February 25, 2012 , Halifax
Let's start today's post with the Photo Caption; poster found @ The Binnacle display @ The Halifax International Boat Show...
"What happens at the Boat Show, stays at the Boat Show"
So we sadly cannot tell you about all the things that we bought.
Like perhaps the AIS and VIking LIfe Raft ?
Oops, my fingers type too fast sometimes.
Happy is We.
It was kind of anticlimactic - the Boat Show that is.
In that, after having been to both the Miami and Annapolis Boat Shows...
And well, the Annapolis one had Painkillers and hot sunny warm weather and so many boats to clamber in and out of that we actually gave up, and had another Painkiller, but that's another story.
At the Halifax Boat show there was sadly, only ONE sailboat to view.
4 years ago, there were 3. Not that we needed to be looking at boats (we have our lovely Banyan) but still...
I guess what's changed is us. Funny how that happens when you make a goal, have a dream, and take that step? All big things start with one step. Well, all things, big or little, start with a step...
Last year we were still looking, and wondering, and what if and when if and how, and, and, and... This year we walked around with a purpose, a list of things to buy... and c'est tout. In and out. Voila !
Funny what a year can do! Funny what 4 years can do - four years ago we didn't even know each other.
And so we celebrated our 4 year anniversary and Valentine's with our usual dinner @ The Keg. Why break with tradition?
Besides, this would be our last ever time @ The Keg. Which is okay, as the steak was mediocre, but the Escargot Stuffed Mushroom divine...
Now it's time to flip the calendar Page on Valentine's and Anniversaries and Boat Shows and February - we're gearing up for some major changes in March. Stay tuned !
February 23, 2012 , Halifax
Why Banyan of course ??!!
There happened to be a Chief.
Who happened to be posted to the 6th floor.
Of a particular building that shall remain nameless.
There also happened to be a Project Officer.
Who was yearning to expand her horizons and learn something new.
And so she received an assignment to the 6th floor,
of a particular building that shall remain nameless.
So these many moons ago, there was a Chief and a Project Officer,
who were now not only in the same budling, but on the same floor of the same building and better yet, just a few cubicles apart from each other.
But they didn't know that. Yet.
And as the fates of happenstance would have it,
every time he would leave his cubicle,
she would be out and about as well and every single time,
they always, quite literally, if not physically, kept bumping into each other.
(It was like someone up there, or somewhere, was saying, here, look, look... )
And then one day she needed some advice with the purchase of tires for her car.
And the garage was asking her some hmm, questions she couldn't answer.
And he happened to be around, and so she asked him for some help,
and he helped her... aww how sweet was he ?
He thinks it was all just a ruse.
And then she got sick with pneumonia.
Really really sick, that landed her in the hospital for a week.
OH NO !!
And when she got home, there was lots of wonderful emails waiting for her.
And one was from him. Aww, how sweet was that ?
And she answered him, and he answered back.
And he wrote again, and she wrote back.
And then the emails really started flying back and forth.
A few weeks later she felt better.
So he asked her out.
To dinner. And she accepted.
How exciting !!
And then he called her the day of the big dinner date.
And said, wanna come to the Boat Show first?
And she's like, Hmm, what's a boat show?
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Happy 4th Anniversary to my wonderful husband.
Looking forward to the Boat Show today. And dinner later.
Look how far we've come.
WIth much love, always.
PHOTO CAPTION : Just like this photo taken this summer, looking forward to sailing to new horizons with you, on our Banyan.
February 11, 2012 , Halifax
There's a new show in town.
Well, partly new, because we're not big TV watchers so it's new to us.
My son said he was watching it the other day.
And he said Mom, you've got to watch it.
Your boat is in it !
Our lovely Banyan. On TV ? How could that be ??
Before she was Banyan to us, she was "Mad Dash" to someone else.
So really, "Mad Dash" was on TV ?
Oh really ?
That's kind of cool.
Our Banyan, the then "Mad Dash", is famous ?
That's kind of cool !!
So this new show in town ?
Is called HAVEN.
And well, it's a supernatural thriller, filmed on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
And is based on Stephen King's novella "The Colorado Kid".
Hmm... a funny feeling that.
We are all familiar with Stephen King's work.
Mostly horror and scary and supernatural-ish.
That's the first sign of premonition folks, so insert scary music here.
