Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seattle to SF - Part deux

8/13–14: 235 nautical miles

Boy howdy did conditions change alter we rounded Cape Flattery. Seas kept building throughout the day, and by afternoon we had about a 7' swell from the northwest with 2-4' wind waves out of the south on top of that. This was, needless to say, miserable. Doing anything down below in these conditions was really difficult – and I have the bruises to prove it – at least on deck you can see what's coming. However, no one got seasick, and we saw a couple of humpback whales, which was really cool – we've seen greys before, but not humpbacks. However, after we stopped the engine to check the oil, belts etc., the inverter went berserk when we tried to start it up again. A bit of troubleshooting suggested that the problem is with the alternator regulator – all of the status LEDs were blank – and at least one should always be blinking (actually, we were wrong about that - see next post, it blinks when it's got current. If it doesn't have that, it can go completely dark. Who knew?). We'll have to get that checked out when we get to SF. In the meantime, we're going to have to run the genset any time we need more AC than our Radio Shack pocket inverter can provide. I broke out the pressure cooker and made a pork roast with apples. It came out really well. I have a feeling the pressure cooker is going to be very useful going forward – if for no other reason than that it's a pot with a lid that locks on.

Pork Roast with Apples

1 2-3 lb pork loin
2 large shallots, chopped fine (~ ½ of a cup)
1 ½ c. dried apples (you can also use fresh – up the quantity a bit and reduce the wine by about half)
1 T dried tarragon
1 ½ c. white wine
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauté the shallots in olive oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker until soft and slightly brown. Set aside. Brown the pork on all sides. Pick the pork up, put the apples, shallots and tarragon on the bottom of the pan, and put the pork on top of them. Add the wine. Close the pressure cooker and bring it up to the low pressure setting. Adjust the heat to maintain it there, and cook for 40 minutes. Let the pressure cooker cool off of its own accord. Check the meat – it should be at or above (hopefully not too much above) 160°. Put the meat on a carving bord and tent it with foil while you puree the apples and shallots with a hand blender (or in a regular blender). Slice the pork. Spoon a pool of the resulting sauce on each plate and put the pork on it.

After a night of Mr Toad's wild ride in the forepeak, during which Art and I both got to experience weightlessness a few times, I started to prepare breakfast on day 3, only to find that a can of milk has spilled on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Everything on that shelf had to be taken out and cleaned. At least it wasn't the top shelf, I said to myself at the time. About an hour later, after taking everything out of the bottom of the fridge and wiping fridge and contents off, I had the eggs for breakfast all beaten and ready to go when the boat rolled and the bowl tipped and eight eggs spilled all over the counter and into the refrigerator through the edges of the lid. So now all of the shelves, including the one I just cleaned, were covered in oozing beaten egg slime. I was about ready to cry – in addition to being a huge mess of the morning, I lost 8 eggs – hopefully we'll be able to get more at our next stop (actually, the 8 eggs turned out to be no big deal, as I realized we have a lot of things other than eggs to eat for breakfast, so I'm mostly using them to bake). The second try at making scrambled eggs was actually successful – cooking while underway in fairly heavy seas is definitely a learning process. Conditions continued to deteriorate, and we decided to go into Newport, Oregon for some rest and showers – we have a shower aboard, but it was so rough it would have been a difficult proposition indeed to use it.

Tied up in Newport, took showers, and headed over to the Rogue brewery for some dinner (quite good). Unlike many harbors on the west coast, Newport has a practically no bar, and they are constantly dredging what bar they do have, so it was a pretty easy place to go in. The marina was still as a millpond, and we all got a good night's sleep.

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