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) 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.  

Two pints of Saint Arnold's Sailing Santa at the hacienda, a stop at Darwin's Theory Pub for the Eighth Wonder Dark Belgian Ale and the special galactic mind-melt shot heard around the world, onto the Heights for the Golden Door to Enlightenment beverage at the Down House (thanks for the fish and grits), and saw a Beagle along the Voyage.

Chaos fell at our feet along the way.  We had driven passed an ambulance and firetruck where unbeknowist to us a driveby shooting and murder had taken place in a nice neighborhood.  On our return to the domicile a car had crashed into one of our favorite eateries and plywood boards had been placed over the front doors.  Is the Universe trying to tell me something?  The World's End... Nah, Simon Pegg is no where to be seen and we have left crazy behind.

With all good intentions we hoped for a stop at the Beer Can House and the Buffalo Brewery Company tour and brews, but those time restraints came whooshing by.

Our canine companions greeted us upon our return and insisted on a much needed potty break before coming to our celebration once more.  Who needs a babel fish for translation when we have dogs as smart as ours.  Whitley assisted and protected me from my Pirate Twin-Self until I rejoined reality.

Everyone has their version of hangover cures, and I found mine in a lot of warm hugs from my sailor friends the next afternoon.

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?

Anyone looking over my shoulder always makes me nervous.  I like my privacy.  I know my history, and if we allow our privacy to be encroached upon, we may become like our neighboring islands.

After further examining of the visitor data, I found something even more troubling. The US DOJ was mostly from BOP out of NC.  Why are federal prisoners allowed to surf the internet?  Most of the posts visited was about living in close quarters and the fourth amendment, but this visitor still troubles me.  

Now Tim Berners-Lee is a great and wonderful man who created the world wide web, but I doubt that he would imagine federal prisoners allowed to use his creation.  He designed it so the engineers in CERN could share information around the globe.  I try to maintain the integrity of his creation with our blogs being helpful, yet fun.

What has been most enlightened to me is how my visits to a website or blog may look and how much personal information about me as a visitor is being recorded on other people's computer. Now the idea to escape (as shown in the above video, The Prisoner) from this numeric world sounds delightful.  I have turned off the search engines under the settings of blogger, but some traffic is still coming from there.

I love the idea that active or soon to be active cruisers are using our blog for inspiration on trips, and traveling together with dogs.  I love to share information and educate others which is why I created the now defunct wiki sailing website that became the series of Quickie Guides for Sailing Destinations (paper or digital) on the Gulf coast.

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 4000 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!


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 has been 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.
USCG National Maritime Center

Navigation Rules Online
( online book)

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
281-461-6186, Seabrook

Tuesday, August 26

Leading New Cruisers to Moody Gardens


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.

Booking five boats or more at Moody Gardens marina, you get a discount price.  Days before everyone changed their slip to their own credit card where they could charge food or whatever to their slip.  We made it to the front desk to check in and get our keys to the pool, showers, yoga, and gym, plus wristbands for the waterpark.
We turned into the first channel to Offatts Bayou where we warned about shallow spots and staying in the channel or closer to the greens.
Whitley jumped to the bow to lead the way to the markers, find dolphins, and avoid the shallow spots.  She recognized the Bayou right away since she was just here in July with the Mosquito Fleet from the Houston Yacht Club.  

We found our slips and began to head in when I called out to the captain that the motorboat next to us has locked their two bicycles to our rear cleat with a bike lock.  What a Fool!  

With the winds blowing I moved the bikes out of the way to tie onto our cleat.  With help from a fellow cruiser we were able to tie up without any problems to our boat.  So we ran to help the other boats tie up.  Our dogs were running to the potty area, and were so overjoyed for the relief.  Bud, our Labrador with liposarcoma, had been crying the last leg of the journey because he had an upset stomach.  I stayed with Bud until he felt better, and returned to the boat where the bike owners were moving their bikes to proper bike area.  I am glad that it was not me because I was furious for the arrogant, egocentric act.  

