Little Things that Entertain

There’s not much that doesn’t present itself as entertainment on a boat. When the yacht club positions itself at the vortex of a lift bridge and said bridge opens during happy hour. There’s entertainment.

Bridge Closed, a bit short for us.

Bridge Open, but very narrow.

I could admit there are ulterior motives for partaking in bridge opening mania, and I’d be partially right. The crew of Fawkes must leave through this bridge to our next destination, so watching the operations, makes the execution easier.

Ah, the first BIG Sailboat

And He's through!

The reality is we wanted to watch the BIG sailboats go through the little bridge. Are we ever really happy with our lot in life, or do we set our sights on bigger and better? With the Classic Yacht Races in Antigua this month, we aren’t disappointed in bigger and better.

The tail end, racing to make the bridge.

The second reality is, we like our home and in this case we don’t want something bigger and better. Fawkes is what we want and we’re happy.

Do you wish for something else, but realize you’re better off right where you are?

Posted in Social Hour | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Paradise with Responsibility

Many of you following this blog have said you enjoy the photos of where we’ve been. Today, the pictures are more disturbing. They begin at home.

Waves lap and grind coral and stone to a fine sand. They also carry seaweed and garbage. Lee shores are the depository for carelessness of folks on land. Sometime it’s the carelessness of folks on the water as well.

Seaweed is a natural part of the beach, the garbage that get’s tangled in the muck is not.

You’d think these pictures are about local garbage only. I can tell you first hand, they are not. The Captain and I have seen floating garbage as far as 100-200 nautical miles from shore. Deflated helium balloon bouquets are another frequent sight.

Garbage is a problem everywhere. There’s so much. We live in an era where a garbage truck comes to the end of our drive and picks up the garbage regularly. We think nothing of where it goes from there. Most US communities have recycling services. Yet, we rarely think of what it takes to dispose of the garbage we’ve made.

On a boat we take recycling seriously, especially if there is a service on an island. It doesn’t happen very often, but we try to take advantage of the opportunity.

Mostly, we reduce our garbage consumption.

When possible, we buy goods with less packaging. We dispose of large boxes before we ever get to the boat, sometimes at the store we purchased the goods.

Water is filtered on our boat, eliminating the need for water bottles. Plastic is the biggest culprit of beach trash.

So when you go about your daily chores, think about the trash you generate and see if you can’t find a way to eliminate and downsize your refuge, rather than add to a growing problem in the beautiful planet we live on.

Pay It Forward.

Do you recycle? Where in your daily life can you cut down on the trash being generated?

Posted in Captain's Chair | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

MANday Challenge

Here’s a fun contest for you to participate in. My blogging friend Jillian Dodd does an excellent MANday post on Monday’s. If nothing else, it will get your juices flowing on a Monday morning.

Now she’s convinced a very fine looking author to pose for a future MANday.

You can help make this happen, I’ll let Jillian give you the full details.


I recently met author CJ West. Aside from writing great books, I couldn’t help but notice that he was pretty darn cute. So I politely inquired about the possibility of him appearing on one of my MANday blog posts. (Actually, I said, Do you have good abs?) After a little help from some of my female author friends, we convinced him (okay, we bribed him) into agreeing.

So here’s the deal:

If we can get 5,000 people to comment on his website, he will be featured on MANday!
In case you have never seen a MANday post, feast your eyes on this and this
If you help us, YOU will be eligible to win a prize package of ebooks by both CJ West and myself, Jillian Dodd, as well as some of our friend’s books. You can enter to win that package by doing this:

Leave me a comment!!


Tweet this: Help @jilliandodd convince @cjwest to be on MANday #teamnoshirt #contest #prize #kindle #books

If we reach our goal, we will also award a $500 Amazon Gift card to one lucky winner!!!
To enter to win the $500 gift card, go to CJ’s blog and leave a comment.

He needs a little encouragement!!

List of books in the prize package:

That Boy by Jillian Dodd
That Wedding by Jillian Dodd
The End of Marking Time by CJ West
Sin And Vengeance by CJ West
Drawing Free by Elena Aitken
Devil Unknown a novella by Steena Holmes
Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace
Again by Diana Murdock
Telesa by Lani Wendt Young
Exiled by MR MerrickT
he Bridge Club by Patricia Sands

Tell your friends!

How much fun are you going to have? Who would you like to see in a future MANday?

Posted in Captain's Chair | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Laundry the Old Fashioned Way

I’ve been asked what I do with my time all day on a boat. As noted before, even the most mundane tasks take extra time.

It had been four weeks since we last dropped our laundry off and for $31 US, we received three loads washed and air dried. So we have to weigh the benefits of cost of convenience or time at a coin operated laundry which would cost us $25 US all day, doing the same job.

We usually decide on paying someone. You ask why it costs so much? Well, these islands are surrounded by water. Salt water. Only a handful of them have any fresh water sources. Instead they have to use energy to turn salt water into drinking water. Thus the extra cost of simple washing and drying of clothes.

Finally we’ve arrived in the neighborhood to pay someone to do our laundry again, this time for $12 a load. Except, our car engine (read rubber dinghy) died and we couldn’t get our laundry to the merchant.

