Friday, 2 September 2011

Goodnight Irene, come on down Katia!

Goodness time does fly when you are busy dodging hurricanes!

September is the BUSY month where these whirling dervishes are concerned and Irene kept us on our toes as she headed towards the eastern seaboard of the U.S.A. We took down the main sail (Needs some repair work anyway), took down the dodgers and the bimini. Secured everything else. Filled up with water, diesel and petrol. Ran the engine to get the batteries charged and....settled back with a good book whilst the chicken roasted in the oven!

As it turned out Irene made her turn to the north and we were left with just a day of 25 knot winds as she passed well to the east of us. But what a mess she made from North Carolina up to the Canadian borders. Boy are we thankful that we never made it that far North this year.

And now Katia is lining up, too early to see which way she will go but we won't be putting any canvas back up until the end of this month.

I am having great fun with my cooking, more to follow soon. TBH is mostly left sprwled on the sofa replete after yet another gastronomic experiment. Yesterday was Country terrine with a potato and green bean salad, really yummy!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Living in style!

The son has just returned from filming in Turkey. He had to slum it for a couple of days on a 446 foot motor yacht as guest of the owner! It's a tough life...

Meanwhile back on the range...we have been fixing leaks in our dinghy! After 12 years of hard use the heat has started to take it's toll and every morning we are greeted by a somewhat flacid rubber duck perched on the cabin top. TBH is awaiting delivery of some glue and then we should be buoyant again.

Put's life in to perspective huh!!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Fresh Market

What a treat! I have just been taken to 'The Fresh Market' a gourmet supermarket here in Savannah. Oh Boy...
I had to be forcibly restrained from spending the entire month's budget on fresh baked basil foccacia, lemon pound cake, fresh racks of lamb and soooo much more!
I just ate one of these, it was truly scrumptious. Naughty me didn't save even one tiny crumb for TBH!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Emily commeth...

Bit of deja vue going on here. Emily is the hurricane we narrowly escaped in Trinidad some six years ago and here she is possibly after us again!

I am not going to panic, I am NOT going to panic!!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Exhaust and self-sufficiency.

Like all jobs on the boat fitting the new exhaust pipe turned out to be a far bigger job than we had planned on!

We knew it wasn't an easy one. We've done it once before and the access is, to be blunt, f...g appalling. Plus the pipe has to make a 90 degree bend. Then you have to take care not to pull the engine off it's mounts. And this time we are at anchor, in the hurricane season, in an area know for it's volatile weather. Not my ideal scenario. Can't think why...

Of course the entire boat has to be turned upside down, beds disrupted in the search for tools, saloon destroyed whilst the pipe is thtreaded through, galley out of commmission whilst TBH assumes positions of eye watering complexity as he struggles to insert his body into spaces designed for a 2 foot child with 6 foot arms! Do boat designers EVER try and envisage the problems that some of their design features cause us poor boaters?

Using an ingenious arrangement of ropes and pulleys we managed to complete the task in the allotted one day, and that included replacing a large aluminium elbow that connects the engine to the pipe. Fortunately we had a spare aboard as the old one pretty much disintegrated in the pulling and shoving that was going on.

My quest for greater self-sufficiency on boat is progressing in leaps and bounds. It's so easy in this land of stuff to provision that it's important to remember that soon we will be more than a short stroll from a good supermarket, without a decent refrigerator. So the canning is very important. Meats, veggies, wonderful Summer fruit, it's all making it's way across the stove. The herbs are back in production and I have a nice range of pots in a specially constructed holder in the galley. Sprouting seeds are starting up and the bread making is going well...

Next it's time to sow the selection of lettuce and green leaves that will be ready to pick in about three weeks, they are supper once we are away from civilisation again. I gow varieties that are cut and come again and usually manage to provide us with 1-2 meals a week. There is something very special about fresh veg once the stores have been depleted!

It's 4 months now since we last plugged in to a power source. The batteries are doing just about OK, really is time to replace them I think....

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Mad dogs and englishmen...

Quite an extraordinary thing, it's raining here, and during the day no less!

So we have walked down to the library where there is internet access, for free, air conditioning and secondhand books for sale.

The place is buzzing, all the computer stations(10) are taken. A group of kids are being entertained in one corner with songs. People are browsing the latest editions of the newspapers and periodicals. Amazing for a small provincial library.

...Oh and we are the only people to have walked here! They don't seen to do walking in Georgia! Not that I can blame them it is god awful hot and you daren't rest for long or swarms of bitey anty things get chomping on your ankles. Still we're mad dogs of Brits and always head out in the midday sun.

The exhaust pipe is inhabiting the aft cabin like an overgrown anaconda, tomorrow is the day to attack that little project and I am canning green beans and grape tomatoes. Not at the smae time you understand!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Time, Opera and cooking.

Goodness we have been busy this week. Time is passing very rapidly and we really have to get a move on if we are going to get north before the winter sets in...

TBH has finally kicked all the leaks into touch, yeah!! Now we are servicing the windvane steering gear and still have to fix a new exhaust pipe to the engine. The old one has developed a rather nasty leak.

Whilst he is busy with the mechanical and technical side of life I have been preparing for a few weeks with no stores, no Publix, boo hoo. I have been canning meals so that we are not reliant on the refrigerator which is a bit hit and miss these days. Whole chicken breasts, spaghetti bolognaise sauce, chicken curry, pork tenderloin. I have made mango chutney and peach jam. Feeling pretty virtuous I can tell you.

Mary, my new best friend, has been a gem. Driving me to the Farmers Market, letting me take over here washing machine. It even washes with HOT water! We haven't had that experienece for years, everything is looking so clean it's spooky!

During the week Mary and husband Bill took us off to the local cinema where they were showing a HD recording of The New York Metropolitan Opera production of 'La Fille du Regiment'.It was superb...made us a little sad at all the 'cultural' events we have missed since leaving England. Only for a minute or two though!

My job this week is to find some charts of the areas that we are heading towards, challenging stuff here!