December 31, 2018

Wringing out 2018...

As we close out 2018, we are humbled (and more than a little confused) that you (yes, all 3 of you— you know who you are...) chose to stop by over 100,000 times to spend some quality time with us on our blog... 

(We don't know why either...)

We never anticipated having such an opportunity to disappoint you so many times— even though we cautioned ourselves from the very beginning:

(From our Prologue in 2014)

...We will be surprised if we ever achieve a readership that exceeds double digits. (Yes, we firmly believe we can get to low double digits by taking advantage of the good graces of family and friends...)  But a large following is not our goal; nor is a literary prize. (We may yet achieve notoriety, however...) 

This [blog] is simply our effort to [try to] keep track of ourselves and a few of our projects along the way. (Who knows? This may well serve as a viable source of remorse in our twilight years...) [
And perhaps it will for you as well...?] 

Please accept our heartfelt gratitude (and condolences...) 

We resolutely promise to remain as obtuse, whimsical, and inconsistent as you have come to expect...

Happy New Year from the Crew of Denali Rose!

December 28, 2018

Friday Funny 12-28/18 (Towel Rules)

A good dish towel, I don't like doing dishes, but we don't have a house elf.

Towels, and rags, they have their places on Denali Rose, and please don't confuse the two.

I recently took part in a discussion on the Women Who Sail forum, about using different towels for different jobs, and how the male in the partnership couldn't figure out why. For me, the funniest part of the discussion, was finding out how many women do this with towels, and that no one knew anyone else did. We had a good (online), laugh together.

The gal that started the discussion, had posted an article on WWS, that her partner, Robert had written about the use of towels, and rags on their boat. The article came from their Facebook boat page, S/V Simplify, "The Rag Rules".   Erin gave me permission to reuse, and copy here, they're in italics.  I'll use excerpts, but I won't paste the whole article, you can go to their page, and read the full article, it's funny.

i. Wash towels (hangs at the sink)....Used to dry dishes.
ii Hand towels (hangs near the sink)....Used to dry hands.

Some people may find this silly, but I've always done it this way. I don't want to dry my dishes with the hand towel. I find that the hand towel sometimes isn't as clean, perhaps it gets used in other ways?

Conveniently next to the galley sink.

One of the first things I did when we moved onboard Denali Rose, was to install these easy towel grabbers, and label them. There's no confusion as to which is which, and they're even color coded. It's part of the "welcome onboard" speech we give to guests, "silver towels, here at the galley, and in both heads are for hands, the bronze towels are for dishes."

Pay no attention to the dirty dishes in the sink below, I haven't done them yet this morning.

iv. Shower towels... these towels are the journeyman towels of the boat... they get used every day... but like cats, they lay around most of the day.

Last year for my birthday, Bill bought turkish towels from Marmara Imports. He got two large ones with the terry lining on one side. We normally don't use cotton, but we made an exception for these. I cut them in half, hemmed them, and put a different distinctive hangtag on each one. This is so everyone can tell which towel is theirs. By the way, our towels don't lay around as in Robert's post, ours are hanging in the shower stall with the convenient towel grabbers. (Unlike the cats, who ARE laying around most of the day.)
(Edit: S/V Simplify towels aren't laying around either, they're hung up as well.)

I know my face towel looks a bit dingy, it's not, it's bright white, the lighting is wonky.

There are extra towel hangers in the enclosure for when guests are onboard. The towel to the right is for my hair and face only. Don't ever use my face towel for anything else, I want it to be ultra clean when I dry my face! 

vii. Bathroom towelette, again a specialized disposable store bought rag that is gentle, (affectionately called "baby wipes", and has many uses from b*tt whip to face cleaning, (separate towels!)

Did you catch the b*tt whip reference...LOL... he probably meant wipe, but it's funny this way.

