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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 8 – We eat better than Tom Douglas thinks

No new webs this morning!  We must be winning against the spiders!

Our plan this morning was to head into the dock and fill the water tanks, then head for the farmers market at Telegraph Harbor.  After which we would head for Ladysmith and get more groceries as our stores are running low.  Melissa had planned that we would eat ashore more often than we have.  Cuz.  Jim and Melissa love to cook.

First order of the day is to fill the water tanks.  So we head to the dock at Chemanus.  A guy on the dock comes to help with the lines.  Sometimes, “help” isn’t particularly helpful though.  Jim throws him the stern line which he pulls in.  You would think that would be a good thing.  But physics.  If you pull on the stern, the boat rotates about the center of gravity and sends the bow out away from the dock.  Problematic because Dave can put the stern wherever he wants with the prop and rudder.  The bow though he can’t put on the dock.  Melissa asks the guy to grab the bow line and pull it in.  He informs her that, “I’ve been at this many years and this will work”.  His plan was to tie the stern line and have Dave go forward till the boat lands on the dock.  Problem with that plan is that as the boat then rotates towards the dock, the bow will roll in and hit where we don’t have fenders down.  Melissa looks back at Dave who is now rolling his eyes and saying, “this isn’t working”.  Because the bow is now away from the dock, its too far for us to jump and fix ourselves.  Melissa in frustration finally begs the guy to take the bow line, and says, “this boat has been through the Panama Canal – we’ve a pretty experienced captain”.  At this point he grabs the bow line – though clearly irritated with us.  Dave jumps off and pushes the bow off before we get a scrape in the side.

We fill with water and then head to the farmer’s market across the bay.

When we get to the other side of the bay, Dave calls the marina to see if they have a spot for us to tie up for a couple of hours, only to be told there is no farmer’s market today. Dang!  Ok, well off to Ladysmith we go.  Jim is already working on breakfast.  This morining Jim is making risotto cakes – but this time as a version of eggs benedict with Canadian bacon, poached egg, and hollandaise.  Just like the other day when we made “real” eggs benedict – it’s a two person job – so Melissa puts in the assist.  It’s a tight fit that requires close coordination.

And the aftermath that is Margaret’s mess to clean up is again epic.

But the end result was worth it!

Yesterday Melissa blended up jalapeño peppers, red onion, garlic, and heirloom tomatoes into a version of a V8 so that we could make bloody marys.  A bit of chili salt on the rim and a pickled green bean – and – yum.

The short run to Ladysmith was smooth.  And when we reached the marina, Melissa handed the bow line to someone on the dock.  This time the guy grabbed the line and did the right thing - nothing.  Dave navigated right to the dock.  When the guy handed Melissa back the line and she said "thanks", he replied, "I didn't do nothing.  The captain obviously knows what he's doing."  Yep.

Ladysmith was where Apsaras resided for the first year after she came home from Panama.  So we know we can get good supplies here.  Jim, Melissa, and Margaret walk the 1.3 miles to the relatively well stocked grocery and liquor store.  We stocked up and decided to call a taxi to take us back to the marina.  At which point Melissa had to pull everything out of the fridge and freezer and repack it like a jigsaw puzzle to fit everything in.  Yep, we are ready to eat and drink like kings for the next week.

A bit of project planning then transpired to decide what boat projects we might (or might not) takle.  Melissa has really been wanting Dave to install an anchor washdown pump.  It’s a pump that pulls up ocean water and would allow Melissa to wash the anchor chain and anchor when they get pulled up from a muddy bottom.  Problem is that while we bought the pump ages ago, Dave has been hesitant to install it.  His plan has been to snake a pipe from the one spare through-hole (a hole plumbed into the bottom of the boat) up to the bow of the boat to the pump.  But snaking the hose around the bulkheads and corners of the boat is a challenge.  Jim meanwhile has been egging this discussion on claiming that he is good at snaking.  And the boys did just finish snaking wires for the ampmeter.  Jim comments that, “I have to be nice to all my friends equally – but there is nothing to say I can’t pit them against each other”, which gets a big laugh.  Melissa (again) points out that we don’t actually need to snake the hose because she would be perfectly happy to throw a hose into the water and suck it up when the pump is running.  Which then causes an “ah ha” moment for Dave – who realizes that if we do that, then the pump would be available to pump water from any compartment.  Including the anchor locker.  While all the bilges drain or get pumped naturally, there is always a slimy mess at the bottom of some.  A pump aboard that we could both use to get an endless supply of water from the ocean (or lake) to wash stuff down, and also suck up water could be really useful.  This lights off a discussion about how much easier it would be to do that.  But we are missing a few parts.  We need a waterproof on/off switch and another hose connector that can be mounted inside the anchor compartment.  The pump itself can be mounted behind the bathroom mirror in the bow – right underneath the anchor compartment.  Melissa might get her wash down pump after all!

Well known chef Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau (nicknamed The Chef In The Hat who is the chef/owner of restaurants, Loulay and Luc, in Seattle) do a radio show on KIRO-FM called Seattle Kitchen.  Jim was in the audience recently.  Chef Rautureau was on vacation, and they lost their third co-host to another job.  The producer asked Jim if he was a good cook, and not knowing why she asked, he said, “I’m a great cook”.  And she asked if Jim would like to be on the radio and be Tom’s co-host for a couple of segments - the first time ever an audience member has been asked to be a co-host.  They put Jim on a segment called “kitchen hacks” on August 11.  Jim was asked to comment on various hacks and whether he had any to offer up.  When he was asked whether butter should be left out on the counter or put in the fridge, Jim replied that he uses unsalted butter, so he leaves it in the fridge because the salt is what preserves it.  Tom retorted that it can last a few days out of the fridge, and so Jim just doesn't eat enough butter.  But in the end, Tom said, "he's a pretty darn fine home cook".

So when the show posted this question on their Facebook page, Jim just had to ask a question about what to fix on our cruise.

The answer that came back on today’s show wasn’t bad – to put down crab traps and serve the crab with a bit of melted butter.  Yeah, ok, that’s a good idea.  But they also said that they didn’t figure we would have fresh herbs aboard.  So we should serve ritz crackers with the crab.  What?!  Oh.  They really don’t know us, do they?  We have fresh dill, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, mint, and cilantro.

Tonight’s dinner was a labor of love.  Hamburgers.  Ok, not so unusual you might think.  But here’s the prep that went into them:  First, Jim made the burger meat.  He started with one part hanger steak, four parts short rib, and four parts aged rib eye.  He then cuts to 1/2 in cubes before feeding through his grandmother’s vintage hand grinder set to 3 to 4mm.  He forms the ground meat into 1/3 lb burgers with a thumb print indentation in the middle (to keep them flat when grilling).  He packaged them up and froze them so that we would have them for the trip.  Second, Melissa made homemade BBQ sauce.  She takes katchup, honey, crushed pinneapple, and spices and simmers for a few hours.  She jars it up and freezes it.  A few days ago Jim and Melissa (at Dave’s request for pickles which we didn’t have onboard) took cucumber and onion slices and soaked them in red wine vinnegar and salt.  They’ve been curing on the counter all this time.  Tonight, Jim then carmelized some more onions and sauteed mushrooms.  We cut up more fresh onion and avacado.  That plus the usual mayo, mustard, and ketchup completed the set of condiments to choose from while building your burger.  To go with the burgers, Melissa made a spinnach, pecan, blue cheese and dried cranberry salad with fresh made dijon dressing.

After dinner we watched the movie “Sahara”.  One of our favs that Jim and Margaret have never seen before.

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