Friday, March 30, 2012

Heading North

I have definitely caught the cruising bug.  The cruising season has started.  Neighbors are leaving for central British Columbia and we are starting to see a lot of well equipped boats pass through the port.  I can only guess that most of them are heading toward Alaska for the summer.  Jealous. 
Not us. :(

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Photo of the Week - Spring Weather -

Spring is here AND it is making me want to learn more about weather patterns.  I am in the middle of reading Adlard Coles' "Heavy Weather Sailing" which I have found very educational and interesting.  However, I am pretty much lost when a cloud is described as being stratocumulus perlucidus.  Huh? Seriously.

Stratocumulus perlucidus clouds aside, the weather in Friday Harbor has been full of extremes.  We go from having snow, to sun, to hail, to wind (it seems) in a single 24 hour time period. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paring Down Non Essential Personal Belongings

The personal belongings that we, as a society, are conditioned to value (emotionally and monetarily) never fails to surprise me.  

It has taken a lot of time for me to change my perspective on what material items are important to have in my life.

I have been meticulously combing through our large storage unit in preparation for downsizing to a smaller, heated unit.  Here is an example of what I encounter on a "storage unit day":  

On this specific day, I went through a large bag of gift bags (a bag of bags!  Ha!) I have collected, a scrap-booking supply chest I have not used since college, and a box full of desk/office "necessities".  
I have since moved this three drawer system onto the boat (into K's stateroom).  I store her "while M's sleeping" toys/projects inside of it.  Included are play dough, play mobile toys, a small-ish magnetic doll toy, wikki stix, crayons, paper, and washable markers.  
I will need to find a way to secure this unit to the boat while underway.  I am thinking of turning the drawers toward the hull and using a bungee cord to hold the unit in place.  We shall see.  

Seriously, how many pens does a person need?  AND WHY are there so many?  I kept five pens and one highlighter.  I dropped this pile of pens off at the "free" shack at the port (I will write a post about that soon) - they were gone within the hour.  

The most time consuming part of going through your things is not actually going through them - it is cleaning up the mess you make and, more importantly, finding a home for the things that you do not want.  Unless something is light (in weight) and worth $20+ on eBay it goes into the garbage or to the thrift store.  

If you are in "cruising kitty hyper saving mode" like I like to think we are... check eBay pricing BEFORE you get rid of something.  
As a side story... I discovered the other day that USED high-end perfume is in high demand.  As I write this, I have two bottles with eight and nine bids, respectively, going for a combined amount of just over $50 AND there is 18 hours left in the auctions.  I was going to take these items to the THRIFT STORE!?!?!  I didn't know there was a used perfume market.
Happy Purging!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easy Boat Food - Mexican Baked Fish & Roasted Potatoes -

In an effort to continue to broaden my seafood cooking horizons, I found this awesomely easy baked fish recipe that I derived from an AllRecipes Recipe.

The potato recipe is very basic and comes from T's grandmother's recipe collection.

Mexican Baked Fish:
  • 1 1/2 pound cod fish
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease one shallow 8x12 inch baking dish.
  2. Rinse fish fillets under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Lay fillets side by side in the prepared baking dish. Pour the salsa over the top, and sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheese. Top with the crushed corn chips.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork. Serve topped with sliced avocado. 

Roasted Potatoes:
  • red potatoes - 5-6 medium size
  • paprika to taste
  • dill to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces and place in shallow baking pan.
  3. Coat in olive oil. 
  4. Add paprika, dill (and anything else that sounds yummy!), and salt & pepper to taste. 
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes turning over with a spatula every 10-15 minutes.

Happy Baking! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sick Kiddos, Wind Storms, and Big Projects

The last few weeks have consisted of big projects, impressive wind storms, and sick kiddos.  

I am not short of things to write about (in fact, I have a huge back-log of post ideas just waiting to materialize).  My in laws were out of town for a few weeks so I took full advantage of using their home as a staging area to go through storage unit boxes and try to thin out our personal property (yet again) and transfer, categorize, and catalog all the items we want to keep in "long term storage" from cardboard to plastic bins.  "Long Term Storage" meaning things that we want to keep in storage when we go cruising.  We are hoping to bite the bullet and make the switch to a heated 10X10 unit in April.

Last week the kiddos both got nasty colds.  This was only the second time K has been sick and M's first bug so giving them the extra TLC they needed and spoiling them with extra cuddle time was a treat.  
M fell asleep on the floor (totally out of character).
Asleep, with the TV on and K playing around him.  Poor kid.
K - AKA "walking dead" interested in watching me wash the puke off her clothes - that was a day.

Things starting to get back to normal.
In addition to dealing with "the plague" and the storage unit projects, I have been working on our families 2011 photobook, completing a sewing project (quilt) that has taken much longer than I ever expected, and trying desperately to get our grocery spending down all while learning the ins and outs of a gluten free diet (we are just trying it).

Friday Harbor was hit with two impressive wind storms over the last few weeks.  I tried to film the noise of the big storm... but the movie did not come close to doing the actual effects of the storm justice.  We saw gusts up to 60 MPH.  There were times (in the middle of the night) that I watched the hatch above our bed and just waited for the dinghy to blow away.  Ma'alahi made it through unscathed.  I would much rather be aboard our boat than in a house surrounded by tall trees.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Busy Days

Things have been busy around Ma'alahi.

Last year, T and I started an involved membership application process for a well respected yacht club (off island).  I was contacted for an interview and had to make an unplanned trip off island late last week (with kids in tow).  Hopefully ::fingers crossed:: we will hear good news from the club soon (at which point I will happily talk further about the club and why we applied).  

I have also been decompressing from Miss K's second birthday party that we hosted at my in law's house - I will post photos soon.  I am so thankful that my in laws have offered their home to us so that we can entertain our friends without the hassles and hazards that would be involved with having people down to the boat (not to mention that Ma'alahi doesn't have a dining room table).  

We have been busy... but having a lot of fun too.  I am happy that we are staying put for a while.  It allows me to live in the moment with the kids.  
Miss K play inside her ducky blanket fort.
We are having fun.