Somehow the calendar changed to October this week. How is that possible? It also means we’ve been dealing with Covid for six months now. It is almost starting to feel normal. Maybe this is the new normal.
Life on a boat this week was spent mostly outside in a small mountain of sawdust! Since the forecast was for summer like temperatures and no rain (am I still even living in BC?), I decided to finish refinishing our outside teak.
We also ate at the pub a few too many times and a few other chores were ignored thanks to the teak project. But life on a boat continues and here’s a look at September 25-October 3.
Teak Toe Rails
Earlier in the summer, I refinished the teak surrounding the cockpit leaving me with the toe rail. It didn’t look like that hard of a job; especially with a bit of experience under my belt. Then I started the job and quickly realized it was much more physically demanding and labour intensive than the cockpit ever was.
But it had to be done – the previous Cetol finish was in rough shape and we had too much exposed teak. I didn’t want to wait another winter or we would have quite the job on our hands.
After three days of sanding using both an orbital sander and oscillating saw with the sanding attachment (and getting up on the boat, down off the boat, kneeling down, standing up, etc, etc), I was stiff and sore. But the teak looked good – free of its Cetol and ready for a new finish.
When I refinished the cockpit, my research told me that a pure varnish was out of my skill set and budget. And we’re not fans of Cetol – it has a weird yellow tinge, hides the grain of the wood and almost looks cloudy. Plus there is the maintenance factor. I am never stripping a varnish-like finish again!!!
Daly’s Wood Finishing Products
A Tollycraft Boating Club member had recently recommended Daly’s SeaFin Teak Oil when discussing another teak project in our Facebook group. And our marina happens to carry the Daly’s line of products which, knowing our store manager, means it is a quality product.
After more research into Daly’s I discovered they also produce SeaFin Ship’n Shore Sealer which hardens wood 15-25%, leaving no surface film. It also provides sealing protection from moisture while preserving the natural look of wood.
Based on my research (and against the opinions of the old salts in the marina), we decided to use the sealer and teak oil for the cockpit to give it a dark rich teak finish. And for the toe rails, we are using two coats of the sealer. The plan being, we will give both areas a quick refresh every six months and if all goes well, never spend days sending again!
Right now, the toe rails are covered in tarps – while the weather is summer-like during the day, it is more fall-like at night. This results in significant dew forming; so much so that it takes at least half the day to fully evaporate!
The last coat of the sealer just went on and tomorrow we remove the tarps and unveil the finished product!
Playing the Game of Life
My favourite game as a child was the Game of Life. So when I gained an instant family, I was excited to introduce them to the game. Sadly, it had changed from the late 1970s edition I remembered. It was shorter and the squares not as fun – where was the goat eating my prized begonias or the uncle leaving my opponent a skunk farm?
I must have complained about this to my mom quite a bit (or too much), because when she came to our wedding, she brought my beloved childhood version of the Game of Life with her.
Now on the boat, we don’t really have room to play it (it takes up a lot of space) and you need at at least four people for it to be really fun. But I can’t get rid of it!
Then on Saturday, when we were back removing more stuff from our storage locker, we brought home the hi-lo table that came with the boat. Another Tollycraft 37 owner is interested in purchasing the table so we were getting it ready for him to pick up.
But we had a night with it on our boat and it opens up big enough to play the Game of Life. So we invited two marina friends over from pizza, dessert and Life. We laughed so hard playing the game. One player ended up with more kids than her car could hold. I had $37 at the end. We stumbled onto those weird squares that make you giggle and we could forget about regular life for a while.
Thank goodness for the pub!
Since I didn’t plan for the teak job to be so labour intensive, I also didn’t plan well for easy dinners. Good thing the pub is a very short walk away! We visited Monday and Tuesday before I got my act together and put some chili in the slow cooker on Wednesday.
Veggie Quinoa Chili in a less lethal slow cooker
I love slow cooker meals – especially in the fall and winter. But I didn’t love my slow cooker. It didn’t seem to have much difference between the low and high settings. And after it recently melted the outside of our ice maker when the appliances got too close, I needed to upgrade.
Yet, that was a challenge. Since there are two of us and we live on a boat, I don’t want anything huge. And most 3.5 or 4 quart options seemed lacking in features and reviews. I wasn’t looking for bells and whistles, just a good solid slow-cooker I could trust and wouldn’t melt my other appliances.
Finally, I found the Cuisinart Programmable 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker. The reviews were mostly positive (I’m actually kind of worried about some of the people who gave the negative reviews) and it was the right size for the boat! And an added bonus, I found it on sale at Walmart for half price!!
I put it to the test on Wednesday with my Veggie Quinoa Chili. After filling it to the brim with veggies and beans, I noticed the lid fit much better than my old one. Not only that, the whole slow cooker just feels more solid.
Most importantly, dinner cooked perfectly in the specified time. Plus, I had no fear dinner would be done four hours early like in the past. Nor did it attack any other appliances in the boat!
Other recipes I used this week
Cheeseburgers & Yam Fries: The burgers came from the freezer and the yam fries are one medium yam or sweet potato sliced into fries, tossed in a bit of olive oil and cumin, spread out on cookie sheet and baked for 40 minutes at 400F (I rotate the pan after 20 minutes).
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Jalapenos: We celebrated World Vegetarian Day with my Four Cheese Mac & Cheese and added two diced jalapenos with the cream cheese. I like to call it Jalapano Popper Mac & Cheese!
Dutch Oven Bread: I used the same jalapeno cheddar bread recipe, just omitted the jalapenos and cheese. And it turned out great!
So that’s life on a boat for September 25-October 3. I can’t believe it’s October already. Nor can I believe I’m sitting here with the windows open and wearing shorts. While this may be a result of climate change, it’s hard not to enjoy the sunshine.
Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be working with insurance for our engine woes. The owner of the company who installed the engines is trying to pass the buck to basically anyone he can think of. Not quite the “stand by your service” mentality I was hoping for.
The first Tollycraft Boating Club bridge meeting for 2020-21 is on Tuesday night. I’m the Vice Commodore this year and we’re all hoping that we have a better year than last (thank-you Covid).