Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
Recent Blog Posts
08 July 2024 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD

TFH!

I was out of cheese and ham. This meant a grocery trip and then of course, visit the American Legion. Cuddily said she would be there after baking fresh fish that she got from her neighbor fisherman.

25 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

June is Too Soon

It is Juneteenth, election day for the City of Crisfield, twenty four hundred voters. Up for election are two city council seats for three candidates. The mayor wants to keep her current city council team.

12 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Raindrops and Rainbows

You can take the Mediterranean diet too far, especially with the wine consumption. The noodles are OK if you are burning up the calories, but otherwise they will put on the pounds. So you are left with antipasto, not much else, salad? Chicken Parm? Yes, the chicken parm is probably in itself pretty [...]

03 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Prejudicial Treatment

The excitement of a new baby in the family had me receiving phone calls from all over. The common denominator is that we talked about the weather and food. That makes me hungry and start planning to cook. Cuddily suggested we go to Sysco in Pocomoke to see what wine selection they had there and also [...]

25 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Cap'n Granpa

The Memorial Day weekend was coming up and it is a big deal in Crisfield as well as most of the rest of the Chesapeake. It is the traditional beginning of the summer season. All the boats are launched or commissioned, lots of activity in the marina, motors started up for the first time in a long time, [...]

21 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD

Cap'n Overboard

The awful jobs get done last. The Atomic Four was waiting for me to pull off the cylinder head, but there was an emergency job, sort of, the mainsail cover was torn and exposing the sail to U/V, very bad.

TFH!

