If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Dip For The Grill

There were old cruising friends joining happy hour last night from Samson Cay in the Bahamas.  Of course that was more than enough reason for a cook out!  During last night's HAPPY HOUR COOK OUT we had a few requests for our crab dip recipe that we brought.


    1/4 pound butter
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 yellow onion. diced
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    3/4 cup half-and-half
    8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
    6 ounces Kraft Italian 5 cheese blend shredded cheese
    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    3 cans jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for cartilage
    2 cans lobster meat, picked over for cartilage
    1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    Pita crisps or other "bread crackers", for serving


Place 12" saucepan onto kettle grill and turn flame to medium. Melt butter, add bell pepper, onion and all dry seasoning except paprika. then cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir until combined. Pour half-and-half into mixture and bring to a simmer. Slowly add cubed cream cheese until incorporated. Next stir in shredded cheese a little at a time until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients except for paprika and parsley. Add heat and bring to a soft boil and immediately remove from heat and continue to stir for 2 minutes. (Options: leave in pan for less dishes to clean or place into a serving bowl. Remove from heat place in baking dish and bake until brown on top 15-20 minutes.) Garnish with paprika and parsley. Serve with pita chips or other toast style crackers. Turn it into a meal by substituting crackers with French Bread.  Serves up to 20 as an hors d'oeuvres
You could substitute cumin or chili powder for old bay and cheddar for the Italian blend for a Mexican alternative.  Mix and match until you have something you like.
This also makes an awesome mushroom stuffer!  Shrimp stuffer! captain stuffer!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Day The Middle School Bus Went Sailing

Computer Class Room

Homeschooling on a boat or Boatschool as we call it is not without it's pains.  But, now as we (I) prepare for the upcoming year it is wonderful when one of those epiphany moments comes to pass.

Our class room for the day

On our way back from an afternoon on the town when suddenly Ayrton stopped in his tracks.  He motioned me over to see a cicada.  He experience a full emergence of the Cicada in NC about 3 years again and being the little scientist his days were filled with wonder.  He noticed the "now" local to us cicadas were different than the ones in NC.  Now later in the evening we were at happy hour on the dock and the topic of the "Locusts" came up.  It was at that moment that I made eye contact with Ayr' and he smiled.  He knew the answer and was being polite!  Not correcting an adult and especially not in a crowd.  Knowing he was dying to share his knowledge I waited until an appropriate time and opened the door for his input.  It was one of those moments when you suddenly realize that it is paying off.  He was polite and knowledgeable.  

 Field Trips?
Fort de Soto Park,  Exumas Land and Sea Park

 Morgan's cave,  Cayo Costa Park

Bahia Honda Park,  Looe Key Marine Sanctuary

 Key West, FL  ,  Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

Thunderball Groto,  Exploring the Arts

Also it is great that after dealing with his dad for a year, the Fisher King still wants to be Boatschooled instead returning to public school.  He has accelerated in math and science and by the end of this year should be a full year or more ahead in both of those subjects.  He is such a little MacGyver and can problem solve and improvise rather well.  He loves to draw and be creative. We need to concentrate on his liberal arts as he struggles with redundant non-logical work.  (to too two read read red)   But I guess that is normal since there is some form of English class every year for 12 years of public school.  It was so much simpler just to draw on the cave wall.

Teaching Textbooks Math 7

With Boatschool bearing down on us like 2012, I have been busy making the materials list and checking it  twice.  Once you get out on the hook in beautiful anchorages there are no office supply stores or hel-mart.  You must have it on board or do without.  You must have spares and backups or you may be doing with out.  But beware the extra items may be annoying like the mechanical pencils the Fisher King keeps leaving in my way.

Boatschool curriculum Grade 6 plus s/v Gemini Dreams 2012/2013:
  • Boatschool
    • Navigation basics
    • Ship operations (cool name for boat chores)
    • Sailing Weather
    • First Aid
  • Mathematics
    • Teaching Text Books Math 7  ($159)*
    • Teaching Text Books Pre-Algebra 2.0  ($189)*
    • Math puzzles and games
  • Science
    • Glencoe Science Grade 6 Florida edition  (used $20)
    • Glencoe Science Grade 7 Florida edition  (used $20)
    • Assorted corresponding documentary videos
  • Language Arts
    • Saxon Grammar and Writing 6 ($75)*
    • Saxon Grammar and Writing 7 ($75)*
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing journal
    • Penmanship 
    • Reading (utilize the eReader with 18,000 books on board)
  • Social Studies
    • Harcourt Brace United States 1880's to present  (used $20)
    • Introduction to the Greek Period
    • Introduction to the Roman Empire
    • Assorted corresponding documentary videos
  • Foreign language
    • Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish LA 1  ($159)*
    • Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish LA 2  ($159)*
    • Public interaction as available (ie. ordering lunch in Spanish)
  • Physical Education
    • Snorkeling
    • Kayaking (need to buy a kayak)  ($240)
    • Bike riding (need to buy a new bike since his was stolen in Panama City. $199)
    • Scuba lessons ($280)
    • Swim lessons
  • Arts
    • Drawing
    • Photography
    • Music
  • Other
    • Field trips as they present opportunities.

  • * These items are purchased and resold as needed keeping costs lower.  (An example would be: we purchased  TTmath5 for $75 sold it for $75, TTmath6 for $75 sold it for $102, TTmath7 for $49 and hope to sell it for $90+)  Total yearly expenditures runs about $1000 for books, programs and supplies and we bargain hunt.  

Below are things that we have discovered while cruising are below.

  • We expected to get plenty done while on crossings.  The reality is the motion of the boat made most things difficult for the Fisher King to complete.  He would accidentally click the wrong answer as the mouse moved on its own as an example
  • Rainy days are a good time for a movie and double the school work.  You can use these as "catch up" days or to get ahead and take a day off in the future.
  • Meeting other boat kids depends on location.  Don't expect too many.
  • Internet classes using the Bahamas internet will be very expensive, good thing we didn't go this route.
  • triple check you supplies before you leave, you may not find what you want.

So far Boatschool is working for us.  We have arguments over time off for holidays, summer vacation and season breaks.  The disagreements over are there two maths today or one since we crossed the Gulf stream yesterday.  Are we going to do extra since it is raining.  With the need for flexibility so high due to the cruising lifestyle you must be willing to give and take.  Set your check points (monthly?) and keep on track.  Do not forget to have fun and catch a lot of fish.  They are learning constantly.  Even casting a rod and reeling in a fish are full of math, physics, and biology (you can add names like centrifugal, ratio, leverage, friction, or even Mycteroperca microlepis randomly) with hands on experience they understand they it.


Boatschool leaves more time for...