S/V Hello World's Travel Log

Jason and Christy's (mis)Adventures around Vancouver Island to Alaska

We had a fantastic time at CYC last week recounting our trips north - here's the ppt

Vancouver Island to Alaska - our CYC presentation

business trip to Taipei? Yes please!

Better late than never, but 6 months after this awesome trip, here are some pictures! (I had to beat Jason's post about Romania)

I've never seen so many mopeds in my life.

At every intersection, there is a special area that the mopeds are all allowed to cut in front of the cars

Resulting in what sounds like a moped gang at every green light

Temples were everywhere and just gorgeous

Candles, chanting...

Flowers of sacrifice were beautiful

Some of the coolest trees ever

I got a chance to go to the National Museum - my favorite part of which were the gardens

But by far the best part of the entire trip was my last day there. A very good friend of the family grew up in Taiwan and hooked me up with two of her good friends that still live there - they took an entire Saturday to drive me around outside of the city and we had an absolute blast!

First stop was a national park called Yehliu which had some spectacular natural sandstone sculptures, including one called Queens Head that busses upon busses of Chinese tourists stop to see!

Yeah, we stood in that line

New blog!

You may have noticed the glaring lack of posts on this blog as of late. We've been pretty preoccupied with the land, so we've decided to start a new blog to expose our adventures and follies of building. Please join us at http://andermentranch.blogspot.com/

(we're not giving up on this blog, but I'm not promising anything either!)

a new adventure

A week ago, we put an offer in on 5 acres on Vashon – the story starts much before that, of course; we’ve been looking for the right spot to buy for a few years, but we couldn’t work out how we could live on some land AND also work for a living. Then we sailed by Vashon Island this summer. We both knew the island was there, but for some reason had not given it a look. I’d never stepped foot on the island and I think we both figured it was out of our price range (I keep wanting to refer to the island as “she” – is that a sailing thing or is that an actual thing?).

As we sailed by, we happened to have data on our phones and realized two key things: 1) we could afford land there and 2) there was a commuter ferry to downtown Seattle!!!! We stopped into Quartermaster Harbor on our way back to Seattle and toured around with friends Ken and Susan and even looked at a lot that was for sale. But truthfully, I had already fallen in love with the island before I stepped foot on it.

Once we figured out there was affordable land and we could commute, I commenced research. And research showed this was an awesome community. That has been the big thing we look for after coming from the extremely tightknit and helpful sailing community. Not only was there a great group of people on the island, it’s a very active group and supports a ton of local events, businesses and organizations. Definitely our kind of place.

We started looking for land in about September and lived on the island for a few weeks while housesitting to get a better feel for it. We finally found an awesome parcel- a great size, near town and the ferry, walking distance to TONS of trails and a fun little “neighborhood” (is it called a neighborhood if you can’t see your neighbors?).

We’re excited and thrilled and completely scared at the thought of building a house, but definitely up for the challenge!

Recipe: Marine-grade Chewy-Ooey-Gooey brownies

It’s my tradition to make my family’s recipe for caramel chocolate brownies every Christmas – we call them chewy-ooey-gooeys, because they are, indeed, just that.

Here’s the recipe…to only be followed if making them on a boat:

  1. Unwrap 1 package of caramels (in this case, the store didn’t have packages and we bought from the bulk section. I don’t know what I was thinking when I put Jason in charge of this – not knowing how much is in 1 package, he erred on the safe side and we ended up with over 5 lbs of caramels).
  2. Put together your homemade double broiler since there’s no room for a real one on the boat: a metal mixing bowl perched precariously atop the pot of boiling water.
  3. Open porthole above the stove to attempt getting some of the water vapor out of the boat instead of trapped inside (the jury is still out whether this is an effective procedure in the middle of a Seattle winter when it rains on your stove and the wind blows the water vapor in the boat instead of sucking it out)
  4. Add caramels and ½ a can of evaporated mile to the double broiler
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. This can be as easy as turning the switch and hand-lighting or, as happened today:
    1. When the lighter stops working, find the spare, in the spares locker:
      1. Unload 2 paddleboards, the liferaft and various fans, blankets and first aid kits in the quarterberth to get to said spares locker
      2. When the redneck double broiler starts boiling over, have husband turn down the stove, but not so much it goes out because you have no way to relight it yet.
      3. Retrieve not one, but two lighters because this process is cleary time-consuming. The extra lighter will probably annoy you later on and you’ll want to put it back in the spares locker. Resist this temptation.
      4. While you’re in there, you may as well brainstorm any other items to retrieve from the spares locker. Zincs, batteries, the usual. You don't want to go through this process again in a few days.
      5. Realize how wet the quarterberth is, make a mental note to do a mold prevention sweep through the entire boat before it gets out of hand
      6. Reload the paddleboards, liferaft, blankets and first aid kit back into the quarter berth.
      7. Light oven.
  6. Melt 2/3 cup butter
    1. This is normally difficult at anchor with no microwave and I made the mistake once of using the heat from the diesel heater to help the butter-softening process. This did not go well as I had put the butter in a plastic dish. It probably would have been fine had I not forgotten I was melting butter and was alerted by the fire alarm and black, melting plastic smoke that the butter was adequately melted.
    2. WITH a microwave, this process is much easier:
      1. Unload tortillas from microwave and load butter
      2. Turn on the microwave breaker
      3. Turn off the water heater breaker (they can’t be on at the same time)
      4. Melt butter in the microwave
      5. Reload the tortillas
      6. Turn off microwave breaker
      7. Turn on water heater breaker (don't forget this step or your next shower will not be a pleasant one)
  7. Add 1 pkg German Chocolate Cake mix and ½ can evaporated milk to the butter, mix and add ½ of this delicious mixture to a greased 9x13 pan (specially bought so it fits in your miniature oven)
  8. Check that the oven is coming up to temperature (with a flashlight)
  9. Bake ½ of cake mix for about 6 minutes
  10. Sprinkle 12 oz bag of chocolate chips to the baked cake
  11. Spread caramel mixture as the next layer
  12. Hand leftover caramel bowl to husband to begin manual cleaning process
  13. Spread the rest of the cake mix on top
  14. Bake for 15-18 minutes – turn off propane solenoid to turn off stove (we do this to burn the residual propane out of the line)
  15. Cool down before cutting – outside is best since you can’t fit a 9x13 pan in the fridge. Under the dodger is best so it stays out of the rain and hopefully out of reach of the pesky ravens.
  16. Best served frozen, if you have a freezer. Or cold, if you have a fridge. Or just eat the damn things.
  17. You probably forgot to close that porthole, so go ahead and do that now so it doesn’t rain anymore in your boat.
  18. Next morning: when you smell propane, realize that although you turned off the solenoid, you failed to turn off the oven itself, which remains on when your husband goes to make coffee in the morning. Attempt not to blow up the boat while turning on every fan in the boat to clear it out.
If you're making these like a normal person in a house, go to our recipe page for more streamlined instructions.