08 July 2024 | Somers Cove Marina, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Too Bleeping Hot
I was out of cheese and ham. This meant a grocery trip and then of course, visit the American Legion. Cuddily said she would be there after baking fresh fish that she got from her neighbor fisherman.
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The forecast looked good for the bike and I set off to the grocers. A steady pace still left me hot and sweaty. The air conditioning of the store felt like a shock. After picking up my groceries I biked to the Legion and struggled against a strong breeze.
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The Legion was closed. The note on the door said staff shortage. I texted Cuddily that they were closed and waited for Teri to arrive. We had a phone conversation with Cuddily who invited us for wine.
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She had two small plates with fish and green beans. Just a nice taste. We were having our usual conversation when I noticed it looked a little darker outside. I stepped out and saw Cuddily’s runabout was jostling at its moorings. After adjusting the dock lines I saw an ominous cloud to the West. Back inside, the wunderground website had a severe thunderstorm warning and radar of the storm coming at us.
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It looked like I had time for one more glass of pinot noir. Teri departed. I went outside one more time and it looked like time to go. As soon as I set off the wind picked up some more. It must have been a microburst because it stopped me in my tracks and blew me and the bike over. My Somers Cove Marina ballcap blew off and away. I returned to the safety of Cuddily’s garage.
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A sailboat in the parking area blew over. A boat on a trailer took off. Debris was flying by. The rain came. I had left SUNSPLASH with the companionway hatch open among other things left out in the cockpit. Gonna be a mess.
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The next day was taking steps to dry out stuff on the boat and in the cockpit. Tool boxes, power tools, an open cockpit locker, my towel that I left out to dry in the sun, it was a soggy mess.
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I made another batch of the sausage mushroom marinara sauce and had some with garden rotini for dinner. I put 3 portions in the fridge and got ready to watch the much anticipated presidential debate.
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Although many of my friends and acquaintances think I’m very political, I am not. I do not like the extremes. Usually the extremes do not come up with something that helps everyone, more likely it helps their own little group. I like to see compromise and that doesn’t happen if extremists are involved. There is no wiggle room. As I watched the debate I realized it would not make much effect on those who have already made their mind up. Biden has a speech impediment which holds him back in a debate. Trump casts out obvious lies that undermine the possibility that anyone would switch sides to support him. It will be interesting to see how the aftermath turns out.
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The weekend started with the Tour de France starting in Florence, Italy, a culinary mecca. The tour will end in 3 weeks at Nice, France, not the usual sprint down the Champs de Elysees in Paris. The Wimbledon tennis tournament will start on Monday. Qualifying matches have already been played. I am interested in both contests, tennis and cycling.
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The heat wave hit us hard with temps in the nineties. The daytime temperature in SUNSPLASH’s cabin was 98 three days in a row. Thunderstorms would spring up unexpectedly, sometimes violent. I didn’t go out much in the heat. The heat came from strong steady SSW winds which also brought the humidity up. A front came through and we had merciful cooling of about 5-10 degrees.
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I was able to go out to the grocers and then to the Legion. The Legion is considered a private club and is allowed to have slot machines for gambling. The machines have been silent for a while due to annual maintenance. Now they are busy collecting gambler’s money again.
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That was a couple days ago. The Legion escapade left me with a late breakfast, a slow start. Cuddily had wanted to go to Pocomoke and I did too. We didn’t go. It was a day of rest and respite. When I am free like this I like to reflect on things. I found a USB adapter laying around and it is perfect to get my blue tooth speaker powered up again. It is a very cheap Chinese unit. It will run for several minutes on battery, but it will run forever when on the USB charger cable. Unfortunately that cable is the only one that will work with my S23 phone, so the phone gets charged or I get music. I was worried about what would happen if this USB cable failed. I resolved to purchase one or two extras.
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We had to go to Pocomoke. I had to call Teri, as Cuddily’s phone was inadvertaently blocked on Teri’s phone. I am the phone surrogate that phones Teri to call Cuddily. It’s complicated. Now was my chance to get a full tank of propane and a case of bottled water. I prepared the tank (removed the illegal adapter) and brought it to the head of the dock. It was barely possible on the bike. I continued to the old Red Shell Shanty, which is now the Boater’s Lounge. There were boaters inside using the internet and computing.
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I was reviewing some Wimbledon clips and also fantastic news that Mark Cavendish, a spectacular bike rider from the Isle of Man, had won the 5th stage of this year’s Tour de France. He had been tied with Eddie Merxx at 34 wins, no one else has ever been close. Inspirational. The Cuddilymobile arrived and I quickly left the air conditioned lounge for our trip to Pocomoke.
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Cuddily and Teri sat in the front. The farm fields sped past and then we were on route 13 heading South. There is a shortcut, 3 minutes faster, and featuring chicken and fruit farms. We decided to visit Walmart and then Harbor Freight Tools.
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I needed those USB cables, but Walmart also carries CoQ10 gummies, I snapped up these items, paid, and wandered out to the car. I didn’t expect the ladies to be done before me. I had a propane tank exchange which required a wait out in the sun, not too hot today. The ladies came out and a worker, the propane guy came and swapped the tanks.
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Cuddily drove up, I stowed in her trunk, Teri got in after offering me the front seat. I sat behind her. Something was wrong. Teri was furtively searching for her credit card. She had a proper female luggage that carries none of the hardware store items that a man would carry, but it carries twice that, or even more, of stuff that a man can’t comprehend. It was not there, or anywhere. Cuddily was allowed to search Teri’s stuff. I didn’t even try. I observed, guiltily. Gosh, spelled that right.
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The search continued back into the store after searching around the propane area where we had been. No sign of the credit card. What color is it? Can’t understand her response. I went to Customer Service to reserve a place in line while Teri searched around the register where she had checked out.
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Cuddily had very explicit details about the sales transaction and what Teri did with her purse and handling the card out of the reader. We searched. We gave up our space in the customer service line. We regrouped, I continued to wait in line. We 3 were there, giving the impression of a long line. A second customer service employee came out and opened another service register. The line now went quickly and we learned there were no credit cards turned in. Teri had conversed with her checkout clerk, her card had not been left behind.
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We were frustrated and it was mid afternoon. Time for lunch? I offered to treat if Cuddily would take us near the Virginia border, to Don’s, a fixture on RT13. Good advice. They make excellent Orange Crush drinks. I could have two, I wasn’t the driver.
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Teri was holding up something dark, a rectangle with a tear off strip, the same strip that Cuddily had said was still on her credit card, “you have to remove that and sign it or it isn’t good”, it was her credit card. I asked if it was. She looked at it for a while and said yes, don’t tell Cuddily. Guess who came back from the rest room just then.
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We had food that was not what it was like a couple years ago. I liked Don’s very much back then. They had seared ahi tuna on the menu as an appetizer. They make exceptional Orange Crush drinks and still do. The tuna is not on the menu. Maybe a burger would be good there, not the stuff we had. I had the rockfish basket, with fries and hushpuppies. Way over cooked. Fried to a crisp. It seems to happen a lot around here.
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So, yet another restaurant has fallen. Kitchen talent is in short supply, especially in season. Quality depends of the ingredients and the chef. We are centered in the Seafood Capital of the World and it’s hard to get crab cakes and most of the fish is frozen and from foreign fish farms.
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On our shopping trip we bought out Cysco’s stock of Saddlebred Pinot Noir, only 5 bottles, and another 2 ½ lb bag of frozen shrimp. Shrimp from foreign fish farms. There was one leg of lamb, no ground lamb, several frozen ducks, beef brisket on sale for less than 5 bucks a pound. If I was having a barbecue with a dozen or more people the brisket would be in my shopping basket. I picked up a box of Barefoot Pinot Noir, 3 liters. It was significantly cheaper than Black Box, why not try it.
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We had homemade crabcakes and corn on the cob. The back fin crab meat was $38/lb. We had 2 lbs of our own crab meat in the freezer that remained frozen. Cuddily wanted the crabcakes to be as good as possible, so she bought the crabmeat at the store. I was allowed to sautee the cakes. She had planned to air fry them, but had never tried that, do you have a cast iron skillet? Yes, it was medium sized, maybe 10”, 5 crab cakes could be fit in it. I seasoned the pan and started the sautee with 50/50 Irish butter and EVOO. The cakes came out perfect. I would have made the cakes with less breaking up of the meat. I might get my chance to make them someday.
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Cuddily planned a holiday meal with shrimp cocktail, peel and eat Old Bay shrimp, corn on the cob, guacamole and chips, and a wine tasting experience. We were comparing the Saddlebred and Black Box pinot noirs. The Black Box is very smooth but the Saddlebred has a bit of citrus fruit or currant that makes it a little bit special. Later I compared the Barefoot boxed pinot noir and it is equal to the Black Box. These are good inexpensive wines.
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The next big dinner was grilled brats with onion and peppers, more guac, and of course more corn on the cob. The temperature outside was 96, feels like 113. I had ridden the bike doing intervals on the way over. On the bike might be the best way to cope with very hot weather.
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The image is of the sunset near the Legion.

