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Cruising the San Juan Islands in October

We just finished up the 2008 cruising season on the David B in the San Juan Islands. October in the islands is my favorite time of year. It is quiet, fewer people are around, and the solitude of our anchorages provides for a unique get-away in a popular destination. Fall in the San Juans has a different feeling. The air is crisp with the smell of fallen leaves and salt water. It is a time where we might be the only ones visiting Sucia or Jones Island and it is a pleasure to share that solidtude with others on the David B.
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The greatest picture Yet!

A couple weeks ago we received the greatest gift yet– a photo of the boat taken in 1929. Looking at the people on the deck, I’d say it’s either the launching day or a day that they did sea-trials for the first time.

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Isn’t she pretty..

Between Trips

During the early part of the season when we have gaps between trips we use the extra time to do projects around the boat. Some of these projects are visible and get lots of comments, while others are less visible, such as as new alarm panel in the engine room. Well, we are in the middle of a two week break between trips and we have been working on lots of visible projects, such as fresh paint on the cabin doors, around the anchor windlass and trim in a number of other spots. We also sanded and oiled the deck and been busy varnishing the trunk-cabin’s top. As far as the less visible projects go, Jeffrey and Aaron have been finishing out our cabin. The Captain and Cook are looking forward to a new season with shelving, trim, a head, and a door!

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Google Earth Track from April 20-22, 2007

If you are interested in seeing a track of where we went on our last trip follow the directions below. It’s a Google Earth format so if you don’t have Google Earth you’ll have to download it at http://earth.google.com/

Then right click on the link below and select save as file or download to desktop

http://northwestnavigation.com/SJI 4_20_2007.kml.zip

A New Season Begins!

Last week started our 2007 season with a great weekend cruise in the San Juan Islands. We left Friday afternoon and cruised over to Sucia Island. Along the way we saw lots of harbor porporises, seals and sea birds. When we arrived at Sucia, our passengers, DJ and Jenni, went ashore for a walk and to watch sunset. When the returned we had Coq au Vin for dinner and a fresh fruit topped cheesecake for desert.

On Saturday morning we left Sucia for Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. Capt. Jeffrey guided DJ while he got to drive the boat. We arrived in Roche Harbor in the mid-afternoon and went on a walking tour of Roche that included a visit to the McMilian Family Mausoleum.

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Roche Harbor was made famous by John McMillian when he started the Roche Harbor Cement and Lime Company. The Hotel de Haro is also in Roche Harbor. In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt was a guest of John McMillian at the Hotel de Haro. It was also a place where John Wayne would visit when he was in the San Juans Islands.

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After visiting Roche Harbor we left for Garrison Bay. This bay was home to English Camp. A historic park that used to house British soliders during the Pig War that started in 1859. This war was a dispute between the Americans and British over the boundary between the US and Canada. The war got its name after an American citizen shot and killed a Husdons Bay Company officer’s pig as it rummaged through the American prized potato patch. The war eventually ended in 1872 when Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm I settled the boundary dispute. Luckily the only casualty of the was…the pig.

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We spent the night in Garrison Bay and in the morning we had hand-made fresh croissants, eggs, pepper bacon and fruit smoothies for breakfast. We decided that our next desitination would be Jones Island. On our way to Jones Island we were greeted by some Dall’s porpoises that surfed on our bow. Once there everyone went ashore for frisbee or a walk. Jenni and Christine spent time watching a river otter and found some native prickly pear cactus.

We returned to Bellingham Sunday. It was a great trip and we had wonderful spring weather.

David B Galley Notes – Office Day

One of the best things about having a home office is being able to do mundane office tasks while having fun in the kitchen. This weekend while I was busy catching up on bookkeeping and helping out with an auction for NW Wildlife Rehabilitation, I decided that it would be fun to spend some time baking bread. Here is a picture of the bread that I made. I can’t wait for the season to begin so I can spend more time cooking and less time bookkeeping!

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David B Galley Notes – Cheese and Chocolate

This week Jeffrey and I have been learning new tricks and testing out fun recipes for next year. On Saturday we took a one-day class on cheese making. It was a great introduction and we both left with a feeling of excitement about making feta and paneer, queso blanco, cottage cheese and cultured butter on the boat. These cheeses are fairly straight forward and can be made in a day or two. We hope that over time we can start to learn how to make blue cheeses in the winter months and have them for trips the following year.

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For Valentine’s Day we could not resist making Chocolate Truffles. I learned make to truffles last year in a 3 month long pastry course I took. It required making up a ganache with chocolate, cream, vanilla and butter. Once the chocolate ganache was the right consistency we made the truffle insides and then the hard part came when we tempered the chocolate, which means melting the chocolate to the right temperature and then cooling down it down another temperature and then raising the temperature back to a third temperature and holding. The object to tempering is so that the fat crystals in the chocolate’s cocoa butter are finely crystalized. This creates a chocolate that is not cloudy, but has a nice shine, and when it is broken it has a good snap. We had a lot of fun with our truffles which numbered some where around 60, so we carefully bagged them up and delivered them to a number of our neighbors. I am thinking I will be adding these truffles to the dessert menu on some of our longer trips.

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David B Galley Notes – New Sample Menu on Website

Notes from the Galley

Spring flowers bloom early in our part of the Pacific Northwest. Today the first crocus in our yard bloomed a bright purple against the green-grey backdrop of a Northwest Winter. Soon the hummingbirds will arrive just-in-time for the bright blossoms of the Red-Flowering Current and the skies will clear to a brilliant blue. Soon the David B will be back on the water exploring the the nooks and crannies of the San Juan Islands and Alaska. All that exploration can make a person hungry, so I have been working on a new website page to to showcase the types of meals you might have aboard the David B.

You might notice that I have included Bison as a menu item. I have been experimenting with bison this winter and have really enjoyed its beef-like flavor. Bison has fewer calories, less fat and more protein than beef. I have found a number of ranchers that only pasture feed their bison on grass – the way bison have always grazed. I look forward to serving bison as a healthier alternative to beef.

http://northwestnavigation.com/menu.html

The ship’s position page on our site

Time: 1030 Position 48 45.35N 122 30.26W

Have you seen our new position and tracking page? It shows the current position of the ship and will show tracks of the trips that we have gone on:

http://northwestnavigation.com/map_page.html

You can even look at it in a satellite image. It’s very cool

The cylinder heads come off

Time 0821 Position 48 45.35N 122.30.26W

On Monday we decided to remove the cylinder heads on the main engine to have them worked on. This included removing everthing bolted onto the top of them, and then lifting them up through the pilot house. That part was easy, because we had the assistance of Drew’s Victoria Star lifting frame. Then came the difficult part of getting them off the boat. We used the boom, and lots of lines strung all over the place and lifted them up and put them on the dock.

Here are Jack Mynatt and Aaron guiding the first one to the dock./