Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Food in the Bahamas

We have heard from a number of sources that we should take as much of our own food as possible with us when we go to the Bahamas. There are many uninhabited islands that we might want to visit. Even when we do visit islands that have food stores the food can be extremely expensive. Also, since the food is transported by boat, store inventory will vary depending on how long it has been since the last boat delivery (weekly or longer??). So, we are planning to take as much as we can. That means taking a lot of canned and dried food.

Another piece of advice I have read is that we should provision according to what we normally eat. In other words, don't pack a lot of corned beef if you don't normally eat it at home. In the 2 1/2 years that we have been cruising on the Chesapeake we have developed some favorite "boat recipes". They are easy to prepare and don't usually require a lot of ingredients. I have been working on modifying the recipes to use canned and/or dried ingredients. This week we are trying out the modified recipes to see if we like them. Last night we made one of our favorite recipes, Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce.

Chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce. No, we aren't counting on eating tomatoes in the Bahamas. They are so good around here this time of year, though.


First, I made my own flour tortillas. It is the first time I attempted making them. They turned out well and weren't hard to make.

Then I rehydrated the freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried cheese, dried chopped onions and dried sour cream. Who knew all of these items were available?? I sautéed the chicken and onions, made the sour cream sauce with a roux, chicken base, the sour cream and a can of green chilies.


Then we assembled everything and baked it.

It was actually quite tasty. We were both surprised. After we try the rest of the modified recipes I will estimate how many times we might make them over 5 months and calculate the total amount of the ingredients we will need. I hope we can fit it all on Breeze On!



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP)

We recently purchased an inflatable stand-up paddleboard (SUP). We think we will have a lot of fun with it, on the bay and in the Bahamas.

Our friends, Doug and Laura, have a few of them at their house on a lake in Connecticut. They came down for a visit last month and gave us a few pointers when we were out on the boat. They told us it is much easier to step onto it rather than get on in a kneeling position and then stand up. It isn't at all easy to balance on the SUP but we are getting better with practice. George actually went all the way around Big Island on the Rhode River this past week.



Friday, September 9, 2016

Boom Brake

George and I just returned from a sailing trip to Annapolis. We traveled there to get some work done in the boat. One of the things we had done was installation of a boom brake. I had heard of these a while back from the women on the the FaceBook group, Women Who Sail. They sounded like a very good idea. A boom brake essentially slows the movement of the boom when it moves from one side to the other. This is helpful when sailing down wind, when the boom is far out. It has to go quite a distance to go from me side to the other when turning (gybing). If there is a strong wind it will move with a lot of force, potentially damaging the boat. Normally we control the movement of the boom while gybing by pulling the main sheet to bring the boom in as the boat is turning. One of us operates the main sheet and the other turns the wheel. It is not an issue when we are both in the cockpit. It was an issue, though, when we were sailing overnight down wind in the Atlantic last May. We tried to time our gybes to our sleep schedule, but it turned out that we needed to gybe every hour and a half or so. Now the boom brake will enable us to gybe single-handed.

I have to admit that I wasn't sure I liked it after it was installed. It seems awfully big and has lines that criss-cross the deck. It looked like a big tripping hazard. I changed my mind, though, when I saw how well it worked. Not only will it make gybing easier but it should enable us to sail deeper angles without worrying about unexpected gybes.

The boom brake
Lines go from the boom brake to blocks on both sides, then back to winches in the cockpit. I took this photo yesterday morning as George was preparing to raise the anchor.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More Sewing Projects

After finishing the enclosure I started work on an easier, much smaller project; replacing the Lifesling bag. The Lifesling is a U-shaped float with a long line that attaches to the boat. It is used to recover a person who has gone overboard. (Never used, fortunately!) The whole thing is contained in a bag that attaches to the stern of the boat. Over the years we have owned it (on both WindChime and Breeze On), UV rays have caused the bag to deteriorate. Sailrite provides a YouTube video on how to make a replacement bag out of canvas.

One of the safety requirements for our trip to the Bahamas with the World Cruising Club is to have two lifebuoys. The inflatable SOS Danbuoy is one, our Lifesling is the other. In order for the Lifesling to meet Coast Guard requirements the instructions for use must be printed on the outside. To do this, I cut the instructions from one side of the old bag. (The instructions from the other side were too deteriorated to use.) I took them to the local copy shop, had them reduce, print and laminate a copy. I sewed the original and laminated copy to the front and back of the bag.

The entire project took about seven hours. I am quite happy with the results.


New bag with old instructions sewn on
Laminated copies of instructions and logo. The Coast Guard requires that the name be on the bag. I put Velcro and a cut-out on the top of the flap to give us options on where the bag could be placed on the rail.


Old bag. That is white duct tape holding the top together.


The SOS Danbuoy is our second lifebuoy.


The next small project I tackled was lifeline covers for the stern lifeline. George likes to lean against the lifeline when he is driving. It is not comfortable to lean against the wire. We priced ready-made covers but they were ridiculously expensive. I decided to make some using canvas, zippers and pool noodles. I am told the pool noodles won't hold up. We shall see.