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 together.  

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.

Upon our return home we jumped on the boat to sail around the lake on a blistery, hot and humid early Sunday evening, July 13th, 2003 after 5 pm.  I was still a true novice at sailing with less than a handful of trips under my belt.  The winds were barely blowing 4 knots so both sails were up on the Hunter 23.  As we passed the Jackson Yacht Club, we noticed a dark cloud by the spillway.  I thought that a nice summer shower would cool us off.  We got anything but nice.  This fast moving dark cloud grew as it crossed the Rez.  

JT tried to start the engine but it would not crank.  JT stated that he should take down the head sail as the winds picked up forgetting about the life jackets.  By the time he dropped the sail, the rains and winds started.  After unhooking the sail, he quickly pushed the head sail into the front hatch.  The wind and rain really took off now.  JT dropped the main sail and attempting to tie it down as the wind blew us side ways.  The loud, pouring rain felt like a thousand needles to the skin.  I yelled (getting a mouth of fresh water) that I was putting our four month old, Whitley, in her new larger size lifejacket down below.  

Whitley surviving her first squall
All that I could imagine was the headlines of tomorrow's paper of two boaters missing after a gale storm on the lake and a unknown golden retriever puppy found on shore in her life jacket.

I quickly searched the cabin for human life jackets.  Two seconds later JT yelled that he needed my help.  I jumped to the cockpit.  JT said to grab the tiller since the wind was pushing the hull of the boat starboard.  I grabbed the tiller and pointed the boat away from the wind as I placed the bottom hatch to keep the velcro puppy down below.  The sailboat stood back up, so turning the boat away from the wind worked.  Many of my first sailing lessons I learned in a gale storm with no engine using a tiller.

We could not see three feet around the boat because the rain was so hard and still blowing sideways.  I could barely see and hear powerboaters and fishingboats flying by us at top speed.  Why would they be going that fast when they could not see? JT returned to the cockpit.  Ten minutes later the storm finally passed.  "It comes on ya fast and leaves ya fast," quote from Captain Ron, movie is so true.  That was a pure adrenaline rush that we survived.  JT still could not get the outboard engine to crank so he radioed for help from another boat on the pier.

As we waited for their arrival, we let Whitley out of the cabin to stop her from barking at us.  We had no navigation besides the tiller, so JT decided to raise the main sail again.  JT grabbed a line from our fellow boater, who towed us back to the slip on H pier.  The sun dried our rained soaked bodies and clothes on the way back to port.  As we arrived back to slip 10 men stood around the slip eager to see us return and hear our tale.  JT's father years later told me that he thought, 'that was probably the last time that I saw her.'  Well he didn't realize what an adrenaline junki that I am.  I loved it, and JT and I bonded even more aside from returning from Arizona to meet my parents.

Our love and bond was sealed in a gale storm on a lake in Mississippi.  It was only fitting that we sealed our marriage in a post-wedding party at the Jackson Yacht Club with the Vamps band playing in to the late hours.

Over a decade later we still remember all of the details and excitement.

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.

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.

2. What was it before? (Translation: What was it's original purpose or function?) 

Prior to us our sailboat raced in the LYC Harvest Moon Regatta in 2008 & 2009 which was two very rough storms for the Regatta.  It was placed on the market right after the 2009 Regatta.

She is a slow beamy boat and not a fast boat, that does not cut through the water easily with a winged keel.  We do not race her, since I like to win and racing down the Gulf with two large retrievers does not sound fun for the dogs or us.

We stopped being mostly live aboards when our aging sick dog could not jump on to the boat (or really I could not pick him up safely on to the boat).  We hope to be live aboards again.

3. Did you have it built? (Challenge: make sense of this fuzzy question.)

No, she was built in 1987-88.  We have owned her since 2010.  We do not buy new sailboats, since we have a saving plan for us to go cruising across the Gulf and the islands. Debt free is our only way, or we go without. 

4. Where was it built? 

Built in the USA.  I believe in a production yard in California

5. What's it made of? or Is it stainless?  

Exodus has a fiberglass hull, with teak and cherry woods interior and exterior, metal mast, dog hair in the cockpit and cabin, and lots of love.

Oh yes, stainless steel metal does stain!  The salt air tarnished the stainless steel, so the closer to the coast the faster the metal will tarnish.  Wash it and wipe it down twice a week when near the coast.