This can't be good.
So over brunch, Dave and I downloaded this particular episode.
We were having sausages and eggs.
Dave's an excellent brunch maker.
God love him.
The name of this episode is "Love Machine"
Season 2 Episode 3.
And it's all about machines coming to life in this small coastal town.
And killing people.
Insert premonition and scary music here.
This can't be good.
We recognized an aerial shot of Lunenbourg.
The famous coloured buildings of this small coastal town.
That we visited just last summer.
Oh, and there's Oak Island.
Another "ghost" story to this little island,
All about buried treausre, that no one has ever found...
And then sure enough, a little later...
An aerial shot of East River Marine boat Yard.
The Yard where we first met up with our lovely Banyan.
How exciting !!
And the actors were doing their thing,
trying to find out how and why people were being killed.
Why oh why were the machines coming to life ?
But never mind all that, OMG, there's "Mad Dash" sitting pretty up in her jack stands.
We kinda giggle, this is sooo cool !
And the actors are walking underneath our boat, and picking up things.
Things that could be evidence.
And all of a sudden,
insert scary music here,
"Mad Dash's" propellor comes to life.
As someone's head backs into it.
And he falls over.
Deader than dead.
There is. OMG. Blood all over "Mad Dash's" rudder and propeller.
Dave and I sat there. Completely AGHAST, mouths agape.
Our boat is a murderer ?
I think we need to talk to our broker about a refund.
Or maybe they used a double.
It's not really our boat.
It's just another boat, and another propellor that was made to look like our boat.
Ya think ? Hmm, no... Dave knows his boat.
That's our propellor alright. That's our rudder.
PHOTO : Our propellor. The Murder Weapon.
February 9, 2012 , Halifax
My love of food started a long time ago. Exactly when I can't really pinpoint, but I do remember, as a little girl, waking up on Saturday mornings and dreaming about the cupcakes, or muffins, or cakes I was going to bake and decorate. Over breakfast I would read cookbooks. I know, étrange, but such is me.
With time and the reality of not-being-able to survive on sweets alone without having to devote half of my waking day to working out, my cooking expanded to not just sweets and treats, but meals as well.
I was fortunate to have somehow effortlessly assimilated my mom and grandmother's "way" of cooking, with a definite Germanic / Slavic ethnic flavour to my dishes. I didn't think I was any different from anyone else until I ate at their place, or they, at mine. Having grown up in Québec, my dishes can sometimes take on a distinct French à la Québecoise twang, and then finally moving to Nova Scotia, changed things up once again. What made it doubly difficult "down here" (20 years ago) was the lack of availability of ingredients... However, I am happy to report that one can find most anything now-a-days, a definite improvement!!
But anyhow suffice it say that I love discussing, preparing and making food (oh, and most definitely) feasting on the end result... Thank Goodness Dave is a most willing guinea-pig. One of my thrills in this Big Adventure of ours, is definitely going to be to experience the very unique local flavours - can't wait !!
Anyhow, this week, we celebrated a "belated" Christmas present of sorts... Our family including significant others and good friends went to FID Resto for a Thai culinary extravaganza.
A how-to, hands-on cooking experience with chef Dennis Johnston and his wife, Monica Bauche. The restaurant was "ours" for the evening and we assembled in the kitchen, shown the already prepped ingredients for the Thai Spring Rolls, made the Spicy Thai Peanut sauce (to die for - and my personal favourite), rolled the rolls, and then paraded back to the dining room with our very own creations (some exploded, some were gargantuan, and some just perfect!). We learned how to correctly slice a lime, a little about basil from Thailand, making your very own peanut butter, and to wait for the fish eyes when making the peanut sauce. We had no one but ourselves to blame for the end result(s), but with Chef Dennis's ever watchful eye, nothing could go drastically wrong.
Then back into the kitchen for a lesson on Fid's very famous Pad Thai, each one of us made our own (adjusting the one line squirt of SriRacha for some of us who like it normal, to 3 lines of the stuff for those who liked it HOT), and then back into the dining room to feast away.
Dessert was a chocolate mouse soufflé served up in individual ramekins, and that too, was melt-in-your mouth exquisite and a perfect way to end the meal, especially after the excitingly flavourful dishes, besides, who doesn't love chocolate?