Apparently that was not the only time that we saw this hubris.  Another power boater used two power source to plug his boat in, his own and another member of our cruise party-that came in the next day.  We debated about unplugging it until we saw a dog on board.  They had no external power for a few hours. Until the power boat's captain decided to leave the swim up bar at Moody Gardens Hotel and check on his boat.

Everyone loved the lazy river and the Palm Beach.  We had cocktails and appetizers on the dock and partied until 2 am, finishing up with the Moody 500.

Saturday we arose early with the wind blowing too much to use the kayak.  The forecast for rain never showed and we had a very hot and windy day at (packed with people) Palm Beach and the (cold water) swim up bar at Moody Gardens again.

A dog park with a water feature would be so nice, maybe one day they will have one.



Bud's health never was a problem.  He was so happy being with us and Whitley.  Reliving his cruising days again with his family.  This may be his last big cruising trip with us.  We have learned to enjoy every blessed day with Bud.  We have no idea how long that we have with him.
Ready to leave that Friday morning for Moody Gardens, but I forgot Whitley's leash.  Whitley was sans leash which is okay if there were no fireworks.


After sailing in East Bay, Bud started to pant and was uncomfortable due to the heat.  I had frozen a large bag of ice for him and kept it in the icebox until he needed it.  As we began to complain, I wrapped the bag in his towel and laid it on his stomach to cool him down.  I kept moving the ice bag around, and his favorite spot on under his neck and under his head.
Whitley did not understand why she did not get to use his ice bag.  But she did enjoy his special bed that he uses to rest his chest (with growing liposarcoma) on.  Whitley learned that if you shares the cushion with Bud, then she can enjoy the cool wind and the wet ice bag which had a small leak in it.

Whitley enjoyed this journey even more because not only was Bud with us but her favorite male Golden Retriever was on the adjacent boat, who kept sneaking over to our sailboat to be with Whitley and the AC.  Bud did not have a problem with him anymore, and now they are all friends.  One early morning I took our dogs for the morning potty break and asked the male Golden if you wanted to go with us.  YES!  His family was still asleep.  So he lead the pack to all the best potty areas.  We returned to get onto our boat and the male Golden joined us.  As we went downstairs to stay in the AC, the male Golden popped his big head into the cabin to enjoy the cool air.  We told him to come on down, which he was all to willing and drank some of their water.  Short time later his owners arose searching for their dog, and we quickly alerted them that he was with us.  The owner said that he suspected that he was probably with Whitley.
Enjoying the time together.
After the cool pool at the Hotel, we dashed up to the private showers (with towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soap) and sauna on the second floor to clean up.  

Saturday night we got everyone to go to Shearn's Bar for drinks, food, dancing, music, and the best sunset location in town.  I had the grilled vegetable plate with pasta and tomato sauce (no salt) which was so delicious and so many vegetable that I brought them back to the boat.  I had ordered a glass of Chianti, and our waitress returned to ask if it was red or white.  Apparently not on the menu, so I got the Bridlewood Estate's Pinot Noir which was very good.  JT had Shearn's signature dish of sauteed shrimp dejonge with very rich creamy garlic sauce (normally we get just for an appetizer) and a side of steamed vegetables but his Cabernet Sauvignon was not good.

The pianist is always delightful with numerous couples and groups up dancing the night away.  With some encouragement from the pianist and our group, I was able to get JT on the dance floor to spin me around to "The Woman in Red." 

Upon returning to the boat, we watched the bright half moon rise over our boats as we shared drinks and stories.  We crashed early at one am since the sun sucked so much energy out of us.    

On the final day we went to Palm Beach for one last romantic ride around the lazy river, and dry in the sun.  The Hotel loaded our boats up with ice for long journey home, and handed over our room cards to the marina concierge.  

We made it under the bridge and onto Pelican's Cut.  Crossing the Houston Ship Channel, we raised the head sail in East Bay and killed the engine.  As the day heated up, we decide to turn the engine back on and get our patient, aging dogs back to the slip.

