Sunday, December 25, 2011

Xmas 2011

Merry Happy Everyone! 

Holiday Letter 2011

Our sailboat themed Xmas tree
Official Holiday Letter 2011
Summary of 2010 and 2011 (missed last year)

Please read the following and circle the appropriate answers - honor system for grading (no need to respond or return answers to us)

In 2010 - Tom and Sabrina...
1.  Sold their Catalina 30 s/v Distant Drum
2.  Bought their first bluewater sailboat - a Caliber 40 LRC
3.  Named their new sailboat Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 - Tom and Sabrina...
1.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder from Ft Walton FL to Panama City FL
2.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder from Panama City FL across the Gulf of Mexico, thru the Keys and up to Brunswick GA in 7 days 19 hrs
3.  Enjoyed getting to know s/v Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom and Sabrina....
1.  Sailed s/v Honey Ryder to Savannah twice and Charleston
2.  Sailed 1800 total nautical miles on s/v Honey Ryder
3.  Met many interesting and unique people in travels with s/v Honey Ryder
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom and Sabrina.....
1.  Became certified ASA Sailing Instructors - working for Kansas City Sailing
2.  Taught Intro to Sailing, ASA Basic Keelboat and Private lessons on Lake Perry KS
3.  Enjoyed meeting all the various students and sharing their passion for sailing
4.  All of the above

In 2010 and 2011 - Tom's appraisal firm...
1.  Experienced a slowing in business
2.  Saw continued foreclosures/workout orders
3.  Lumbered through the required new appraisal forms that greatly slow their workflow
4.  All of the above

In 2011 - Tom....
1.  Purchased a foreclosure house w/his business partner to rehab
2.  Worked almost every evening April - July to rehab this house
3.  Sold it at the end of September for asking price
4.  All of the above

In 2011 - Sabrina's career....
1.  Has continued with WKFS as an account executive
2.  Covers customers in 2/3 the state of Missouri
3.  Survived layoffs
4.  All of the above

Tom and Sabrina.....
1.  Wish all our family, friends and acquaintances the very best
2.  Hope for more tolerance and understanding in the world
3.  Look forward to the 2012 horizon and beyond
4.  All of the above
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Baking Day - more learning

Early on before we completely trashed her kitchen
Sailing Sista Margie is a fabulous cook and wonderful baker on top of being a kick ass sailor chick.  She agreed to teach me some of her baking secrets.  I used to bake when I was younger but the last 20 or so years I have gotten away from anything other than quick breads and mixes.  I had memories of baking being a precise science - so not me.  Toss a in a pinch of this and glob of that, is more my style
Margie's kitchen is well equipped and good size, perfect for our day of baking.
I showed up around 9am and we got started immediately.  First up - Sourdough Baguettes.  Margie had the starter already going from 3 days prior.  Starter -fyi shall be called The Beast going in "feed the beast."  We let that batch rise and got started on the Fast French Bread or Rolls.
The sourdough baguettes
We experiment as we went.  I used all purpose flour and Margie bread flour or combo.  Some experimentation was a result of someone (me) not reading the recipe correctly.  Turns out you can deviate some when baking whether on purpose or not.  Whew!  I did it all by hand, Margie used her food processor on at least one recipe.
The Fast French Rolls shaped and ready for baking
By this time we had dirtied a fair amount of dishes, floured the floor and ourselves and run off Margie's hubby, Sea Salt and the dog!  But there was no stopping us.
There wasn't a dish left clean by the time we were done
With the second batch rising, we dove into baking project #3 - Pumpkin Scones.  I put cinnamon chips and chopped crystallized ginger in my pumpkin scones.  Margie opted for dark chocolate and cinnamon chips in hers.  The last baking project was Basic English Scones.  Margie put currents in hers.  I left mine plain for various jam toppings later.
Right to left - Basic English Scone, with currents and Pumpkin
We continued along with all four baking projects, punching down the risen dough, shaping baguettes, loafs, rolls and the such and baking it all off.  There was only a short break for lunch and then back at it. 
Covered to rise again - dishes await us
Of course laughter and stories were present throughout.  When we had finally cleaned and dried the last of the dirty dishes and pulled the last baked good out of the oven, we collapsed on the kitchen stools with a bottle of white wine and begin sampling it all. 