The whole experience was a fun and fantastic evening, shared with family and friends. I do know that the menu changes and can be customized to the group attending, resulting in every cooking experience being different, and I definitely most highly recommend Fid, as Dennis and Monica host a fantastic soirée and the clients walk away having learned how to make something new. How exciting is that for a food fanatic like me ?
NOTE: Coincidentally, the name of the restaurant, FID, is related to sailing (so how could we not love the place ?) One of the things I've yet to learn is how to splice, however, i guess that splicing requires a tool (appropriately named a FID) ? AND... taken (stolen) off FID's website : " a fid (noun): is a round, cone-shaped wooden tool for separating the strands of a rope in splicing. At Fid, it's the flavours, tastes and textures that are spliced and woven together. The result is a mélange of Dennis and Monica's adventures thus far: the menu is usually part Nova Scotian, part Quebecois, part organized, part deconstructed, part Asian, part ocean, part land, and part nut bar." How totally true.
PHOTO: One of the reasons I love Banyan so much, is she has her very own, custom built, spice rack ?? How cool (and VERY à propos) is that ?
February 9, 2012 , East River Marine
So Dave went to visit Banyan on Tuesday and after dropping me off at work, he proceeded onwards, boat keys safely in his pocket this time.
He was happy to report all was in order when he got there, and she seems to be weathering the winter doldrums quite well without us. I'm kind of thinking she's a little anxious to get going tho.
The upside of the story is that the brand spanking new generator Santa gave us works really well. However with all Upsides, comes a Downside, n'est ce pas ? The Downside to this story this time (is not the missing keys like last time), but is that one set of battery banks, that we kind of suspected was dead, is in fact, dead. Darn.
Visit (and like) our Sailing Banyan FACEBOOK page and you can take a peek at some pictures Dave posted about his day, the pictures are worth what, a thousand words ? Man of few words he is.
So with the Boat Show coming up soon, we now have a Batteries to add to our list of must-haves before we go. Well, the Upside to that is, at least we will know that they are new ... The Downside to that is, Big Boat Bucks. Bummer.
Well best we know now, and get new ones one, than to take a chance with the old ones, right? Right.
PHOTO: Banyan on her cradle, all bundled up.
February 5, 2012 , Halifax
In preparation for our Big Adventure, Dave and I spent the last 2 days in class, refreshing ourselves with the in's and out's of Coastal Navigation.
The first day we revisited the theoretical part of navigating the waterways: Latitudes, Longitudes, 60D=ST, buoys and their flashing lights, LOPs, fixes, and EPs. Yesterday was spent putting some of that theory to practical use, happily marking up our charts drafting lines going this-a-way and that-a-way, and in an effort to get us from point A to point B (but with Leeway and Drift) ending up at Point C, and then OMG, now what ? None of us wants to end up going the wrong-a-way right ?
All this manual chart work (with pencils and Big Erasers and calculators in hand) would be quite obsolete, one would (happily) think, as we've become such a technological-dependant society, relying (almost solely) on GPS data, to tell us where we are, and woah, that there's a rock just there, and if, heaven forbid, that GPS stopped working, well, sound mariner advice strongly suggests to have not only batteries around but well, a second GPS works too, after all, they're cheap now aren't they ?
Perhaps we shouldn't readily admit that the last few summers, while we went this-a-way, and that-a-way, happily cruising our local waters, we were not too strict with marking up our charts or our Log Book. A few lines here and there, and a few Log Book entries here and there, but admittedly much more time was spent playing with Banyan's fancy gizmo-gadgets but then, what are summer vacations for, if not a most relaxed attitude about everything ?
The teachers were great and the class well thought out, with lots of practical exercises, which is always what one needs. The next two weeks until the next class has us reading more Chapters and plotting a few cruises going this-a-way and that-a-way. One day (soon), the cruise will be for real (YAY) and that Big Eraser won't help us much if we screw up, get my drift ?? There are many examples out there of GPS/Chartplotter navigation going wrong, "prudent mariners" always maintain the paper plot and log...just in case the power goes out or our fancy electronics go wacky for some unknown reason.....Murphy's law applies doesn't it ? Yes indeed professor !!
After class, we headed down to Stayners for a beer, and to listen to some jazzy style blues, a friend of ours plays in the Booty Boppin Brass Band, some fantastic tunes and a great band !!