6. Are you going to paint that thing?  

I think that she looks fine.  After five years we just had the bottom repainted so that we can go through Louisiana with less fear for the high clay content in the intracoastal waterway and less fear of developing blister in the warm salt water.

She has a gel-coat aka exterior epoxy-based paint. We do not have to paint her since the paint last 30+ years especially if we keep away from over excited buffers.  The gel-coat provides a 'water barrier to the fiberglass underneath'.  If we paint her topside, then we will have to repaint it more often.

7. What's the length, the draft, the width?  

Length: 34 feet

Draft: 4 feet winged keel.  So if we get stuck, then we wait for high tide or call TowBoatUS.

Very Beamy: 11.9 feet.  I love the extra room, and the aft cabin with king size bed.

8. What'cha got for power? 

It is a sailboat.  We have the wind captured by either the main sail or a 110 genoa sail or both.

As an endless researcher and a lover of finding how things work, here is what I have found about the science of sailing.  Using Edmund Bernoulli's Principle of pressure and velocity our sailboat can be imagined as an airplane turned on its side where the keel and the sails act as wings by 'providing the lift from the fluid passing around them'.  So the shape of the sails and wind direction are the greatest factors affecting how much power or speed that we have.

If we are not doing five knots, then our Universal 23 hp engine comes alive.

Read more about the theory of sailing in the works of Arvel E. Gentry, an aerodynamicist who studied sailing in his Ranger 23 in Washington state, and published works in Sailing Magazine in the 1970s, revolutionized the theories of sailing.  Read more about the evolving science of sailing, and NASA's recommended reading about the physics of sailing in Physics Today, February 2008. 

9. How fast does it go? 

It depends on the current, incoming/outgoing tide, wind speed, and wind direction.  On average in the Intracoastal waterway or the bays with no seaweed, our engine moves us 6 knots (nautical miles per hour) through the water.

10. Can I have a tour? (Translation: Can I come aboard and snoop?)* 
* this question we would never ask anyone, but it's asked of us often.

Do you like dogs?  I depends how long our yellow lab and golden retriever has been on the boat without vacuuming their hair off the rugs.

We are proud of Exodus and her improvements that we have made over the past five years.

May we see the inside of your boat, too?  To see what ideas that we would like to do to our boat.

When it warms up, I shall attach the go pro to Whitley, and she will give you a dog's eye tour of Exodus.

Since high school I had always wanted to learn to fly a plane.  It was such a romantic idea to fly through the clouds among the birds, see the world from up high, and travel faster to my next destination.  Fifteen years ago I began taking flying lessons in our small Texas town.  I had even made it to landing, but an improper act by my instructor, nausea that I felt after flying for a hour, and hatred to the loud noise of the Cessna, my love of flying stalled out.  

What is surprising is how many sailors are pilots.  On a regular basis when I meet a sailor somehow the discussion gets to planes, and I find out that they are pilots as well.  One sailor-pilot that we met has the dream job.  He flies families to the islands in a private jet and captains their boat around the islands.  Wow that sounds fun.  He had mentioned to me flying a motorless soaring glider plane that detach from the back of airplane.  No engine noise, sounds divine.

I have bungee jumped from my ankles over water, solo jumped from a plane over the foothills of the mountains, and achieved 11 hours of piloting time in a Cessna 182.  My love of flying planes had just evolved into sailing.

While I believe that my posts should be a great source of information and provide links to even better information for interested people to read more about, I have expanded on my Liebster Award nominee to include my fascination with the science of sailing and flying planes.

Ten Questions for eight new Liebster Award nominees from EXODUS.

 1. Favorite place you visited and why?
 2. Nicest thing a stranger has done for you on your travels?
 3. Worst weather that you were stuck in and how you passed the time?
 4. Were there any new companions (animal or human) that joined you on your trip?
 5. What place would you never go back to and why?
 6. What was the craziest thing that you have seen on your travels?
 7. What is your favorite food that you miss from home or childhood?
 8. What is the newest food/meal that you have tried? Did you love or hate the meal, and why?
 9. Where are you most looking forward to visiting?
10. Make up a short story on who Liebster was?

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
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.

