We recently returned from a two week cruising adventure in the BC’s southern Gulf Islands. And even though we live on a boat, it’s still different when we’re on vacation on a boat. Even with the same chores (maybe a few more?) it’s just different. Maybe because our view is different every day? Or maybe it’s the beer at lunch?
Regardless, we’re bome again. Handsome Hubby is back to work and I’m hoping for a good stretch of weather to finish my outside teak project. And a whole host of other other projects before winter and the rain arrive.
Here’s a look at life on a boat for September 12-18.
Smoke on the water
On Saturday, we woke up to smoke, smoke, smoke everywhere. Turns out the southerly winds from the past couple of days brought smoke from Washington and Oregon into B.C. Evidently the smoke did not get the memo that the border is closed!
Jokes aside, not only is the resulting air quality dangerous, but the fires have devastated so many people. I love my sun, but right now I’m hoping for rain and lots of of it!!
And if the smoke from the forest fires wasn’t enough, there was a massive pier fire a few miles up river in New Westminster. With the creosote and the inherent challenges to fight the fire there is even smoke in the air!
More bling for the 26
Earlier this year, we thought we’d sell our Tollycraft 26 (Shifty) as having two Tollys seemed a tad more than we needed. After getting her ready to put on the market, a slip right across from Shiloh opened up. Now this was the original plan a year ago – to have the two boats beside each other. I can use the 26 as my office, we have room for guests and additional storage.
Quite a few people came to look at Shifty and “kick the tires’. But it turned out I was scared one of them would make an offer. So after only a couple of weeks, we decided not to sell her.
Which turned out to be quite serendipitous with the 37’s starboard engine needing major fixing, we could still enjoy a summer cruise. Unfortunately, or fortunately, in preparation for the trip, Handsome Hubby made one “minor” change (at my request). This in turn led us down a rabbit hole of upgrades (bling) and fixes that threatened our vacation.
But after a few head scratches and Google searches, we had Shifty purring – well purring if you’re talking about a big rumbling kitty. One does not fire up a Tollycraft 26 with the 255 Mercruiser (Chevy 350) without everyone in the marina knowing!
Now home again, it’s time to ready her for an insurance survey. One of the items we knew had to be upgraded was her sea strainer which was originally plastic. Now she has a shiny bronze Goroc model – it looks so pretty!
Speaking of the 37 and her engines
I love our boating community! While we were cruising, we mentioned to friends we were having trouble finding a good mechanic to look at Shiloh. Almost immediately, we had three recommendations!
One of those mechanics made a house call this week to look at Shiloh and give us the diagnosis. The news wasn’t all bad but it wasn’t exactly good. But at least we have information to work with and a mechanic we like and trust! Once we know a bit more and decide how to move forward, I’ll share it here.
Football is back
Sunday was the first Seahawks 2020 game which is always a special day for us. Ten years ago, Handsome Hubby and I attended our first Seattle Seahawks game as season ticket holders. And he proposed that day outside section 308 near the corn on the cob vendor.
Sadly, we won’t be recreating that moment in person this year. We decided (reluctantly) to pause our tickets for 2020. Among our reasons were not knowing if the border would be open, whether fans can attend games and our own safety concerns.
We’re also reevaluating whether we’ll keep the tickets moving forward. The past ten years of games provided more memories than I could ever imagine! Two NFC championship games that came right down to the wire, new friends and just the experience of being part a historically loud stadium. Looking forward though, we want to do more autumn boating and assuming travel becomes an option again, more travel. Something has to give.
I’m a big proponent of meal plans. They make grocery shopping easier and keep us out the pub (well at least somewhat). But starting from scratch each week is sometimes frustrating.
But when I start with at least one day already planned, it just seems easier. And right now that is Meatless Mondays and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers. These are just so easy and pretty much any side goes with them. I marinate my mushrooms with some BBQ sauce for about an hour or two, then we grill them for precisely 7 minutes on each side (starting with mushroom top).
Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
While we were cruising, I had some blueberries that really needed to be used. After making a dozen muffins, I still had soooo many berries. So I decided to make barbecue sauce.
Many, many, many years ago I made blueberry sauce. It was horrific – so sweet and well yes, just so so sweet. I guess that experience scarred me pretty good, since I’ve never tried again.
This time though I had a better plan – less sugar, more vinegar. And some bourbon and a jalapeño. I cooked it all in the slow cooker for a few hours and it was good!! We used it on everything we barbecued for over a week including Handsome Hubby’s famous smoked ribs!! Plus, I used it as a base for salad dressing – also very good.
Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
2 cups blueberries
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves (dried or fresh)
2 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 jalapeño, diced
1/4 onion, diced
Combine in slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-9 hours. Once cooked, blend to your desired consistency.
So that’s life on a boat for September 12 -18. For next week, it looks like rain in the forecast, which I’m happy about. We need this smoke to dissipate and the fires to get help from Mother Nature. It will, however, put a hold on getting our outside teak ready for winter.
Other than that, we’ll see some bubble friends for an evening on land. It’s always a little weird when I spend time on land. Handsome Hubby goes to work everyday but I spend my time on the boats. So I’m floating the majority of the time.
We’ll also have to make some tough decisions on the Shiloh’s engines. Fingers crossed it all works out.