June is Too Soon

25 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Hot and Windy
It is Juneteenth, election day for the City of Crisfield, twenty four hundred voters. Up for election are two city council seats for three candidates. The mayor wants to keep her current city council team.
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We voted at the Corbin Art Gallery. I returned to SUNSPLASH to make soup. I am trying to use the clam/spinach flavor to make a sort of clam chowder with spinach, no potatoes.
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Frozen spinach is perfect for soups and less expensive than fresh. I started with a coarsely diced red onion sauteing in about 3 tbsp of Irish butter and a slug of EVOO. These simmered on low heat, then 3 tbsp of flour were added and the roux was cooked for about 3 minutes. The clam juice from two cans was added and the roux was continually whisked. You can add to the roux liquid that equals what is in the pan. When it bubbles a bit add more. I added two experimental packages of frozen chopped spinach and let them cook. About 5 oz of sauvignon blanc went in from a leftover bottle. The mixture was more like a stew. After cooking a while a pint of half and half went in as well as the clams. The mixture came just to a boil and it's done. Next time only one package of spinach. More liquid could be a bottle of clam juice.
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After trying the soup or stew, it seemed more like creamed spinach with clams, like a side dish for something else. I had 3 portions in the fridge. Might work out well as a pasta sauce.
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In the morning I had a ham and cheese with tomato sandwich instead of my ham and cheese omelet sandwich. I have to use the tomatoes before they go off.
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The sausage and mushroom marinara sauce was available and I had some linguine with that and parmesan shavings melted on top.
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A piece of line to replace the main halyard came in and it looks identical to the reel of line I sold to Jeffery in the boatyard. Maybe should have kept some of that reel. The original wire/rope halyard from 1978 is coming apart and has to be pulled down off the mast. Because the wire end of the halyard can't pass through the sheaves at the top of the mast, the tail end has to come through the mast and it is a real mess. The outer braid has abraded and bunched up. That can't pass through the mast either. I have to tie the bitter end to the shackle on the wire and then pull down the tail, rearranging the outer braid so it is smooth, taping it to the inner braid, and then reversing direction, attach the new halyard line to the bitter end of the old halyard and pull the new halyard through the top of the mast and down to the main boom where it will get an eye splice with a thimble and shackle.
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I was ready to head out to the Legion but it sounded like the Bad Crowd wouldn't make it. I made linguine with some of my clam spinach florentine. Then dusted with flaked parmesan. Edible.
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Cornelia Marie was shopping for a newish car and went an hour out of her way to do a test drive only to find the car dealer had pulled a bait and switch. Although they confirmed the car's availability that morning, when she got there they said the car had sold the day before. They then tried to interest her in a different car. That made her angry. She arrived in Crisfield much later than usual.
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We loaded up Cuddily's runabout with beverages and picnic food and took it up North to the end of Jayne's Island where other boaters already had set up their umbrellas and chairs. I imagine it to be very Bahamanian-like with sandy beaches and small islands with a few trees here and there. After a few hours it was time to return to civilization and all was loaded back onto the runabout.
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We were hot and tired and hungry. The plan was to get a take out pizza from Cafe Carry Out. We ordered their Supreme. The pizza was good but not crispy enough, the slices sagged, a no-no for NY style pizza.
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The weekend was the hottest of the year but not as hot as St. Marys in Georgia. The forecast there was 103. We hit 92 in Crisfield. The wind came from the SSW at 20-30 mph and switched to NW as a front passed through. We had plenty of clouds but escaped the rain.
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My project to replace the main halyard went like clockwork until I tried to pull the "tail" of the halyard through the mast, it would not go. I had already replaced the jib halyard last year with the same type of new rope. Apparently the sheaves at the top of the mast are sized for the wire portion of the halyard and the rope portion is too fat to squeeze through. The solution is to replace the sheaves. Probably have to take the mast down to do that. Not going to happen any time soon.
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Cornelia Marie called from Fells Point in Baltimore where her Allied Princess ketch is moored. She is unable to start the Westerbeke diesel engine. I was able to download the operator's and service manuals. I do not know a lot about diesel engines. She will try to manually turn the engine. Even if it is just a little bit, if she can turn the engine then it is not frozen. If it is frozen it is a big problem.
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The image is a photo taken at the American Legion at sunset. The commander saw it and demanded I send it to him. They will probably use it on their website.

