Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St Patrick's Day - Recipe

Today is St Patrick's Day, March 17th is a wonderful resource for all things Irish. Check out this link to St Patrick's Day recipes. Which I have incorporated into this post.

Irish or not, the world goes green on St. Patrick’s Day. But with such a range of delicious traditional foods to choose from, you don’t have to think emerald-colored when it comes to your St. Patrick’s Day party menu.

Here is a delicious-looking salmon dip.

Cliff Academy: Lesley Keogh's Smoked salmon pâté

The west coast of Ireland is famous for its quality traditional smoked salmon. Beautiful served on its own, you can also give it a twist with this simple pâté recipe.

  • 8oz/225g smoked salmon
  • 8oz/225g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • A few sprigs of dill

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. It’s as simple as that!
  • Serve with a crisp green salad or some watercress for a shamrock-style effect. Don’t use shamrock – as pretty as it looks, it’s not actually edible. Watercress makes a good edible substitute.

Not into fish?  How about Beef & Guinness Stew then?

Wineport Lodge: Beef and Guinness Stew

This is a classic Irish dish that is perfect for feeding a group of people. With the distinctive flavor of Guinness, it makes a good alternative to Irish stew.

  • 2.25 lb (1kg) of stewing beef (shin, flank or rib, trimmed and cut into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 1oz (25g) flour
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced thickly
  • 1 large or 2 small parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pint (600ml) Guinness, or beef stock
  • Quarter bottle (225ml) prune juice or to taste (optional)
  • Bouquet garni or mixed herbs
  • Half celeriac or 3-4 stalks celery, trimmed and cubed
  • Half an orange, left whole (optional)

Season the beef and toss in the flour to coat. Heat a little oil and butter in a heavy pan and brown the meat in batches, then transfer to a casserole dish. Add the onions and other vegetables, and sweat gently for a few minutes in the same pan.

Transfer to the casserole dish. Add any remaining flour to the pan, stir to absorb whatever fat is left, then cook for a minute before stirring in the Guinness (or stock and prune juice if using). Add the liquids to the casserole (enough to cover the main ingredients) as well as the bouquet garni or mixed herbs and the orange. Season, stir to mix well, cover and cook in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.

Remove the orange and bouquet garni, check seasoning, and add two prunes soaked in Guinness (optional). Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, 
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
- Irish blessing

So it goes... Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Doctor's words still ring true

This clip was for the new year of 2017 but The Doctor's words still ring true for 2018... Maybe even more so with this past year of weirdness and the future to come.

How many of us can fit in the TARDIS?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hurricane Recovery: More airline seats

Great news for tourism and folks who travel about...

Three Airlines to Expand Service
With the latest flight additions, the U.S. Virgin Islands is now being served by approximately 13,000 seats each week – 9,000 to St. Thomas and 4,000 to St. Croix (not including intra-island service).

Read more here:

Listening to: Getting Better

Monday, January 08, 2018

VI recovery - A bit more every day

I was happy to read this morning in the St Croix Source that an additional 1,762 customers have had power restored since January 1st. Restoration levels now stand at 92 percent on St. Croix, 99 percent on St. John, and 91 percent on St. Thomas.

This year the three street parades of the St. Croix Crucian Christmas Carnival were combined into one. Saturday's parade honored recovery teams that worked in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. It saluted visiting linemen, WAPA (Water And Power Authority) workers, and the Red Cross, incorporating blue tarps, neon vest colors, and hard hats into their schemes.

Thanks to everyone.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Bye Bye 2017

Welcome 2018... It's time for change
Best wishes for a happy new year

Friday, December 22, 2017

I love our new watermaker - Seawaterpro

In the beginning of November when we arrived back at our mooring in St Croix after Hurricane Maria, we were unable to fill up our jerry cans with water. We had been filling up at the "Mile Mark" dock but it washed away in the storm. We even tried St Croix Marina but no luck.

