Sunday, December 11, 2011

Out with the old

Finally got around to ordering a new genoa. I was going to wait, and after sailing on my buddy's boat last weekend I realized I needed to get my boat moving again. They weren't kidding when they said boat stands for "break out another thousand." Sails are expensive!
Hopefully I'll have the new sail a little after the new year. Let's go!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fuck off, birds!

Doesn't look very scary to me...

As if the soot from the airport wasn't bad enough, there have been little birds having a field day shifting all over my boat. In as little as two weeks, these birds have the deck looking like I've been parked in a forest or something.

If I'm home and I hear them up on the mast, I'll whip a spare halyard up there to chase them away. Five minutes later, they're back at it. Bastards.

I'd like to get a trained falcon or something to fly around the marina and keep these guys off my boat, but they're probably too expensive and I don't know where to get one.

As a final assault in my war against the birds, today I picked up one off the goofy-looking scary eyes beachball scarecrow things. I hung it up on the mast and crossed my fingers. Let's hope it works.
I'll just have to remember to take the silly thing down before I hit the yacht club for cocktails.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still alive, actually

Wow, time sure flies. Hard to believe I haven't updated since August. I guess I'm a bit better at actually doing things than I am at blogging about them, or taking pictures, or remembering things when I'm drunk...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maybe I shouldn't race my house?

Can't even tell, haha

Tore another sail today. The genoa this time. It was due, though. That sail was pushing 25 years old. Happened in the last leg of a race as we were catching up to and getting ready to pass the only yacht ahead of us, a Beneteau 473 (yup, they had five feet of waterline on us). With the genoa in pieces, we continued for a bit on just the main, but there was no way we'd catch them now.

Oh well. I made an executive decision and we made a detour to the bar, pulled into up to Bali Hai, and downed a few Mai Tais. Not a total loss...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More fun than a barrel of...rum

Made for each other

Stopped by a the Koloa rum distillery while I was on Kauai. I had actually already had a few sips of their gold rum that morning, so I was already feeling pretty good by the time we walked in for our tasting and tour. Sold. I already know how rum is made, but it's still fun to hear about it. Local sugar cane, some sort of local spring water, old pot stills. Sounds like a magical combination, and it is. The rum is pretty good. The rum cake was awesome, as were the various other rum desserts and syrups. Thing is, since they are pretty new, none of their rum is aged. The black and gold runs are colored and flavored that way. As part of the tourist/rum drinker trap, they had these one liter charred oak barrels for aging their rum yourself! Sold. I picked up a bottle of their white, which is already pretty tasty, ones of these barrels, and a rum cake (not part of the project, but it had been a little while since breakfast). I packed all these in my buddy's suitcase since I travel carry on only, well not the cake. I ate that in the car. Now that I'm back home on the boat, I decided to give the rum aging a go. After looking at the instructions, I decided it was a little more involved than I though and decided to put it off for a few days. First, I had to fill the barrel with water and add a purifier pill to clean it. After a thorough rinse, it was time to refill the barrel with water and let it sit for several days to let the wood expand and seal properly.... I almost forgot about it. Almost. Rum time. I drained it all out and filled it with rum. Turns out, the barrel holds a little more than a single bottle so i had to crack another open to top it off. I'm not a doctor, nor a rum aging expert, but I think it's important to get all the air out to prevent excess oxidation. Sounds right to me. Now I just wait. Supposedly, a smaller barrel ages a spirit faster than a full sized one due to the ratio of surface contact to volume. I thought I was going to have to wait a year, but now it looks like it might only take a month or two. I'll pour a taste after a month and see how it tastes. Best thing is, if this turns out nicely I can reuse the barrel!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mai Tai's at Bali Hai

Just got back from a well needed vacation and my first day back at work was a drag. Not that that was a surprise, having to go to work is always a drag. As I was leaving the office a buddy tested me to see if I was going sailing this afternoon. I couldn't think of a reason not to so I told him to meet me on the boat and off we went.
Now despite what everyone seems to think, a Mai Tai like most named cocktails has a specific recipe that allows very little variation. Lime juice, orgeat, orange liqueur, and aged Jamaican rum. Try different rums, float some 151 for a nice color and booze kick, but please don't use any juice other lime and call it a Mai Tai!
Don't get me wrong, I love those concoctions with pineapple juice, orange juice, banana  liqueur, or cherry syrup. In fact I'll drink 'em all day long (and I have recently back in Hawaii).
When I want a real one, though, I have to make it myself. I make great ones, too, since it's tied with the mojito as my favorite cocktail.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I've discovered that Bali Hai does a pretty decent one, as well as a whole assortment of other tiki delights served in actual tiki mugs. Fucking love it.
Since they're right on the bay front and have a guest dock, pulling in for a sunset Mai Tai or two was a no-brainer once we got a whiff (possibly all in my head) of the rum coming from the bar. Oh yeah, this place probably has the best bay view in San Diego, too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hard Ticket to Hawaii