Upon the returning to the slip, we showered off at the slip.  The dogs drank lots of water, and Whitley drank water from the hose as I showered off.  I had given the dogs the left over vegetables (grilled squash, eggplant, bell peppers, carrots-their normal food) before we left.  I did not give them any of their dry food since I did not want them to have an upset stomach again.  So we went downstairs to cool down where I gave them about 2-3 cups of dry (no grain) salmon food.  Whitley did not come over to her bowl until I call you, which is unheard of.  She ate it, and pressed her low hanging head against my leg. I asked her if she was okay.  She made a wretched sound.  Quickly we went to the head for her to throw up the food.  Then I notice the worst thing possible.  Her stomach was swollen like a big pumpkin.  She began dry heaving.

I had read Marley and Me, and seen the movie.  So I was familiar with Marley's story of the bloat and the twisted stomach (torsion-gastric dilatation volvulus).  I had cried many tears reading about Marley's health problems and death.  (I wanted Bud to play one of the older Marleys in the film but filming was in Florida and too far for us to drive.)  I did not know that dogs can get bloat without the twisted stomach.  I remember researching about the twisted stomach after reading Marley and Me.

Here it is on Sunday evening in Seabrook.  All I could think was get Whitley to the vet immediately.  Luckily the VCA is on I-45 a 20-minute drive.  So we loaded Bud in the back and Whitley, who was laying down in the grass, jumped up in to the vehicle.  Wow with bloat.  JT asked if we should wait to see if it goes down.  No! I looked on the smart phone for answers and info about the bloat where I read about the high percentage of dogs from bloat and it being the second most killer of dogs (cancer is the first).  The more that I read the more that I cried.  I could not imagine getting through Bud's health issues without Whitley, who watches out for him and comforts him.  How quickly everything can change in a moment.

I called VCA and was asked "how far away are we?"  I said ten minutes.  They are watching out for us.  I brought Whitley in and they immediately took her into the back as I filled out paperwork about Whitley.  Dr. Kelsey came out and asked me a few question, and I had brought her vomit in a plastic bag if they needed to test that for anything.  After they took the xrays, office door opened and said to come back.  Her stomach had not twisted.  They had put a four foot tube down her esophagus, and was able to release the pressure in her stomach.  They could hear the air coming out of her stomach and it went back to normal.  She had swallowed too much air when she was drinking or eating.  She could not burp it out.  If not released, the swelling could have cause tissue damage and blood flow problems.  My fear now is what if this happens on the boat hours away from show.  She may die before we can get to shore.  Do I need to keep a 4 foot emergency tube for them on the boat?    Smaller meals throughout the day and smaller water amounts on the ground, make sure she burps.


Sharing the shady side with Bud's Ice Pack
Prevent bloat in your dogs by keeping bowls on the floor or smaller portions.

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.


Stay fit to reduce injury on these long sailing trips.  Practice the sailor's workout.  Pulling lines for 7 days definitely does work your triceps and biceps.

Second day they hit a bad storm (31 kt winds and high seas) and the bimini got torn up.  Watched lightning hit the ocean in the distance, beautiful as you could see the lightning spread across the water and scary (too quick to take a picture).  Thanks for the working auto helm and no rigs when it was the worst.

Best Tips to Prevent Seasickness While Sailing
  • Bring ipod with headset
  • Gloves, harness, offshore lifejacket, thermal underclothes that dry quickly, sunglasses, hats
  • Have a job or goal ready, keep your mind busy
    • seasickness is 30-50% mental
  • Take the helm and watch the horizon
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Get a good night sleep
  • Drink plenty of water, regularly 
  • Avoid high fiber and acidic foods
    • chocolate, caffeine, apples, orange juice, milk, lemons, coffee, fries, and greasy (oily) snacks
  • Dress in layers and wear loose fitting clothes
  • Peppermint (calm your nerves) and ginger help reduce seasickness
  • Avoid others that have nausea
  • Everyone's different; what works for me may not work for you.
    • Vomiting may provide temporary relief to nausea 
Motion sickness: Caused by Inner Ear feeling out of balance and visual motion.