Raindrops and Rainbows

12 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | S
You can take the Mediterranean diet too far, especially with the wine consumption. The noodles are OK if you are burning up the calories, but otherwise they will put on the pounds. So you are left with antipasto, not much else, salad? Chicken Parm? Yes, the chicken parm is probably in itself pretty healthy, it is usually served with pasta or on a sub sandwich roll, carbs. Other dishes can be healthy, but at least in America, there are a lot of bread crumbs, breading, cheese sauce that can be literally heart stopping, or my mind now comes up with the ultimate, Chicken Marsala. A mushroom sauce flavored with marsala or madiera, mushrooms, chicken cutlet, breaded or not, not an unhealthy meal unless you have it with linguine, etc.
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I had spent most the week cooped up in the boat while daily thunderstorm warnings made it unwise to go out on the bicycle. I was fine with food. Steak salad, tuna salad stuffed sweet pepper, I even had one of the clam noodle florentines, I hadn’t thrown that away yet. I’m glad I had another taste of it. It’s not great, but tasty if you avoid the burnt bread crumbs. Finally I had had it, despite the thunderstorm warnings I went out to the grocers and the Legion.
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Somehow I managed to make it to the Legion, including a shopping stop at the grocers, in about a half hour. I wasn’t even pushing it. I hydrated with Saddlebred pinot noir at a high top at a window facing East. Cuddily showed up with a vodka drink. Teri arrived with a glass of chilled white wine. I kept referring to the weather app on my phone. It showed thunderstorms on their way here from the Southwest. The question was When?
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After walking halfway around the building to see what the weather looked like to the Southwest I met a pleasant couple on the patio and we chatted, they were from DC and had bought a place in Crisfield to get away from it all. I returned to our table and mentioned the conversation. Cuddily and Teri went out to see what was out there. I finished my excellent grilled chicken over garden salad with italian dressing.
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At some point I headed out to grab my grocery bag and bring it under cover. There were some nice photo ops in the late afternoon light. Raindrops began pelting down. The storm was quick and severe. After it passed I went out and got shots of rainbows and a magnificent sky. What a nice evening.
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I departed with my grocery bag on the bike and had an easy time biking to the marina. I felt a little unsteady when I got to the dock, so I walked the bike to the boat. A fellow from another boat on the dock stopped me and gave me onions and apples he had just harvested and had too much of.
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Cuddily was next going to make dinner with the frozen shrimp we had purchased with the 10 bottles of wine at Sysco. The wine is almost gone already. The shrimp dish would be scampi on linguine. I was allowed to cut up vegetables. Two shallots, minced fine, two cloves of garlic, likewise, a bunch of parsley, rinsed, dried, and finely diced, all on the cutting board along with tomato pieces. Cuddily began her efforts sauteing the shallots, then the garlic, then spices and citrus. The linguine was boiled to perfection. We had salad with vinaigrette dressing. I prepped cucumbers for the salad by running a peeler down the cucumber making green and white stripes, then thinly slicing it.
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The frozen shrimp were thawed under cold water for a minute or two, then mixed into the sautee. Gourmet for less than 5 bucks a person. I’ve been shredding parmesan with a cheap dollar store grater, but Cuddily has a nice small plastic rotary grater, like a miniature chef’s tool. I want to get one. Scampi is one of my favorites and sometimes it’s very good, sometimes not so good, but it almost is never bad. A restaurant in Kingsland, GA, made a bad example. Seagle’s in St. Marys has been excellent. Eve, the artist, made an exceptional scampi. Cuddily’s scampi was damn near perfect, no way to improve on it, just eat and be glad.
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Then next day I had to get more wine and decided to cycle down to the city dock and make a little ride of it. Model RC autos were set up for racing in the street in front of the dock. I snaked my way through and on out to the dock, to the end of the dock. The weather was just about perfect with a light breeze from the WSW, temperature was about 80, the sky was scattered puffy and high wispy clouds. I stopped at the wine shop on the way back.
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I stopped in the old Red Shell Shanty, which was today unlocked, it’s now the Boater’s Lounge. It should be unlocked every day. I went inside to see how it was set up. They had ROKU tv now, no dish or cable. I looked for Formula 1 qualifying from Montreal, but they wouldn’t be carrying it, of course. Still, the ROKU works, maybe an NBA final game is in the works for me. I like watching the playoffs of any sport.
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It looked like I would be fending for myself, no notifications from the survivors of last night’s feast. I had plenty of fresh food to cook for dinner. Do or die. Cook or throw out. I would make a steak (london broil) salad with romaine and spinach.
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Pour a glass of pinot noir and think about how to construct the salad. I can prep the london broil and marinate it after thinly slicing. Then I can prep the sweet red pepper and avocado, and the destitute green onion sitting in a cup of water in the cockpit.
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The green onion had morphed into something alien, however I stripped it and chopped it up for the salad. I prepped the salad veggies first, while the Coleman Camp Grill was coming up to temperature, then began laying out the thin slices of beef, some with a little bit of garlic stuck to them. They need to be grilled on one side for less than a minute, then flipped for the other side, you just go from one end of the grill to the other with the raw slices, then come back and the individual slices will be ready as you take them off to put on the salad.
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You really can’t start the steak until the salad is ready. That means you have to have salad dressing, and I was nearly out. Eloisa called and I had her on speaker phone while I mixed up another batch of Italian vinaigrette dressing. A cup of EVOO, a half cup or even a little less of balsamic vinegar, and about 1 or 2 teaspoons of: fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, Italian spice mix, and garlic salt to taste. I mixed them and tasted while conversing.
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The meat was grilled as described, and the avocado was longitudinally sliced, then thin sections, meat placed on the salad, then garnish with the avocado pieces. I had a nice glass of pinot noir and a sunset was happening out West. Good time to be at the Legion for a photo. Cuddily sent me one, she was there.
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I searched for photos of Waipio Valley in Hawaii, Eloisa wanted a photo of where the mountains come down to the sea. I ran into one of my own photos of Waipio on flickr.com. There were also photos of Oahu’s North Shore, and some sights like Makapu’u. My daughter and her partner were enjoying Hawaii on vacation back then. I sent the link to the photos to my new son-in-law, Father’s Day is coming up, and he is the father of my new grandson.
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I wasn’t done quite yet, I was getting set to watch a YouTube video about Cuba. It was for Eloisa. I had told her that Cuba was a mess, gonna be like Haiti, after watching an alarming video a month or so ago. This new video was current, it was not the Castro Cuba, it was what Cuba folk are doing now. The presenters were very artistic, if I can say that. They did their job and visited all over Cuba and documented it all very well. It looked like Old Hawaii, and the spirit of the people is similar, instead of saying Aloha, they say Ola. They have interesting ways of cooking pig.
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I thought about Cuba, the mafia, the Kennedy’s, Castro, who knows if the people are better off without the underworld and the quick money. Atlantic City, need I say more. Las Vegas, I hate it, too far from the ocean. Cuba is precious in a way.
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I was researching Cornelia Marie’s Suzuki 25PH outboard. Could it be converted from manual start to electric start? Complicated. Her outboard is a DF-25 V-twin. Mine, on Kaimu, is an inline twin. I had a downloaded owner’s manual for a DF-25, but it turned out it’s 3 cylinders. Very peculiar. They made the 3 cyl model up to 2006, then the V-twin, maybe for one year, then the parallel twin like I have. I ordered the service manual for the V-twin.
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The manual start Suzuki’s do not need a battery at all. They could probably be converted to electric start simply by adding a starter motor and electric power to turn it over. You would need battery and electric cables. Or, one smart DIY’er used a cordless drill with a hex socket drive to spin the motor from the bolt or nut at the top of the flywheel.
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I keep thinking back to why they only made the V-twin for maybe one year. It is an attractive engine with a Y shaped intake manifold and a single carburetor feeding the twin Vee cylinders. It has that Vee twin rhythm, like a Vee twin motorcycle. The V-twin replaced the 3 cylinder inline engine because it was lighter, just as the 3 replaced an earlier engine, because it was lighter and more fuel efficient. Suzuki was getting away from carburetion and going with fuel injection, the main reason being more toleration of ethanol fuels, which are brutal on a carburetor. There are operational benefits as well, fuel injection can be “mapped” to provide more accurate mixture and results in an overall increase in performance and fuel economy.
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More research, the v-twin was made from ‘06 to ‘11. Adding an electric starter is inexpensive and easy, but there is one catch, the starter is bolted to a simple bracket that is bolted to the engine. Probably not difficult make a DIY version. CM says she just wants to get it running properly without overheating or whatever fault was shutting the engine down. The faults light a warning light and shut the engine down to 3000 rpm or less. We need to keep track of what warning light comes on to see if it is a coolant problem or an oil pressure problem. There is an overspeed fault that doesn’t light a warning light, but shuts the engine down to protect it if something like a broken sheer pin happens. In that case you would throttle back, but the overspeed protection does it for you. If you are cavitating the propeller, it could trigger the overspeed protection.
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Recently at the Legion an old acquaintance was there and although he had moved away, he had to be back in Crisfield for some realty details. We hob nobbed with Cuddily and Teri, and he continued throughout the Legion, meeting with old friends. Suddenly there was a commotion and we saw a brawl at the kitchen end of the bar, quite far from us. Someone left out the front of the building. I went out the side door to see if I could catch sight of the getaway. Nothing out there. I came in and our old acquaintance was the one assaulted. The side of his face was what they call a contusion. We nervously continued to hydrate with wine.
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The image is of a rainbow above the Legion.

