Monday, December 22, 2014


  Back to "normal" after getting Swing Set back in the water. But it took a little elbow grease.
  Things to remember when getting bottom paint next time are to not take the yards word for it when they promise to put your boat somewhere in the yard where no one is sanding or painting on another boat, and to never let them put you between two boats taller than yours.
  The boat is going to get dusty, no two ways about it. The mistake we've made when hauling out in the past was to rinse the dust off the boat without doing a thorough cleaning before drying.
  The "dust" is typically bottom paint that turns into a liquid once you wet the dust with water, then it stains the gelcoat. I had to use a hull cleaner to get the stains off, which in turn stripped all the wax off that I had been applying for the last few weeks. Most of the time you can skip the hull cleaner and use a cleaner wax, but the job goes a lot quicker if you just get the boat clean first.
  One pleasant surprise that we received was that when we went to pay rent for the start of our second month here, we found out that the time we spent on the hard was applied to our time of stay, so our rent wasn't due for another five days.
  The other item that had me holding my breath was the bill, but the hours were honestly and fairly applied and there weren't too many charges for "miscellaneous" items. The total was actually a bit lower than we expected. If we are still here next time we need bottom paint, we'll have the yard here do the work again, if the paint job holds up.
  I've already arranged to have someone clean our hull monthly, starting in February. The price will be cheaper than the outfit we had doing it in Key West, and I've had the conversation already with the diver as far as scratching the hull of the boat like the last guy did.

  This view is from the docks near the pool here at Marathon Marina. Swing Set is the sixth boat from the left. (One of the boats is hidden pretty much, so you might count five.) As you can see, most of the boats dock "bow in" to enjoy the beautiful sunsets we get, as our sterns face due west. This view is to the southeast.

  With Swing Set back in the water we've resumed our dinghy trips out to Sombrero Beach. In the photo, you can see our set up, with Holly on guard. We have our binoculars, our GPS, a radio for music, and other items you can't see. Those items are a cooler, (the cooler you see is just a seat with life jackets and two gallons of spare fuel), a VHF radio, our phone, beach chairs, big umbrella for us, small umbrella for Holly, two paddles, an anchor with 50 feet of line, and of course our battery operated running lights. Did I mention beer?
  A fella was on the news recently when he went on an outing in his dinghy near here and after motor trouble, drifted 70 miles to the Cal Sal Cays in The Bahamas where the Coast Guard accidentally found him while they were on a normal patrol, stranded on a beach. We don't plan on this happening to us.

  It's the holiday season and lots of cooking goes on during this time of year, and although we don't resort to baking cookies, we do whip up a great Thanksgiving and Christmas feast for ourselves. I thought I'd mention some things about our galley if I haven't done so already.
  We feel like we have a pretty well equipped galley for such a small boat. In the photo, from the left, you can see the wooden door to the pantry we added before we left St. Louis. We keep most of the bulk canned goods in two cabinets in the salon, but we store items that we use on a regular basis in this small pantry, and the larger pantry to the left of it, across from our "office".
  To the right is our AC/DC Norcold fridge. The refrigerator is "smart" in that it runs off of AC when we are plugged into shore power, or have our diesel generator running, but runs off of DC when we are unplugged. When we are on the hook, we turn off the fridge at night as long as we don't open the door. Our wind generators can keep the fridge running without resorting to the noise of the diesel generator. But this blog isn't about power management, it's about the galley.
  Above the Norcold is our convection/microwave oven that I installed back in St. Louis to replace a perfectly working microwave. We can grill and bake in it and we feel like it was a good idea to install it as we don't have a oven, just the cooktop you can see to the right of the fridge.
  Below the cooktop is storage for dishes and pots. We bought some pull out shelving at The Container Store and they work great for getting to items to the back of the cabinet. We likee.
  You can see our spice rack, small cabinet for cooking oils and more spices, and above the cooktop is our pot rack. Do the pots clang and bang while we are underway? Surprisingly, they don't, but we keep a cargo net wrapped up above the rack and if we set out for an extended cruise, the cargo net gets stretched around the pots to keep them corralled.
  Our galley was equipped with a countertop blender. Have you ever used one of those? They never seem to be powerful enough, so I pulled the cover off of it and screwed it to the bottom of our knife block, which you can see to the right of the cooktop. Naturally it would sit adjacent to the cutting board, but you have to make the room where you can.

  Our faucet has a water filter attached which has also been a great addition to our galley. The filters last for months at a time, and our water tastes great whether we are drinking water we make ourselves with the watermaker, or if we are drinking from a dockside water supply.
  On the counter above the sink is a beverage dispenser. When we are on the hook, we fill the dispenser with water that we use for drinking and cooking. Why do that when we have a sink? Well, every time you turn on a faucet, the water pumps kick on. We fill up the dispenser when we have a power supply, then we can minimize battery usage throughout the day and at night when we always seem to need a big drink of water.
  The two cabinets above the sink house our coffee pot, coffee cups, bread, coffee, and toaster. Under the sink is our trash can, Kitchen-Aid blender, and a lazy susan with all kinds of stuff crammed into it. The crock pot to the right of the sink is housed in the lazy susan and we sure get lots of use out of it.
  Many people ask if an inverter is needed on a boat, and we really like having ours. For example, we don't have to run our generator while we are underway, but we can still cook in the convection oven, and use other plug in items like the toaster and crock pot. There has been many times we just loaded up the crock pot with a roast and a packet of pork gravy and let it cook all day while we are cruising. We don't heat up the galley and the meat can't really over cook, which we think is a crime.
  Cooking in that crock pot right now is some country spare ribs. They will melt apart when we get ready to eat them later.
  Which brings us to the title of this blog, "illy-galley". Illegally. Many crimes have been committed in kitchens, especially at this time of the year.

  If you didn't enjoy the joke, at least enjoy this photo of another beautiful sunset. Have a wonderful holiday.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience... gives me ideas for our galley.

  2. Mike, Love your blog. How big is your inverter? Pure sine wave or modified? I am trying to convince the Admiral that installing one would be a benefit as we us are crock pot a lot also. Merry Christmas and Happy New year.

    1. We have a Magnum Pure Sine Wave Inverter. It's 2900 Watts. Merry Holidays!

  3. Tom, just my thoughts, but if you are only looking to use a crock pot on the hook, you can set up a 12v outlet, and use a small inverter at that outlet. A crockpot has a very small draw. IMHO.