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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Preparations for Leaving
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
10/13/2013, Newport, RI

We are making preparations to leave for the Chesapeake later this afternoon. The seas are pretty rough but by the time they settle down, so will the wind so we're opting to rough it for a night and possibly longer. The part I am dreading is the cold, but we have lots of warm clothes and hot drinks onboard. Oh, and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, made this morning for my honey who said he'd like some. I am determined not to eat any but I know myself better than that. What will happen is I'll resist for awhile and then I'll be cold and miserable on a nighttime watch. I'll make myself a hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and then those cookies will be calling my name. "Elizabeth! Over here! Don't we smell heavenly?" And then I'll tell myself I deserve to be comforted from being so cold and will eat one. I'll probably eat more than one. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with eating a cookie here and there but I have a weakness for certain cookies (like homemade oatmeal raisin) and have been known to eat more than my share. A lot more. It's a problem.

Back to our plans, we'll go offshore for three nights, arriving in the Chesapeake outside of the bay Wednesday morning, then motor up to York River and Sarah Creek that day. Well, that's the plan, such as plans on a sailboat go. You can follow our progress on the Spot Tracker if you're interested, under Favorites on the blog page. By the way, we want to say thanks to all our friends, family and readers of the blog for your support during our mechanical crisis and cruising hiatus.

This will be our last post until Wednesday or Thursday. See you in a few days!

Saturday Races/Quinoa Recipe
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
10/12/2013, Newport, RI

Here's the recipe for Quinoa Chili. It was easy, hearty and delicious. I think it could be varied in any number of ways but it was perfect as it was. I also would try it with uncooked beans in a pressure cooker to save propane.

Vegan Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili
makes 6 hearty bowls of chili

one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
one 6 oz can tomato paste
32 oz vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 cup dry quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beans, stock, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper . Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes - 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and chopped cilantro. Scrumptious!

Luna On The Bow
10/12/2013, Portsmouth, RI

Luna wanted to be part of the action as we were leaving Portsmouth which is what convinced me she was excited. We broke a long-standing rule by allowing her stick onboard where she can have it again at some point. We have NEVER allowed a stick on the boat because of the bark peeling off and potential damage to something or another. We don't exactly remember what we've done with it, nor apparently does Luna, but it's somewhere.

Leaving Marina Life
10/12/2013, Portsmouth, RI

I can't tell you how good it felt to be underway again yesterday, even if just motoring over to Newport from Portsmouth. The sense of freedom we experienced was a mixture of relief and excitement, but also a healthy dose of anxiety about everything working without a hitch. We are gun shy at this point, understandably so. Even Luna seemed excited to be underway. We settled into Newport Harbor on anchor and will stage our departure from here. We hope to do 2-3 day offshore passage to the Chesapeake where we have a slip reserved. This time of year we don't feel comfortable leaving Skylark on the hook while unattended.

I've been asked to share the quinoa recipe I mentioned in a prior blog. I'm going to do that in the next post, but it's not a salad, it's chili. We thought it was excellent and with the arugula salad a nice accompaniment. A cruising friend Ellen shared this recipe with us. Enjoy!

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