I haven't been home in over a year, so when my buddy told me he was flying there for a couple of weeks I decided to go to. Man, I love being back in Hawaii. With the warm weather, warm water, awesome surf, beautiful beaches... I can't wait to move back there. I'm looking forward to some island sailing. Since my buddy had never been before, we met up with a couple of friends and went island-hopping. Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, and back. Surfer, bodysurfed, hiked, and drank rum drinks all over the place. The best part was since our mutual friend Kelly wouldn't let anyone else drive the rental car, I could have a Mai Tai (or four) whenever I wanted! Speaking of rum, one of the highlights was visiting the Koloa distillery on Kauai. They make some excellent rums there and do a pretty cool tour. I even brought some home, along with an oak barrel to age some myself.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hi Times, indeed

I'd heard this mentioned online before, but never really knew where it was. I was up in Newport checking out Minney's Yacht Surplus, and after a wrong turn stumbled right into Hi Times, the most amazing liquor store I've ever seen. This place has everything. Every kind of rum I'd heard of but never seen, dozens more that I've never heard of, and an amazing selection of all other spirits (there was wine, too, but I didn't look at those). I felt like a kid in a candy store. Check out Minney's for sweet deals on marine supplies like used sails, winches, and all sorts of other stuff.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Zane Patrick's Day

Big foot sighting, or Steve McKenna?

Some things are worth forfeiting a yacht race for. In this case, it was Zane Patrick's Day, a celebration of drinking and a chance for fans to drink some beers with the host of Three Sheets and Drinking Made Easy, Zane Lamprey. And no doubt an easy way for him to get a little extra cash.

As much as I love excuses to drink and party, I'm not a huge fan of St. Patrick's Day mostly due to the throngs of obnoxious drunks pretending to be Irish. The pretending to be Irish part is what's annoying, not the drunk and obnoxious part. Side note: corned beef is NOT Irish... Anyway, since this was the week before and not technically a St. Patty's Day celebration, I said let's go.

150 bucks for 7 hour open bar including brunch? I'd spend that much in two hours without eating. Hanging out with Zane and Steve was just bonus. I did have a race scheduled for that day, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices...

Ran into Zane again at the Shore Club. Man, I hate that place.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


After several weeks of shitty weather and neglect, I decided to take a look at my bicycle. I was riding it to work for a while, which was great, but I switched offices and now it's too far of a ride for me to be bothered with. As such, the bike has been locked up at the marina bicycle rack and exposed to the elements--and apparently thieves.

I took the bike to shop for a tune-up, lube-up, and to check out a rattly headset that I thought I had fixed. As I was returning to the boat with the lock, I noticed that the cable portion had been cut at. Someone had tried to snip through with some bolt cutters or something, but only managed to cut the rubber coating and expose the steel cable. Idiots. All they would have gotten was the front wheel, anyway. I guess that would be useful if you needed a front wheel. They also made off with the cheap headlight that was on the handlebars, so I guess they got something.

So I'm not really out anything but a $20 headlight, but seriously, who does that shit? Get a life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

40 days and 40 nights

Day one, and look at that face already

I'm not religious myself, but I feel others should be able to believe in whatever they want, from Jesus to Pikkiwokki the mud god. That being said, It gets a little annoying when everyone and their brother wants to tell you what they gave up for Lent. Who cares. I've never been fond of the idea of "giving up" things, it seems a bit negative and I don't really think denying yourself something you enjoy does anyone any good (unless it's for health reasons, of course).*

Which brings us to this post. My disinterest in others' self-denial ends when there is a direct effect to myself. A buddy of mine has decided to stop drinking alcohol for the next 40 days. It's not really anything to do with Lent, but the timing makes it convenient and gives an excuse to have drunken Easter party. His motive is weight loss, as he has apparently gotten heavier than he'd like to be.
How does this affect me? This is my go-to drinking buddy. Who is going to keep up with me as I start the weekend with happy hour on Thursday and continue until I have to go work on Monday morning? What am I supposed to do now, drink by myself? What about balance? Should I increase my consumption to make up for his and prevent the universe from tipping over?

