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Boat Heaven - Boat Heaven

Boat Heaven - February 2007

Kayak Jack gives some advice

February 27th 2007 22:44
“Kayak” Jack Robinson has a warning for kayakers, sailors and motor boaters,
“be visible and remember the rule, keep a proper lookout”.

Kayak Jack’s sailing kayak is in two halves after an altercation with a powerful Bowrider style motor boat. Kayak was sailing on Lake Macquarie when he observed the powerboat seemingly arc towards him. He could not see the driver but saw the faces of the kids in the front seating arrangement.

Being under sail he had right of way but realised that he was not being observed himself. Kayak by this time knew he was in trouble, he stood up called a warning and at the last second threw himself away from both vessels as the power boat sliced his craft in two.


Kayak reckons if he had remained on board he probably would have lost his legs and as his vessel was overturned as well he probably would have been trapped by the sail and drowned.

The skipper of the powerboat (himself an avid surf ski paddler on the Lake) was in a state of distress and full of apology. He helped retrieve the two halves and motored Kayak back to his home.

Insurance paid for the replacement of the sailing kayak and Jack has given the wreck to a youngster who lives on the lake with his single parent mum; to rebuild as he sees fit. Hopefully the boat will take on another life in the hands of this young kid and will have a little more luck.

Remember at all times “keep a proper look out” it is our first and most important rule of the road.
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Home sick in tassie??

February 26th 2007 03:46
Home sick in Tassie?
Are the life!

I realy miss my sailing. I can't believe I have been here for a month and have not been out on the water! For an island I thought Tassie would have a lot more access to the water. It may just be that in Launceston it is not so easy??? I will try very hard this week To get out and have a sail.
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a good mash deserves a good gravy

February 25th 2007 03:46
[B]A good mash deserves a good gravy.
What constitutes a good gravy? To me it has consistency, colour and flavour. It should also have a pleasant aroma.

The drippings in the pan after cooking off a roast is an ideal starting point for gravy and we need a good gravy to go with our roast. All the flavour of the roasting meat is concentrated in the bottom of the pan. I particularly like turkey and goose juices but with goose you must insure that the fat that comes off the goose is primarily used to cook the potatoes in. What a waste if you don’t?

Second best is the juice from a pan cooked steak, rissoles or sausages, roughly in that order.

What to do. Keep the pan hot and add an equal amount of flour to fat in the pan. Stir it into a thick roux (like a paste) Now you have the thick part of the sauce or gravy. Keeping it on the heat, thin it down stirring briskly with a whisk or two forks held with the tines opposing each other. What to add to the roux? It can be milk, cream, stock or plain water. If it is plain water you will get a plain gravy. Lets go the whole hog? Use a rich chicken stock that has come from making one pot soy chicken. (Else where on this blog) Use some brandy and get it hot enough to flame. Don’t set off your smoke alarm! Add cream or sour cream and try for taste. A true sauce chef will use a little silver spoon dangling from his neck on a chain but you might just do a finger dip and taste. Stir vigorously to get rid of the lumps. Don’t move away to answer the phone, blow the kids nose or take a piss. Keep stirring and stirring from the bottom. As the sauce/gravy comes to the boil it is at its thickest. Now is the time to add some big nobs of butter if it is too thin or cheat and use a little milk and flour mixed into a paste. There are many variations on this theme but you should have the picture. If the colour is not quite right you can add Parisienne essence (the only thing I have found you can do with this ingredient). A little vegemite can help colour or even soy sauce if your gravy is not too salty and could do with a dash more salt.

Naturally you will want your own slant on this. Add tomato sauce, hot mustard, beef stock in act anything to give your gravy your individual touch. Don’t mess with it too much though and make sure you make plenty and serve it in a big jug on the table. Heaven with mash.
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Wicked masshed potatoes

February 24th 2007 03:23
Wicked mashed potato;
Boil off your spuds. You can use good flowery ones or whatever. It doesn’t make a lot of difference. I don’t even bother peeling the “redskins” or new potatoes. Slice them to make sure they absorb lots of boiling salted water. As they reach a soft cooked stage turn the stove down low, strain the spuds and put back on a very low heat with a lid for one minute. Remove the lid carefully as it will let out a lot of steam and your spuds should be looking dry. Now they are ready for mashing.
Add butter or margarine as you mash. Mash by hand to start with. Now add some milk to turn your mash nice and creamy.

