Monday, 25 October 2010

Retiring Richard..

TBH was right, yet again, grrrr.

Richard turned North, making landfall 20 miles south of Belize City yesterday. We had one squall at around 2pm. maybe just over 20 knots of wind and a lovely downpour that filled our tanks with water, thanks Richard.

I celebrated with a long hot shower bliss!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Hurricanes hardly happen... Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire....and Guatemala. but being a bit of a nervy type I am keeping a very close eye on Tropical Storm, soon to be Hurricane Richard.

We are told that there has never been a hurricane hit the Rio but I really, really hate it when people say Never. Certainly nobody here seems too concerned and the thinking is that we are likely to get a great deal of rain but little wind. Certainly that is what we have experienced in the past. And yet...

So I have made sure the batteries are charged, extraneous equipment on deck is well lashed down or bought below. We are anchored in a reasonably sheltered bay with all our chain out and no boats nearby. TBH refuses to consider taking down any canvas and in my heart I am sure he is right but I am a woman and it's my duty to panic from time to time!

This is the latest projection of this troublesome weather systems path, looks like Southern Belize is in line for the major hit.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Happy Birthday... TBH!

Yes it's the great man's birthday and NO I am not going to tell you how old he is...I value my life.

We had hoped to be in the salt water today but with Tropical Storm threatening to become Hurricane Richard we have decided that discretion is the greater part of valour. So we'll stay put until the current nasty has decided which way he is headed and when.

There have been a couple of good downpours at night so we have managed to top up the water tanks. Fresh food is still going strong. I picked up a tip reading another blog about keeping celery fresh and crisp. We get great stuff here but within 24hours its gone all limp and floppy, even in the fridge. Well all you do is take off any leaves and wrap the stalks tightly in kitchen foil. IT WORKS really, really well. just wish I had bought more of it!

So I am off to bake a cake for the beloved and look at the latest weather updates...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pears and repairs.

We had a lovely sail down river. Just enough wind to blow us along at a gentle 3 knots, no waves, not too much sun. Sometimes a plan comes together....

For now we are anchored in our favourite spot, enjoying the cool weather and getting to grips with the little niggles that always arise after weeks at the dock.

So far TBH has serviced the main bilge pump that suddenly stopped working. Never an easy one this as the heart of the thing is almost inaccessible in the main lazarette. But after three goes at emptying the locker it finally succumbed to his ministrations and is working better than ever. Note to self to buy another couple of service kits, that was the last one!

A new starboard side kicking strap. This is our 'insurance' line that stops the boom suddenly swinging from one side to the other and either decapitating one of us or ripping the boom in half! A new line that require a very complex splice, cored rope you see always difficult. Fortunately TBH is a master with his 'fids'(special metal tools for splicing rope).

My job? Cooking and keeping the captain happy!Well somebody has to do it...

So yesterday his lordship having rejected the pears I had aboard I looked around for a suitable recipe to use them up, this is the one I used.

Chocolate Pear Pudding.

4oz butter
2tbsps soft brown sugar
3 pears, peeled, cored and poached in sugar syrup till soft
1 oz walnut halves
4oz castor sugar
2 medium eggs beaten
2oz cocoa powder
3oz flour
1tsp baking powder

Heat oven to gas 5/ 375C
Butter 8 inch sandwich tin
Sprinkle brown sugar on base.
Arrange pear haves,cut side down and fill gaps with walnut halves, flat side down.
Cream butter and castor sugar till light and fluffy
Gradually beat in eggs.
Stir in flour.
Sift cocoa and baking powder together and stir into mix, adding a spoon or two of the poaching liquor to make a soft dropping consistency.
Spoon mix over pear halves.

Bake for 25 mins until well risen and top springs back when pressed.
Remove from tin and invert, pears uppermost.

Serve with lashings of cream!

The captain approved...

The sponge is a bit like a brownie and the sugar caramelizes to coat the walnuts. No calories at all, NOT!!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Looks like a YES!

Well the provisions are onboard, the heads cleaned, the washing up to date and TBH has just gone to fill up the petrol cans...

We will lift the dinghy when he returns and then tomorrow morning we are outta here. Scary or what. Of course just as we prepare to let go the lines Hurricane Paula spins up in the NW Caribbean but she's not going to come anywhere near us, are you Paula! And I am running a temperature, that I am putting down to excitment.

Looking forward to some sailing and maybe even some salt water under the keel at last. See you....

Friday, 8 October 2010

Will we...

...manage to leave as planned on Wednesday?

Your guess is probably as good as mine BUT we did start to clean the outside of the boat this morning!
Detergent and scrubbers in hand we were on deck at the crack of sparrows fart, trying to avoid the frazzling tropical sun. With a concerted effort we got all the way from the bow back to the cockpit. A holocaust of spider deaths, good job I'm not buddist, all the rellies wiped out in one swipe!

The old girl, the boat not me, is starting to look like an ocean going vessel again. We are cleaning the green slime away and checking the boat hardware as we go. The teak deck is looking a bit sad, it's really starting to wear. A lifetimes work for TBH to replace the worn planks, mind you we have what seems to be a whole teak tree onboard, cut to just the right size. His current excuse is that the Stanley Plane he needs to complete the work is waiting to come out from the UK with the next visitor, humm.

Currently the dinghy is full of cans waiting to be scrubbed so I must get back to work...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bragging rights...

Yeah, I know, my kids hate it when I do this, but thought you might be interested in this short clip of film currently being directed by the son. Dead chuffed to see all the nautical bits and boy do I wish I had this guy's sense of balance.

If you'd like to see more of James' work take a look at his site Jamesmh  or  Gramafilm

Sunday, 3 October 2010

BBC World Service.

Ooh so excited! TBH has managed to install a link to the BBC so that I can listen to the World Service on the blog. How amazing is that? Choices of news, documentaries and so much more...

Scroll down the blog and you'll find the link just under TBH's Twitterings.

This morning I have indulged in 'The Archers', the quintessential English radio soap. Made me realise how long it is since I last listened, many of the characters have aged beyond belief! Phoebe, last known to me as a babe in arms is now a truculent schoolgirl and Jill Archer is about to celebrate her 80th birthday. Cripes.....

PS. Both TBH and I recently read 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a fascinating novel that centres on the culpability of western Colonialism in Africa. The BBC World Service is currently broadcasting an audience with the author that makes for interesting listening.It will be available to listen to for the next six days. I recommend it to you.