I partook in at least three pints of beer (liquid refreshments from Dr. Ink) to cushion the transition to a new age.  An evolutionary voyage through space and time that had me back in a time where I could not remember my last name.  Not to worry the last restaurant had warm chocolate chip cookies to make the end and the beginning of the Universe a sweet transition.  

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.  

They moved to the east & west slightly. Two more broke out from them showing four burning objects falling to the ground.  One began a fiery spiral, helix, to the ground, while the remaining three still lingered in the dark night sky.  I stood on the cabin steps for a couple minutes not wanting to miss a second. Another fell off to the west in a fiery spiral again and it's light finally died out close to the ground.  

JT yelled to get his cell phone.  I grabbed the phone, and he started recording when the last two fiery objects died out.  Too late.  But oh what a spectator fiery meteor show it was for us.

From the Andromedid Meteor Shower, American Meteor Society says a giant fireball reported in Texas the next night on November 8, 2014, possibly 4,000 pounds.

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.

Thursday, October 30

Fire Prevention on Boats

First boat (Boatox) fire of the fall by the Kemah Boardwalk in September
After two fires in the Kemah area this fall (destroyed 3 boats), let's remember some good fire safety rules.  Practice fire prevention and encourage your boat neighbors to do the same. (January 2015, one fire at South Shore Harbor (3 boats burned))

Upgrade your older boats electrical wiring.   We had a certified marine electrician replace the old wires on our boat, but we still had to go after him and tighten everything up.  AC and ice box shorted out.  Be meticulous on the electrical upgrades or hire someone who is a proven meticulous electrician.  Not just because they are marina certified electrician.  We speak from experience.  Look at our worker page for a suggestion. 

Notify boat neighbors if you are leaving your canine or feline on the boat for a few hours.  Safety First is a practice not just a motto.

Check out what happened to Lobo Del Mar sailboat neighbor at Kemah Boardwalk in October. 
    Kemah Fire Department: Small Boat and Marina Fires Safety
  • Portable fire extinguishers that are properly certified. Make sure that you have a sufficient number of the appropriate extinguishers and that the extinguishers are in good condition.
  • A fire blanket may provide an alternative method of extinguishing a cooking pan fire or allowing safe escape from the boat.
  • Bucket

Service and inspect your fire extinguisher(s) yearly!!
They can’t help you if they don’t work!

Monday, October 27

No Blisters in the Sun

First Coat on the Bottom and fixing 4 blisters, not bad for 5 years

With the quarterly scrubbing of our bottom free of barnacles and growth and plus maintaining zincs on our propeller shaft in the hot Texas salty waters, our bottom looks pretty good.

We used 4 coats of antifouling bottom paint, and fixed 4-5 blisters on the hull.  Choose the right paint for your climate and your planning-to-go area.  Interlux is good and common in our area.

Tuesday, October 14

A Way to Go through Life

Over the past week I tried the delicious Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose, Post Road, and Southern Tier with real pumpkin puree in them.  Love them.  One night enjoyed Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard for a dessert beer.  The Pumpkinhead needs some work compared to the others.
Not fat, drunk, and stupid (quote from the movie, Animal House).

We planned our tenth anniversary months in advance.  But with Bud's health concerns (cancer) we changed our minds on a long trip to either Marfa, Terlingua, Lajitas, Big Bend State Park, or Burnet, and stayed close to Houston.  Bud is in great spirits and very active for a 13+ year old dog with or without cancer or blind, so we could have gone on a trip with the dogs.  

We really enjoyed the Houstonian Hotel and loved the hospitality and extras in the room and on the grounds.  We plan on returning.  We didn't have to drive hours away to feel like we got away.  We drove through Memorial Park to begin the feel of heading into paradise.  No dogs allowed here though.  Keeping them at home for the night was so easy. 

Thursday, September 25

Preparing for Six Pack Captain License

We have been considering getting our Six Pack License so that we can make some money captaining our sailboat with up to 6 paying passengers on our boat.  But it is very expensive to get your license.  

Here is some basic information that I have found for our area.
Generally, operations that carry 6 or fewer passengers for hire are referred to as Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPV), 6 Passenger (pax), or 6 Pack operations. These are your typical charter boat fishing guide or tour boat operations that may use a state numbered boat. UPV operations traveling on navigable waters of the United States under U.S. Coast Guard jurisdiction are not required to be inspected by the Coast Guard. They must comply with minimal federal standards for safety, navigation, pollution prevention and the vessel operator must hold an Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license issued by the Coast Guard.  

