Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Progress, a Party, and a Fish Story

Well, we are making progress on the S/V Exposure. After 9 days of sanding, vacuuming, wiping, taping, and a complete evacuation of the contents of the boat, we've spent another 6 days or so laying multiple coats of Cetol Natural Teak onto all the wood and it's looking good. Apparently, in the process of doing so, I have developed boatyard induced tourettes, with the curse words amply flying when something doesn't go quite my way. One of the biggest problems has been not dripping sweat onto the finish in the 90+ degree heat, and not bumping into wet areas while hitting some of the tighter spots has proven to be quite the challenge as well.

But, we still have a long way to go with primering and painting ceiling and walls and the outside of the boat is only going to get done weather pending and we have had quite the rainy season.
[Monsoon season?]

Jeff has gotten quite a bit done on the outside, stripping the decks of hardware and lines, and painstaking drilling and filling all the cracks topsides.

We're checking in to extending our stay at the apartment for another month although I've become a little apprehensive of our temporary abode after watching a scorpion walk across the floor late the other night and disappear under the refrigerator. From now on, I am sitting at the computer with the can of wasp and hornet spray with the 27 foot jet stream [Yes, scorpion is listed on the can.] and there will be no walking around barefoot. I keep telling myself that one scorpion does not an infestation make...but it's still creepy.

The wasp and hornet spray has been all but used up at this point on actual wasps. When we first arrived at the apartment, Jeff did a fine job of spraying all the pre-existing nests of the stinging little beasts but they apparently decided to go into stealth mode and make new nests under all the outdoor furniture. Last night when I sat down I was immediately stung and after applying ice to the welt, I went on a rampage, overturning chairs, and spraying anything with a stinger. Time to get a new can.

The dog, on the other hand, is very happy with apartment life...especially since he has a 10 year old, girl german shepard who lives upstairs and a 2 year old, girl rottweiler who lives next door and both come to the door to see if he can come out and play. He's partial to the rotty and it's real cute to see them romp around and wrestle. She's not very graceful and often falls off the porch during these play sessions and the landscaping is never quite the same after she leaves.

~A Party~
This past Saturday was my friend Megan's 50th birthday and to help her celebrate, we had a big party at the tiki hut. There was music by our local fellows, Randy and Chris, who are making a go at being professional musicians. The grills were ablaze with hamburgers, hot dogs, and beer butt chicken. Everyone brought a dish and a good time was had by all. Great turn out.

I took the opportunity to try out a recipe that I have heard my friend, Angela [Angela's Adventure, Angela's Visit], rave about on numerous occasions. The recipe calls for you to take club crackers, heap them with Parmesan cheese, wrap them in a half slice of bacon, and bake in the oven for 2 hours. I certainly would have never attempted baking anything for 2 hours on the boat during the summer, so the apartment and its oven came in handy.
The treats did turn out quite tasty although they were a bit of a pain to make, especially in party sized quantity. The recipe calls for the wrapped pieces to be placed on a rack on a cookie sheet so, I had to improvise by using one oven rack as "the rack" and wrapping the second oven rack in aluminum foil as "the cookie sheet." Quite clever, I thought on my part until an hour and 20 minutes into it when the oven started smoking and I realized a grease fire was eminent. I calmly turned the oven off while my friend, Jen, scurried around looking for baking soda. I removed the racks from the oven, transferred the now slightly shrunken treats to 2 baking dishes [sans racks], and returned them to the oven to finish up. Disaster averted.
When they came out of the oven, I transferred them to a pizza box to drain, cool, and be transported to the party, another stroke of genius on my part with this one actually working out!

And since a birthday party isn't really a party until you have something tasty to sip on, I invented a new drink in honor of Megan's big occasion. I'm calling it a Dirty Banana.
Take 1 part 99 Bananas. Add 2 parts Friday's Mudslide Mixer. Now add 1/2 part vodka and 1/4 part rum. Shake well and shoot.
I made a big batch using a Captain Tony's cup as my measuring device so the vodka and rum parts are not exact measurements. You could also use Chi Chi's mudslide mix and since it has alcohol in it just omit the vodka and rum.
Once I had mine all mixed together, I put it in the freezer for several hours and then into a cooler of ice for the party. It's got enough alcohol in it that I am pretty sure you could make it up and just leave a batch in the freezer.
Ice cold, this makes for a tasty little shooter...not too sweet and not too strong.
Happy 50th Birthday, Megan!

~A Fish Story~
Where there's a party, there's always a mess to clean up afterward. I met up with Bob, Megan's significant other half, Sunday morning to assess the damage. It wasn't so bad, just a few left-over items, some soggy crepe paper, and a pile of abandoned peanuts. I found a couple of brooms, a dustpan, a rag, and some windex to get the stickiness off the tables and Bob and I set to work. Others joined in and soon enough the tiki was squeaky clean...mostly. During the cleaning process, there was a commotion on the nearby ramp to the new dinghy docks.
A large pinfish had jumped out of the water and gotten himself stuck. I took one of the brooms and hurriedly swept the fish down the ramp and back into the water. He floated to the surface, belly up. Not a good sign.
But his tail was still moving and he was trying to get turned around. I gave him a gentle nudge with the broom handle and he got himself righted although he still wasn't going anywhere. A few more swishes of the tail, a wiggle of the fins, and cries from me to rally and at least he was staying totally submerged. Looking good...
...and then a shadow appears from under the dock - several feet long and BIG...
...and then POW!
The shadow ate my fish.
Game over.