Falling Off Flying Squid

Falling Off Flying Squid

A flight of something thwacked into our path as we were dinghying across the Bahamian waters.

“What do you think that was?” the captain asked me.

“Flying fish,” I replied.  What else could it be?

“Calamari!” the captain replied, grinning and holding up a small squid.

flying squidI had never even heard of flying squid before a sail around the Bahamas several years prior, or since.  Until the passage from…

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South of the Equator Somen

South of the Equator Somen

putting makeup onThe sailing world is fraught with myths, legends, and tradition.  That it is bad luck have a woman on a boat may have fallen by the wayside (for some at least), but others remain.  In name at least.  Some, like the equator crossing tradition can be a fun way to break up a long passage.

To cross the equator you need the sea god’s permission. There are different takes on it.  Some legends state…

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Captain’s Call Rice Cakes

Captain’s Call Rice Cakes

DSCN1158

Okay, this was in Panama… we sailed past the Galapagos in the dead of night but hey, islands.

The Galapagos.  Ever since reading the Kurt Vonnegut book I had wanted to sail there.  Almost every cruiser heading through the Panama Canal to the Marquesas stops off at the Galapagos.  It’s the logical stopping-point to break up the prodiigeous 4,000 nautical mile passage.  Sure, it’s a lot closer to…

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Stow Away Quinoa Cabbage Salad

Stow Away Quinoa Cabbage Salad

50 meter waves swallowed the boat!  The wind was gusting up to 60 knots! The sails were in shreds, the autopilot broke, the water maker broke…

Given the horror stories about sailing you’d wonder why anyone would ever want to get out on the water.  But the thing is that talking about good sails isn’t interesting.  Who wants to hear about the exhilarating 9-knot sail with 12 knots of wind and a…

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Jettison Japanese Curry

shipIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko…

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Jettison Japanese Curry

shipIt was dark when we set sail.  Of course we had meant to leave during the day, but as with many of the best laid plans, this one fell by the wayside.

I was preparing dinner when the police boat sped up to us.  Who were we?  Where were we heading?, the officer wanted to know.  Did we have permission to go past La Playita?

I apologized and explained as calmly as I could that sailing vessel Umineko…

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Passage Preparation Sweet Potato Pockets

Passage Preparation Sweet Potato Pockets

Have food prepared for the first few days of passage

Have food prepared for the first few days of passage

Thar be dragons!

I’ve loved dragons ever since I was a little girl.  It might be date back to seeing the Magic Flute at age 3 or my fascination with dinosaurs.  Perhaps even reading Anne McCaffery’s dragon rider series.  It only seems fitting that maps of old stated “Thar be dragons!” in uncharted territory.

There are those who have wondered…

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Passagemaker Pizza Dough

grissini dough with rolling pinPizza is a favorite among yachties and land-lovers around the world.  Sure, if you are lazy you can bring store-bought crusts or pizza crust mixes (yeah, I didn’t know mixes existed either until one boat I crewed on had a stock of pizza dough mix.) but let’s face it.  Making your own pizza always tastes a thousand times better. Cheese may be a commodity on long passages, but saving a bit for a…

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Panama Canal Popcorn

Mooring Buoy in Gatun Lake

Mooring Buoy in Gatun Lake

We have seen some strange moorings, but tying up to a big floating mooring buoy with other boats rafted up to us may have been the oddest.  Imagine a floating steel barrel as a mooring.  Now imagine a boat on either side.  Then two other yachts rafted up to them.  It was not the ideal situation, but it was our only option.  We couldn’t make it across Gatun Lake at 8…

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Monkey Fist Apricot Poppy Seed Biscotti

Monkey Fist Apricot Poppy Seed Biscotti

tires and lines for transiting the canal

tires and lines for transiting the canal

The Panama Canal.   After months spent going through locks on the Erie Canal I was finally transiting the legendary Panama Canal.  This was the big time.  The man-made cut severing the umbilical cord of the Americas.  A channel through between two oceans.

We had visited the lock museum and seen the cars pulling along the monstrous container ships.  Now it…

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