Fortunately we had bought a reverse-osmosis watermaker this past summer from  It is easy to set up in the cockpit and we run it with our RYi2200 Ryobi inverter-generator. We have the generator at "full-tilt boogie" and do not use the eco setting so it will always deliver full power to the high-pressure pump and not trip its fancy ground fault-detecting plug (this happened twice on eco mode).

Here's a YouTube video about this unit:

Wow, clean, fresh water and pretty much hassle free. Much better than rowing over to the gas dock and waiting to access the water which we would then have to filter once getting it back to the boat.

Mike, owner of SeaWater Pro, is exceptional and has always been patient with my questions whether by phone or email :)
  • Great price ($1495 for complete setup), 
  • Great service, 
  • Great water.
We have used our watermaker regularly since our return. We plan to permanently install this unit but right now it doesn't take long to set up and break back down and put away in our cockpit locker. We rinse the unit with about 5-6 gallons of freshly-made water at the end of each session and run it every 5-7 days.

Check it out...

Doing the happy dance!

All the best...

Friday, December 01, 2017

Is it really over?

Today, December 1st, marks the first day of "it's not hurricane season". As survivors of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria we are happy to see this day arrive. Maybe we'll have some ice cream.

Although, we will still keep a watchful eye on the weather... no surprises, please.

So It's Gone...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fête de la Musique

It's that time of year again and I wish we were in Paris today...

What a great way to start off the summer :)


Saturday, June 03, 2017

Powering electrical doo-dads

Today was an electrical odd-jobs day and I'm very happy.

Over the last year, I've been ripping our DVDs to store on hard drives. This is a more convenient storage method, plus we got rid of some weight, and recovered valuable shelf space.  Unfortunately, many of our DVDs had deteriorated. One damaged DVD could cause us to lose the entire series if we could not find a replacement for that particular season. When finished, we took all of our old DVDs to Gallows Bay Marine and put them on the free book exchange shelf for recycling.

We have SIX Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB5000100) and TWO smaller Seagate Expansion 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB3000100) as the 5TB drives were backordered at the time. The hard drives are duplicated for backup purposes.

These drives came with 110v transformer "wall wart" plugs with an output voltage of 12 volts. YES, TWELVE VOLTS! I bought some cables with appropriate-sized barrel plugs on one end and nothing on the other end to which Bob installed an Anderson plug today. The hard drives work just fine! Hurray, don't have to use the inverter to run the drives anymore.

Bob also installed our new Marinebeam LED tricolor/anchor/strobe masthead light. We're doing the happy dance!

Another tip is to check the output voltage on your 110v transformer plugs. When at ACE hardware, I check the different models of fans to check their power supply. We have three O2cool fans running directly off of 12 volts, as does our digital piano. If some item runs at approximately 5 volts, such as our AcuRite weather station which required 4 AA batteries, we would find a USB cable with the correct plug and give it a try.

Our Sony AM/FM/SW radio runs on 6 AA batteries which is 9 volts. When I have time, I'll see about using one of our power packs that outputs several voltages. Maybe it has different adaptors that might fit. If not, we can fit another socket with a standard plug. Pas de problème. I wonder where I put it :)

My next chore is printing out 2 pages to include in our boat papers. Fingers crossed...

Thursday, June 01, 2017

1st day of June 2017

The first day of June is another one of those special days for me.

Pre-1996, it was a time of anticipation of the coming summer days with all of the fun stuff that it entails. But now, it is the mark of the first day of "H" season with its perennial question of "what's in store for us this summer?"

This year, we have the worry of impending windstorms but we also have joy of beginning a new chapter in our cruising life.

This morning I googled "2017 hurricane season" to see what has been predicted for this summer. Some of the results ranging from 5 to 45 days ago said that it would be higher than average. But the more recent articles of yesterday and today are saying lower... I'm going for lower :)

This one is from yesterday's AccuWeather - 2017 Atlantic hurricane forecast: Possible El Nino to limit development of storms. That sounds good.

Wunderground had a blog post I like from April 6th 
 The CSU team cited two main reasons why this may be a below-average hurricane season:
  • A weak to moderate El Niño event is expected to develop by autumn
  • The tropical Atlantic has cooled over the past month, and the far North Atlantic is currently colder than normal.