Prejudicial Treatment

03 June 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
The excitement of a new baby in the family had me receiving phone calls from all over. The common denominator is that we talked about the weather and food. That makes me hungry and start planning to cook. Cuddily suggested we go to Sysco in Pocomoke to see what wine selection they had there and also if they had lamb.
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They did not have lamb, but they had our favorite Saddlebred pinot noir. We purchased 10 bottles, leaving a couple for anyone else who wants this wine. We got 2 ½ lbs of shrimp for $18. Good shrimp, like for shrimp cocktail.
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I was planning to make the clam noodle florentine again, so I returned to SUNSPLASH and got to work.
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The previous batch I made had some of the casserole sticking to the sides of the Optima oven. This time I wanted to make it “upside down” and put the breadcrumbs on the bottom and layer the casserole in reverse order.
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The ingredients were too much for the oven, so I had a little snack of the unbaked ingredients. Very tasty and qualifies as comfort food.
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I was looking for lamb to make moussaka. I have a few recipes, but my favorite has to be made from memory, none of the online recipes do what I have done, bake the moussaka in a bundt pan with the eggplant peelings lining the pan skin side out. The bechmel sauce is made separately with a good dose of garlic in it and black pepper, then it is ladled into the molded casserole after it is flipped onto a platter. No lamb, no moussaka. Someday.
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The casserole turned out to be a disappointment. The butter and breadcrumbs burned and gave an off taste to the whole thing. I’m ready to throw it all away. Probably no more than ten bucks of noodles, clams, and burnt breadcrumbs.
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I still had one portion of the previous batch of clam noodle florentine and it tastes fine. Next time we won’t try to insulate the casserole from the oven with breadcrumbs and butter. The clean up was difficult with the burned on mess. Lesson learned.
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The crab traps. The crab traps. You can’t just leave them, they will keep catching crabs. I pulled them up and one had like 2 crabs in it, one little one, and I dumped them back into the inlet along with the bait. The second trap had a good number of crabs, some legal sized or bigger, some smaller. Into the inlet they went, along with their bait. We hosed off the traps. Cuddily washed her hands but said they still had the smell of the rotten fish bait. You have to scrub twice.
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Cuddily made a traditional Irish baked dish which was very good, kind of like shepherd’s pie. I took photos of the late afternoon sun. Nice composition, but no human faces, lifeless landscape. We had quite a crew on hand to consume the food and beverages. I had to return to the marina on my old Serotta bike, the Schwinn had a flat in back. These bikes are strangely similar although they are 30 years apart in age. There is no granny gear on these bikes. Top gear on the big front chain ring will get you about 35 mph as long as you can turn the pedals over. Both bikes.
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I had replacement inner tubes coming in via Amazon and they arrived before the weekend. I was busy. The day before a shipment of TEMU odds and ends came in. A new phone case with more room for my cards. Batteries for the drone. Double sticky tape.
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I replaced the flat inner tube and the stock pedals on the Schwinn. Now I had 3 spare tubes and a spare bike. I rode to Cornelia Marie’s and helped set out chairs near the fire pit and an umbrella on the picnic table. CM put a small grill on the end of the picnic table and lit it off. She was making kabobs with onion and tomato. I had brought a box of pinot noir. The rest of the Bad Crowd showed up with more wine, salad, I think corn, and CM’s chicken wings, on the grill. When I got back to the marina I decided not to try to negotiate the dock on the bicycle, but walk it down the dock. Safety last.
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More photos were coming in of the new baby. He looks like a handsome smart little guy. The women are already fussing around with him. I thought how fragile we are at birth and what odds we face along the way to adulthood. Let’s not think about that, we’re out of eggs.
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I rode the Schwinn up to the market and got eggs. If I spend 30 dollars I get a 10 dollar reward. I realized I was going the wrong way with the linguine and carbs. I needed to get back on the maximum nutrition vs quantity of food diet. I added salad ingredients and an incredibly cheap piece of beef, London Broil for $3.99/lb. I earned my ten dollar reward.
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The beef was way too much for one or even two meals. I cut it into 5 pieces, sliced one piece very thin and grilled it. The rest went into the fridge. I had a salad with yellow sweet pepper, avocado, tomato, romaine, and of course the grilled beef. I should have bought blue cheese. My Italian vinaigrette dressing is fine with this meal.
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The next day I couldn’t do the salad the same way again, although it is one of my favorites. I made tuna salad using remoulade and stuffed a half sweet pepper over romaine and tomatoes, garnished with thin sliced avocado. Healthy. The image is of that salad.