Seasickness: Prevention and Treatment
'smell of acetone on your breath after long stage of nausea'
Overuse injuries in sailing by Tamara Mitchell

INFO on KEY WEST and DRY TORTUGAS

PASSAGE WEATHER

RESTAURANTS IN KEY WEST (most are mediocre cooking at best)
    Stock Island, Hogfish Bar and Grill, 6810 Front St, 305-293-4041

MARINAS

        KEY WEST
STOCK ISLAND
MARATHON
Robbie's Boat yard, 7281 Shrimp Rd, Key West, 305-294-1124
NOAA Data Lighted Station: Super Buoy 42003 (East Gulf about 120 NM, northwest of the Dry Tortugas, 26.044 N 85.612 W (26°2'38" N 85°36'42" W)), Flashing (on 4 secs) Lighted Yellow Buoy every 20 seconds PA (Position Approximate), ODA (ocean data acquisition system, data collecting superbuoy)

Remember new emergency stop in Port Eads, Louisiana at new marina, 2 miles north up South Pass of the Mississippi River.  Info available in updated Louisiana Quickie Guide 2013.  They got about 70 nautical miles from the South Pass; rigs were well light and close together.

Many in the crew heard the sounds of animals, dog barks and whistles which may have come from the spotted dolphins that were seen along the way.
 http://octopus.gma.org/marinemammals/communication.html

Beware: South of Louisiana, Crew Boat, Southern Belle, at full hull speed crossed their bow at 50 feet and circled back around them.

Marquesas Keys, 25 miles west of Key West, mangrove island formed as a doughnut by a meteorite, kayaking-fishing area, http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/zones/wmas/marquesas.html


DRY TORTUGAS
  • Bird Key Harbor, SW of Garden Key, Dry Tortugas, south of Fort Jefferson West Channel, 24°37.4'N, 82°52.67'W, contact ranger at 305-224-4255.
  • Slip usage for 2 hours Map of Garden Key; claimed mooring ball only use for 2 hours from ranger, boaters can use the slips on a first come first service basis to unload camping gear and supplies or take a walking tour of the fort.

Mooring Balls by Fort Jefferson (Garden Key, Dry Tortugas), (only one was available, told for 2 hours)
  1. RNAMB1 (Windjammer) 24°37.413'N, 82°56.548'W
  2. RNAMB2 (The Maze) 24°36.6'N, 82°56.914'W
  3. RNAB3 (Davis Rock) 24°41.209'N, 82°54.440'W
  4. RNAB4 (Texas Rock) 24°40.082'N, 82°53.125'W
  5. RNAB5 (Off Ramp) 24°40.156'N, 82°54.506'W
  6. LMBSE (Loggerhead SE) 24°37.833'N, 82°55.187'W
  7. LMBSW (Loggerhead SW) 24°37.8031'N, 82°55.546'W 

View of Fort Jefferson NPS

Southernmost Buoy in the Continental US, Key West
To see Dr. Samuel Mudd's Cell
Dr. Samuel A. Mudd (1833-1883), imprisoned Fort Jefferson Florida, July 14, 1865.  "upon occasion of the prevalence of the yellow fever... Samuel A. Mudd devoted himself to the care and cure of the sick, and interposed his courage and skill to protect the garrison .... from peril and alarm,  and thus ... saved many valuable lives and earned the admiration and gratitude of all who observed or experienced his generous and faithful service to humanity" from President Andrew Johnson.  Dr. Mudd was released, and left Fort Jefferson March 11, 1866

Inside view of Fort Jefferson

Welcome to the Conch Republic at Key West Airport, "90 miles to CUBA"

Flying into Key West, southern view
 

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 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 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
Table dancing after midnight until 3:00 am
We dance on the floor to Ezra Charles with lots of brass by some lovely ladies who played lively energizing music and lead the parade of fleet members around the club. 

P/C Bob and Stephanie Wright were awarded the trophy for Yachtsmen of the year
2014, Pelican Ice Sculpture with shrimps and delicious munchies
Thanks to Chef Joseph Ulloa and HYC staff for the beautiful presentation and the delicious dishes.
Tropical Experience in January 2014 at Houston Yacht Club
In 2014 arrived with a steel drummer, Howard McMichael playing, and little umbrella fruit cocktails or champagne to greet the guests.  Superb dance music by Ken Mondshine and the Brotherhood.

After party Party music by DJ John Peter and dancing on the reinforced tables in the Lounge.