As always, the CSU team included this standard disclaimer: "Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."

Got to finish coffee #3 and start doing stuff...

Have a good one!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cats & Easter Weekend

Last weekend the cats got out their Easter blind and donned their bunny ears. Hoping to get some treats...

Easter cats

In the end, they had to settle for a bit of cheese :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Spring !

This is a day I always look forward to... the first day of Spring.

It is a day of hope.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Kitten Academy Makes Me Happy

Here is something that always makes me smile. The Kitten Academy's live feed 24/7 on YouTube. The screen is usually broken up into 3 or 4 segments for different viewing angles.

Click Here To Enlarge and watch on YouTube

Here's the blurb from their Patreon site:
KittenAcademy is a place for kittens to learn to cat.  If you're here, you probably already know who we are and what we do. Fundamentally, we are kitten foster parents, who work with local no-kill animal shelters to rescue kittens and mother cats from kill shelters and animal control. We care for the mothers and kittens until the kittens are old enough to be adopted, then we work with the shelter to help them get the kittens adopted to good homes. Everything we do is to help raise awareness for foster kittens generally, and to help get the kittens we foster adopted, specifically."
We also hope to be somewhat entertaining. Our most popular feature is our YouTube 24/7 Live Stream. But we also produce short videos on YouTube of the kittens and the Academy staff cats being cats and doing cat things. And of course, provide the Kitten Academy website where there is a blog, and additional photos of the kittens that have attended the Academy.

They recently were featured on the BBC's website:
I hope it is still working.

I hope this makes your day more enjoyable...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Help Stop Horse Abuse

I just had to reprint this article from the Animal Rescue Site to help spread the word. Please visit this link and see the petition at the bottom of the page... also, remember to click the purple button.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Doctor Has Good Advice

Thanks, Doctor

And here's a song that been running through my head all morning...

The Youngbloods

So It Goes...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Has it only been a week?

It's hard to believe that it is has only been eight days. We are going to stock up on tequilla.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Thanks, Paris... We miss you...

Had quite a good turnout on St Croix, too

According to the St Croix Source, "More than 500 people paraded through Christiansted Saturday, showing solidarity with others around the world taking part in the Women's March (Carol Buchanan photo)"

Listening to Bob Marley


Friday, January 20, 2017

A New Day of Infamy

Last week we had Friday the 13th... Today is January 20th, the beginning of a new "interesting times" era.

Thoughts keep running through my head such as...

"Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My" and

"Danger, Danger, Will Robinson".

Is the explosive countdown timer going to stop in the nick of time at 00:01?

Where are the time travellers to set this right? Did they screw up? Or, PTB forbid, is this correcting some horrible event in the future?

Tomorrow, there will be a Women's March on all three islands of the US Virgin Islands. A women's march is cool but I hope it is open to ALL people.

Sad  :(

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 13th is World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day encourages us to be kind to others, helping to create a nicer, better world. It is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion.

 Visit the Random Acts Of Kindness website.

Continue your kindness throughout the year.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Happy August 4th

Today is National Coast Guard Day...

The Coast Guard celebrates its 226th birthday in August this year. The Coast Guard is one of America's five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.

The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws.
- from

and, it is also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!
17 National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Deals and Freebies


