Thursday, August 28, 2008

Official boat drink ex post facto

My pal Toast and her merry minions have been fretting over an official boat drink for their beloved Don Quixote.

We never did concoct an official drink for the Zombie Princess but since spacetime is fluid, just like delicious adult beverages, I'll offer one now for your enjoyment.

The Official Zombie Princess drink: The Zombie Princess (of course)

Ingredients list:
1 jigger Absinthe
1 jigger Southern Comfort
3 jiggers chilled simple syrup
Juice of ½ lime
Dash of Tabasco
Sugar (for rim)
Slice of lime
Tanna leaves (3 for life, 9 for movement)
Decorative parasol (umbrella)
Straw (preferably a wacky, twisty one)

Sugar the rim of a large absinthe glass (or substitute 12-oz. highball glass), Pour in 1 jigger of Absinthe. Slowly add 3 jiggers of chilled simple syrup, while stirring. Squeeze in the juice of ½ lime. Add 1 jigger of Southern Comfort. Stir. Dash of Tabasco. Garnish with a slice of lime and tanna leaves. [N.B. Tanna leaves are a fictional creation for the movie "The Mummy" (1932). You cannot actually buy them anywhere.] If you substitute mint leaves for tanna leaves, do NOT crush or bruise them; just use them for garnish. No mint flavor allowed. Add parasol (festive paper umbrella) and (zany) straw. Enjoy! But NEVER, under any circumstances, allow salt to come anywhere near a Zombie Princess!

The signature meal of the ZP would hafta be our (in)famous "Sole Chicken." Sole Chicken is referenced and the recipe given near the end of this post.

Our signature appetizer is crab mousse, recipe near the end of this post.

And I'll hafta talk to Bob and get his ideas for a signature drink for Gort.

It's that season again

Newsflash from Judy:

As of today, Thursday 8/28, Dad & I will be staying home for the storm. We will probably be joined by Chris, Cori (Jerry's wife), Molly their daughter), Donna (Cori's mom) & Gary (my ex-fiance).Who knows who else may come. Jerry will be staying home to protect the homestead, as he calls "Fort Lewis". Lori, Bobby & their 3 dogs will be by his mom's or grandma's - not too far from here.Paul, Sara & kids don't know what they'll do yet. They live just a few miles from me.We don't have any flooding problems here. Chris & I both have to be ready to return to work shortly after. Fortunately, my turn for "hurricane duty" is way down on the list. We have 3 people out of 11 stay for the storm, usually 3 days. They're talking about evacuations for Saturday. The storm's path is very unsure now. We will know more once it's in the Gulf - Friday or Saturday. We would like it to go wayyyyyy West of us or anything East. I'll try to keep you updated.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


My darling older daughter, MJ, gave me this award.

Hooray for me!

Trip report still being worked on as my knee heals up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trip report

Well, I'm finally back home after our 1200 mile delivery, pushing Gort from St. Augustine, FL to New Orleans, LA. Lemme start my report with a lovely image: sunset on the deep blue ocean, hundreds of miles from anywhere.

Pretty nice, huh?

Now for the long, boring details.

7/28 Fly to Jacksonville, FL. Meet Bob at airport. Arrange boat meet and paperwork for next day.

7/29 Test sail, checkout, and paperwork. The boat is now Bob's! Yeah! Dinner with the Broc/Gail clan.
7/30 Shop and prep day.

7/31 Departure. Sailed South. Continued overnight. Despite wind predictions of 5~10 kts right on our nose, we wound up with mid-teens-to-20s at a decent angle and part of the time even at a great reaching angle, allowing us to do a consistent 9+ kts and even hit 12 at one point. Zoom!
8/1 Arrived in Ft. Pierce in the evening. Stayed at a marina for a full night's sleep.

8/2 Sailed South. Overnight. More bouts of decent wind despite predictions to the contrary. Rounded the tip of FL.

8/3 Sailing along the keys. Caught a lobster pot on the prop at night. Anchored for the night to free it in the am. Big squall blew over us for several hours during the night.