What to do?

Ah, the beauty of rain. Our temporarily out of commission dinghy fills up with rain water during the occasional shower. It makes for a great opportunity to wash some clothes.

Here’s a little secret about laundry on boats. We use ammonia instead of laundry detergent. The secret is that you don’t need to rinse. The ammonia cleans with a power only your grandmother or great grandmother could appreciate.


When there’s enough water in the dinghy, you gauge how many clothes you can get into the allotted water.

Then, you stomp on the clothes. The Captain said he wished it’d been grapes instead, though he was thankful for the clean undergarments.

The hard part is wringing the clothes out so you replace enough water to do another load.

Finally, and this is a trick, you find places to hang your clothes, keeping them safe from a gift to Neptune. Check out Wednesday’s Stove Top Grill.

I can only seem to get two loads done in one rainstorm’s deposit before I have to bail the dirty water away and wish for more rain… Or, not if we could only get to shore.

What are you glad you don’t have to do the old fashioned way? What do you think we should go back in time and re-create?

Posted in Social Hour | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Stove Top Grilling

The pressure cooker is a mainstay on Fawkes. I’ve talked about the benefits and ease of cooking soups such as:

Warm the Crew with Chili

Cultures and Traditions in Food


Curried Pumpkin Squash Soup

A lot of boats have charcoal or gas grills attached to their stern pulpits. Fawkes is a ketch, meaning we have two masts and two sails. The last thing we want while sailing is for the boom to swing to the other side of the boat during a tack and throw a grill over to Neptune.

Did I mention while sailing it IS customary to pay Neptune his due for safe passage, but I’m not in the habit of offering my supper as well. Now the occasional wrench, or the tape measure that bounced three times, those Neptune appreciates as he builds homes for his children.

Food and clothes, I don’t like donating to the cause and yet, clothes have been known to go overboard. Almost dry they have a chance for rescue, wet, forget about it. They sink like a rock.

Back to my new favorite stove top grill/griddle. You heard me right a cast iron, stove top grill/griddle. I’m learning to make whole meals with this little gem.

Just a few weeks ago we made our slimmed down Easter dinner, sweet potato slices, ham steak and grilled pineapple.

Then visiting the French islands and their famous bakeries I found a chocolate baguette, that just called to be turned into French Toast.

Finally, my sweet potato, grilled onions and zucchini with Marinated Pork Tenderloin. Yum!

Timing is everything. My stove is three burners and they’re all the same size, unlike most household stove tops. This grill fits over the front two burners, so the back of the sheet stays just hot enough to rotate food that just needs to stay warm.

I of course start with the potatoes. In both cases above, I started with raw potatoes, not pre-boiled, though you can do that. A bit of seasoning and it’s like turning on the oven for roasted potatoes.

My marinated pork tenderloin is seasoned with ground ginger, cayenne pepper and brown sugar with a soy sauce bath.

As spring is in the air, what are your plans for grilling out? Can you do the whole meal in one shot?

Posted in Feed the Crew | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Last week we talked about Provisioning: Seafood. I promised my favorite clam recipe and why Fawkes stores are never out of at least three cans. Of course, it’s always best if you can get fresh, but in a pinch, if this is in your pantry, I guarantee a meal meant for royalty.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves, divided
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
3 (6 1/2-ounce) cans minced clams, undrained
2 (six-ounce) cans tomato paste
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup Chablis or other dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons dried whole basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried whole thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 (16-ounce) package linguine
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Sauté garlic and 2 bay leaves in olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat two minutes, stirring often. Add onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender and brown, stirring frequently
Drain clams, reserving 1 c. clam juice; discard remaining juice. Set clams aside. Combine the liquids, including reserved clam juice with the tomato paste, stirring until mixed and add to the pan. Stir in the remaining bay leaf, and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Add clams to tomato sauce; simmer five minutes. Discard bay leaves. Place linguine on a warm platter, and top with sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired. Yield: six to eight servings.

What’s your favorite pasta sauce?

Posted in Feed the Crew | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Little Things in Life

The wind is howling, the skies an angry shade of grey. I can’t stand without bracing myself as the boat shimmies and shakes. All this while at anchor.

A frontal trough is moving through the area bringing high winds and squalls. It’s a good time to be in a quiet anchorage.

After a restless night, checking anchor and boat position, closing and opening hatches as rain comes and goes, it’s nice to review pictures of our cruising life.

Even as we sail in the tropical paradise of the Caribbean, I reflect how much of our day to day life comes with self imposed stressed.

Every once in a while we encounter someone that creates a sense of awe. This fellow we met in Florida, he single handedly sailed his boat into a tiny harbor, dropped the hook in a crowded anchorage and proceeded to set out his midday meal.

You’ll notice the wicker picnic basket and makeshift table. He’s content just to have the day with the wind in his sails, a quiet spot for lunch and a leisurely ride back to his home.

How many of us take the time to really experience those moments in time? Do you have to force yourself to slow down? What did you do recently that gave you this same feeling of calm?

Posted in Captain's Chair | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments