Showing posts with label sailing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sailing. Show all posts

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"

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...

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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, 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.
  24. Use Ice water to revive wilted lettuce in 30 seconds
  25. Aioli is an emulsion garlic, olive, oil, and egg yolk, (alioli is without egg yolk)

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.


UPDATED QUICKIE GUIDES READY TO GO
2013, Louisiana, Quickie Guide for Sailing
Second Edition, Texas, A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations
A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in Mississippi

Tuesday, February 5

Stop Suspicionless Searches of Pleasure Vessels


The US Coast Guard and Border Patrol can and do board any vessel in the slip or out sailing without any probable cause. There are been numerous reports in Houma, LA of the Border Patrol and US Coast Guard boarding recreational vessels (sailboats and power) in the ICW. As a former student of Constitutional Law these meritless boardings give me great pause, and I recall the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

Sail Magazine did a great article about the very topic in October 2012 which I will reprint here. Definitely worth the read. In fact lets take it a step further and contact your Congressman and Senator about changing The law of 1790 Revenue Cutter to now exempt recreational vessels from suspicionless searches.

Personal Handwritten Letters seems to have a heavier weight to the Congressmen (when I worked for a special interest group)
The Honorable (Contact Your US Representative)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable (Contact Your US Senator)
US Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment, Part 1
Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment, Part 2
Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment, Part 3

Friday, February 1

Quick Go Sailing

As my first order of business, I decree that all sailboats must leave the slip at least once a season and go for a quick sailing trip.  

Fussy and frustrated with present Sailing Guides, I created my own: a fast, to the point, and up-to-date guide, for TX, LA, MS, and AL. 

A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations on the Gulf Coast

Go for a Quickie.

Wednesday, May 9

Time to Let Go

Setting out to Sea
For over nine years, I have kept and protected the ashes of my beloved golden retriever, Natasha, who died tragically at two years of age in MS.  With us setting to leave our home in east Texas and move close to the water, I felt that it was time to let her go.  JT was the one that found her body and returned her to me where I kept her ashes all these many years ('because you never leave a man behind').  She never enjoyed being cooped up in a crate, being left alone, and loved being on the water. Her final resting spot needed to be in the water. 

Tuesday, November 1

Books, Boats, and Films


Joshua Slocum on Spray (first man to single-hand Sailing Alone Around The World)
With the cool Holiday season coming around the bend and nights getting longer, we might be spending more time in the cabin. So here are some true boating movies that have real boats on the water and not all filmed on a studio. In fact my criteria insists that the boat be a main character in the movies. If you can, use a home projector on a sheet for your boat buds and you to enjoy. Popcorn is in the galley.

The books that I have paired with the movies must be written by someone who clearly knows boating and the correct terminology, whether fiction or nonfiction. Most of these books are in the public domain and can be downloaded for free in ibooks, plus in itunes university the free audio version for some is available for download by chapter.

Tuesday, October 4

Spring 2011 Texas trip

While I do prefer to remain in the shadows on the Internet, I now feel thrust into this other realm. Our one month sail down the ICW (aka GIWW) last spring with our clan of four was far more than I imagined, and staying connected to TMCA made it bigger than us.