Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last stop--Harness Creek

After a completely lazy Christmas Day, we took advantage of a light breeze yesterday to shift to Harness Creek so that we could stretch our legs in Quiet Waters Park.  It was some pretty sweet December sailing!  Slow and steady...  We got to the park in time to hike and geocache for a few hours--it was a splendid afternoon!

On the way back to the boat we realized that there was an ice rink in the park!  The kids begged, but we headed back to the boat....and Trent lost his first tooth!  Woo hoo!!!!!  

And...we went skating this morning!  It was great!  Trent struggled for about 2 hours, but he never gave up and started to get the hang of it.  I'm so glad we decided to come back to the park today!

Alas, it was time to return to our "home" marina.  There are chores and homework to get done, and I have a date with a friend tomorrow.  Of course we came back just after low tide, on a barely positive tide.  And rather than wait since we wanted to get fuel, we just plowed through the mud between the 3 and 4 markers!  Good times!  We got our fuel, may have plowed a little more mud on the way to our slip, and got settled in with time to toss the football on the beach before sunset.  It's been a great holiday!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

"Santa came!  Santa came!"  Amazingly it was about 8am before we heard the kids cry that out, but indeed, Santa had come!

We were completely spoiled by our families!  And just as we were baking our traditional cinnamon roll breakfast we heard something.  Voices?  Singing?  It was kayaking carolers!  Such fun!  It was a couple from a nearby house, stopping by to thank us for the light display last night!  We chatted for a bit, they gave us a yummy bag of cookies, and Trent showed them all of his new Legos.  It was so nice to have visitors!

We stayed in our pjs most of the day, and even got some good family pics!

We are staying here for another night, then maybe we will move tomorrow.  We have a big Christmas feast in our bellies!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve on the Bay

The Captain was sick.  The forecast was calling for a breezy Christmas. It was super foggy out.  There is a tiny leek somewhere in the engine.  Let's get underway!  Yep, despite all of that we really wanted to spend our last Christmas here out on the bay.  I took the helm so Frank could rest, and of course our radar wasn't working!  Visibility <1/4nm most of the way...the wayward crab pot here and there...but we made it to a cozy spot in the Rhode River!

The fog enveloped us, like we were out there all alone.  Still we turned on all the Christmas lights, had the kids exchange one gift, made cookies, and readied the boat for a visit from Santa.  We even got to Skype with the family back in Illinois.

Now...we wait!

Sea Change

I've been putting off this post for a while...not sure why, but I have.  The thing is, it really is about good news!  This fall, shortly after my promotion, we found out that I'd screened for command.  Command!!!  It's the most humbling news ever!  Next summer we'll be heading south as the command is in Mississippi.

But...(there's always a "but") that presents a decision point.  "Down South" is where we have a house, a real brick and mortar place that we bought the last time we were stationed there because it was right by a great elementary school.  But we currently have a great renter in it and moving in there will cost us more.  But getting the boat down there will take time and patience, especially as my move is right in the middle of hurricane season.  But the school by the marina isn't rated as highly as the school by the house.  But the kids' school starts in early August down there.  What??!??!?  That's seven weeks after they finish the year up here!  And I have training to go to in August!

It seems we may be swallowing the hook for a bit.  It's for all the right reasons, and we can spend that time finally purging the remaining "stuff" and giving both the house and the boat some TLC, but it's still a tough pill to swallow.

Lots of details to work out, but for now, it's time to enjoy the season with my amazing family.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My philosophy on butter rum cake

It was February 1, 2013.  It was cold out and we definitely weren't getting underway with all the ice in the marina.  What to do, what to do???  Ever notice how the Philosophy line of body washes have recipes on them?  Well, they do and I had always been a wee bit curious about that...were the recipes for real?  Hmmm...I had a bottle of Philosophy's Butter Rum Cake body wash, the wrong type of pan, and an oven that required a good deal of overwatch to maintain a steady temp.  Perfect for an experiment, right?

1 pkg. yellow cake mix 
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 C water
1/2 C cooking oil 
1/2 C butter (softened)
1/2 C dark rum (Myers's works well)

Combine cake and pudding mixes.  Add eggs, water, butter, oil, and rum.  Pour into a greased bundt pan.  Bake at 350F for 1 hour.  Let cool.

1/4 C water
1 C sugar (I like raw sugar for this)
1/2 C dark rum
Crushed walnuts (optional)

Boil water and sugar for 5 min.  Stir in rum.  Glaze top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.

So, how did it go?  Well, it wasn't pretty in my rectangle pan, but it sure tasted good!

It was so good, in fact, that I decided I needed a bundt pan as part of my onboard cookware!  The next time it came out yummy AND pretty!

And that, my friends, is my philosophy on butter rum cake!