Use those b*tt whips for whatever you need, just don't reuse them, throw them away when you're done! (NOT in the toilet, throw away into the trash can, another rule: NO paper in the toilet.)

ix. Work these are retired towels from the above classes... they generally have holes in them, and may have a big magic marker "X". When SHMBO marks an "X" on something, I am sure it has something to do with me, and my cognitive skills, and I stare at the "X" carefully before I use it.

(SHMBO - She Who Must Be Obeyed, it comes from a BBC program called, "Rumpole of the Bailey". The main character referred to his wife that way, and we never did find out her name.)

We do have work towels onboard, they are the blue ones, I never thought about putting an X on anything, great idea, but maybe the color code is sufficient.

Purple towels, and blue towels.

The purple towels are exclusively for windows, and the very expensive plastic-glass/strataglass in the dodger and bimini, the enclosure around the outside cockpit, and helm. Again, never use them for anything else. The windows in the pilothouse have a special coating, and using water with the microfiber works the best. I take extra care of the strataglass, it gets rinsed often with clean water, and protected from UV using a special cleaner, and polish at least twice a year. 

The silver, bronze, and purple towels are microfiber, dry quickly, and absorb water even when they are wet. I get them from the "FlyLady" website. 

Is this all too much OCD? Would I know it, if it was? 

Though, woe to anyone who uses the wrong towel!

Okay, if you're done with towels, the reward for hanging in here, pictures of the cats laying around.

Elsie, and Gus rarely sleep this close together.

Gus has taken over the window shelf.

Elsie finds that the main sheet is a good place to cradle her chin.

We're so glad we have these seats for us to sit in, except when a cat has taken over.

Gus enjoying his box at the heater vent.

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

December 21, 2018

Friday Funny 12-21/18 (Merry Christmas!)

Here we are again, it's Christmas time. I'm very happy to be spending it on Denali Rose with Bill, and our kitties, Gus, and Elsie.

After last week's cookie debacle, for holiday desserts, I found some other no-bake recipes on Pinterest. I made a Heath Toffee Cheesecake, though that title is misleading, there isn't any cheese in it. It was delicious, but truthfully there isn't anything in it that's healthy, and I probably won't make it again. 

This is pudding mix, 1/2 &1/2, cool whip, and chopped up Heath Bars, with chocolate chips.

My no-bake pumpkin pie, is delicious also, and better for you. It's made with pumpkin, spice, and greek yogurt.

I found a fun recipe using Oreo cookies, but after I got to the store, and found buying Oreos, cream cheese, and white/dark chocolate chips, was way more expensive than buying the box mix. 

I didn't even  know this existed.

We'll be getting plenty of sweet treats in lieu of baked goods.

I also had plans to decorate the boat inside, and outside with Grinch, and Whoville motif, but I decided that the money was better spent in other, more practical areas. I had some creative ideas though!

Instead, I made my own Grinch ornaments, and did Grinch on a small scale inside the boat.

I bought wooden disks, pipe cleaners, ribbon, and a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas book from Amazon. I cut out scenes, colored them with gel pens, and glued them to the wood disks. Some pipe cleaner, and ribbon trim, and voila, a set of ornaments that are unique, flat, unbreakable, and easy to store. 

A string of lights, lime green beads, and its' Grinch decor.

The mast

Stockings were hung, from the portlight with care, see the outside IGA bag? It's beer, chilled in the perfect outside temps.

I bought this little fabric tree at a local bazaar, it doesn't fold up, but it's small and lightweight. Add to it some mini lights, and it becomes a Christmas Tree! 

It doesn't have that great smell that real trees have, but then the cats don't want to knock it over either.

I got these ornaments from a gal in Wasilla AK, who makes them from clay. They're supposed to be caricatures of Elsie and Gus, I had her put glasses on the black one, (Partial blind Elsie), and a sailor hat on the brown one, (Gus, the first mate).

Elsie and Gus

We put up one string of lights on the outside of Denali Rose. Bill wrapped one rope of red lights around a halyard, and we hoisted it to the top of the mast, we also left the masthead tricolor light on. When you look at our boat from the back, you see the white light, from port, (left), you see red, and from starboard, (right), you see green. Our mast is so tall, that people driving by the marina can see it, and it's the only boat with Christmas lights on.

