Sunday, September 13, 2015

Toe Rail and Chain Plates

Boat work continues. Currently we are replacing the steel under the toe rail that the sail track bolts to.Turns out it was mild steel and not stainless so it rusted away and let water start leaking in. The remnants of the 1 1/4 x 1/4 bar are the pieces laying on the deck. I now have to find some stainless strap and get it drilled and tapped to replace it.

Temmy and Donald taking off the toe rail and cleaning out the rusty steel below.

Temmy, Charles and Boom-Boom epoxying the topsides back together

Before the toe rail, I thought the chain plates were bad. They are fiberglassed into the inside of the hull, mostly behind cabinets. We opened a few places that had been leaking bad water inside. Here are two photos after opening them up. The stainless is not corroded at all. So I'll assume none of them are bad and just continue with the bad wood replacement.

Inside the starboard settee cabinet.

Behind the teak trim in the starboard liquor cabinet.

Behind the shelf in the tool room, almost finished repair.

This is the back room we call the tool room, all the way around behind the engine room.Supplies go on the small upper shelf and the Kubota goes on the lower one. The water maker membranes go under neath the shelf.

The new tool room shelves almost ready to reinstall the Kubota and watermaker.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Puerto Princesa and Port Bonbonon

I realize that this is a little behind but better late then never. A cousin asked for pictures, so here are a few. No pictures from the passage. Who wants to see lumpy water all around, with no dirt showing anyway.

First couple from the Yacht Club restaurant in Puerto Princesa. (For you grammar nazis, that is really how they really spell it here.)

Looking west from Abanico Yacht Club restaurant deck.
That is our boat way out there. Nice when the music was loud at the club, but a long way in the rain or wind. It is really shallow up close to the club. We often watched fishermen waking waist deep with hand held scoop-nets there.

North from the yacht club.
The dinghy dock, a bamboo contraption. But it worked, didn't fall threw even once. There were usually 8 to 10 dinghies with the painters tangled when we would come back from shopping or the Sunday buffet here.

And a few pictures from Port Bonbonon.

Looking south at the entrance channel.

 This would be our backyard here. The wind has blown continuously from the north-northeast so we seem to face the same way all time.

West, the side yard.
Only 3 of these boats have people on them. This is a popular place to leave the boat for trips, or to die. Six boats are from old sailors who passed away while moored here. And several more are abandoned and/or for sale.

Center on shore is one of the 3 restaurants that serve a weekly buffet. It is a very social bay.

North, our front yard.
One friend we met in Majuro 7 years ago says we have the best view of the mountain from here. I would have settled for the shortest row to shore. the second restaurant is the little white triangular peak roof left third of the photo. The third is just around the right edge. Sunday, Wednesday and Friday are the buffets and sometimes a happy hour thrown in. Almost cold beer is about 90 cents USD, only one brand and no wine.

The shore is close by to the east.
A small coconut plantation on the near shore between the huts. So I guess it could look like paradise.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Purple Kraut

One of the few good things about the high average 'room temperature" here is that it only takes 5 days to make a jar of sauerkraut. We ate the smaller jar from last week. It was great.

I recalled someone saying they once had purple kraut. The grocery store had really bad looking green cabbage yesterday, but the purple cabbage looked nice. And only about $4.50/head! Ha! ONLY! But what the heck. So here it is.

A little dark for pictures.
 I keep forgetting to take pictures during the process. Maybe next time. Again, just slice it up thin, add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt per pound and mash the salt into the cabbage till it starts making juice. Then into the jar with a little weight to hold it from floating up out of the salt water. We use a small plastic bowl crammed in the neck of the jar. Then let it set in a cool place till done. Taste it every few days( every day at 90 degree "room temperature") and put it in the ice box when you like the taste. Or just eat it.

Last weeks big jar, sea salt and the fresh purple kraut
Trinda put some crackers in the salt cause it was damp when she bought it... didn't help. The humidity is too high for bulk salt, but that is the only salt without iodine available.

The foam in last weeks jar is normal, just skim it off. If it has an unpleasant order, then toss it. If some of the cabbage gets above the water and molds, just skim it too.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Homemade Sauerkraut and Yogurt

We have started making a few things of our own on the boat. First, we seldom find sauerkraut in the stores here. When we do find it it is a German brand with spices we are not used to. I remembered that when we were in Mexico, some years go, we saw a restaurant making a 5 gallon jar of sauerkraut out back. That gave me the idea. Therefore a quick google and lots of information.

 This is all it takes:
Salt without iodine and cabbage, a bowl and clean jars.
The directions are simple too. Shred the cabbage. I slice it as thin as I can. Put it in a large bowl. Add one tablespoon salt per pound of cabbage. Stir and mash together with your hands. After the salt is well mixed and you have pressed the salt into the cabbage, it starts to make its own juice, salt water!

Taste it now to see if you got the salt right. It should be like you normally eat it, salty but not too much.It is easy to add more salt. A little harder to shred a second head cause you got too much salt, like in this batch. Don't use the weight from the store for determining the amount of salt, cause you take off a few leaves and leave out most of the cob.

Now pack it into a jar by hand, or a spoon if your hand won't it the jar. pack it down tight so that the natural juice floats above the cabbage. We put a small plastic bowl or lid to keep the cabbage from floating up into the air. It might spoil if it is not covered by the salt water.

Now let it sit in a cool dark place till it is done. They talk about weeks however, one guide suggests to taste it every day. When it tastes like the sauerkraut you like, put it in the refrigerator, or just eat it. I like it best on the 4th day, when there is still some green in the leaves. But we usually seem to wait about  week.

Oh I should mention, room temperature on the boat is between 82 and 92F, so it sets faster here than in cool places.

Smoked sausage and sauerkraut.

Greg also got me started on yogurt. I always thought I hated yogurt. He insisted I taste his homemade. It was much better than I remembered. It could be the low carb/high fat way we're eating lately that has changed my taste buds, or just getting old! But a cold bowl of yogurt with some sugar free blueberry jam or a few sliced strawberries really hits the spot on a hot afternoon. And it is almost lactose free, so Trinda can eat it without worry.

The recipefor the yogurt is actually less work than the sauerkraut. One pouch full fat powdered milk and 4 cups water in a pot. Bring to about 180F, almost a boil. Cool to 115F and add 2 or 3 tablespoons of your last batch. Stir and put in the jars. Screw the lid on tight. I put the jars in a styrofoam 'six-pack' cooler for 4 to 6 hours. Then move to the refrigerator and your good for a week.

The first time you either get some from a friend or buy some from the store. Get unsweetened, plain yogurt with 'live culture' or 'live enzymes'.

If you like it thick and sour, leave it warm longer, like 6 to 8 hours. Or more mild and creamy, then 3 1/2 to 4 hours is good.

The INTERNET says it would be much better if we used the fresh whole milk, but the powdered milk keeps up to a year without refrigeration and it is always available here.We can get good powdered milk here, not only skimmed like in the states. But whole milk, full cream, 2% and skim. And it can be pure spray-dried or a mix of weird chemistry including oils, soy, palm oil, cornstarch, and all the multi-syllable chemicals 'additives allowed by law' it says here. So we read the labels. Some of that stuff just kills the culture and spoils.