Saturday, November 14, 2020

Apples... Many Apples

We have two apples trees on our Camano Island property.  If you have apple trees, you'll know that in the fall you get more apples than you can deal with.  You give some away (until the neighbors pull their curtains when they see you coming).  You make apple sauce, apple crisp, apple cobbler, apple pies.  It's a problem like the zucchini one - What do you do with the bounty?

Well here's an idea you may not have considered...  apples as a vegetable side dish with dinner.

Apples as a Veggy
  1. Quarter, core and cut up into approximately 1" pieces enough apples to fill a 4 qt sauce pan half full
  2. Chop up a medium onion
  3. Mince 4 large garlic cloves
  4. In the sauce pan, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 Tbsp butter
  5. When the onion has softened, add the apples to the pan, and 2-3 Tbsp white wine to deglaze, and cover.
  6. Cook covered until the apples have softened, then uncover and cook just until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Serve hot
For variations on the basic recipe, try these:
  • Add 1/2 tsp (or to taste) curry powder
  • Add 1/2 tsp Garam Marsala and deglaze instead with 2-4 Tbsp Marsala wine or Sherry
  • Add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp (or to taste) chili powder.  Deglaze instead with 2-4 Tbsp red wine


Monday, October 5, 2020


Persistence pays off in the end, if you don't give up too early.  This is one of those cases...

Remember this post?  In it I talked about using aluminum tape to seal the top of the mast boot to the mast proper...

When it was new

Backspacing at least 10 years, we have been dealing with intermittent leaks at the mast partners.  Each thing that we have done has improved the situation... but the leaks, tho diminishing in quantity and in frequency, have persisted.  Replacing the mast boot, resealing the deck ring, and finally replacing the deck ring altogether with a composite material that won't absorb moisture and consequently change shape and break the seal have all helped.  But even after all this, there was still the occasional drip coming down the mast in heavy rain and wind. (OK, maybe I am a little anal retentive here...)

Looking up from inside revealed that the water was not coming in at deck level - hooray!  That leak is stopped!  Instead it was coming from higher up.  The only place where it could be originating was at the seal between the top of the mast boot and the mast.  However, a brief inspection (because it was raining) did not disclose any flaw there.

But.  The water simply had to be coming in there.  So I pulled the hose clamp off to get a closer look at things.  Lo and behold, the aluminum tape was just plain gone under the hose clamp!  Galvanic corrosion between the stainless in the hose clamp and the aluminum tape ate the tape, and created an opening for rain to find its way in. 

There are two lessons here.  First, galvanic corrosion is evil.  And just as importantly, frequently corrosion is hidden.  Both very much worth remembering.

The fix was easy:  remove the offending hose clamp (it really was overkill anyway - the aluminum tape is more than sufficient to hold the boot up), and apply a fresh layer of aluminum tape.


Improved Deck Ring

Eolian's deck ring was not molded into the deck because the Downeast 45 was sold with three different rigs: sloop, ketch (Eolian), and schooner.  Because each of these rigs required a different mainmast location, it was impractical to make three different deck molds.  Instead, the deck ring was fabricated from two pieces of teak and bolted to the deck in the appropriate position for each rig.  

But there has been a persistent deck leak originating between the deck ring and the deck proper.  Various attempts to seal the deck ring without removing it had been problematic, working for a while and then the leaks returned.  Eventually, I pulled the ring up and resealed it with butyl rubber. And then there was the little problem at the joint between the two pieces of wood where apparently a piece broke off of the cross-grain at the end, leaving a gap which was filled with a glob of caulk.  In the reseal, I at least used a small piece of teak for the bulk of the required filler. 

But even this was not a complete success.  I speculate that the wood would grow and shrink with moisture, working the seal.  The answer was obvious:  replace the wood with something which was impervious to moisture.  I used Trex composite decking, obtained as a scrap from a neighbor's deck replacement project.  I carefully traced the outline of the wood pieces onto a piece of paper, including the holes for the mounting bolts, took this paper home and relayed the outlines of the two pieces onto the Trex and bandsawed them out.

I made the outside edges a little rounder than the teak versions because the hose clamp that holds the mast boot to the ring did not apply sufficient pressure to  the straight sides of the original ring, allowing wind to blow rain up under the boot - thus the foam tape applied to the outer surface. 
(The mast wedges bear on the deck edge, not the deck ring)

In the final installation (also bedded in butyl rubber), I also applied foam tape to the edge, just in case my "rounding out" the straight edges was not quite sufficient to make a tight seal.

This should last forever.


Thursday, September 3, 2020


I count 61 boats...

With the Canadian border closed due to the virus, all the boaters that would normally have made a trip up into the Gulf Islands are prevented from doing so.  Consequently the San Juan Islands are absolutely packed this summer.  In the photo above, taken while we were at anchor in Blind Bay, I counted 61 boats.  In a normal year, on a holiday weekend, we would expect 20 to perhaps 30 boats here.

This takes all the fun out of being at anchor - with every boat that you see coming into the bay you ask yourself, "OK, so where is he going to anchor...  right in front of us I presume."  And you will be right.  Then there is the tremendous amount of high-speed dinghy traffic buzzing around.  And the loud music.

We have elected to avoid this, staying at the dock for the latter part of the summer.

(Yes, we are in that picture...  Can you find Eolian?)

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