The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary provide courtesy UPV examinations to assist you. These exams are free of charge, comprehensive and confidential. Contact your local Coast Guard Sector Office. Many times they can put you in touch with a Coast Guard Auxiliarist in your own town.

CODE of FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS , Title 33, navigation, and for the OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels) aka Six Pack Captain's License, 46 CFR 11.467
  1. Drug Test Application
  2. 360 days of experience
  3. 90 of those 360 days must be within 3 years
  4. Valid First Aid/Safety Aid certificate 
  5. Passport/Birth Certificate
  6. Passed TEST 
  7. Back ground check through TSA 
  8. Passed Medical evaluation from selected doctors, TWIC
130 questions for Test
  1. Rules of the Road, 30 questions, closed book, 90% to pass
  2. Navigation General, 20 questions, open book, 70% to pass
  3. Plotting, 10 questions, open book, 70% to pass
  4. 2 part of Deck General/Deck Safety, 70 questions, open book, 70% to pass

Will Rain Fall over Clear Lake

Having our boat between Clear Lake and Galveston Bay for seven years, we had long heard and witnessed the Clear Lake umbrella effect.  Storms would be coming from the west or south and completely miss or slightly brush over Clear Lake.  Tornadoes would be hitting League City and disappear by the time that it gets close to us which is a huge relief.  Understanding the Clear Lake effect is difficult to nail down because it is not a perfect model.  

Tuesday, August 26

Leading New Cruisers to Moody Gardens

Turning into Offatts Bayou channel
Marina at Moody Gardens from the beach

We organized and lead our first cruise to Moody Gardens Marina in Offatts Bayou.  Our other sailboat cruisers had never been to Offatts.  We slowed down and stayed behind another tug to insure that everyone made it under the Galveston Causeway RR bridge together.  We radioed the bridge using their call sign to make sure that all the sailboats will be able to go under before they dropped the bridge for the train.  We all made it with no problems from the courteous bridge tender.  Dolphins greeted us along the way.

The cruise was made so much easier with A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in Texas.

Wednesday, May 28

Guess Who Is Coming to Make Dinner, Joan Roca

Introduction to the Roca family (translated from Spanish by Harvard University, listed below in post)
As I try to master (or at least minor) the art of cooking (in small places), noted chefs, Joan Roca, and his brothers, Jordi (pastry chef) and Josep (wine expert, sommelier), from the restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in TaialĂ , Spain (near Girona) are coming to Houston August 4-6, 2014 at the Rienzi (MFAH house museum for European decorative arts and paintings in River Oaks) to show 300 select individuals what magical foods that they can create (including new version of chili con carne or make ice cream with breathe with yeast).

Pictures from August 4 meal at the Rienzi from Houston Chronicle (14 courses) from Alison Cook

Second set of Pictures from Culture Map Houston, Eric Sandler
Opening dish of tapas is presented as a tree with a black lantern canopy that opens to reveal the gifts of a tiny taco, and more delicious bites.

Featuring Spanish wines: Vega SiciliaGramona, Grans Muralles and Mas La Plana from Bodegas Torres

They are also bringing their restaurant and 20 workers to Dallas for 2 days as well.  Then continue to Central and South America. 

Two students from Art Institute of Houston, International Cooking program, and two students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Art in Dallas will be selected to go to Spain and apprentice under the Roca brothers in their restaurant.

Thanks to the BBVA Compass Bank.

Roca & Roll World Tour

Thursday, March 20

Sailing Across the Gulf

Sunset from Key West, March 2014
Sailing across the blue water to the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles south route
Center of Fort Jefferson National Park, 2 park rangers live there for 2 weeks on.
One of our crew sailed from the Dry Tortugas and back to Texas across the Gulf of Mexico.  Preparation is the key to any successful trip.  So for some added preparation, I added some ways to make the trip better.

Monday, March 10

Salt Sensitivity and the Sea

No brining for this chick.  Low to no sodium foods are impossible to find (where are no salt El Milagro Tortilla Chips anymore).  Plenty of gluten-free but no foods (without sodium) for me (sodium sensitivity) besides cooking from scratch.

The Mother Load at Central Market in Houston, are five bags enough for the month?
Here is the supporting research that 1 in 4 suffer from sensitivity to salt (possibly from sodium).  