Cap'n Granpa

25 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
The Memorial Day weekend was coming up and it is a big deal in Crisfield as well as most of the rest of the Chesapeake. It is the traditional beginning of the summer season. All the boats are launched or commissioned, lots of activity in the marina, motors started up for the first time in a long time, exhausts spewing oil smoke from winterization.
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It took a couple few days to recover from my nighttime swim with my groceries. I had scraped the dock on the way into the drink and the open wounds were bathed in the foul waters of Somers Cove. I would probably have been happy to swim in such surroundings when I was a small kid, and even later as a windsurfer. Some of the waters I windsurfed in were quite nasty.
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Aboard SUNSPLASH I removed my wet clothing and sorted out the groceries that had been inundated. I wore a colorful set of dry clothes the next day, but I hadn’t showered the marina chum off myself yet. I biked over to Cuddily’s waterfront home and helped her drop a couple crab traps in at her dock, baited with fish heads and tails from her freezer. Her neighbors give her fresh fish if they catch enough and she enjoys that very much as well as stowing future bait in her freezer.
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Our motivation for the crab traps was an idea hatched at the Legion as we contemplated the upcoming holiday, which in Crisfield is “Soft Crab Festival”. We thought of the best soft crabs ever, the soft crabs Eve, the artist, sauteed in Irish butter. We thought of her dinner parties and the fun we used to have. We could have fun again, maybe even start up Pizza Night, but the easiest thing is to bait crab traps and drop them in the water, who knows, we could actually catch some.
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The next day I couldn’t go out in public without hosing my body off, take a shower, get into fresh clothes that aren’t marina scented. There was no bike trip to the Legion or any other social activity, just a short trip to the wine shop. I was looking for two brands of pinot noir, Saddlebred and Angelene or Angeline. They had Saddlebred at $9.80 a 750ml bottle, 20% off in quantities more than 6. I bought Black Box again. As long as they had it I probably would stick to it.
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I had to get more work done but it seemed every step of the way was impeded. The power was out, the power was on, and now the power is out again. This time it is the electrical contractor, big time outage with yellow tape making the dock off limits. These guys don’t fool around. They had a crew of 4 or 5 and a boat oddly made out of conductive aluminum. They had heavy spools of heavy electrical cable, spools of rope to pull new cable, they had the stanchion for slips 23 and 25 dismantled with the heavy duty stubs of cables protruding above the dock where the stanchion had sat. My power was back on and I made breakfast. The marina called and said there were power disruptions on the dock. Really.
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We were to inspect the crab traps after a 48 hour soak. That would be mid afternoon. A blue crab feast was scheduled for 5ish. I had time to kill. I needed to replace my ruined linguine, so I would be biking to the grocers. I rode aimlessly around the marina looking for any signs of the big Soft Shell Crab festival. I rode to the city dock where the main event was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Nothing. There was an onshore breeze and I could see a strange craft out past Jayne’s Island following the shipping channel, maybe coming to one of the local docks.
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Cuddily called and said she would need help checking the crab traps later. I still had time to kill. Time slowed down, down to the snail’s pace of the strange vessel that came closer. I was aware of the quietness in spite of the breeze in my ears. Quiet Andrew, let the ship come in. As it got closer I could see it was probably a barge with a tugboat pushing it.
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They came closer and I could make out that the barge had vehicles on it. Tuckerton EMT vehicle, a couple of U-haul trucks, and a U-haul trailer were onboard. The EMT vehicle said “Deal Island” on it as well. Why would they come by sea, Deal Island is accessible by land. They docked at the ferry dock right next to the town dock. I left on the bike.
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Up RT413, the main drag, up to the grocers. I got my linguine and some Texas Pete’s buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese for the wing fest later. Cornelia Marie had a quantity of crab claws from a fish market in Baltimore. I left the grocers and crossed town to Cuddily’s beautiful waterfront home. We had more time to kill. We pulled up the traps and saw 3 crabs in one trap and only one in the other.
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Her next door neighbor knocked on the door and asked if we wanted crabs, he had an excess, maybe a dozen, yes, sure we would. He had the excess crabs in a submerged cage with a fish head. If you don’t give them food they will cannibalize each other.
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I got the wooden bushel basket that Cuddily uses for crabs and we dumped the neighbor’s crabs into it, then emptied our traps into it. There were some undersized crabs that were pitched back into the inlet as well as a couple dead ones. We looked for females to cull them out but it looked like all the crabs were males.
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Cornelia Marie arrived with Nori the wonder dog. Teri arrived with a magnum of white wine. There were ingredients for Orange Crush drinks. CM made one. Cuddily had a whisky drink and I had another Saddlebred pinot noir.
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The crab steamer is a huge pair of pots, kind of like a double boiler, with the liquid boiling in the lower pot and the crabs getting steamed in the upper pot. Cuddily poured a can of Guinness stout along with some water in the lower pot and brought it up to boil. The upper pot of crabs which was perforated on its bottom went on top the boiling pot. I felt sad for the crabs who now began jostling about when they felt the heat.
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Corn had been shucked and another pot was brought to a boil to cook the corn. It is better to steam the corn. Grilling or microwaving still in the husk is a more flavorful way to cook corn. We had timers set for the crab and corn, both set to go off a couple minutes from each other.
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I had prepped celery and carrot as if for wings, but we wouldn’t be making wings tonight. Save them for another day. The crunchy veggies were our appetizer, dipped in a blue cheese concoction. Brown paper bags were laid out on the table in the porch overlooking the inlet. Drawn butter, pile of boiled corn, platter of steamed crabs, and we sat down to consume an excellent feast.
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My daughter in England texted me through Skype that her water had broken and she was in hospital to have her baby, my grandson. It had been a day of many calls from afar, but this one was significant over all the others. We celebrated. Later she sent a photo of the little baby, literally only a couple hours old. We celebrated more.
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Outside it was the full moon and I took a photo of it. We had been under a thunderstorm watch, but the storms passed us by to the North and South. The image is of a thunderhead passing to the South, backdrop to the small boat harbor. A day I will never forget.

