Monday, July 20, 2015

Learning to maneuver in tight spaces

We're just getting ready to  spend a little time in marinas, which is always a source of consternation for us. We have a 40-year-old, 57-foot classic ketch with no bow thruster. She's got a modified fin keel and heavy displacement. In other words, Aleria doesn't maneuver very well in tight spaces. She is meant to be crossing oceans. That's one of the reasons we really like to anchor out.  But in reality eventually we're going to have to get to a dock for fuel, water, or overnight in the absence of a safe anchorage. So we have had to learn how to use what we have to get ourselves into tight spaces. Here are several techniques that we've found very useful.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The weather in the West of Ireland was filthy, but we couldn’t not sail!



Is there anything out there but miserable weather?

Summer Sailstice, a global celebration of sailing on the longest day of the year

 

A sliver of blue sky was hopeful
We sailed out of our inlet in Clew Bay at half tide. That’s when we can make it over the shellfish bed that runs across the entrance.  We had about a foot of water beneath our keel at the shallowest.  But that was not so much the issue. The issue was that the morning was cold, dark, damp and just miserable. Oh, and it was flat calm. 

When we got out into Clew Bay, there was not a boat in sight.  Then, a really dark cloud came by and it started to rain. Alex and I looked at each other and knew what we were thinking. Should we turn back and get back in while the tide is still with us?  Nah, we kept going in the shadow of the Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Top 10+ Cookbooks for Boaters


Recipes to keep your crew from jumping ship


Birthday cake I baked for myself while on an Atlantic crossing.

Alex catches a small tuna mid-Atlantic.  
Anyone who has done any extensive cruising will have had to deal with provisioning and stowing food, cooking while underway in rough conditions, keeping a diversity of crew happy, dealing with unfamiliar ingredients, having either too much (fish) or too little (fresh veg) food available, substituting ingredients, the art of the pot luck dinner, and disposing of packaging. There are plenty of other elements to deal with, like cramped quarters and availability of gas, so voyaging by boat can be a tricky thing, and getting ideas from other people doing the same thing is always helpful.  

I decided to compile a list of cookbooks for boaters and was surprised to find there were so many new ones on the market. Most are available in both print and electronic formats, so you can have your preferred edition and access an electronic version from anywhere with an internet connection. 

oyster cookbookSome of the books cover the full range of issues, which can make the planning easier. Others offer only recipes, which can make the execution more successful. Some were written for sailors others for larger yachts.  They are listed here in no particular order.