Recipe: Scrambled Eggs

I have cooked scrambled eggs for years. Yet, it wasn't until I finally purchased the Boat Galley's Cookbook, that I learned that adding a bit of baking powder to the egg mix creates a fluffy, wonderful breakfast. Not sure if you knew this, and if not, here's my adaptation of the Boat Galley's reccomended scrambled eggs. (Which are captain-approved.)

Scrambled Eggs for One
Adapted from The Boat Galley Cookbook

1 egg + 2 egg whites
1 tbsp cold water
A pinch of baking powder
teaspoon of cooking oil
Optional: toppings (see below)

1. Whisk together all above ingredients in a bowl.

2. If using optional cheese, add cheese into egg mixture.

3. Add the oil to a cooking pan on the stove, and over medium heat allow oil to warm.

4. Once a few drops of water "dance" in the oil, add in any optional meat or add-ins that you like and cook for a few minutes.

5. Add to the pan the egg mixture, and stir regularly - moving around the cooked egg and what still needs to be cooked.

6. When all egg mixture is fluffy and cooked, serve hot.

Optional add-ins that we enjoy:
  • Ham and cheese (any cheese is good with ham)
  • Ham, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese

Chance the Laundry Room

It was absolutely lovely being up at an early hour. The sky was clear, the breeze brisk, and the feel of  morning surrounded me so nicely. There's something great about being up before everyone else and noticing how the earth looks before it's been touched by human life. Nature abounds and calls out - it's really wonderful and peaceful. 

Now that it's summer, the boat gradually pulls in light from the morning sun beginning at about 5 AM which wakes the pooch and then consequently the pooch wakes me. If I'm not already stirring, the sound of the dog's claws tapping on the floorboards (as he walks in circles) definitely does. I think he's learned that his paws make noise and noise wakes up his humans. With school out for the summer, the husband and I have been sleeping in until 6 AM as our summer schedule has adjusted; but, since laundry was on this morning's eagenda, I crawled out of bed with the first sign on daylight. After what occured throughout the morning, I'm really happy that I did.

The night before, I exchanged a crisp $10 bill for a roll of quarters at the grocery store and absent-mindedly left the money in the car. My husband used the car to drive over to his parents' house to do some air conditioning work, and without quarters my laundry plan was kaput. When I noticed my lapse in planning, it was already 5 pm, and I knew that doing laundry at 8 PM or later was going to prevent other important things from getting done (i.e., evening relaxing). I decided to get up early the next morning and begin laundry in the midst of doing my every morning tasks: walking the dog, making breakfast, getting showered at the bath house. Laundry would be a fine fit as I'd already be up and outside.

When I started to pull clothes out of the dryer to fold, I was alone and decided that I would about leave four quarters ready-to-go in the dryer so the next person to come into the laundry room would have a pleasant surprise. I had plenty of quarters on this trip, so four less would be nice for someone else and not take too much away from me. I noticed that a bag lay on top of the washing machine and I assumed that someone had washed some clothes and would be drying. The quarters for drying would be needed.

The owner of the bag walked into the laundry room a few moments later wearing a nice red mesh polo shirt (which resembles the gifts our good liveaboard friends made for us this spring). We said hello and he inquired about the laundry machines - specifically how they accepted money. "Quarters," I replied and noticed a bummer-type expression on his face. "Do you need quarters?" I asked, to which he replied with a smile and an affirmative nod. He hadn't begun the wash yet because the machines didn't take dollar bills.

I gave to him the $2.75 in quarters that it costs to complete a full wash and dry, and as boaters do, we discussed the common get-to-know-you-politely talk that is common: From where are you visiting? What type of boat do you have? You live aboard? I learned that this man and another friend were sailing their two sailboats on a three-week excursion, following the narrative of an explorer who did the same course 150 years ago. The crews planned on comparing the explorer's descriptions to what they would find during their trip. The plan is to examine the specific places that were included in the observations (which are in a published book) and capture photographic evidence of the changes as well as what has remained the same. There wasn't any indication or information that suggested that this man was on a professional trip - this is for fun and to satisfy personal curiosity. I think it's such a great idea.

It's also interesting to me that my laundry plan for yesterday did not work out at all, and my intention to share quarters with another manifested in a very different and wonderful way. Not only was I able to still share (and in a better way since the sailor I met needed not only four but additional quarters for the washing machine), but I also gained a great idea for the cruising that my husband and I can do together.  Not only will we sail and appreciate the beauty of the landscape in which we live, but we can incorporate seeing the land and water through eyes that viewed it long before us. A connection between present and past is a valuable experience to have - as is, as I now realize, doing laundry in the morning.


One of my favorite things about liveaboard life is the wildlife we have surrounding us daily. I'm a sucker for cute animals and the bunnies, mama ducks and her ducklings, and Mr. Muskrat swimming on his back are too cute to explain. We have herons, ospreys, and squirrels in our daily view, as well.

Yet, I also forget that we are also surrounded by not so cute-and-cuddly critters - like the big black snake coiled around one of our pier boards last week. Just the sight of him makes me shriek and jump back a few paces. I respect snakes and their role, but I prefer to be far far away from them (or not know that they are around me). This snake was hiding out eating some eggs underneath the pier, and at one point poked his head up through the pier boards just as I was coming down the dock. At hearing my yelp, hubby jumped off the boat to find the snake.... and hold it?!?