Fruits of our labor or is that bread of our labor?

Simply YUMMY!
The difference between melted butter on top or not

It was such an enjoyable day.  I am excited to try out a few of these recipes at home and on s/v Honey Ryder.  Thank you to my dear friend Margie!  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Xmas 2011 Holiday Song

Enjoy this unique holiday tune from a guy we all know!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Xmas 2011

The colors of Xmas, no?  The above is as gorgeous as any holiday light display - at least to me.    

Thursday, December 8, 2011

HAM Thoughts

Tom listening in on SkyWarn Recognition Day - a nationwide HAM event
Some maybe be wondering "why would anyone get their HAM license unless it was just to goof around and have fun?  I mean it's old technology, right?  Why not just call people up on your cell phone?  Or the old land line phone - for those that still have them!  While sailing you can just use VHF or further off shore a sat phone ($$$), right?"
National Weather Service Training Center in KC

 Honestly I was sort of thinking the same thing to some extent while I was studying to take the test.  Why on earth does the annual MS150 charity bike ride use HAM instead of cell phones?
Well, have you ever been at a big sporting event and not been able to get cell service?  "All circuits are currently busy" Frustrating.  Or during a major catastrophe (tornado, hurricane, icy snow storm or such) ended up with no cell service?  Scary.  Land lines go down as well.  Power goes out.  After the Joplin F5 tornado, it was weeks and weeks until they had even a hint of services.  HAMS were used. 
HAM's across the country try to reach as many National Weather Service offices as possible on that day

It turns out that for all our advance technology (and it seems daily we have new high tech enhancements, new gadgets or flat out new technology)....our actual infrastructure is quite old and with city, state, government and company budgets stretched to breaking, our infrastructure is not being upgraded/replaced like it should.
What does this mean?  Older infrastructure is going to go down more frequently.  We are going to lose services.  Hum?  Something to think about.  Now off to the kitchen I go....for some reason I have a craving for bacon.
*And yes, I know it's Amateur Radio and they/we are amateur radio enthusiasts but that's just too long and HAM is funnier. 

Pumpkin Mousse

I have been thinking about pumpkin mousse on and off since October when we attended the Southern Living Taste Of Charleston.  There I sampled a deliciously light pumpkin mousse with just the right amount of spices.  I finally took a few minutes to try and make my own pumpkin mousse.  I scanned a few recipes online and then winged it.  Not too bad for a first attempt.  Crumbled ginger cookies in the bottom of the serving glass added a nice crunch.  It looks chunky in the above pic but that is only because I scooped this out of a much bigger bowl.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Learning Epoxy Fiberglass Repair

Winter has set in here on the central plains so no sailing.  This of course makes winter even longer.  To help us sailors get through the winter months, Kansas City Sailing puts on seminars and classes on various sailing topics;  paint and brightwork, splicing, coastal navigation and yesterday's session - Epoxy and Fiberglass Repair. 

For three hours Bruce lead us through the different products and techniques, demoing several along the way.  It was a fascinating way to spend a rainy, cold Saturday. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


There are just no other words.  This is full on sexy.  Who doesn't want to be part of the sailing community after watching this!  They say sailing is struggling as a sport/hobbie/lifestyle.  Not after videos like this.  YUM!
And yes, this is exactly what it's like on our boat each and every time- so to speak.  Yeah, right!  But hey, sexy sells!