[ Click here to read more ]
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Nelson's Stroganoff

February 23rd 2007 03:23
Nelson’s Stroganoff.
This dish has a family history attached. Our family was given an inn in Estonia, by King Gustaff of Sweden for service in the thirty years war. For as far as we can trace our family tree and legends the Nelsons of Estonia have been involved in catering and in service in the army of one country or another. It was during the thirty-year war that one of the family kept troops well fed by using the following Stroganoff recipe. We can use beef, veal, chicken, pork, goat and even stork has been used! In fact anything that could be found or plundered by the troops.

[ Click here to read more ]
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easy one pot chops

February 22nd 2007 03:23
Easy one pot chops:

This is an easy on pot meal to cook on your boat without having to do any extra shopping for fancy herbs and spices. You can use dried goods from your larder and add whatever is your to your fancy. The longer you simmer the softer it all comes and for a meal at sea it can be served in a bowl and even the chops can be eaten with a spoon!

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More on estimation

February 21st 2007 03:23
More on estimating:

In the last couple of blogs I have said how you can accurately judge distances and how you can estimate them quite accurately. Here are a few more tips.

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angles relative to your vessel

February 20th 2007 03:23
Angles relative to your vessel.

We are all fairly used to using the clock as suggesting where an object is, relative to ourselves or our boat. “Object at one o’clock” someone might say and we look to the front or bow and come round to the right or starboard and look along a line reading one o’clock for the object. If however some one said to look two points to starboard, how many would know to look to starboard twenty-two point five degrees? It all gets a bit hairy, fairy and some mariners came up with a fairly accurate way to determine angles relative to your vessel. Relative to your vessel actually means using the bow or direction forward you are steering as 000deg or 360deg. (this would be north on a compass but we are not using a compass, you vessel is the compass if you like.) Now you divide the vessel up into sections. A direct right angle either side of the bow would be ninety degrees port or starboard (relative). From our steering position find and object on either side that we can site along to divide the port and starboard bow in two, giving us forty-five degrees (relative.) Split this again and you have twenty-two and a half degrees (relative) or two points off the port or starboard bow.

[ Click here to read more ]
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Sextant angles for coastal navigation

February 19th 2007 03:23
Sextant angles for coastal navigation:
The sextant is a great tool for the navigator. It is wrongly thought that it is just for the ocean navigator who uses stars, planets the sun and moon to navigate by. The navigator hugging the coast is just as grateful for the sextant. It has no need for magnetism so it is not affected by the magnetic pull of the earth, by steel hulls or tools laying carelessly as they may be around compasses. A simple pair of mirrors reflecting an object to an eye piece that is set to align with the horizon or edge of the object having its angle measured. No great need for a brass masterpiece with a midget telescope in a fancy timber box either. These days there are good plastic versions that are accurate enough for the average punter.

[ Click here to read more ]
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one bowl Lup Chong

February 18th 2007 03:23
One Bowl Rice and Lup Chong
With the necessity of one pot cooking on my boat I have found it easy to adapt as a student “living in” at the Maritime College by using the skills I found on board. At the college we have our evening meals cooked and provided as part of the rent we pay except on weekends. On weekends we can use a huge commercial kitchen in one of the other buildings, (which the staff sometimes forget to unlock, so I have adapted microwave recipes for one pot or bowl. We share a microwave between six men so we can’t be too fiddly with what we do. Everyone is trying to eat at more or less the sane time.

[ Click here to read more ]
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first aid on board

February 17th 2007 02:11
Dealing with first aid on board:

It is tough enough dealing with first aid on land, in the home, on the roads, at school or work where the dangers to ourselves and the victim are often solid and predictable. At a roadside crash you expect a truck to roar over the hill and come down at you at great speed. At work you may be in a tall office block where ambulance help is a long way off or your work place could be dirty, crowded with onlookers or almost as well equipped as a suburban medical centre.

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Bass Strait: What's it really like?

February 16th 2007 02:11
One week in Tassie:

I have now had just over one week in Tassie. It has been all new and I have learnt a lot of new things and I have had an attitude change in some others. First off I did not believe people when they said Tassie is always cold. It is the middle of summer and though I have been able to get around in shorts, thongs and t-shirt it has been a long way from walking around in a sweat. The wind is what has the chill in it. Out of the wind and you start to broil. I guess anything that starts in the Antarctic has to be cold. At night I use my doona and some of the Queenslanders have been asking for instructions on how to use the room heaters!

