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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More boat projects & errands...

...will they never cease??? Karyn was at full speed today, at yet another doctor for a check-up (so healthy, all good!), picking up the folding bikes after their tune-ups, getting more oil, more dry goods and provisions for the Bahamas, running dead batteries to the county recycling center, checking the mail at the house and arranging secret birthday surprises for Ron (tomorrow is the big day!), and futilely attempting to find a new flag that will fit the smaller flagstaff for the stern. Despite repeated disappointments on the flag front, a lot of ground was covered!

While she did that, Ron was busy with his tasks: multiple phone calls scheduling our autumn haul-out, the needed time to arrive for the construction of the hard top, the state of affairs with the dinghy's repairs, and arranging a berth in at Old Bahama Bay for November/December (yay! -- the staff is SO fabulous there!). Once all that was done, Ron spent the day in the engine room, changing oils in the mains, gen sets AND transmissions (although Karyn returned in time to be first mate and swabbie to help with the latter). We found that it's definitely a job requiring patience, since the oil fill on the transmission is about 1 cm in diameter, and can only accept a dribble at a time -- WHO designs these things?? Nevertheless, while Ron showered after his efforts, Karyn pulled together a lovely veal marsala for dinner AND did the dishes as a pre-birthday treat for Ron. After his heroic efforts with all the oil changes, he was a tad hungry, so appreciated the dinner!

Cooking aboard is really a lot of fun...I find I spend a lot of time thinking about menu ideas, and the possibilities of what we'll have, using what I have in the refrigerator. While you tend to be working in tighter quarters with a smaller prep area than what you might have at home, it's lovely to be creative and know your efforts will add to the ambience, tone and romance --- and not the cluttter -- of the boat! We enjoy our dinners together: nice place mats, cloth napkins, a good bottle of wine to accompany one's dish...fabulous! If there's a pretty sunset to burnish the table settings, all the better!

By the way, a great website to peruse: www.womenandcruising.com -- it has great insight for women who are contemplating the cruising lifestyle and who might be worrying about the realities of actually doing it. It really helps to hear the advice of other women who have faced their fears about cruising, and learn from their experiences. There's a section that I've really enjoyed, as I prepare to provision (yet again!) for another trip to the islands -- I'm still finding new ideas. LOVE it!! Check it out: it's the section called "Galley Advice from 18 Cruising Women". There's tons of other advice and resources to read as well. All valuable!!

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