*My sailing sistas - did you see it?  The sailing bruise?  Did you spot it on the sailing sista in the video?  (No, I don't expect the guys to see it even after multiple viewings.)  One of the sailing sistas in video has a sailing bruise.  You know the ones we get...big ass, ugly black, blue, purple, yellow bruises.  Our sailing badge after a particularly "unique" sailing adventure.  Yeah, it's ugly but we wear it proudly at work on Monday.  Other gals at work may have bruises but theirs are from yard work or house chores - weak!  Hee Hee.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How We "Spent" Black Friday 2011

Black Friday 2011 - Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

The pressures of Black Friday seem to have hit an all time high this year with retail stores opening at 10pm and midnight ON the actual Thanksgiving Day holiday!  To us this is actually an all time low.  It makes us very sad that this is such a focus.  But for those that get into it - we watched one after another containership steam in with your "stuff". 
Several folks on E-Dock chose to spend Black Friday another way.  Here Kevin is chatting up a friend while enjoying a Black Friday beverage.  HUM?  Maybe that is what we need next year.  An official Black Friday drink to go with our Non-Black Friday activities. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crunch Part 2 - Our Turn

I think I have mentioned before that the most dangerous thing on a sailboat is a schedule.  Yeah, so...  Rigger Sean and his dad Jim were on a schedule for Tday celebrations with family so we had to get back to the dock.   And I think I also mentioned previously that the current races through this marina at a pretty good clip.  We had a plan and executed it but the current, north wind and tide had other plans for us.  We ended up with a bit of a tough/ugly docking.

No one got hurt and no other boats were damaged (bit of "rubbing" like they say in Nascar) but s/v Honey Ryder got banged up a touch.  We actually ended up in another slip temporarily.  Sean and Jim left for their Tday.  Tom and I chilled the 30 mins until slack tide and then with dock neighbor Matt's help, got s/v Honey Ryder back in her slip.  Sean said he has a guy that can weld the stanchion back and he would buff out the marks on the side.

Thanks to Mayor of F-Dock Rick and another unknown dock neighbor that tried to assist us the first go round.

Ah, live and learn aka another adventure.  *I have always been very emotionally tied to my/our boats - right or wrong.  VERY emotionally tied.  However I also realize that things are going to happen.  We have and are going to hit docks, run aground, etc...I know this.  Having said that, it's now been several hours since this happened and I am surprisingly ok.  We didn't damage s/v Honey Ryder permanently.  She will just need a little attention.  If anything, this has re-enforced why we picked a Caliber...strength.  She will take care of us and we will take care of her!  Sorry for the bumps today Honey.

Thanksgiving Day Sail

Our rigger Sean suggested a quick TDay sail to be sure all the fixes were working.  He picked up his dad, Jim who flew in this morning from Vermont and 8" snow and we headed out for a lovely sail around Charleston Harbor.

Good thing we did as Sean discovered the headsail furler still needs some adjustments.  Surprisingly we had the whole harbor to ourselves.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

To - All
From - crew of s/v Honey Ryder

Thanksgiving Come Early

We decided to have our TDay feast the night before so we could enjoy the leftovers for two days.  Turkey breast for two, masher, fresh green beans with sauteed onions, garlic and bacon, crescent rolls and boat apple dumplings. 

YUM. FYI - Leftover boat apple dumplings make great breakfast food. 

Turns out after turkey coma isn't just a land thing.

E-Dock Shenanigans

Kevin and Tyler were just itching to try out the water balloon launcher that Mac loaned them.  Of course Tom had to "assist" in the operation.

After a couple of practice launches, they successfully landed one on top of Rick's bimini, mayor of F-Dock.  SCORE!
 *Out of much experience....For legal purposes this story may or may not be true.  The names may or may not have been changed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


To a sailor there is no sound worse than the crunching of fiberglass.  E-Dock happy hour was interrupted by this horrifying sound this evening.  I am not completely sure of the details but here is what I do know..s/v Honey Ryder was in the line of fire and escaped only because the bowsprit & anchor of the boat next to us stopped the rouge boat.  My heart has finally stopped racing but that awful "C-R-U-N-C-H " will stay etched in my brain for a very long time.  I am hoping the damage to offending boat and the two other boats he smacked while docking is far less than that horrific sound.  Morning light will tell. 