Cap'n Overboard

21 May 2024 | Somers Cove, Crisfield, MD
Cap'n Chef Andy | Summer
The awful jobs get done last. The Atomic Four was waiting for me to pull off the cylinder head, but there was an emergency job, sort of, the mainsail cover was torn and exposing the sail to U/V, very bad.
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Actually the cylinder head might not be a worse job than repairing the sail cover. I had the sewing machine, a Singer 4423 model, heavy duty. The sail cover had its zipper at the front torn off and the stitching was gone, as in mysteriously absent. Someone had crudely tied the front part of the cover to the mast with a piece of line. I know I didn’t do that, but I wonder who did.
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The edge of the cover has fancy folded seams, but now they were no longer stitched together. I could see where the stitching had been and so I was able to reconstruct the cover and zipper. I had I think V-69 thread on the machine. I threaded it and tried sewing the edge with a straight stitch. It went well. Next I folded the fabric at the edge under itself and sewed a parallel stitch. I did this on both edges that take the zipper. Next I removed any loose threads still embedded in the zipper while taking a call from Hawaii. I started sewing ½ the zipper onto the appropriate edge. That’s when I started having trouble.
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The bobbin thread that comes up from underneath was jamming, even when I tried to hand crank the machine. This jamming usually comes from the top thread tension being too low. I had the tension set at almost the highest setting. I dug around down below where the bobbin sits. There was excess thread there and I removed it. The problem persisted. Only after rethreading the top thread twice and replacing the spool I was using did the machine start sewing the way it should.
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It sewed fine for the rest of the job. I was able to reinstall the mainsail cover, it will do for now.
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I was pushing the workday into the dinner hour. I improvised with 1/3 box of garden rotini boiling while I gathered clam sauce ingredients: garlic, olive oil, lemon, sauvignon blanc, onion powder, fresh parsley, and a leftover bag of spinach. Try spinach in your white clam dish. Healthy.
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I put the spinach in after unsuccessfully trying to thicken the sauce. Too much wine and clam juice. I could have used bread crumbs as a thickener.
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Maybe I’ll work on the cylinder head tomorrow.
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It is tomorrow. I have been doing a lot of research on the Atomic Four engine and other flat head side valve engines. I thought my dad’s old tractor had a flat head engine, but looking around online I see it was overhead valve. My dad had done an engine job on that tractor. I grew up with that DIY mentality.
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On the Atomic Four forums there are lots of postings about freeing up stuck valves. Removing the cylinder head to get at stuck valves is probably the most extreme solution to the problem. One DIY’er got the engine running on 3 cylinders and used two stroke oil in his gas to try to get a stuck valve free. It worked.
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I should check over the ignition/starting system as far as electrics go, and clean the carburetor. The fuel pump needs to be checked also. I cleared out the area where I could get at the carburetor but it was too dark down there. I grabbed the table lamp and turned it on. It didn’t turn on. I looked around and realized the blue light Chinese bug zapper wasn’t lit, the laptop didn’t have its charge light on. I pushed the on button on the fan. No workie. No power?
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I checked the AC breaker. Fine. I went on deck and checked the umbilical cord. Connected properly. I went to the stanchion on the dock and checked the connection there, looked normal. I went up the dock to the power yacht at the end. The fellow was grinding something on the bow. He had power.
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I got out my electric meters and could find no power, but maybe my probes weren’t long enough. I called the marina and they sent someone to look at it. He opened the electrical box at the head of the dock and saw the breaker was tripped. He reset it. It popped rather quickly. He was called away to help tie up a big 70 foot power yacht up at the transient docks.
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When he came back, which was a long time, he said he got reprimanded (not his exact words) for saying the big power yacht skipper had more money than brains. After he opened up the electrical box again I wrote down the slips that were on my breaker. It turned out there were only two other boats hooked up to electric. One had a sketchy looking twist lock to extension cord adapter, I pulled that out, and the other was a nice new looking twist lock umbilical cord, I untwisted and pulled out that one. My own umbilical cord was also pulled out.
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I returned to the electrical box and said there are no boats hooked up to that breaker, and he reset the breaker which popped again. Oh no, we’ll have to get an electrical contractor to fix this. He reset it again and it held. I said I would go up the dock and reconnect the 3 boats one at a time and he could give me a thumbs down if the breaker tripped. I went up and all were connected. The breaker held. He said sometimes he thinks there are ghosts in the marina. I said well you also have a lot of salt in the air.
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This fiasco not only wasted the time set aside to work on the Atomic 4, it also put the kibosh on shopping and dinner plans at the Legion.
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I could have pasta with some leftover marinara sauce. Wait, there’s a chicken parm cutlet leftover in the fridge. I had a nice meal with garden rotini and some Black Box pinot noir.
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Overnight the breaker tripped again and I moved my umbilical cord across the dock to a stanchion not on that breaker. I called in the morning and reported the tripped breaker. The maintenance men were talking loudly as I finished breakfast. I was no longer on the circuit so I didn’t worry about losing power again. As they continued to troubleshoot they centered around the stanchion for slip 23 and 25. A loud noise would come from the stanchion when the breaker tripped, this time with no boats connected. They said they would have to take the stanchion apart to see what was the matter. It reminded me of a long ago repair of a remote TV repeater that had an electrified rat, singed, draped between the power wires. Could we have a wharf rat?
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I had to persist with the carburetor and then later the fuel pump. There was nothing wrong with the carburetor but, as before, couldn’t pull out one of the jets. I could replace the jets with a relatively inexpensive rebuild kit, but if you can’t pull out the jet you can’t replace it. The fuel pump was more of the same. It was a bitch to get it off, but as I looked at it and exercised the diaphragm I realized it was operating normally. Now the task was to reinstall the pump and carb and move on to the electrical portion of the engine.
