Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Cast of Characters

Ok, from time to time someone other than me (Capn Jack) or Spook may enter
into the blog. Current prime candidates are:

Gary - a sail boat enthusiast of the most magnanimous magnitude. Gary loves all boats - big boats, tall boats, odd boats and small boats. I think more than anything though, Gary likes working on boats, and taking something from his mind, putting it on paper, and then making it happen to the current project boat. Gary is married to Alice, and together, they were the previous owners of Arden. Every boat Gary sailed, tinkered, toyed with or been associated with has been a tribute to Alice. (Sweet Pea, Little Alice, and my own Arden) Gary is friends with Jerry, who happens to be Dad. See Alice, Dad (Jerry), Edenton.

Liz - My sister, and occaisional sailor. Blogger and the force behind this blog. Comes with me on bay sails and day sails. Liz wants a boat really bad, but sailing on Arden seems to be a fix for that for now.

Dad - (Jerry, Jeremy) If there is anyone that is at the true root of my boat addiction, it is Dad. Gary fed it, (see Gary) but Dad started it. As I grew up we built 2 boats, and always had a supply of boating, sailing, and boat building books and magazines on hand to fuel the need. I think the one true source for my problem was dad's subscription to Wooden Boat Magazine. Then there was the sail when I was 12 on the Bass River during a Cape Cod vacation....and the rest is history. Dad is Married to Mom, (see Mom, Sheila) and friends with Gary and Alice.

Mom - (Sheila) Mom loves the water, mom also loves Dad. I'm not sure if mom really loves to sail, but she does it because we do. There were adventures in Annapolis with Dad on the Flying Tern, and misadventures in Beaver Creek with dad and I. She has patiently put up with more shenanigans and misadventures because of us than most moms should. Most famous quote: "Jerry.....!!" See Dad, Jerry

Alice - (see Gary) Alice and Gary were the owners of Arden, and she is the namesake of not only my boat, but every boat that I know of that Gary has owned, had parked in his driveway or has worked on in the backyard. Alice is definitely Gary's bonding system, and together they are definitely a pair, having nutured my dreams and aspirations of sailing, and helping me along the way. I think Alice likes to sail the way Gary likes to work on boats.

Spook - First Canine. Spook is a boating natural, having taken to the boat like a duck to water. She has also taken to the water like a....rock in a puddle. Has her own lifevest, and harness, and is the Spokesmodel for Nautipaws nautical pet accesories. Will be the cruising companion of choice.

best meal on our last sail - Frogmore Stew

Thanks to a recommendation from my boss, Emily, here is what we had for dinner while under way our first evening out Labor Day weekend. Other than needing to divvy up the stuff into more than one pot - it was the perfect thing and not too difficult to pull off (motor sailing entering the Choptank).

Does your tummy turn over when thinking about Frogmore Stew? Wondering how many South Carolina food - Frogmore stew - shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes.more frogs are required for this South Carolina specialty? Relax, there are NO frogs in Frogmore Stew – in fact, it is more of an event than a dish. That is Southern cuisine the South Carolina way.

Southern Cuisine: Lowcountry Style

Similar to the crawfish boils in Louisiana, this “Lowcountry boil” is best served on a newspaper-covered picnic table, eaten with the fingers and shared with family and friends.
Also known as Beaufort Stew, some claim that this one-pot dish (essentially a seasoned mixture of fresh shrimp, newly shucked yellow corn, sausage and potatoes) best represents the essential simplicity of Lowcountry cuisine. According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, Frogmore Stew originated in the Frogmore community on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, but the truth is that Frogmore Stew exists throughout the coastal regions of the south.
Ready for more great Southern cuisine? Email this page to a friend, submit a recipe, or sign-up for our newsletter and Savor the Flavor.
Frogmore Stew features two main ingredients, fresh shrimp and newly shucked yellow corm, but most anything that is good boiled, such as crabs, redskin potatoes, and even crawfish can be added. Two keys to making a successful Frogmore Stew are:
1.        Stagger the addition of the ingredients and
2.        Don’t overcook the shrimp!
  • 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning per gallon water (or more to taste)
  • several lemons, halved (optional)
  • redskin potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
  • spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices (¼ pound per person)
  • fresh corn, broken into halves or thirds (1 ½ ears per person)
  • shrimp (½ pound per person)
  • butter, melted
  • cocktail sauce
  • sour cream
  • ketchup
Fill a large steamer pot halfway with water. Add crab-boil seasoning (or more to taste). Several halved lemons may be added as well.
When the seasoned water comes to a boil, add redskin potatoes and boil for 20 minutes; then add one-inch slices of spicy smoked sausage and boil for 5-10 minutes. Add the corn) and boil another 5 minutes. (Begin timing immediately. Do not wait for it to boil again). Then add the shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes, drain, and pile on a table.
Serve with lots of paper towels and icy beverages, plus melted butter for the corn, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and sour cream or ketchup for the potatoes.
Copyright 2009, South Carolina Department of Recreation and Tourism -

How to...Make a beautiful boat ugly

Feel the need to improve your boat? I can help. Just read along and enjoy.

Having spent all day puttering on the boat, it occured to me this evening that what I had accomplished was not what I had set out to do...but instead I had made my beautiful boat ugly in just a few short hours, in just a few easy steps. So, follow along, read between the lines, and by the end of the day you can have an ugly boat as well.

Now, one might say that this is all in the name of progress - the goal is to give Arden a new coat of paint, but after many hours of sanding, many more sheets of sand paper, and just a mere gallon or so of paint remover, I realize now that what should have been a simple task of strip, sand, and paint has become a really major undertaking. Strip, sand and paint. Sounds easy enough, much like coloring between the lines. Believe me, I had been mislead, most probably by myself. Perhaps it is because what is under a perfect paint job, (or maybe nearly perfect, perhaps almost perfect, well heck, pretty good will work just as well) is not nearly as nice as what you see when you are done. It doesn't help forward progress when one is as easily distracted as I am. (and I am distracted right now, so bear with me) Lets face it, I am a glutton for punishment, perhaps bordering on masochistic, because I am a fool for brightwork. Nothing says nautical like Captains Varnish. Thats why is is called Captains Varnish. It isnt called farmers varnish or old crazy guy in the woods varnish. It is Captains Varnish, and it belongs on a boat. It is the key to any and all brightwork. So here I am stripping, sanding and looking forward to painting. Then I realized that the grab rails Gary had so carefully painted years ago, to avoid the painful process of frequent upkeep that is the backbone of good brightwork, were originally varnished, were most certainly made of teak, and by God, they should be varnished once again! So introduced another 2 or 3 hours of stripping, sanding, and waiting to paint. Notice painting has become waiting to paint. And as I was sanding on these handrails, I rememered my Dorade box in the galley had been leaking, was in the way of the sanding, and it too was originally varnished. So out comes the drill, the bungs covering the mounting screws are removed, and off comes the Dorade box. Can you see a pattern developing? A leads to B, B leads to K and from there we are off to Z. My dad taught high school math, and even though I am no whiz, I can see the Algebra in this. To think I had thought I would never, ever see a real world need for algebra, and lo and behold, here it is in the middle of a paint job. (shazamm!!!)

To make a longer story a bit shorter, as the day wore on, I kept on sanding and stripping, and had yet to start painting. Wasn't that the original goal? And to think I thought I'd be done by lunch. So hours later here I am, with a partially sanded boat, and not a drop of paint applied. But there is consolation in the fact I am making more improvements as I go, and improved boat was the desired end result in the grand scheme of things. So all is not lost, we are moving forward, aren't we?