Boat Pizza

I have been wanting to expand my cooking aboard s/v Honey Ryder to include use of the oven more.  I was apprehensive because it's so small.  Questions swirled.  Would it heat evenly?  Are baking times the same with such a small oven?  How can I keep from burning the bottom?  Will the broil set the whole top ablaze?  But curiosity, love of food and my sailing/blogging friend Deb spurred me to give it a try.  She made what looks to be a fabulous pie this week in her boat oven. 

Boat pizza (homemade) seemed like a good, safe start.  Turned out better than good for a first try.

Rock On Sailor Part 2- Wired Cockpit Remote

We found on our last boat that having a wired remote in the cockpit was not only convenient (a luxury some might say) but a vital safety feature. Sailing with just the two of us means one of us is at the helm while the other is - off duty, otherwise occupied, or assisting.

Being able to quickly turn down or mute music from the helm vs diving below is extremely important in a wide variety of occasions.

Rock On Sailor - Honey's New Fusion Stereo

Previous pain in the ass to use stereo combined with West Marine dollars to burn landed us with a new Fusion Marine Stereo.  Sweet.  Never mind the conversion rate on West Marine dollars.  (*Yes - we do know the conversion rate - $$ West Marine dollars means we spent $$$+ real dollars.  Yikes!   We just ignore that thought, instead plugging our ears and singing "Sailing, takes me away...blah blah blah.)
Enter our new Fusion stereo.  Again - Sweet.  But nothing is easy on a boat.  Fusion is one of the few "true" marine radios making it a much deeper unit than the standard car stereo passing for a marine stereo.  I am not sure why this is but I was told by Lake at West Marine that it just is.   This meant our current stereo cabinetry needed to be modified.  Doable but not simply.   Cap10 Tom hooked it up easily enough so we had tuneage the first night.   Cabinet refit is still in progress.


We wrapped up with rigger Sean and North Sails loft guru George today.  Headsail furler is fixed permanently, dodger maintenance and repair made and furling main is smoothly furling again.  Check, check and check - Whew.

New Stuff - Gear or Toys?

Ah, the age old question.  Spouses have been asking this question since the first cave person brought home yet another bow or added another newly carved stone chair to the cave.  And then there are the categories when it comes to gear - vital, necessary, nice to have, luxury.  This is where is gets grey and crosses over to toys.
So having said all that....check out our new "gear".

Hand crank coffee grinder for freshly ground coffee.  Yes, it takes a little work in the morning vs pushing the button on the coffee grinder but still way better than store bought, stale, pre-ground.
Ice maker.  Always messing with getting ice, refilling the cooler, having ice for cocktails, melting, getting more ice, transporting ice....ia a pain in the ass.  Enter the counter top ice maker.  This thing ROCKS!

It make 9 magically ice cubes in 7-14 mins.  And yes....we are making ice in our aft head!  It was the perfect spot for this little gem with plenty of room, ventilation for the until, electricity, and a drain in case of leaking or spillage.

 I read all the instructions (so female of m), plugged it in this morning and it has been making ice non-stop since for the cooler and bevs throughout the day.  Loving it!

Fresh Out of Grandmas TDay 2011

While most folks are heading over the river and through the woods to Grandma's this Thanksgiving, we are once again happily on s/v Honey Ryder.  Despite the lack of Grandmas, we are on the boat so all the world it right.  And the weather is warm to boot.  Almost too warm as the no-see-ums think it's spring and have hatched for some nourishment on unsuspecting boaters.  But even still...we are on s/v Honey Ryder so little else matters including invisible bugs.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

HAM Part 2 - Hello? Is there anybody out there?

KD0QAG - My HAM License number.  But don't call me just yet.
 Getting my HAM Tech License is just step one.  Now the fun starts....learning to actually use our SSB.
And no, this isn't our SSB.  It's an old HAM mic we have at home.  Don't ask, the story is too long.  Let's just suffice it to say that it's shown up in more than one party pic throughout the years.
Ground Control to Major Tom are you receiving?