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First I had to shop and while up in the area of the American Legion, pay a visit there. I was running late, biked up to the post office to send in my request for a mail in ballot. There is some controversy about mail in ballots, mostly coming from the conservatives. I like the convenience of not having to worry about biking in the weather to vote or even being out of town, like in Hawaii, where all votes are cast by mail. The conservative view is that the integrity of the election is jeopardized by mail in ballots. It is part of their effort to restrict the vote.
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I continued to the grocers with my TEMU shopping bag, large, and my shopping list saved on my phone. My plan was to make a meat and mushroom pasta sauce, also make a clam florentine noodle dish. My plans change when I came across some spicy sausage on sale for only $3.99 a pound. I bought a large can of Nature’s Promise crushed tomatoes with basil. No Tutorossi in this store, some Cento products, but ridiculous prices. The Crisfield monopoly.
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The TEMU bag was packed to the gills and it was the first time riding the Schwinn with a grocery bag strapped onto the bars. It was tedious, I won’t carry that much again. At the Legion I was remarkably 20 minutes early. I did not need to hydrate with soda, just glug down the merlot. Teri showed up and we took the high top at the window with the North view. Cuddily was still at home enjoying fresh fish, I think rockfish or red snapper. When she arrived we mewled about not being invited to dinner, but she said it was only a little filet. I had some shrimp salad on lettuce and shared potato chips with Teri. The sunset was spectacular and I got some good shots.
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Back on board I stowed the perishables in the fridge. The next day I did not work on the Atomic Four, I made my pasta sauce. I used a large skillet and sauteed ½ of a large red onion and a couple large cloves of garlic. The sausage was skinned and added to the pan. A box of mushrooms was sliced and added. I wasn’t sure how the sausage was spiced, it said “hot” on the label. I kept breaking apart the clods of meat and then added the crushed tomatoes, rinsed by a shot of wine. After the sauce simmered a while I tasted it and concluded I didn’t have to add anything to it, maybe some salt, which can be added at the table.
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I made a small batch of pasta and added a scoop of sauce when it was al dente, then shredded parmesan on top. Yummie yummie. The remainder of the sauce made 3 good sized portions in the fridge.
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The next day was to be reinstallation of the fuel pump and carb, also make the baked florentine clam casserole. The oven I will be using is the Optima which can be described and a sort of bundt pan, circular with a hole in the middle, with a lid, and it sits on top of what looks like the circular pans that sit under a stove burner. The oven sits on top of a stove top burner. The heat rises through the hole in the middle of the circular base, continues up through the middle of the bundt pan main part of the oven and circulates there, kept in by the lid. There is no direct heat on the bottom of the oven, just convection inside the oven. It works pretty well and maintains about a 350 degree temperature.
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CLAM NOODLE FLORENTINE
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Makes 6 servings
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9 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cup light cream or milk
2 cans Snow's Minced or Chopped Clams, drained, reserving 1/2 cup liquid
3 cups cooked medium noodles, well drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan and Romano cheese
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion; cook until tender. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly stir in cream and reserved clam liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Add clams, noodles and spinach to sauce; blend well. Spoon half the noodle mixture and half the cheese in greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish; repeat layering. Top with crumbs. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot. Refrigerate leftovers.
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I made the above recipe using more spinach than called for, more “noodles” (garden rotini), but mostly following it. I have never made it before, so I like to keep to the script first try. The Optima oven would work well camping. The only way to see how hot it gets is to put an oven thermometer in it and let it rip. I used garlic salt instead of salt.
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The fuel pump and carburetor were reinstalled. There is one jet in the carb that was damaged by someone previous and it couldn’t be removed and cleaned. It is time to continue with the Atomic 4’s electric. I had a schematic that was very simple. It showed the distributor, four spark plugs, alternator, starting motor and solenoid, and that’s about it. I should have +12VDC on one side of the solenoid. I had a remote starting switch with alligator clips on it and I clipped between the + side of the solenoid to the terminal that would be energized by the ignition switch in the cockpit. When I tried the remote starter the solenoid clicked but nothing moved. The engine was frozen, probably piston rings rusted to the cylinder walls. That is a set back, but it was time for me to make the trip to the grocers, again, and to the Legion, again.
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It was a beautiful day with a NW breeze that made the short ride to the Legion from the grocers a bit of a workout. Good for me. At the Legion Cuddily and Teri arrived and we set up a speaker phone call with Eloisa. That went well until the crowd noise inside the Legion made it impossible to carry on a conversation.
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On the ride back to the marina I gave it an extra effort, aided by Saddlebred Pinot Noir. When I stepped on my footstep to get on the boat it tipped over toward the water where I ended up. I treaded water and climbed out at the end of the finger pier. I had to rescue one of my flip flops. The groceries were soaked. Fortunately most were encapsulated in plastic. The eggs were in a cardboard egg box which was wet and had a few damaged eggs inside. The linguine was in boxes that were now soaked. I took off my wet clothes and could see some road rash, actually dock rash where I had scraped against the edge of the dock.
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The next day I went over the aftermath and found I had lost my favorite pair of reading glasses. The eggs were transferred into an almost empty plastic egg box. I made a small batch of linguine which I would have with my sausage mushroom marinara sauce.

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