions for the Liebster Nominee from Bigdumboat: 

Our task was to answer Dyad's ten questions that they hear too often about their boat.


1. What kind of a boat is that anyway? 

Catalina 34, cruising sailboat.  We enjoy the journey and studying the natural beauty of the world, as much as the destination.  

We spend more money on beer per week than fuel for the year.

Wednesday, January 28

Run Diesel Run

We love the internal combustion engine, a marvel of human creation.  Listen to her humming along.  Never take her for granted, listen to her, know her sounds, and always maintain her parts.  Having a knowledgeable hands on husband is always a good thing.

Sunday, January 11

A year of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Second Pint of Sailing Santa, by Saint Arnold
Engulfed in reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
For those not in the know of my favorite books and author (Douglas Adams, series of Hitchhiker's Guide...), I am on the ultimate Guide's trail for at least a day or 365 days to seek the question because as of that day I am the answer.  Cold and nasty rainy day this must be a Saturday.  I never could get a hang of Saturdays especially the second one in January of 2015.

Tuesday, January 6

It Means What It is.

If I knew where I was sailing from, I could calculate where I was sailing to from Aaron Angell on Vimeo.


I created this blog three years ago because our story of our first cruise kept getting deleted from a cruising association website that we were active at that time.  I learned to write html code and how to personalize our blog so that it is easy for me or anyone to find information about cruising, dogs, or cooking.  Since blogger is free, I have been careful about not putting too much personal  information about us.  

Google had offered the analytic tool a few years ago, which I signed up for but never used until recently. A recent active visitor sparked my curiosity.  Most of our visitors were coming from search engines which I allowed and encouraged.  But what was most shocking to me is the repeated visits from the US DOJ server and social security administration server. Why would they be looking at our blog about sailing, cooking, and dogs?

Monday, November 10

Gaze Upon That Fire Show

Enjoying a quiet, cool Friday (11-7-14) night on the cockpit of the boat, JT saw a meteor shooting across the sky at 8:14pm central time zone at 233.5 degrees (over Clear Lake Shores-Kemah area) from the boat about 1000 feet (30 degrees) in the air.  He yelled down at me in the cabin to come see.  

As I threw open the cover, I saw two yellowish white lights hovering high in the sky.  Are they helicopters? No.  

Thursday, November 6

Stop Pooping on my Boat

Cease Bescumbering our Vessel with Avian Ordure. 

In Texas we have lots of birds year round due to the warm weather. I accept them and enjoying their sighting, but just not their poop on my boat or dinghy or vehicles. Come migratory season the drenching of ordure on our pier and boat is unrelenting. We choose not a fimicolous lifestyle.
When Bud was healthier and we were living on the boat more, my morning and evening ritual before walking the dogs for their bathroom breaks was to clean off the bird poop on the pier. I stop at multiple sections and use their hoses to clean off the pier as the dogs waited patiently. I did not want to track bird poo and disease onto our boat and especially not in the cabin.