My husband is a critter-catcher, and he has a fine history of scooping up snakes and admiring them. Me, I prefer to run and hide (or in this case, hop on the boat and grab a camera). This one was a big one, not agressive (as I'm told are all black snakes), but was more than happy to slither out of my hubby's grips and head back into the water where he belongs.

Hopefully, he'll enjoy being in the water so much that he'll avoid heading back to our pier. I'll take in the views of furry critters any day, but snakes - not so much.

Recipe: Blue Cheese Burgers on the Grill

We anchored out this past weekend, and prior to leaving the dock I was in charge of making sure meals were planned and ingredients were on-hand. Our liveaboard life consists of us working during the week and sailing on the weekends (as time and weather allows) so we have wonderful access to good food. I can stop into our local store to find organic meat and produce and purchase this for our getaways. Each week, I look at our local store's flyer to see what's on sale and then plan our meals around those items. This week, grass-fed organic ground beef was on sale so I thought, why not burgers as we hardly ever make them. It was a good choice - we grilled some blue cheese burgers after sailing all day and finding a good place to anchor. They went nicely with some white wine and a sunset : )

Blue Cheese Burgers on the Grill


1 lb. grass-fed organic ground beef
4 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. parsley flakes (fresh, if you have it)
4 hamburger buns
1 tomato, sliced into four slices (preferablly locally grown)

1. Mix together ground beef, worcestershire sauce and parsley. Form into 4 separate round portions.
2. Indent each portion with your index finger, and place 1 tbsp. of blue cheese into each space.
3. Cover the blue cheese with the burger and form into patties. They don't have to be perfect : )
4. Grill until done, and serve on buns with a slice of tomato (and we suggest ketchup and mustard).

I wish I could show you a picture, but we ate the burgers too quickly. Trust me, they're good.

Learning to Sail (among other things)

I live on a boat, but I am not a very good sailor. Even with almost seven years of experience aboard, the skills, terminology, swiftness, and confidence (among many other things) hasn't evolved. Some may have an opinion that I haven't worked hard enough to learn; and, while I agree somewhat (especially in the first go-round that we lived aboard), I can see now that sailing is one area where I have a lot to learn... and it's proving to be really hard.

Throughout my early life, I was a whiz at everything - school, friends, sports, work. All the way through my first career, I soared at everything that I did and received praise and accolades regularly. Then, I let my life take a different turn, and I made some different decisions about my paths; I purposely led myself down some roads that weren't so familliar, safe, and easy. These new and different roads strayed me far from the comfort I had previously known. Today, I can see that these changes needed to happen in order to show me places where I really wasn't capable or amazing (imagine that...) Life for me really hadn't been challenging up to that point and by living aboard and changing careers, it really shook up my confidence as well as my ego.

When I mess up (sailing, or otherwise), I get really angry - at myself, the situation, at others. A Psychology 101 course will teach that this anger really is a fear of being seen incompotent; and that's right in my case. As any other normal human being, I don't like feeling that I'm being seen as not smart or capable of doing a good job. It's difficult for me to admit when I don't know how to do something and even worse to admit when I've tried and horribly failed (especially if it negatively has an effect on others). If a good friend was sharing these feelings with me of course I'd say, "If you don't know and you do your best, you can't be upset at yourself. Trying and learning from it is what's important." What great advice, right? If only I'd truly use it on myself!

When I sail with my husband, a mirror goes along. I too clearly see my imperfections, reactions, and deficits, very clearly. Sailing shows me where I can grow - not only in skills but also personally. I am becoming better at dealing with messing up, not being perfect, and being embarrassed. I am working hard to just relax and learn (instead of being irritated or angry). There's a lot of self-talk occuring when I sail and that in itself can be exhausting.  If you asked me to plan an entire unit on how to teach grammar, get kids to read real books, decrease the number of disciplinary referrals at a middle school - I'm your girl and will have it done within an hour. But, taking in an applying all that I need to know to be a successful sailor (and soothing myself when I miserably fail) - it's taking a bit longer than I would like.

If I had to advise young students on learning to read or parents concerned about their children's behavior, I'd tell them to let things happen little by litte. I know from being a teacher that to learn, new material needs to be able to attach itself to something already known. And, it needs to be accessed, used, and applied several times over before the knowledge becomes automatic. Now that I'm fully invested in learning to sail and want to live aboard for many years to come, I'm working on building my foundation so more knowledge can grow. I'm reviewing names of lines in my head, asking questions even if that information isn't immediately neccessary, really watching and thinking about what the more experienced sailors are doing and why. That's the best that I can do right now, and I'm so incredibly lucky to have a very patient, loving, and understanding husband/captain who is working with me. To others, it may not seem this way but I am really trying and I know that eventually, I'll become more of an asset on a sail - not just a participant.

This weekend as we brought our boat back to the slip from being anchored out overnight, I did grab the wrong line when working to release our genoa, did almost miss grabbing our bow lines from a piling, and used many terms incorrectly and had to be corrected. However, I did automatically steer our boat by the correct side of the red markers leaving our anchorage, used the terms starboard and port correctly, and handled the boat well at the helm in 27 kt winds that were almost overpowering. I also noticed that I did not get sweaty palms or feel my heart racing as we worked to anchor our boat or dock her in the slip - this is a BIG improvement for me. I'm proud of what went right, and I did learn from what could have been better. It always means a lot to me when my husband praises what I did well, but even if he doesn't, I am more confident now that all come together for me. I just have to be okay with it being little by litte.