The next 40 days will probably be pretty uninteresting, actually. I've abstained from drinking for longer before, and it's not really a big deal. At most I'll have a few opportunities to tease him with a tasty cocktail and a designated driver to save me some cab fair. If anything does come of it, I'll be sure to post it here. Cheers!

* I'm not a doctor

UPDATE: this endeavor lasted all of almost three weeks. Funny thing is, it was my view of self denial and this blog post that changed his mind...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lady Craig

Invented this a couple of weeks ago. Based on a pisco sour, I used blood orange for the sweet and left out the bitters. Delicious! Garnished with a lime wheel and a cherry, it looks quite pretty. The name was just a convenient way to make fun of a rather sensitive buddy of mine. He still refuses to try one.

While I was playing with the blood oranges and since I ran out of limes, I came up with a Flaming Blood Orange Daiquiri using a healthy dose of 151. Very nice!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Race

Sailed in my first race yesterday. Nothing too serious, just about five boats in a pretty informal race. 13 miles in and out of the bay, without spinnakers.

We took a late start since we had never raced before and didn't get a chance to practice any starts. I didn't want to jump right into sailing in circles just inches away from the other yachts.

After starting last, we quickly passed the first three yachts and within 30 minutes had left the fourth behind as well. By the time we got halfway through the course, everyone else was so far behind we could barely see them.

We actually lost the lead toward the end due to a horrible tack that brought us dead in the water. One of the guys fumbled and couldn't release the jib sheet, and once he did get it free the other guy wasn't paying attention to haul in the opposite sheet... Fuck!

We spent the last part of the race chasing the other boat down until we made into an area of much lighter wind where we were finally able to pull ahead again. We crossed the finish line with almost an 8 minute lead.

Despite the lack of skill and practice as a crew, we won! We really need to get some practice in before we compete in anything more serious, but for now it's time for some cocktails at the club!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't mind if I do...

Nothing like an icy mojito on a hot afternoon to kick off happy hour and the weekend.

Here's to living casually.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is what I like to call "speedo weather"

Another beautiful day on the San Diego bay!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That's a big cock...

I enjoy a good wine, but I'm certainly no connoisseur, so if there is no rating posted (a la BevMo) I usually choose my wines by the label. If I find one that catches my eye and/or is pretty funny, I'll try it. This one was fantastic, and I think it was only about 6 bucks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Cocktails

Well, they aren't really new, i just didn't use to make them and now I do. I received a generous gift card for my favorite liquor store and went on a little shopping spree, picking up a few things I don't usually keep onboard. I don't usually keep much in the way of gin onboard, so I decided to throw a couple of gin cocktails into the repertoire. I need to refill the booze case anyway. I decided on the Gibson, which is just a dry martini garnished with cocktail onions instead of olives--those olives are fucking nasty--and a golden gin fizz.

The Gibson I actually really enjoy, and since it's all booze it's very economical for drinking at the bar. I ended up making a royal fizz instead of a golden one (uses the whole egg rather than just the yolk), since I am lazy and I figure the extra protein is good for you. Also, I prefer it with rum, though traditionally it's a gin drink and I'll make it that way if you like. You might be nervous about drinking a raw egg, but if that's the case you probably ought to stick to apple juice or something.

The Old Cuban is basically a variation of the mojito. It's essentially the same thing with a few exceptions: gold rum instead of white, champagne instead of club soda, and a dash of bitters. Everything is fancier when you put champagne in it.

I also grabbed a bottle of absinthe, since you can apparently get the real stuff here in the US now. I've made a few cocktails with it, including one with champagne--fancy!--and they'll get you pretty drunk. You can also drink this in the traditional fashion, which is diluted with a little sugar water, and it will get you pretty drunk that way too. That might be because it's 68% alcohol. Either way, you'll probably be sick before you can consume enough of it to start hallucinating.

I don't have any pictures yet because when I make these, I drink them also, and I never remember to take pictures when I'm drunk.