Sunday, July 19, 2009


It is definitely mid-summer.  The calendar hinted at that but the gas grill confirmed it when I ran out of gas trying to barbecue some chicken for dinner tonight.  Time to visit the blue rhino place and get a new tank to get me through the rest of the summer.

I took the chicken inside and put it in the oven.  The faux barbecue was fine, it even reminded me of the lunch Bruce and I had in New Bern at the end of the Skeeter Beater.  He ordered a barbecue pork sandwich and was a little mystified at what he was served.  He has lived in southern California since his teen years.  I had to explain to him, as a colleague explained to me 20 years ago when I arrived in the east, that in Virginia and the Carolinas "barbecue" is a noun describing slow cooked meat chopped up and served with a vinegar-based sauce.  In the southwest "barbecue" is a verb which describes slow cooking of big chunks of meat in a tomato-based sauced and sliced (not chopped).  Big difference.  Bruce appreciated the lesson and enjoyed the sandwich.

And thinking about that reminded me of a fall evening in 1977 when Bruce and I grilled (no sauce) a thick steak on a hibachi in his backyard a couple of blocks from the ocean in Pacific Beach (San Diego) and watched Reggie Jackson on a little black and white tv hit three home runs on three pitches in the world series.  Grilled steak, an avocado, big slicing tomato, six pack of beer and good baseball.  What more do you need?

Great day of sailing.  My neighbor Jim, in mid-build on a Navigator, joined me in the morning.  When I was building Spartina he would see my garage lights glowing late at night and drop by to see what was going on.  After launching Jim showed me the trick for keeping my sheets organized (below).  He has been a regular at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival and  I'll look forward to seeing him up there this fall.
The weather was great - cool and dry for mid-July.  I also tried out my new attachment on frame #3 for sandals.  Sandals and water bottles never quite found a home on Spartina during the Skeeter Beater.  We would tuck them here and there, but never in the same place twice.  I've added some line to frame #3 under the coaming for the sandals.  I've also added clips to out water bottles so they don't roll around and get lost.
We had one of my favorite cruising boats, this Bristol Channel Cutter, pass by on its way north.  If I was to cross the ocean in a small boat this would be the one I would choose.

I had a special treat for the afternoon as my youngest daughter joined me for the sail.  She and her sister were regular sailing partners for a few years.  But jobs, school and social life has gotten in the way the last summer or two.  It was very nice to have her along for a great afternoon sail.


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