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Bass Strait: What's it really like?

February 15th 2007 02:11
Bass Strait: What’s it really like?

Apart from my crossing, (at night) Bass Strait a few days ago on a huge ROR ferry I have had little or no experience of it. I know the reputation from Sydney Hobart crews and from some war stories of other yachties, but it is not quite the same as eyeballing it and being out there. I did not get the opportunity to be on the strait today but I did get to look at it up and personal.

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A shipboard fire scenario

February 14th 2007 02:11
A shipboard fire scenario.

Possibly not a scenario you can play out on board your own boat, but recently I was lucky enough to join a team on the Bell Bay site of the Australian Maritime College during a ships fire fighting course. Some of the lessons may be useful to you on your boat anyway.

[ Click here to read more ]
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fighting fire on board

February 13th 2007 02:11
Fighting a fire on board:

Probably one of the worst case scenarios for a skipper and crew is to fight a fire on board. The integrity of the boat is at risk, the safety of the crew is very much at risk and on board fire fighting is not something you can be well trained in, like say spinnaker gybeing or crashing through the waves of a black nor easter:

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Fire on your boat

February 12th 2007 02:11
Fire on your boat!

Apart from storms at sea (or even on the local pond) not much seems to scare the boat owner. The risk of collision, grounding, holing, down flooding, whale capsize and mutiny/piracy all seem like something that will or could only happen to someone else. We learn every day that these things happen to boaties but as boaties we tend to disregard them. Fire, however, can be the biggest risk. On an average, every nine days a ship over five hundred tons is lost to fire. These are vessels that are very heavily regulated by state, national and international laws in an attempt to keep them safe. Fire is seldom deliberate so they must be regarded as accidents. How do these accidents happen and how can they be avoided on your boat?

[ Click here to read more ]
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Fire on your boat

February 12th 2007 02:11
Fire on your boat!

Apart from storms at sea (or even on the local pond) not much seems to scare the boat owner. The risk of collision, grounding, holing, down flooding, whale capsize and mutiny/piracy all seem like something that will or could only happen to someone else. We learn every day that these things happen to boaties but as boaties we tend to disregard them. Fire, however, can be the biggest risk. On an average, every nine days a ship over five hundred tons is lost to fire. These are vessels that are very heavily regulated by state, national and international laws in an attempt to keep them safe. Fire is seldom deliberate so they must be regarded as accidents. How do these accidents happen and how can they be avoided on your boat?

[ Click here to read more ]
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orientation Day

February 12th 2007 01:58
Orientation Day:

In comparison to my Newcastle TAFE experience when I did my Master 4, AMC is like dying and going to heaven. Newcastle TAFE is old, but strong in its age, chipped paint, daggy worn carpet, and Graffiti covered walls every where. Welcome , well there was none, orientation, there was none, attitude to the student, devil take them. Here in Launceston each head of a section was introduced. The IT people that would help with any computer problems, all correspondence would be via an Internet address given to you and all past exams and notes available on the web! They were fighting a war on paper. There was still plenty of hardcopy to fill a show bag. Bus timetables, tourism information, campus maps and a two semester program/calendar as well as a list of individual subjects and the number of hours needed for each subject. Because there are so many old heads here, ship’s captains and fishing fleet captains and so on, it was decided to do the maths, physics course first so that everyone had a handle on this to use it in other courses. Smart thinking!

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My first day in launceston

February 11th 2007 01:58

Day 1 in Launceston:

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My first Bass Sraight crossing

February 10th 2007 01:58

My first Bass Straight crossing.

[ Click here to read more ]
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my new adventure

February 9th 2007 02:00
My new adventure:

I have started a new adventure in my life. I have decided to leave the dubious comfort of living aboard my yacht and head off overseas to Tasmania! The reason for my withdrawal from life on the mainland is to do a maritime course that supposedly increases my chances of obtaining real work in the industry. Instead of loafing along teaching people how to sail yachts and dinghies, how to park and anchor their motor cruisers, delivering newly bought boats along the coast I will become a ship’s captain.

[ Click here to read more ]
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