Thursday, 18 September 2014

PDYC Maytham Regatta 2014

For the last few years Simon and Danielle, George and I, had run the Maytham Regatta and BBQ that followed. This year that was taken over by others within the race division and I spent the weekend on the committee boat. We were very lucky to have the use of Unison, a trawler, and the help of her owners Andre and Tari, especially given the rough weather on the Saturday.
I have no pictures from the Saturday race as it was rainy, foggy and windy. We went out of the harbour, started the the race and then went right back in again and headed to the Dairy Bar, thankful that we weren't racing. We calculated that it would take at least 4 hours for the first boats to finish the race. I went and did some chores in Simcoe and Port Dover and as I was returning to the boat, early I might add, I could see sails out in the Bay. They were finishing far earlier (about 3 1/2 hours) than we anticipated. We rushed out and were able to get the times for all but the first 3 boats (Ritual finished and then took the others times). The wind had built during the day and the race was over in record time.
Sunday was a completely different story.
Heading out of Port Dover on a lovely, calm, fall day.
Two fishing tugs coming in.
As always, if there are reflections in the water, it's not a good day for sailing.
We bobbed around out in the bay for a couple of hours before deciding there was just enough wind to get a race started. We were trying something new this year; two start and finish lines, one on each side of the committee boat so that the Spinnaker Fleet didn't have to wait for the Jib and Main Fleet before starting their next race.
Finally! In start sequence for the JAM Fleet
Watching the race from the comfort of Unison's fly bridge.
It was such a slow start that I was able to sound the start horn and then get a picture of the start.
Legacy and Kestrel
Cyclone finishing
Sequence finishing
We managed to get two races in, for each fleet, in spite of the late start. The two start/finish line system worked well although we were quite busy when it ended up that both fleets finished their final races at the same time: one person doing the count down, horn for one fleet, whistle for the other and two recorders.
Passed a boat, docked at the pier, on the way from New Zealand, next stop, Chicago.
Followed a fishing tug in, under the lift bridge, ...
... and "Swanny" the resident, lone swan, of this part of the river.
After an excellent meal of beef on a bun, salads and sweets the awards were given for the weekend. The changeable conditions shook up the standings and it was nice to see some different boats earn flags.
In other parts of my life;
I spent a whole day cooking - stuffed green peppers and eggplant Parmesan.
I finished the Plaid Rose cushion and
not being much of a sewer, I'm quite pleased with how the back turned out. I used the button
closure and pocket from the plaid shirt used to do the hooking.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Salsa Party

Last Sunday was the second annual salsa making get together, at my place. I picked up the produce, from 2 local farms, on Friday and left it in the car, in the garage, as it was cooler there than in the house (hot and sticky).
A bushel of green peppers (seconds), a 6 quart of hot banana peppers, about 10 huge spanish onions
and bag of regular cooking onions.
One box of Roma tomatoes and one box of field tomatoes
That was all we needed along with some vinegar, cilantro, salt and a small jar of tomato paste for each batch (just to thicken it up at the end of the cooking period).

There was a lot of tomato peeling and vegetable chopping to be done.
Dad helped out with the first couple of batches as hot peppers and onions don't seem to effect him (though even he had some tears regarding the spanish onions - so sad). The bulk of it, however, fell to Danielle, Mum, Nicola and myself. We took occasional breaks to sit outside, on the front deck, as it was a beautiful beach day.
Each batch simmered for at least an hour and a half and at one point we had 3 batches on the stove.
Part of the haul.
In total (6 batches) I think we made 44 jars of  Mild, Medium and Hot salsa versions. That gave each family 11 jars and our cost per family was $17.50. Cheap salsa but a full day of work with lots of chopping. We know from last year that the product will not mellow with age, in fact it gets spicier.
With everyone gone and my kitchen cleaned up (thanks Nicky) I went for a bike ride, looking for Monarchs (just a few, no massing yet) and watched a glorious sunset.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Niece Week 2014

Fancy finger nails.
OK, the title shouldn't really be "niece week" as Mark and Emma were also here, Mum and Dad for a day and Simon and Danielle for a while. For adults a stay at the cottage is about relaxing, reading, napping, talking, eating, drinking, just vacation stuff.
Emma loved the availability of fresh produce at roadside stands.
The girls on the other hand went from one activity to another with energy, imagination and joy:
Not to be outdone by the adults there were fancy drinks to be made (lemonade).
And toasts to girl power.
A girls only club to be developed with its own emblem.



and three nights of hilarious Balderdash games.
The highlight for me was that the week turned into Junior Rug Hooking Camp with the girls each designing and making a rug based on their club emblem.
Part of my wool stash that they chose their colours from
I only have one frame and punch needle so it was always in use, either by the girls or by
 Emma and myself helping them out.
They worked very hard and this is what they completed by the end of the week
and I'll be working very hard to get all three finished by Christmas.

All that activity totally exhausted Rasta. He slept for most of the next week.