If you truly enjoy dessert, this is a good time for you to indulge. From free chocolate chip cookies to discounts on cakes and candy, use these Cookie Day deals to eat your way through this delicious holiday without paying full price.
  • 1800Baskets: Use code SNACKS20 to save 20 percent on snack gift baskets until Sept. 30.
  • Bake Me a Wish: Take 15 percent off birthday cake delivery with code HB15 until Sept. 7.
  • Baskin Robbins: Take $3 off any $15 or more ice cream cake with this printable coupon until Aug. 14.
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Use this coupon to get a free Pizookie with any $9.95 food purchase until Aug. 31.
  • Cheryl’s: Take 15 percent off any purchase with code TAKE15 until Oct. 31.
  • Cookies by Design: Enter code ACCUSA16 at checkout to take 15 percent off orders greater than $40 until Dec. 31.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton: Walk into any DoubleTree hotel — with or without a reservation — and at the train stations in NYC and Chicago on Aug. 4 to receive a free chocolate chip cookie as part of their “Nice Travels” movement.
  • Eleni’s New York: Enjoy free shipping on orders more than $50 with code SHIPFREE until Dec. 2050.
  • Great American Cookies: Buy one regular cookie, get the second free when you register to receive email updates.
  • Max & Erma’s: Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day one day early by heading to Max & Erma’s on Wednesday for Free Cookie Day. Get two free freshly baked cookies with any menu purchase every Wednesday — no coupon required.
  • Mazzio’s: Get a small chocolate chip dessert pizza for $3 with this printable coupon until Dec. 31.
  • Mrs. Fields: Use code MW15 to save 15 percent off your order until Dec. 31.
  • My M&M’s: Save 10 percent on orders greater than $50 with code MYSAVINGS10 until Dec. 31 .
  • Steak ‘n Shake: Present this coupon to save $1 off a regular-sized classic milkshake until Sept. 18.
  • Tate’s Bake Shop: Enter code TATESTREATS at checkout to take 20 percent off any order until Jan. 2017.
  • Tortuga Rum Cakes: Get a free 4-ounce golden rum cake with purchase of a 32-ounce golden rum cake with code GOFORGOLD until Aug. 21.
  • Village Inn: Present this coupon to receive 20 percent off your check until Aug. 5.

So, if the you cross paths with the USCG today give them a cookie.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Paul

We would like to wish Sir Paul McCartney a very happy birthday.

74 years old today...

I remember listening to "When I'm Sixty Four" back in June 1967 when Sgt Pepper's came out. Paul was only 25 (going on 26) at the time and I couldn't imagine any of The Beatles ever being that old... that would be like Dean Martin! Ooh, yuk! Dino was only 50 then but to a pre-teen he seemed ancient.

So Happy Birthday to you and many happy returns!

Friday, June 17, 2016

[SOLVED] Problem with new laptop battery

UPDATED July 17, 2016: SEE BELOW

Last week one of our laptops (Toshiba Satellite C75D-A7370, Windows 8.1) started shutting down unexpectedly. A couple of days later we noticed that the battery was not lasting very long. Hmmmm, time to go shopping.

We found a place on eBay that had our battery for a good price, free shipping, and they would send to us via US Mail (USPS).

We installed the battery per instructions. The instructions were poorly translated but basically boiled down to: insert battery, let it run down to 8%, then fully charge to 100%. Of course there was the usual warnings about not carrying this out in the bathtub, etc.

All was going well except that after 30 minutes the battery icon was still displaying 100% even though the time left was ticking down normally.  Houston, we have a problem.

Time to search the internet for a solution which I found here...

  • Shut down the notebook
  • Unplug the AC Adapter
  • Remove the battery
  • Then hold down the Power button for 30 seconds
Device Manager - Batteries
  • Plug in the AC adapter without the battery inserted
  • Start the notebook
  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand the entry for Batteries
  • Right click Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery
  • Select Uninstall - do not uninstall anything else here.

  • When the uninstall is complete, shut down the notebook
  • Unplug the AC Adapter
  • Re-insert the battery
  • Start the notebook on just the battery.

Windows will automatically reinstall the driver - leave Windows running for a few minutes and see if the charge level decreases as it should.

Problem solved. The battery power percentage is displaying properly and the new battery is lasting much longer... sort of like when the computer was new :)

Well, we are happy with this and we are buying another battery for our other computer as it is only a matter of time before that one will fritz out.

UPDATED July 17, 2016:  A couple of days ago we swapped out the battery for our other Toshiba Satellite laptop.  No problem. Showed 100% to start and then counted down to 8% whereupon we plugged the charger in.

Hope this helps if you are having problems with a new battery displaying correctly.