It is in the low 50s with grey clouds, with winds gusting in 35 mph or better. Not a good day for sailing. I'm glad to have gotten out on the water twice in April, and will be thankful is I get out a third time next weekend. But it is May, I'm hearing, that will be the month for sailing.
For years I've been on a batch email list for an annual Chesapeake Float, which takes place in May. I have never taken part in the float, but I do appreciate reading all the planning and organizing that goes on with it. There is talk of ramps and boats, parking spots for trailers and early arrivals and who needs work anyway.
It surprises to realize how many of these sailors I have met over the years - Kevin with his Navigator Slip Jig, Barry with his Melonseed skiffs, Curt with his wooden Drascombe Coaster Thin Water Annie (that's Curt in the photo at the top of the post, from when we met on Swan Creek off of Pamlico Sound a few years ago) and Mike with who tells me he is sailing a Haven 12 1/2. I may have met a few more in the crowd at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival a few years ago, but I've never been good at recalling names. (I am better at recalling boats.)
My friend Webb Chiles will also do some sailing in May.....and June, July, August, September, October and November as he sets off for Hawaii and New Zealand aboard Gannet, his Moore 24. When I've mentioned Webb in the past I have gone to his website to steal photographs. I still do so sometimes now, but I'm pleased to say - since he invited me aboard for a sail in February - that some of the photographs I'm stealing are mine.
Webb has a nice breakdown of the food (and drink) in his journal for the five months of planned sailing. I'm a recent convert to Webb's strategy of using freeze-dried meals for dinner. Quick and easy to cook, it is just a matter of heating water on a jet boil and pouring it into the pouch. Cleanup is nothing more than washing a spoon.
Since sailing is out this weekend with rain yesterday and high winds today, I've been doing some food shopping for my own May cruise. I've got all my tuna fish and cracker lunches, granola bar breakfasts and freeze dried dinners, plus a cup of fruit to go with each meal. Here is a list of dinners I will have on board, most of which I have tried and some I have not...
Mountain House - New Orleans Style Rick with Shrimp and Ham, Beef Stew (2), Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice, Beef Stroganoff with Noodles (2) (a definite fav) and Breakfast Skillet with Hash Browns, Eggs and Pork Sausage.
Backpackers Pantry - Potatoes with Gravy and Beef, Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, Chicken Cashew Curry with Rice and Hawaiian Style Rice with Chicken.
AlpineAire Foods - Pepper Steak with Rice.
Discussing healthy snacks with my oldest daughter this weekend I was reminded of medjool dates, above, which are not the most attractive snacks but taste to me like candy. At one time dried dates and dried figs were regular snacks for me, a good habit which I have unfortunately lost. I think I will devote a container on Spartina to dates and figs for mid-morning and late afternoon snacks.
Above is the reason I'm not sailing. Let's hope for better weather in May.