Denali Rose's red mast.

Wrangell is having a boat parade on Saturday, where people dress up their boats and motor by the town. I'm not inclined to motor past with just one string of lights. Also the predicted 40kt wind gusts make that trip less than desirable.

Tree lighting (photo credit, Rich Einert)

Someone was taking photos downtown during the annual tree lighting ceremony, and then posted them to facebook. Here's one of Bill and I, lower right hand corner, in our orange foul-weather coats. It was rainy, and windy, and we thought the huge tree might topple over in the gusts.

We're decorated up, presents wrapped, prime rib aging. We're all ready this year, and all together.

From Bill, and Donna - Merry Christmas!

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

December 14, 2018

Friday Funny 12-14/18 (Galley Experiments)

I tried.

You might remember my recent post about our oven not working, and I hinted at trying to "bake" cookies on the induction plate instead. Here's the result of my experiment.

Supplies gathered

I bought pre-made cookie dough for a couple of reasons, one, since I haven't been baking, I don't have any baking ingredients onboard, and two, it was easy. My 20/20 hindsight says, starting out with chocolate ships, (haha, I mean chips), in the frying pan wasn't a good idea.

I put some high heat spray oil in the pan, and because cookies are baked at 350 degrees, I set the induction plate to that temperature. Another 20/20 hindsight... too hot.

No eating raw dough

I cut up the cookie dough into 16 semi-equal parts, and placed half in the heated pan. Bill called to me, "Hey I smell something hot! Are you cooking?"

What he smelled were the chocolate chips burning in the too hot pan. I quickly turned down the heat, opened the overhead hatch wider, and turned on the fan. It wasn't the delicious smell of cookies baking that we all know, and love.

Semi cooked cookies, burnt chocolate chips.

Yum, doesn't that look appetizing? Um, NOT. It looks like burned sausage patties. 

Uncooked cookies, cooked cookies. Do you want to eat either one? I thought not.

Then, when I used the spatula to lift them out, trying to keep them in cookie shape, they just fell into crumbles. Now it looks like a plate of burnt hamburger. 😑

Try again.

Lower heat setting.

I turned the heat way down, added the dough, and put a lid on it. I was thinking that they might "bake"inside the pan. I checked on it quite frequently, and probably lifted the lid too often.

Slightly baked cookies.

This was sort of working, but flipping the cookies over just made a crumble mess again. The difference this time, is that they're not burned.

That's how the cookie crumbles. 😁

Bill says they would make good topping for ice cream. That may be true, but our freezer is so full of meat, that there isn't any room for ice cream.

We had dinner the other night on a neighbor's boat, and he has a large back deck freezer on his trawler. We brought ice cream for dessert, and we didn't eat it all, so the remainder is still in his freezer. Our neighbor spends about 2 weeks a month here in Wrangell, he's our traveling vet, and he has left for his land home in Juneau, for the holidays.

Shhhh, we could, perhaps sneak onboard, and .....

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

December 7, 2018

Friday Funny 12-7/18 (It's Been a Year)

I still wear my hoodie. :-)

It feels odd to write about the anniversary of my accident, just after I wrote a post about safety. It's sort of ironic don't you think?

December 13th 2017, was the day I fell down the stairs, and broke my lower left leg in 4 places. It's a day I want to forget, but I'm still living with the consequences. I've gone from a walker, to crutches, to using a cane, back to crutches, back to the cane, and finally no walking aids at all. I'm still limping just a bit, so I walk slow, I'm trying to retrain my muscles to do the job they're supposed to do.

Four breaks, four pins, and one rod. 

Wrangell usually has a freeze/thaw cycle during the winter. This makes for icy docks, and parking lots. I bought a pair of hiking poles with sharp tips so that I won't slip, and fall. When I use them, I might look like I'm an active hiker. I know it isn't true, but it helps with my self esteem.

