When we were designing the lazarette in Shanghai, this back wall of the laz had all kinds of possibilities. I got the idea I'd like to have some drawer storage space for small parts. I jumped on Amazon and found a unit I liked, and then had the factory build this space for it. Including the fold down door which acts like a little workbench for the parts. This has already been super useful.
So far I have:
While I have been enjoying cooking from scratch on board Mahalo, I also like to have meals prepared ahead of time. Especially for lunch, when we are underway. I bought this Food Saver vacuum bagger from Amazon, and I really do like it.
Besides pre-made bags, it also has a tube-roll that allows you to make bags of any size.
Here we have two of my black bean burgers. With no or very little air left in the bag, the freezing is superior to any other method. And you only have a small amount of trash after you consume the food.
Soups & stews & bolognese really are great for the underway meals. Defrost the night before in the refrigerator, then put into the InstaPot before getting underway.
I have been buying uncooked shrimp already frozen in a bag, which contains about 30 shrimp. . Sealing portion sized amounts means less air to turn frosty in the bag.
I don't take the FoodSaver itself on board, it's kind of bulky. It was about $150, money well spent.
We left Gig Harbor and made our way towards the Narrows bridge.
Steve T is a bridge designer, who has worked on brides all over the world. He gets a bit wistful when he sees one!
Steve T takes a picture of Steve S and me. I'm holding Steve T's beer, honest! No drinking when driving Mahalo. We so lucked out with the weather. T-shirts in mid October?
In fact, we drove the boat from the flybridge for several hours per day. First time I have done this. I even anchored from the flybridge for the first time.
The guys were pretty enamored with the whole area and were using the RedFin app to view home prices all over Gig Harbor. We found this cool one in an awesome bay. From above, it is shaped like an "S." Perfect for one of them, right?
And another first, PWC'ers using Mahalo's wake! That was a trip.
The South (Puget) Sound is so lovely. I think it is prettier than the San Juans. Certainly much less crowded. You hear chatter on Channel 16 about 3 or 4 times per DAY. Amazing. Always in the company of our beautiful Mt. Rainier.
We anchored in a gorgeous cove off of Carr Inlet. Several people kayaked and paddle boarded over to Mahalo to say hi and "beautiful boat!" I could resist going out for a pedal/paddle myself. The guys had wanted to make one of the dinners so I obliged them and just enjoyed being out on the water.
Bracioli! It's a stuffed pork dish. Perfect way to end the cruise.
And a picture perfect sunset. I called out to this gal "thanks for making my picture!"
The next day's run back to Bainbridge home base was uneventful. Bit windy though, 12-15 on the nose. Docked, did some cleanup, and ran the guys over to the ferry so they could head to Sea-Tac and home. A great trip and I was glad to be able to show old friends what life here, and particularly boating life, is all about.
So this post is just all about some old friends having fun on the boat. Nothing technical, although maybe a bit informative about the South Sound area of Puget sound. And some fun food pics.
Even before the trip with my Dad and brother was cancelled, with Deb planning on being out of town, I contacted "the Steves" to see if they were interested in coming up to go boating, like a long weekend.
We have been friends for about 20 years, back where I used to live in NorCal. We boated together (ski boats), made wine together, we even all built custom homes at the same time. Steve S is a cabinet maker, and Steve T is a bridge engineer. Although they have visited us, they had not been on the water besides the ferry.
As they arrived at SeaTac in the early afternoon, we couldn't go too far. We hit the West side of Blake Island, a popular anchorage, that I can basically see from my house. Steve T is still making wine and has gotten pretty good at it. He brought a bottle up so I could see how the craft has been progressing.
Deb and I don't eat much meat, but lately I have been making a chicken meatball dish. That gave me the idea to do a variation on chicken parmesan, using ground chicken. I did a trial run the night before and perfected it. Came out GREAT. As you'll see these guys enjoying eating!
Friday morning we awoke to some fog, including this interesting view of Blake Island.
But hey, first things first. I have always wanted to make one of these breakfast casseroles. A layer of hash browns on the bottom, then country sausage and cheese, some torn pieces of bread, all soaked in an egg/milk mixture. You make it the day before and then bake it the next morning. As you can see I added some roasted onions. Not exactly a health food, but...
My plan was to make it as far as McMicken Island, then over the next few days work our way back, overnighting in Gig Harbor the last night, Sunday night. But we had a lot of fog, and a lot of debris in the water. So progress was kinda slow.
By the time we got to Gig Harbor, Mr. Garmin said we wouldn't get to McMicken until 4:30. Too late. So we decided to pull into Gig. Steve S loves nice houses and boats, and just couldn't believe how beautiful GH is. We anchored at the end of the bay.
We put the tender in the water to go exploring.
We decided to go out for dinner that night at Anthony's. They have an awesome dock. I left the mood lights on for our return. Mahalo looked great!
Steve T went to Iowa and Berkeley. There was an Iowa game on so they watched it and did yoga. Life's rough.
The wind started coming up. The prediction was for up to 25 kts that night, although it was supposed to die completely by morning. Since we were set with our anchorage I decided we'd stay over another night. We went into town again exploring.
The guys went to Tickled Pink to buy gifts for the wives. Then we found Heritage Distilling, right on the main drag. What a fun place! They have a bunch of craft spirits, with a large number of flavored vodkas. Coffee vodka? mmmmmmmmmmmm. Nicole has only been here in WA a month. We gave her a warm welcome, of course.
I had planned a pizza night. But I couldn't find my rolling pin. This works.
The first one is in the pizza oven on the BBQ. Meat lovers!
The Steves were on salad duty as I handled the pizza.
Steve S is ready! That bottle of wine is one that he gave me the last time he was here. Incredible wine from a winery called Crankcase. Every one has a car or motorcycle theme. It's my fave. Glad I saved it for this special occasion.
Close up so you can check out the veggie one too. Steve S bought the pizza cutter that day at an art co-op. A real machine!
In part 2, we will continue along in the South Sound.
My Dad. My brother. On a boat. I'm 11 years old taking this picture.
I planned to recreate this shot last week. Back in the Spring, the three of us planned a week cruising on Mahalo.
But somehow I knew it wouldn't come to pass. Almost got there though. Dad had to cancel three days prior. He's 84 but reasonably fit and active. He's had a lot of skiing crashes in his life though. He has separated both shoulders, blown up his knee (maybe both?) and even broken his pelvis and collarbone.
I guess this year the arthritis from all this damage is really getting to him. He's had several cortisone shots. He had driven from his Montana place to his California place the week before our trip. Four days before he was working in his home office and experience severe hip pain and couldn't really walk.
In the late 60's my Dad and three friends bought this boat. So they each had it one weekend per month. This is the San Francisco Bay. Besides riding my motorcycle, there wasn't anything I liked better than going boating on the Tuaca King (Tuaca being a favored liquor of the previous owner).
Getting a little coaching here from Dad. The boat was a 42 foot Owens Aruba. Twin gas engines (worst mistake they ever made).
I got pretty good at driving that boat, and my dad would let me drive a lot. Here's my brother and our childhood friend Caroline.
My brother has already been on Mahalo this year, and I'm sure he'll do lots of trips with us. Our Dad is trying to wind down his real estate development operations (www.blacktailranches.com) but he works at that most of the year. Not sure if he'll ever get to see Mahalo in person or not.
He's always loved boats, had even chartered here in the PNW several times. I was really looking forward to him seeing the boat. Kinda bummed.