Let there be LIGHTS!

This is one of my favorite weekends on the Bay!  I love heading to Annapolis for the Eastport Yacht Club's Lighted Boat Parade!  We had some sweet sailing yesterday and got a front-row mooring by mid-afternoon.

We had to fiddle with our light strings a bit, but enjoyed a peaceful afternoon and early dinner before bundling up on deck for the parade.  It was such a great show!

As we warmed the engine this morning we got a special treat--Santa and the elves from East of Maui ski/surf/skate came by the boat.  It was awesome!

Headed back to our home marina now to prep for another crazy, pre-holiday week at school and work, but it's been a fabulous weekend on the water!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

10 years!

Today we celebrate 10 years of marriage.  And amazingly we've lived on the boat for over half of that wedded bliss!  So looking forward to the next 10 years and all the adventures they will bring!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fabulous Fall!

With temps nearing 70F and plenty of wind in the forecast, we had to get underway!  We decided to head to a new anchorage in Whithall Bay outside of Annapolis.  After a great start, it got super gusty at the mouth of the Severn and we got to experience our first round-up!  I lost some skin on my hand while trying to ease the mainsheet, but otherwise we did well.  We even saw 8kts through the water under reefed sails!  Woo hoo!  😬

We took the tight entrance to Whitehall Creek very slowly and toured past the marina before turning around and settling on a spot in Ridout Creek for the night.  It was a really great spot that afforded us opportunities for paddling and dinghy rides.

Today brought more adventurous sailing! After a peaceful morning we got underway and got to see our first 25kt gusts again at the mouth of the Severn.  With a scrap of genoa up we managed to make between 5 and 6 kts the whole way back.  The timing put us back home with only a +0.25' tide.  That, combined with the stiff breeze on the beam, led us to decide to drop the hook outside the marina while we wait for the tide to come up a little.  We will get underway shortly, and return home to clean the mud and salt off the boat and carve pumpkins!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Football and Ghoul Sailing

We decided to take advantage of a Living Social deal to take the kids to a Naval Academy football game against the Citadel's arch rival, VMI.  It's been 5 years since they've been to a game!  Since it's also boat show weekend in Annapolis we were really torn on how to get there--put up with the crowds of drivers or the crowds on the water.  I'm so happy we picked the latter!  We got an early start Friday and dropped the hook in Weems Creek just after sunset.  We were right by the dinghy tie-up closest to the stadium!  Rain moved in overnight and through Saturday morning, but it was still great.  Board games, video games, and cooking made for a relaxing start to the day.

After lunch we headed ashore to watch USNA whoop VMI, 51-14.  I think the kids liked it!

Today we enjoyed a nice sail most of the way home.  We love sailing with the Halloween decor up, and even got hailed on CH16 as "Spider Boat" once!  Heading home under power now.  Have to get these kids to school tomorrow so the parents can hit the boat show!  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is creeping in

Since we were away from the water last weekend, we were definitely getting underway this weekend!  The forecast called for showers Saturday so we decided to put the dodger/bimini connector back on.  Alas, it is fall.  We had a great sail to an anchorage in the Rhode River despite the rain.  Honestly it reminded us of our early days sailing in Washington.  The rain passed and the evening was glorious!  The air was perfectly crisp, the moon a fiery orange as it rose.  I even managed to paddle around a bit before dinner.  

Today has been lovely!  After a lazy breakfast I enjoyed a little SUP yoga and a brief paddle.  The sun is shining and we are only now losing the wind just 3 miles from the marina.  It's been such a relaxing day, I even gave myself a pedi!  I love fall on the water!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Git 'er done!

It's NASCAR weekend, baby!  We've never gone to a NASCAR race before, so this weekend we headed to Richmond, VA for the Federated Auto Parts 400.  It was awesome!  It was a night race, and there was so much to do at the track.  We even got free pit passes from military hospitality!  We had great seats six rows up, right across from the pits and just off the start/finish line, and had scanner headsets to listen to the action--that was awesome!  We learned a lot as newbies, and I honestly want to go again!  We aren't hard-core fans that follow a certain driver, but it was just fun to be part of all the craziness and noise!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Movin' on up!

While this post isn't about the boat, it is about our Navy family.  And today, our family hit a milestone--momma became a Commander!  This is huge for me, for us, for our future.  I had a few things I really wanted for my pinning ceremony, and it was pretty much exactly as I wanted!  My ex-boss/mentor/friend drove up from Mississippi to see his son's football game, and with his wife, three other kids, and mother-in-law in tow arrived at the Pentagon this morning to administer my oath.  Wow.  And my whole family was involved in swapping out my rank insignia, just how I always imagined.  I am so fortunate to be supported by such amazing people.  I laughed, I cried, and laughed some more.  Such a great day!