They fold up for easy storage.

I'm very faithful with my water aerobics attendance, and recently I started a weight training class. I might have over done it this week, judging by the soreness in my legs. I need to remind myself to take it slow, even though it's been a year, patience will win in regaining strength, and over exuberance will result in additional harm.

Bill always says that injuries will be amputated, so in order to keep all of my pieces parts attached, I'm planning no repeat performances.

Not quite yet....

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

November 30, 2018

Friday Funny 11-30 (Redundant Safety and Then More Safety)

Coffee first, that's a given!

We've always had safety in mind, in our home, kayaks, boat, and outdoor activities. It's just routine for us, we have the appropriate equipment, and we use it.

For example, when we went ATVing on our 4-wheelers, we hardly ever saw anyone wearing a helmet. We always wore ours, had a handheld GPS, bear spray, PLB's, Sat phone, FS Radios, and firearms. We carried two backpacker stoves, fuel, food, sleeping bags, tent, tools, medical kit, and extra warm wear. We took all of this with us whether it was an outing for an hour or for a week, when you need it, you need it.

Wrangell- St Elias National Park and Preserve

I was looking at photos of our previous adventures, and couldn't help but post a few of my favorite ones.

Wrangell-St Elias Park and Preserve

Denali Highway

A cow and calf moose came out of the brush, when I thought I was being followed by a bear. 

Prince Willam Sound, Harriman Fjord
We have an extra paddle, paddle float, and pump attached to the kayak. We're wearing our Kokotat drysuits, paddle gloves, paddle leash, and PFDs. In a pocket on the PFD we have flares, signal mirror, flashlight, and PLB,. Mounted on the PFD, we have a knife, a VHF radio, a combination strobe/flash light, and a storm whistle. Tucked into the kayak is the same camping gear we carry on the ATVs [tents, sleeping bags, food, stove, cookware, 1st aid, etc.] a Storm Cag, etc.

Fireweed at sunset.

Sorry, I digress... sure was fun to look through older photo albums. Oh, okay, one more.

White Mountains National Recreation Site

Bill has been outfitting Denali Rose, with safety above coffee. 😁Our redundant chart systems, six anchors onboard, food to last us through the apocalypse, a medical kit worthy of a paramedic, radios, flashlights, signaling flares, ditch bags, EPIRBs, PLBs, PFDs, networked, talking, smart phone programmable and controllable, combination smoke/CO alarms, and fire extinguishers. Lots of fire extinguishers... [9 not including the one in the dinghy— or the automatic engine room system...]

And speaking of smoke/CO alarms... ours talk to us— and each other. [But they don't gossip...] The ones we replaced also talked [letting us know if it was fire or CO alarm.] The Nest alarms take it to the next level. They are networked and announce on all units throughout the boat. They are far more sensitive, do better at avoiding false alarms [steam or burnt toast] and show you the levels of smoke/CO on your smart phone so you can determine if things are getting worse. [They also tell you if it is getting better or worse...]

Compare this to having a piercing alarm somewhere in the boat wake you. Where is that coming from and what is the issue? 

Imagine sleeping in our aft cabin and having the smoke alarm gong like an intercom and clearly, calmly announce, Heads-up; There is smoke in the Galley. The alarm may sound.  You sit up and mute it from your smartphone [or from any of the other networked smoke alarms] and investigate. Bill is up early cooking a French omlette, and the cheese crust is smoking a bit more than usual... All is well... [Where's my coffee?...]

Then five minutes later it announces; There is still smoke in the Galley. It is getting worse. The alarm may sound. The alarm is loud...  [The omlette must almost be ready...] A faint 'Sorry' is heard coming from the Galley...  The next announcement you hear is: The smoke alarm is over... [Breakfast is ready...]

You get the idea...  And, if you have their cameras, they start sending images from the affected area which you can view on your smart phone. [Think engine room...] Oh, and they send you emails and text messages about everything— including self test and battery status. [No more waking up to a chirping low battery alarm somewhere in the boat... We think Nest smoke/CO detectors are a great safety enhancement well worth the $...

