Saturday, December 3, 2016

can you see me now? / dinner menus

Two days of December and two good days of sailing.  I'll take it.  Thursday, with a steady west wind coming in behind a week cool front, had Spartina on the Pasquotank River in Elizabeth City.  Something about the shape of that winding river keeps the water almost glassy calm with winds out of the west.  Warm and comfortable, it was a perfect day on the water.

Yesterday, cooler and with less wind early in the day, we were out on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk.  Light winds in the morning completely disappeared by noon, then the wind came back strong, a cooler wind out of the southwest.  Chilly enough that I slipped on the new Helly Hansen bib pants.   Yes, I was the source of that glow you saw over the horizon yesterday.  I was very happy with the design and make of the pants, so much so that I came home and ordered a Helly Hansen jacket to go with it, in bright orange of course.


Eddie had asked me a while ago about the freeze dried meals I take on cruises.  All of my favorites come from Mountain House, which I buy in batches of 20 that earn a 10% discount at Campmor.  To name a few:  beef stew, breakfast skillet, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, beef stroganoff, chili-mac with beef, biscuits and gravy with sausage crumbles.  There are a few with mashes potatoes too but I can't recall exactly what they are right now.  I stay away from meals that have rice, somehow in my experience the rice never reconstitutes with a rice-like texture.  I stay about from meals that are listed as "spicy," spicy meaning there is probably a lot of salt in there.  From Webb I have learned to add a little more water than called for, and a little more time cooking in the foil packet.  From Curt I learned to dress some of the meals with a little olive oil.  And because I do like spicy meals I always add my own spice with a few splashes of Cajun Sunshine.

The freeze dried meals I would really like to get come from Back Country Cuisine in New Zealand.  Their meals sound excellent, using beef, lamb, chicken and venison.  Unfortunately at this time they do not ship to the US.  Maybe someday, they told me by email earlier this year.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Steve for the reference on the food. I seem to write it down for safekeeping then put it in a very, very secure location. I must have a dozen locations still unaccounted for. Stay young.

All the best,


Eddie Breeden said...

Friday was a delightful sail. Saw 1 waterman out and that was it. The light is fantastic this time of year. Your pic shows it.
Thanks for the meal tips. Going to give it a try-
PS: if you like spicy, have you tried Indian? Kohinoor Foods Ltd makes pouched meals that are ready to serve after a couple minutes in boiling water. I'll pour the hot contents over previously prepared rice and save the hot water for cleanup, tea or coffee.

tom williamson said...


I recently modified my Pathfinder to handle a roller furling jib, I made the hardware using Joel's web directions--

I had Jeff at Sailrite cut the panels for the sail, and I sewed it up in the shop. Weather is a bit frosty to try it out on the water as of yet, but it sure works well driveway sailing.
I can send you a few pictures if you give me an address.

Tom Williamson

Graeme said...

Hi Graeme here from the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Read this morning about you not getting Backcountry Cuisine freeze dried meals. I can get them at the local supermarket. If you would like I will send over a sample or two. Email is

Steve said...


roller curler looks very cool. Nice job. I've considered those in the past. Not ready to make any changes now but I will keep it in mind for the future. Hope you had a good season sailing. steve

tom williamson said...

Yep, very good sailing season, mostly on Lake Champlain, also coast of Maine. Boat is almost finished with fresh paint plus a few upgrades such as the mentioned roller furler and a new jib. Season is done now, snow and ice have taken over the waters here, looking forward to spring which seems a long way off as of now.
More on the jib, I wanted to improve management of the foresail and tried modifying the jib to a self-tendering jib with a boom, I had to extend the bowsprit 14" to accommodate the boom passing the mast, and it altered the handling quite noticeably in that it became difficult to tack and gave the boat more weather helm. Then I began to explore a roller furler so I'd not need to climb out on the bowsprit to contain the jib. It requires a new sail which I sewed up here, and while I have not been able to test it on the water as of yet it works great rigging it here at the house.