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Monday, May 7, 2012

Bread and Snow Days 4-27

It was a dreary downtown day but at the end of my 30 foot leash...” Do you know where that is from? It rained a small amount today but mostly it was just overcast and gray. We managed to get to the beach and toss the football a little just to prevent another day of “trapped”. Without the sunlight snorkeling takes on the same feeling. Dark and gray. With our destination over a mile row away we just chilled out today and relaxed. Eating conch fritters and cracked conch.

The Fisher King and Boat School during the drearies

It was a dreary downtown day but at the end of my 30 foot leash...” Day two of the grays! It gave me time to organize photos of the trip and future projects, other computer files and bake some bread. I so hope it comes out good as I have sized the recipe to what we need. It is sitting on top of the stove in it's final rising, wrapped with a blanket to protect it from the cold draft flowing through the boat. It may be the end of April but the gray days are rather cool. These are also days that the “Ugly Bird” taking up space in the lazarette would help make power ton assist the solar panels. But that is another project waiting for idle time in Florida.

We ended up making two batches of bread today, The first was half wheat flour and slightly overcooked while we are learning our temp atop the Origo. But it made a great addition to the Black Beans and Rice we had for lunch. The second was a white loaf and the aroma was awesome while baking. We have not had bread on board for three weeks! Our last shopping day Isle's was out of almost everything bread, produce and dairy. Perhaps we should have started making bread more often and we would have some tested and true recipes. Tonight we will have Spaghetti with a mushroom and tomato sauce along with herb'd oil and our newly baked bread.

In our recent attempts at Boat Breads I have decided that the same setup with our “crock and pot” will make good cakes, banana bread and oversize muffins. This will make those long days of wishing for a snack or a treat further apart. Now to work around our snorkeling and other activities for the proofing time.

It was a dreary downtown day but at the end of my 30 foot leash...” Yada Yada Yada Those lyrics are from the B-52's if you don't know by now. Long before the “Love Shack”. Today is even worse so we are changing the mood to some Pink Floyd, Gee imagine that, Obscured by clouds.

Obscured by clouds, perhaps the greatest gray weather album of all time. I have spent many a day (and night) sliding on snow covered roads through the mountains of Western North Carolina with the tachometer bouncing on red line. Always with the camping gear stowed in the back for a night “out and about”. Today feels like a snow day from school, gray skies, wind howling, no power, cooking on an open flame and confined to a small space all while trying to stay warm. Mind you it is not cold in any way but relentless winds finally brings in the wind chill. Also the precipitation is rain and not snow.

We have been spoiled by sunny skies. It's rays converted to electricity by our pair of 135 watt solar panels. This gives us enough power on sunny days to run two computers, charge the secondary items, and even run the chart plotter. All this can be done during the peak of the sun and still bank power. But with a couple of partially cloudy days, followed by three gray days we are now at the bottom of our usable energy. So we have pulled the plug for today sitting here hand writing a rough draft of our blog, playing cards, reading and discussing “why if...”

Why if the hobbit was so long ago they had swords and engines?”
Why if ...”

Before out next journey we will augment out power generation with the “Ugly Bird”. That is our nick name for the wind generator we have stored in the lazerette. It is an old air-X and kind of ugly, but, it will make power on days like this. We haven't moved it higher on the list (other than the acquisition when the price was right) as our solar panels are quite! Maybe we could get a deal on or trade up to some silent air blades. (the $300+ price tag is a little steep!)

Looking back this month we have had 13 days either too windy or to rainy for us to get out and row about. There are plans to make days like this more tolerable. First is a better front hatch cover to allow air flow while raining. Second of course is the “Ugly Bird”. Watching a movie or listening to Pink Floyd sure makes a dent in cabin fever. Third redesign the bimini cover and for a complete cockpit cover that we did not get time to do last winter. Four a couple more games like chess, yatze, oigehgruehgeoi and perhaps that modified pirate monopoly game I keep wanting to assemble.

It was a dreary downtown day but at the end of my 30 foot leash...” Obscured by Clouds, Quote the Rave, Never more. never more never more never more Oh such tales of Mystery and Imagination. Sitting here in the gray of the day. Remembering the lightening and thunder the night before. We are now getting a few drops in through the mast. My crew is so stir crazy I can hardly deal with him. All day in a gray sky heavy rain we only generate enough electricity to operate the computer for less than 3 hours. This is with an Asus eBox which only draws 20 watts maximum and the most efficient 24” monitor I could find the day I purchased it. His school has been all book work with no interactive lessons. Days like this are the largest opponent to things like a refrigerator or electric motor. But then you could always buy a Honda Generator and deal with gas for it.

It was a dreary downtown day but at the end of my 30 foot leash...” Yes day five! My sarcastic wit is getting tired. But the good news is that the gray has shades. Dark and light giving us positive thoughts. We went back down below for an early morning game of cards. After a couple games of rummy there were shades of blue within the gray.


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