Beets & Motoring…..

Dear F&F,
June 11, 2009
Passage Report – Day #12

We have had no wind in about 24 hours. Zippity doo dah. Nada. Nyet. So onward we motor to the Marquesas. Scott desperately seeks weather reports that show when & where the next breath of air will appear, but it does not look hopeful. The good thing about motoring is we don\’t have to play the dreaded video game. Motoring is MUCH lower maintenance than sailing. We only do about a 20 minute check to make sure the auto pilot is actually steering the course we told it to, check the engine gauges to make sure nothing is overheating.

The bad thing about motoring is WE overheat. It isn\’t godawful, but certainly not as lovely as when we have wind. The second bad thing is the constant smell of diesel fumes. I\’m sure we all suffering from a degree of carbon monoxide poisoning by now. If you shut the windows to keep out the smell then you really feel stuffy inside. So it is just zippy. We still have about 1100 miles to go. If we average 6 knots it will take us another week. I hope the wind picks up. I will happily play the dang video game instead of having to be hot & smell the stinkin\’ diesel anymore.

Meanwhile it is 1:00 a.m. & I am cooking beets. Or rather I am TRYING to cook beets. These are big boys, softball size. The pressure cooker book said: put in pot with 2 1/2 cups water, salt & cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Did that: hard as rocks. Added another cup of water, resealed, brought up to pressure for another 10 minutes. Let sit additional 5 minutes with flame off but still under pressure: slightly less hard than rocks. Repeat. This is my 3rd go. For some reason the jiggle valve isn\’t jiggling right this time & it looks like all the steam is escaping around the lid edge. Hmmmm. Oh well. I have nothing but time on my hands, so they can take all night but by golly I WILL have cooked beets!

Dinner last night was steak & potatoes. I used my plain yogurt to mash them. The russets with an inch of dirt are holding up really well in the guest cabin closet. Nice & dark & dry. Potatoes like that. It was a hot day to cook such a heavy meal, but I\’d already defrosted the meat, so just went for it.
Mike has a \”poolish\” (yeast starter for bread) going & is going to make bread again on his next shift. A poolish is just 1 cup flour with some water & yeast that you let brew overnight. We polished off his last Artisenal loaf in a day. Such crunchy crust & great yeasty flavor with plenty of holes to catch the butter or jam. YUM! I should have bought a lot more flour. Today\’s loaf will be part whole wheat, I can\’t wait.

I\’ve taken the Linda suggested eggs out of the freezer. Pre-scrambled & vacuum bagged. Will see if the boys manage to do as instructed: cut open the vacuum bags, microwave in 30 second increments until hot & eat. Sounds easy enough, right? My best chance to get a good 4 hours sleep is when Scott relieves me at 4:00 a.m. I will have the cabin to myself from 4:00-8:00 a.m. Maybe longer since sometimes he stays up with Mike for a while. We set our clocks back one hour. The Marquesas is 2 1/2 hrs earlier than California. We put ourselves on California time when we left the Galapagos. But it is nice on the 4:00-8:00 a.m. shift to have the sunrise a bit earlier. As we keep heading almost due west the sun has been rising later every day. We\’ll move our clocks another hour back in about 3-4 days so will arrive more or less on local time. It\’s the only place I know that has a half hour time zone compared to everywhere else. It is half an hour less than Hawaii time. Time is so arbitrary onboard. We need it to know who\’s on duty when. But mostly we go by our stomachs, sleep opportunities, sunrise, sunset, etc. I got pretty good sleep during the day, so am pretty perky tonight even without any caffeine. Just had yogurt & cookies. Great nocturnal snack. The cookies I found in the Galapagos are crispy & coconut flavored. I love them. They are kind of biscuit like so do well with a semi-delicate stomach. I still have to take my seasick meds 45 minutes before sitting at the computer or I am toast. I hope there aren\’t long term side effects from the stugeron stuff. More importantly, I hope I can find it elsewhere. The bottle that sailor friend Sandy gave me in Mazatlan is lasting a long time, since I cut each pill in half or 1/3. Apparently it is not sold in the US, but I haven\’t investigated if you can get it in the US with a prescription, or it just is not available at all.

Scott & Cindy