Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just a Random Thursday

Yes, you can create a gourmet meal on a boat:
Squid ink pasta from DiPasquale's, shrimp, peppers, and parmesan from Harris Teeter, and basil from our dock garden:
This picture is a few weeks old. Our herbs have grown quite a bit since.
One small problem -- acrylic glassware is great on a boat since it doesn't break but martinis just aren't the same in a glass that struggles to keep the drink cold. It may be time to invest in stainless steel glassware. Anybody used them before?

The cats are certainly making themselves at home. How often do you get to see your pet through a skylight?
The guest head has an indoor frosted skylight. I looked up yesterday to find Latte laying on top of it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

She Can Handle a Crowd

Two months after moving on to this lovely vessel, we were finally ready to have a party. So many people have asked to see our new home and we knew the summer would get away from us if we didn't do something soon.

Invites were sent for an "Open Boat" and then I freaked out. Where on earth were we going to put all these people? A boat warming party is very different from a house warming party. If the weather cooperated, some people could hang out on the dock while others were on the boat. But if everyone on the list showed up at the same time or the weather was bad there was no way everyone would fit. Fear not, we had the most gorgeous day and people came in manageable waves. Hey fabulous friends -- did you guys coordinate that? There were times when we had 20 people on board, but with the cabin, sunroom, and helm station there was plenty of room for people to spread out.

Of course, before you can have a party, you have to prep:
Doug made his famous pulled pork.
The breakfast bar became a buffet of munchies.
We set up the coolers on the dock.
But where are all the pictures of these guests? Well, this is a public blog and I make an effort to not post pictures of people without their permission. You're just going to have to trust me that we had a crowd.

Our invite specifically said "No gifts please. (Seriously! We don't have space for anything else.)" Not everyone followed those instructions, but those that brought gifts were smart enough to bring consumables:
Thank you everyone!
On an unrelated note, I am happy to report that I finally used my oven. My Pampered Chef mini-loaf pan fits!
And the banana bread is good as ever.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rock Hall

Doug and I celebrated 12 years of marriage this weekend with an overnight trip to Rock Hall Landing Marina on Saturday. We put the word out earlier this week and two other boats were able to make the trip with us (thanks guys!). You really can't go wrong when this is your view.
Yes, that is the Bay Bridge in the background.
The marina is the closest to town and directly next to the crab house. Prices are reasonable at $2.25 a foot on weekends. Unlike last year's early heat, it's just getting warm enough to swim this year so we didn't spend any time in the pool but it is nice.

We have made many lunch trips to Waterman's Crab House over the years but I don't believe we have stayed the night since Luv'n Life II. The town is very small but easily walkable from the marina. Make time (or save up calories) to make a visit to Durding's. This soda shoppe and ice cream parlor is like a step back in time with counter service and amazing thick milkshakes. The red devil cake ice cream and chocolate chip cookie cone were also big hits.
Unfortunately, the shanty-style collection of shops in Oyster Court were all closed because of a dance recital. You know you live in a small town when everyone goes to the recital. While it would have been fun to browse, we simply meandered back to the marina after finding this fun "library" along Main Street.
To me, Waterman's means crabs and hush puppies. Three of us split a dozen extra larges for dinner - they were meaty, easy to pick, and de-lic-ious!

Food always brings people together and boaters have perfected the art of social eating. Even in a marina, we find a way to create meals on the boat and find any seating possible to enjoy each other's company. Picture a tailgate party where people are sitting on chairs, coolers, and bumpers. Seating in our "sun room" includes wicker furniture, a cooler, and the steps up to the helm.

Sandra and James surprised us with bloody mary's:
 To go with breakfast:
We had already attacked the "buffet" before I remembered to take a picture. Eggs, sautéed peppers, jalapenos and onions, grated cheddar cheese, avocado, and arugula on wraps are an easy make-your-own breakfast for groups.
We took a leisurely ride back home on Sunday. The cats both had a rough time on the ride to Rock Hall and the slower pace back seemed to agree with them. I'm going to talk to their vet about motion sickness remedies but it may not be necessary since they recover so quickly once back at the dock.
Big Yawn
Our little contortionist

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flag Day, Wildlife, and Safety

As the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner, Baltimore takes Flag Day very seriously. There were events at Fort McHenry all day and fireworks at night. We were treated to a spectacular display visible from our boat:
We may be in the middle of the city, but we still have local wildlife. Two geese families visited us this morning.
Toddler goslings
Teenage goslings
Quick public service announcement: In this time of fun and sun, please be careful, especially around propane and gas. A majestic sailing vessel burned down to its hull recently but you don't have to be on a boat for tragedy to strike.

Have a safe and happy Father's Day! We are off to Rock Hall for the night.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Funny Misconceptions and a Working Washer

The idea of living on a boat is foreign to many people. I get that. But I still find it funny the questions that some people have about the lifestyle.

I recently met someone whose first question was: "So, do you have an inside?" I can be a bit of a smart-aleck, so I wanted to reply with: "No, we sleep out in the elements." Instead I explained that we have a cabin, AC/heat, electricity, running water, etc. I can only assume that she thought I lived on a canoe.

A friend in the marina was asked if she showers regularly while living on a boat. Um, yes. My Carver 466 has two showers and enough water to last at least 4 days without refilling the tank. I can shower, wash my hair, shave my legs, and blow dry my hair just like a land bathroom. The only real difference is that I have to make sure my water tank is filled at regular intervals. Every slip has water spigot and we can easily refill with a garden hose.

Keep the questions coming; I like educating people about the lifestyle.

On another note, when I die I'll know whether I'm in heaven or hell based on the absence or presence of washing machines. I really despise doing laundry. I hate it even more when it isn't convenient. I've been without a washing machine on the boat for the last couple weeks because of a water leak that we didn't have time/energy/space to address. Instead I've been doing laundry at the marina office.

That changed today when we pulled the washer out of its tight quarters:
The washer is heavy and maneuverability is very limited. We were lucky to not have to pull it all the way out. Doug discovered one hose connection that had loosened and that solved the issue. Of course, it's difficult to keep things secure on something that is constantly moving. Hopefully this will hold for a while.