S/V Hello World's Travel Log

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.

SJK hits the Broken Islands

For those of you not aware of the dirtbag live-aboard contingent in our marina, we call ourselves Sailor Jerry's Kids (have you ever had Sailor Jerry's rum? Yeah, we're his kids). Kevin, Susan, CB, Tawn, Jason and I all had a wonderful week or so in the Broken Islands.

We explored sea caves

Tawn conquered islands (and was nearly stranded)

We pretended we were in Mexico

We scammed prawns off of fellow boaters (who took pity on us because we couldn't catch our own)

We opened a hair salon on the beach

We even kicked Palarran's butt sailing

Since 3 of the 15 or so SJK boats were in the Broken Group in Barkley Sound this summer, we decided to commemorate our last few days with the SJK Special Olympics. I apologize for posting this about two months late, but Palarran was supposed to post these pictures, but they are SOOOO busy that I got sick of waiting for them.

Event 1 was "The Huck". The Huck is classified as a spastic and disorganized entry into the water.

Clearly CB took gold in this event:

The next event was the suicide swing. We attach a halyard to our pole and jump off the bowsprit. Tawn shows fantastic form:

Though Kevin got extra points for best costume - and the nose plug

But Jason pulled through for best picture

For the next event, we tested Jason's theory of trailing the inflatable paddleboards behind a planing dinghy. And it even worked!

For a while anyway

Tawn attempted to make up a new event, but we never could figure out what she was doing

We found the best tree swing EVER in Bazett anchorage across from Lucky Creek. Sadly, Palarran has all of the video footage from that event, so they'll have to take a break from eating tacos to post it.

And the final event for the SJK Special Olympics was ax throwing (yes, it seemed like a good idea when we were drinking at a beach campfire)

It turns out we have a few ringers in the ax throwing arena - who knew!

As is true with the real Special Olympics, we decided that everybody deserved a prize and no one was declared the only winner.

It was a great way to say farewell to CB and Tawn - we'll miss those guys, though our livers have been a little happier since they left... :)

kennedy cove

We got a tip from a boat in Tofino that there was tons of crab and prawn to be had in Kennedy Cove, so Andante and Hello World headed north in search of deliciousness while Palarran took off south for Barkley Sound hoping we'd catch lots and they'd skip out on all of the work.

Kennedy Cove was a hit from the start - first of all, it had a slide - woohoo!

But upon closer inspection, we realized it was missing a few key parts

We still took advantage of the 70F water though - I decided to see just how far I could lean on one side of the paddleboard before tipping it over.

Surprisingly far!

And we did, in fact, have a great catch of crab!! The prawns, however, were a different story: first we had to find our pot...in the fog...that Andante had nicely moved to a "better" spot, the location of which I wasn't sure of...

Can you see my prawn buoy? Yeah, me neither.

We finally located it, pulled it up the 300 feet of line, and then about 10 feet from the trap, it just stopped. Turns out it was hooked on another prawn buoy that someone probably abandoned because they couldn't pull it up. I managed to get the whole thing up and on deck and...ta da! 12 prawn!

When we got to Ucluelet, we gave away the prawn trap.


Here's what we learned about Tofino:

1) It's hell to get to in a boat - there are crab pots EVERYWHERE, the current is crazy, the sandbars shift and the harbor docks never have any space on them.

2) That said, it was a pretty cool town

3) Then low tide comes and you FREAK THE F OUT when you see the (unmarked) sandbar right in front of you (fortunately, we were docked at the time)

4) Oh, and if that wasn't enough? When we left, the fog was pea soup and whaling tours and sport fishers love to fly around at 20 knots - and sometimes they have radar.

Next time, maybe we'll drive.

hot springs cove - round 2!

Four years ago, this was one of our most favorite stops, so of course we had to come back.

We waited for the boats and planes full of tourists to leave before we headed to the hot springs (you know, because we're such locals)

Day 2 was spent carving

Our board was still looking good, so we just spruced her up and added a "2013"

We did some paddleboard exploring through a narrow cut and out to the Pacific (don't worry Mom, we didn't go into the ocean on the boards)

And saw a mama gray whale and her baby really close (fortunately we were in dinghies, not paddleboards when this happened.

She sort of looked like an underwater elephant (but the ranger insisted that it was a gray whale, so I guess that's what it was)

And Kevin "saved" a dog that was swimming around the anchorage looking really tired and whimpering. Turns out he's a local dog named Diogie (pronounced D-O-G, spelling may be incorrect) that swims across the bay to beg food off silly cruisers and campers that think he's adorable. He also occasions the hot springs and apparently swims with the gray whales (we didn't see this, but someone showed us pictures). According to the ranger (yeah, the one that thought they were gray whales instead of underwater elephants, that's the one) - Diogie bit one of the whales a few weeks back. I'm not sure how one knows that, but it apparently hasn't stopped the dog from swimming with his pals. Here's Diogie (cutest dog ever - I was seriously going to take him home when Kevin "rescued" him) approving our work on the boardwalk:

And finally (drumroll please), for those of you who remember the awful graffiti that occasioned our board 2 years ago, we finally were able to spread some graffiti love (and yes, Jason has been planning this for 2 years)

moving southward

After rounding Brooks Peninsula (with Cape Cook at the tip), we headed to Columbia Cove so we could go to our favorite beach on Vancouver Island

We found Japanese trash (that's been pretty common on this trip)

And some very useful trash that we will be keeping on the boats.

We even went for a swim in the VERY COLD water

From there we went to the Bunsby Islands, which we officially renamed to the Bugsby Islands (I'll let you take 3 guesses why), where we helped Palarran conquer a few more islands

We saw this on a beach

And thought "that couldn't be a refrigerator". We were wrong. Upon further inspection, we found the makings for a quick whiffleball game on Refrigerator Beach

So long Bugsby Islands - next time we're bringing more powerful electric tennis rackets.

sea otter cove

We'd been to Sea Otter Cove before (ironically, we saw no otters in 2009 or this year), but hadn't gotten off the boat. This year, we went exploring - a 20 min hike led to an awesome beach. I was apparently overly excited at said beach.

But really, it was pretty cool.

It even had a little cabin for people hiking the west coast trail.

So cute!

With hilarious graffiti

I love me some good graffiti.

And CB found some good cahones.

The hike back was more exciting than the hike there, since I nearly got swallowed by quicksand mud...

(and my husband told everyone not to help me until he got a good shot of it)

And the dinghy was a bit high and dry by the time we made it back...

...next time maybe we'll skip the stern anchor.