Galley (kitchen)

This photo is a good example of redundant safety. On top is the new Maus Fire Extinguisher, made in Sweden. It's lightweight, leaves no residue [no clean-up after use...] and requires no maintenance. Next is the conventional marine extinguisher, attached to it is a glow-in-the-dark 1200 lumen diver's flashlight, and another underneath. Next to that, is the general use flashlight [waterproof 900+ lumens. We have 10 all the same...] All flashlights have lithium bateries; rechargable in the general use flashlights.

Did you notice the bottle opener next to the black flashlight, and the backup bottle opener next to it, as well as at least 4 [different] pepper grinders? 😀(Priorities)

No glass door to break in an emergency!

There's more!

Attached to a lower side wall in forward V-berth.

Companionway stairs

Top stair, emergency glow-in-the-dark flashlight, and EPIRB. [1 of 2] (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) It's located conveniently in case you have to grab it on the way out of a sinking boat, and need to alert the Coast Guard to come to your rescue. It's not to be used lightly, it's for abandon ship, or life and death emergency. [Likewise for the PLBs on our PFDs, and in our liferaft... Yes; 5 satellite emergency beacons...] The red handle is the manual activation for the automatic engine room fire suppression system, once activated, it'll kill the engine, and fuel pump. The black circle is the override to allow us to restart the engine after activation [once we have confirmed it is safe to do so...] That top step is loaded with good stuff.

The second step is obviously another fire extinguisher. The third step has another new addition, it' a Respiratory Protective Device. Once you put it on, and tighten the mask, it will filter chemical substances, carbon monoxide, and toxic gases for up to sixty minutes. Inside the case is the hood, and a pair of fire gloves to protect your hands. We have these masks in the forward V-berth, within easy reach of the galley, under the companionway steps, and in our back cabin. [Yup; 4 of those puppies...] Did you notice the black cord next to the mask? It's the back-up VHF radio and mic, [with a remote mike on the cockpit steering station and a separate antenna and power supply...] It's..... what? Say it with me, REDUNDANCY.

And more.

Mounted right outside of engine room door.

Flashlight within easy reach in main salon.
Note how they either face the exit direction or the headliner— so if turned on and left in their holders they light the way...

Flashlight mounted on washing machine, next to tool storage.

And more.

Right outside mid cabin doorway, leading aft

Back cabin, where we sleep.

Holy Smokes! (not punny 😉) Can you see that? (I know photo is kind of dark.)  No glow-in-the-dark flashlight in our cabin! What's with that? Maybe it's made okay by the redundant VHF DSC handheld radio next to the fire extinguisher, or maybe he hasn't installed it yet, Bill is still adding flashlights to handy places. [ed: It is stowed in a locker at present...]   Oh, I forgot to mention, there is another of the large fire extinguishers in the aft hanging locker in our cabin. [Yup. We sleep with two fire extinguishers and two of the fire hoods... Can you tell Bill has had some experiences having to deal with serious fires in the past...? We practice having 60 seconds to put it out- or bail out...]

Attached to the binnacle in the cockpit.

Bill attached a fire extinguisher in the outside cockpit, and I made a cover to protect it from the sun. Just one quick yank on the cover, and off it comes. A volunteer fireman gave me a patch from the Wrangell Fire Department to sew on. Local color. [The idea being always have extinguishers where you can fight your way into— or out of— a fire...]

Lets review the US Coast Guard Requirements for a boat our size:

I think we've nailed it with nine on the boat and one in the dinghy [not to mention the engine room system...] Why so many? We have extras because we live aboard full time and travel to remote areas. If we had to extinguish a fire, we better have additional usable extinguishers in case of another fire because, lets face it; we are all our own first responders...

No water to waste, water is for drinking, or making coffee.

Forget water, I want to try out the new MAUS extinguishers!

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.