For over ten years after moving to Mississippi I suffered from what I thought was food poisoning or acute (hot burning pain) pain in my left shoulder blade and left arm (felt like hot lava burn to my left ring finger) after eating but over the past 2 years discovered that it is the salt and it is a genetic trait.  A piece of brined turkey or pork will have me suffering all night long.

Tuesday, March 4

TWIA: Blow Me Away

After a quick education about WPI-8, now repealed WPI-12, and the waiver, I have received a real lesson on the latest nonsense that is TX windstorm insurance compliance

Wednesday, February 19

Monday, January 27

Galveston Bay and Texas Oyster Appellations

Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family always includes Scalloped Oysters: baked oysters with milk, butter, crackers like Beaumont Inn's recipe. My mother absolutely loves oysters: fried, grilled, scalloped, raw-not so much, but never had Galveston Bay oysters until she moved to Texas. 

Thursday, January 23

HYC Commodore's Ball and Table Dancing

2015, Saturday, January 17, shared the guest pier with Lakewood Yacht Club motor boat and enjoyed the HYC Sailboat Ice Sculpture with fresh shrimp, salmon, and delicious morsels before dinner accompanied by live steel drum music.
Beautiful table arrangements for our dining table
Commodore Robert Williams of HYC and Commodore Joyce Maxwell of Lakewood Yacht Club

Sunday, January 12

Ethanol Gas killing our small engines

Our little outboard engine has been a continuous problem until we started only using non ethanol gas.  From are the gas stations where you can find nonethanol gas.

Apparently Harris County and all counties touching the county can not sell nonethanol at public gas stations (blame the US government, EPA regulations and statutes).  But allegedly you can get it at airports that is used for planes which is 100 octane.

Tuesday, January 7

Wednesday, December 11

Harvard Lessons for Cooking on a Boat

My total benefits for agonizing over once forgotten college physics, chemistry, and biology:
  1. searing your meat or vegetable creates maillard reaction (flavor compounds) over 120 degrees Celsuis (~250 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. Cooking with wine or alcohol helps break down the beef tissue (reduces the crosslinks).
  3. Ledenfrost effect: for a drop of water on a skillet of 190 degrees Celsius (374 degrees Fahrenheit), gas suspends the liquid over the skillet
  4. Making cheese with whole milk and a little white vinegar or buttermilk
  5. 1 part salt to 10 parts ice & water, drops the temperature the best to cool the beer down
  6. Avocado brown when in contact with oxygen.  Cilantro has low pH (vit A) and bond to avocado to block attachment to oxygen.  Lemon, lime, or orange juice (acidic) blocks the bonding to oxygen
  7. How many and the types of meals can I cook on a tank of propane
  8. How much heat per mass of food will be needed to cook the meal.
  9. Idea of building a solar oven on the deck when anchored out
  10. Reducing chances of getting sick from microbes in our food
  11. Is my temperature of the oven or pot on the stove correct, use a thermometer
  12. Use the scale and measure in grams!
  13. Make soups thicker or thinner (viscosity) with appropriate hydrocolloid
  14. Bread Flour make my buttermilk biscuits better.
  15. Making Ice cream on the boat is so easy using small and large ziploc bags.  Large bag with 600g of ice and 200g of salt (temperature drops to 22F), and small bag with 90g cream, 100g milk, and 20g sugar placed the larger bag and shake for 10 minutes.
  16. Not a fan of chocolate, so I had to eat all those Chocolate Lava cakes-no chocolate for a year or more now.
  17. Fermentation for beer and wine.  Understanding distillation of alcohol. Why whisky or rum will stay good on the boat but not beer and wine, because nothing can grow in the high alcohol content.
  18. Making breads and pastries: thank you Joanne Chang, understanding why salt is needed to kill off some of the overproducing yeast in the bread.  Burping and farting yeast molecules.
  19. 10 sessions of research, homework, and labs (eating)
  20. Pesto (adding a little flat parsley to reduce darking of the basil)
  21. Viscosity: Mac and cheese, make a roux of flour and butter before adding the cheeses and milk-increases the viscosity and improves the taste on the tongue
  22. Elasticity: cooked proteins in bread or meat changed the mouth feel and reduces the chew factor from the uncooked foods
  23. Cooked Noodles: you do not have to wait for the water to boil before adding the uncooked noodles.  Add the noodles when the water is cold and heat it up and use less water, to save energy and water.  Adding salt to the water barely affects the temperature, so save the salt and do not add to the water.

