Thursday, June 24, 2010

Need GPS Help

I'm looking for a GPS with a Go From button. The designers seemed to expect a plan. There is no plan, much less a destination. On top of that, this sailing with light winds, currents, and random temptations is unreliable. There's no certainty in it. I know where I've been. I can easily punch that into the buttons. But where am I going?

Spinnaker Furler

Experimented with the spinnaker several days. X likes it. Pulls along nicely on these light South China Sea winds. Caught the edge of a squall once. Wind rotated 180 degrees and X hit some new, to me, high speeds. Fun and a little worrisome, plus the wrong direction. I flew the 1A on a Code Zero Furler (pictured). Interesting. The PO cut the kite a foot too tall and the furling line 6 feet too short. Sheesh!

Flying Creatures

Swallows in the rigging, butterfly on a lava boulder. Just saw a bright blue wasp, I think...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inedible Beef

Brought along some frozen Malaysian beef. It looks good in a pan with vegetables, curry and coconut milk, However it is far too tough to eat. Fish like it.

Pulau Tioman Cruise

Pretty bays all around Pulau Tioman. Anchored here a week. No visitors.

Chili Source

Got the chili problem solved. All the bottled chili sauce in Malaysia has sugar as the first or second ingredient. That is like cooking with catsup (background). What one wants is just ground chili's with maybe a little vinegar, garlic or onions. Chili powder (left) is common, but has no zing. I had been flying in with asian chili paste from Monterey, crazy (middle). Now I know to ask for fresh ground chili paste, a produce item (in bags, foreground). Chili Boh, red, hot and plenty sweet without added sugar.

Banging in the Morning

Thunderheads come visiting. This boomer greeted me in the morning but went away flashing and booming elsewhere.

Color and Trash

Local color. Like the Mexicans, the Malaysians are not afraid to use some color. Also like Mexico there is too much trash everywhere. A few months ago in Mexico the President came to visit little La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The authorities spared no expense to clean up the litter, sweep the streets, paint everything he might see from his limousine. Here on Pulau Tioman the Sultan came to visit his island. Likewise nothing was spared to clean what he might see. Plus the locals hosted a huge colorful party. Dancing, music, food.

One small benefit of all the plastic garbage floating around in the seas is one can find some useful stuff. Seven nice plastic fuel jugs washed up on a pretty beach and are now mine. I also fished from the sea a dozen interesting fishing floats. But what a nightmare: these ball-like floats roll and clank incessantly. Useless to me, I gave them to a fisherman at the first opportunity.

Moldy Electric Spaghetti

More rewiring of X. I suppose everybody imagines themselves a capable electrician. A roll of electrical tape and a six-pack of beer make everyone a professional. So I've pulled out hundreds of pounds of the unused wire snaking mysteriously between lockers and bilges. Free wire for all the friends. As shown here, an unused piece of X's galley has been converted to a panel holding all the little electronic bits that allows X to navigate, send high-seas emails, and display interesting numbers about speed and wind.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Face Time with Fishes

X sailed around Pulau Tioman and the nearby islands for a couple of weeks. Not very many miles. Boat maintenance and face-time-with-fishes while at anchor in various idyllic places. At one reef a Batfish (picture credit: NOAA) repeatedly came over to investigate me. Other little fish had been nibbling and pestering me but this one was the size of a large pizza. A nibble will leave a mark. Later I was told that the Batfish is just curious, harmless. The batfish was swimming amongst acres of interesting Vase Corals (picture credit: unknown).

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My new best friend, Lucy, from the boat Northstar. Four years old. She likes swimming, ice cream, knocking on the hull during the afternoon nap and made-up games that make no sense. But she has now sailed away and I don't know if I'll ever find her again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inside-out Pizza

The only downside to making many pizzas is the great amount of propane required to heat the oven. So I tried making a pizza in a pan on the stovetop. Saves gas. Free extra crust. (I thought I published this before, but I don't see it anywhere...)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beer Thirty

I have not posted since 6 April? Really? Maybe this repeating iPhone alarm is the reason?