8/4 Dove on the prop but the pot line had freed itself in the storm. Continued to Key West, despite ANOTHER lobster pot hookup. This one did need cutting. Key West marina at sunset.

8/5 Prep day. Shopping, laundry, provisions, etc. Good night's sleep in marina in anticipation of passage straight across the Gulf of Mexico.

8/6 Depart KW direct to Gulfport, MS, Fairway, which leads to the ICW/Rigolets entrance to Lake Pontchartrain. Approximately 600 miles. Very still day. No wind. GoM still as a millpond. All motoring.

8/7 Crossing. Still pretty quiet. Not much wind. Cutting back on motoring to conserve fuel.
8/8 Crossing. Well, we got the wind today. Big squall. Ripped the mainsail before we could get it reefed. Had to hand steer for a coupla hours cuz Gort's brain (the autopilot) couldn't handle the conditions. Steep, choppy waves at 10ish ft. occasional 12s, wind gusting above 30. You can see the long rip just below the reef point.

8/9 Crossing. Better today. Some wind but not at squall level. After seeing almost no one on our other crossing days, we passed a cruise ship at night lit up like a fucking floating whorehouse. Amazing. Started seeing oil rigs, too. Good indicator that we're getting close.

8/10 Arrive at Gulfport. Anchor behind Ship Island for a full night's sleep. Phew!
8/11 Managed to get the anchor up before the first squall of the day hit us. After that it was a constant line of 'em all the way to Lake Pontchartrain.

Arrive in Lake Pontchartrain. Home base. Hooray! Unfortunately, the marina entrance was too shallow (silted) to get in, despite assurances by the dockmaster in previous negotiations with Bob and in my own hearing that it was sufficient for our 3'3" draft. Asshole. Tied up at nearby public pier. Bob (and Anita) dropped me at Judy's so I could get a comfortable night's sleep and Bob stayed with the boat. Unfortunately, the night went to shit with a big squall. Gort got really banged up against the public pier and Bob called SeaTow to drag him to a (slightly) better spot.

8/12 Bob called around and got Oak Harbor to grant him a slip. We moved the boat there in squall conditions, with steep, choppy waves, under a tornado warning. Blech! Got Gort all safely tied up to his permanent home by dinnertime.

8/13 Visited with my family. Dad looked pretty good. Caught up on sleep.

8/14 Visited some more. Caught up on more sleep. I'm getting too old for those two-person crossings. They take it out of you!
8/15 Did some practice handling with Bob and said my personal good-byes to Gort.
8/16 Depart N.O. Stuck in Denver! Ick!
8/17 Finally arrive home. Hooray!

I'll happily talk more details with anybody who's interested but I figure most of you will find this sufficient!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quirks? Me?

My lovely Ronnie hit me with this so I'll do it...

Mention six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged. If you participate, let the person who tagged you know you've posted your quirks!

I find the constraints somewhat oxymoronic: quirky yet boring and unspectacular? What dat is? Fine, I'll be quirky but I won't quibble. And I don't do the tagging thing. Aside from that, here ya go:

1. When focused on something (book, movie, etc.), I unconsciously pick at my toenails, sometimes to the point of pulling them completely off.

2. I typically can't just do one entertainment thing, it's insufficient input. If I'm watching a movie, I hafta have a book to read or vice versa.

3. I love art of most kinds but have no personal skill. Lots of appreciation but no ability.

4. I kinda fulfill my creative/artistic drive with architecture. I love to do architectural design (I use 3-D Home Architect) and I get great satisfaction from home improvement projects.

5. I tend to use Latin and Greek phrases and allusions despite the fact that most people don't understand 'em. What can I say? "Benefits of a classical education."

6. I like to wear T-shirts and shorts or a suit/tuxedo. I hate wearing country club-ish, yuppie casual, inbetween stuff. Slacks and an Izod shirt, ya know? Ick!

They're baaaaaaaack!

Brief note of completion, detailed trip report to follow. We've arrived in New Orleans after a trip of about 1200 miles. Bob's new boat, GORT, is a magnificent sailing machine. I love it!

After I catch up on sleep and do some laundry, I'll start to compose a trip report post.