Friday, October 18

2013 ACL Music Festival: Dancing in the deepest oceans

Since living in Texas, I have long heard about Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival (beginning in 2002).  But no musician excited in me the desire to get a pet sitter, drive to Austin, battle 75,000 people to see someone sing in the hot October sun or the rain for 3 days, but this year was different.  In the morning that the tickets went on sale at 10 am, I heard that The Cure and Depeche Mode were headlining for both weekends.

First weekend sold out in a matter of hours.  No worry we wanted the second weekend as our anniversary present anyway.

"Please do not take me until after I get to see and hear both bands play."

Thursday, October 10

Quickie Guides Ready for Racing and Cruising

Buy A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in TX Kindle version (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle for Ipad) with live web links. 

Louisiana Kindle version, (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle app for Ipad) with live web links.

Mississippi Kindle version, (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle app for Ipad) with live web links.

2013, Louisiana, Quickie Guide for Sailing
Second Edition, Texas, A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations
A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in Mississippi

Saturday, August 10

Water is our Wilderness

Walking the docks of our marina, we saw many jellyfish around the sailboats, all shape and sizes.  We saw one with a beautiful long tail called a War O'war.  Oh you do not want to get in these waters now.  With the water so warm and the temperature so high, this is when most people and dogs are jumping into the water to cool off.

The next day a friend had gotten stung by a jellyfish by Redfish Island, but they had no vinegar on board.   She was stung on her rib cage.  So she just drank lots of alcohol to numb the pain until they returned to shore.

Here are some Helpful facts from Judith Klein, MD that I had just watched after seeing all the jellyfish in the marina.  For an hour she talks about dealing with injuries in the wilderness called Into the Wild, Backcountry Medicine 101 found on ItunesU.

Tuesday, August 6

Tough Choices on Leaving

How much longer?

After much researching, organizing, and updating to cruise to blue water, one of your crew may not be up for the trip.  We apply the daily eye drops or ointment so he can see.  Bring his favorite food and toys which he ignores when he is at sea.  Why, is he motion sick? 

Tuesday, June 4

Sunny Denial is a Busy Place

Just another sunny day on the beach in Nice
My latest dangers feel like the newest drivers in the Houston area; all trying to hit me and never using turn signals. But if I avoid the rush hours and keep a far distance from them, I can make it safe and sound to the boat to relax. 

This spring has been nice and cool so much so that I have not thought about sunscreen much. I got my first redness-burn at the HYC opening ceremony forgetting how bright the sun was. Finally now I am pouring on the sunscreen again. 
I had always been good about applying sunscreen since high school. After returning from the pebble beaches of Nice and seeing all the old ladies that looked like the witches from Clash of the Titans, I used sunscreen, big floppy hat, sunglasses, & long flowing hippy skirts with a healthy glow to my skin, not a tan. I tried the numerous chemical tanning creams but they all made my skin smell like meat tenderizer, not a good smell for a vegetarian.

My work put me out in the heat of the Texas Sun 5-6 days a week, but I was always fully covered with the wide-brimmed hard hat and eye protection, knocking back catbriar and saplings. 

So I guess my lapse in judgment for lacking sunscreen is a recent problem and the lack of proper clothing protection since we got the boat. 

I would prefer to stay in a bikini all day long than my old armor of jeans, flannel shirt, steeltoe boots, leather gloves, and hardhat.  Realizing again that the sunscreen is not enough (I was in denial-Egypt I will miss you). This sun and my new age is changing my skin, so back to the proven treatments of hydrate, lotion, sunscreen, hat, glasses, flowing tight dresses, & exercise... 
Apparently denial is a busy place:

Thursday, May 23

Walkin' on my Hands

I'd stand on my hands for a good drink too.
Here we go.  Ready for Memorial Day weekend.  Now we are not your average Memorial Day weekend party-ers.  We take it to a whole different level.

Sitting back and consuming large amounts of quickly produced beer called american lager with no flavor, or drinking from the dogs water bowl.  That would be a hard one to decide.  It may depend on if the dogs eat anything today.

Well all funny business aside.  Good and Great Beers are no longer in short supply.