Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 10, 2007 - Beveridge Reef

The stalled front that we rode down here from Bora Bora is still parked right over our heads. For the past 10 days we have had continuously overcast skies and rainy weather. It is starting to feel like Northeast Ohio in winter. This is the longest stretch of bad weather that we have had in the 11 months that we have been cruising.

Since we have been in Beveridge Reef, the rain has poured down on us, continuously. It hasn't let up enough to get the dinghy reassembled (we deflated it and stowed the gas tank, anchor, and engine for the trip here). On a positive note, once it stops raining, I'm going to have some mighty clean lifelines on which to hang out the laundry to dry. With so much unstructured time on our hands, we have to find ways to keep ourselves from getting bored. These past few days we have occupied ourselves with boat projects and cooking.

Sten tried to interface one of our handheld Garmin GPS's with an external Raymarine GPS antenna so that he could use the handheld down below as an anchor alarm (our chartplotter draws too much power to use it as an anchor alarm on a nightly basis). It didn't work - he thinks the units might be incompatible. He also switched back to our old autopilot so that we can sleep in our bed on the next passage, changed the oil in the generator, and did half a dozen other small projects. The boat projects keep Sten physically occupied and mentally stimulated.

Meanwhile, I've been cooking. I know it seems like 1950 around here, with Sten doing the manly work of fixing stuff and the little wife messing about in the kitchen, but I'd rather bake than crawl into the anchor locker to reattach a hawsepipe. I find that cooking is a useful (and tasty) outlet for my need to be creative; I rarely have all the ingredients or equipment called for by a recipe, so I've become a master of improvisation - and kneeding by hand. We celebrated our first night at anchor with some of the steak that Dad brought us and a wonderful bottle of malbec that Storm Along gave us in Bora Bora. The next night we made Vietnamese spring rolls out of some more of the steak Dad brought us and some rice wrappers I bought 9 months ago in Iles des Saintes. They were tasty and fun. Yesterday morning I tried the David Eyre's Pancake recipe from the New York Times. This pancake turned out to be very similar to Fanny Farmer's Dutch Baby recipe, but tougher. We prefer the Dutch Baby, but will incorporate the nutmeg from the NYT recipe in the future - why not: New Zealand is going to take all of our Grenada nutmeg anyway. Yesterday afternoon I wrapped up the cooking with a batch of sticky buns (made with pecans brought to us by Dad - we haven't seen a pecan since we left the US). So now the sun really needs to come out because our tummies are distended from all the eating and we need to get some exercise. Moreover, after 10 days onboard, we are both suffering from cabin fever.

We also both wanted to express our personal thanks to The Tribe for knocking the Yankees out of the playoffs (and to Suzy for keeping us up to date on the baseball results). Go Sox.

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