OceanAire Mods – phase 1

No Comments 25 February 2010

I just had to look in on Velkommen to see what changes were underway.  The radar arch and top were too tall to go through the door, so they have been lowered.  The bottom has been nicely tented so there is stand-up room all around, even though much of the bottom must be worked on from a seated or ‘even-lower’ position.  It’s so nice to see Velkommen in a heated building and being cared for properly…..she deserves that.  Even though our working relationship has just begun, Jeff Harman has done all the right things to set my mind at ease.  I’m confident that Velkommen will emerge in much nicer condition than when she went in.

Click On a thumbnail for a larger pic.
arch-down_tn bare-glass_tn chines_tn

The left thumbnail is taken from the shop balcony; you can see the door in the background, whose elevation conflicts with the radar arch and top canvas. The center thumbnail shows the old bottom paint being removed down to bare fiberglass so an epoxy barrier coat and new bottom paint can be applied. Right above the sander you see the dished-out profile of the chines that will be filled in during the next phase. The right thumbnail is taken through the plastic tenting but the dished-out profile of the port chine is very apparent. Once the chines are filled in and squared off, I expect an increase in stability, because the bottom will be less canoe-like.

Next on my wish-list is to open up the aft deck with a very large hatch, but maybe the modified chines and fresh bottom are all the budget will allow this year. The main thing is to keep Velkommen’s maintenance and improvements moving forward because boats are really costly to revive, once they have started downhill.

It  may be too soon to tell, and I admit to being a bit gunshy after my last experience at a much larger local boatyard, some of whose work had to be redone. But I think  OceanAire Yachts and 34′ Velkommen could develop a symbiosis that improves with time and allows Velkommen to grow younger instead of older.   Shades of Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth.


Aspen Cranberry-Orange Bread

No Comments 21 February 2010

Aspen Cran-Orange BreadYummy-yummy, what a treat!  Kinda like banana bread, except it’s Cranberry Orange.  Almost a cake, you could put a scoop of vanilla ice cream beside it and call it dessert!  This one is great for the boat because:

  • The little ‘milk carton’ container is easy to stow away in the pantry.
  • Prep is easy with a minimun of clean up…..a mixing bowl, a whisk and a 4″ x 8″ loaf pan are about all it takes.
  • The only ingredients not in the ‘milk carton’ are 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of water.  Stuff you probably have on board or can easily find at the next port.
  • Pop it in a 350° oven for 45 minutes……easy and yummy; ideal for the boat.

This wonderful bread is made by the Aspen Mulling Company.  They make a Spiced Pumpkin Bread mix, too.  I may try it tomorrow evening, because I don’t think the Cranberry Orange Bread will last very long. 

They have a nice web site and online store with an interesting list of products that I’m anxious to try.  Everything on the list would would be perfect for the galley.  Some are low calorie and some are not, but all sound wonderful.  If you peruse their web site you will even find some recipies and ideas for enjoying their products. 

Ahoy, If I can bake bread, then you can bake bread.  Give ‘em a try.

……….am I prescient, or what?  The Cranberry Orange loaf didn’t even last 24 hours.  It’s gone, evaporated….right into thin air; magic!  Well there is only one clear course of action:  try out the Spiced Pumpkin Bread.

Click On a thumbnail for a larger pic.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread Spiced-Pumpkin_tn Surprise, surprise…it’s yummy, too. Dang, you’d think I was a baker……gourmet designer bread two evenings in a row. It’s a good thing Aspen Mulling doesn’t have more gourmet bread selections.

The Cranberry Orange is at its best when it’s hot out of the oven while the Spiced Pumpkin is most flavorful after chilling overnight in the refrigerator.  So what’s my favorite? I’d have to give the nod to the Cranberry Orange. You can order it in a 12-pack ya know. Why don’t they call it a half-rack? Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!!


OceanAire Valentine

No Comments 15 February 2010

Click on a thumbnail for a larger pic.
Ana-OceanAire_tnSo it’s Valentine’s Day 2010.  What a fine day for a boat ride!!  But first a Vessel Safety Check from David McKibben, who happens to be the communications officer for the US Coast Guard Auxillary, Flotilla 17 in Anacortes.  We passed the safety check and set out for OceanAire Yachts in Bellingham, just 16.3 nm to the north.  Our new Shakespeare antennas picked up much more Coast Guard activity than we’ve ever heard before.  Security at the Vancouver Olympics is not being taken lightly.  First we spotted a Border Patrol vehicle in our marina parking lot and, later we heard a slightly frustrated boater on the VHF radio as he was about to be boarded for the second time in one day. 

Well, the day started out a little gray, but kept getting better.  It was afternoon when we finally cleared the breakwater:  blue skies, sunshine and hardly a breeze.  Pretty darn nice for the first time out in 2010.  So nice, in fact, that we just took our time and ran mostly at about 9 knots.  Fidalgo Bay, Padilla Bay, past Samish Bay and finally into Bellingham Bay.  Coastal Explorer did the chartplotting, all we had to do was follow the route and enjoy the day.

OceanAire-1_tnInto the Squalicum Creek Waterway, turn right past Trident Seafoods, turn left past the Shell fuel dock, and…..16.3 NM from Anacortes…..there we are……OceanAire Yachts.

48° 45.424′ North    122° 30.442′ West

OceanAire owners, Jeff and Charlotte Harman graciously took time away from their Valentine’s Day to meet us at the dock and help us tie up.  Velkommen is coming out of the water on Tuesday to have what’s left of the old bottom paint removed, the old “quadralift” soft chines filled in and new bottom paint applied along with an epoxy barrier coating.  I did my homework.  Our current sputtering economy demands it.  I got bids and proposals from at least six facilities, both big and small from Bellingham to Seattle.  Jeff had the best pricing and his quality is legendary.  What choice did I have? 

Boats are expensive, but lack of maintenance is Really expensive.  My theory is that boats are either being maintained, modified and moving forward or they are falling quickly into disrepair……..there does not seem to be a static middle ground.


Washed Up – the curious journeys of flotsam & jetsam

No Comments 02 February 2010

Washed-Up-cover_tnIt took me a few chapters to get comfortable with this book. It felt a bit abrasive, like sand on a beach. I wasn’t sure what to make of it: floating stones, conversations with her shrink, a wake in Finland on winter solstice. But the more I read, wondering how these disjointed episodes would coalesce, the more intrigued I became. And somewhere about a third of the way in, the book became a wonderful converstaion with the author, Skye Moody. The Northwest connection to Vashon Island/Maury Island and Alki beach is particularly interesting to me, but the book is really global in scope, bouncing from Iceland to Oregon to Polynesia. The style is not preachy, teachy or academic; that’s a rare find when navigating around sensitive environmental issues, bigger than whales. Some Amazon reviewers have criticized the book as being disjointed, unorganized and rambling. Please dismiss these sophomoric claims and enjoy the book for what it is……a delightful conversation with an articulate, well-travelled, Northwest author sprinkled with salty humor. When you have sailed cover to cover, you will feel as though you have met a new friend…….and shared a pint at the Hummingbird Pub. That’s the pearl in the oyster.

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