LAHOWIND | Sailing Blog » LAHOWIND | Sailing Blog | Welcome to our sailing blog! Get to know us, Jereme+Kim+Oliver the dog, as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing!

Tuesday Tell-Tales.

A whole lot of randomness going on around these parts.

But can we first talk about how delicious the avocados are here in Puerto Rico? OMG, seriously de.lish. We’ve been eating them on burgers, sandwiches, mashed up in guac, with quesadillas, you name it.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Puerto-Rico-Tuesday-Tell-Tales-LAHOWIND-Avocados-eIMG_7070

Um, we just ordered another 880 doggie poop bags. So that’s something. Lol. Who knew we could blow through our first stash of at least 500 so damn quickly? We’ve got one serious poodlepants pooperpants on board.

So our stent as the ONLY cruisers here in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo has come to an end. The very first *other* cruisers just rolled in the other day after making the same crossing from the Dominican Republic that  we did back in July. You know what that means…hurricane season is almost over! Woot woot! PS – I cannot even believe it was J-U-L-Y when we arrived. Time sure does fly!

On the to-do list: this sammie.

Um, all the pumpkiny-halloweeny-autumny-goodies and the cute-layered-scarf-and-boot looks that keep popping up in my Pinterest feed have me reeling from some serious Fall withdrawal. Not that we ever really had a true Fall season in Florida, but still.

In other news, Jereme read a book “for fun” this week when he usually only reads “to learn.” Ya, I don’t get the “not-wanting-to-read-for-fun” part either. But he finally picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. Not sure it counts as “fun” since it’s a mind-blowing memoir/historical account of one of the worst attacks on Navy Seals in history, but I’ll give him credit anyway.  PS – it was so compelling he read it all in one day.

Oh and since I’ve been talking about the stupid dinghy air leak for the past few weeks, might as well let everyone know we finally got around to patching the pin hole leak yesterday! But more on that later. :))

If you’re looking for your life’s purpose, read this. Seriously.

Happy Tuesday.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Our shrinking freezer.

At some point in our boat’s history, she was refitted with a much easier-to-use front-loading style fridge. You know, similar to one of those teeny tiny fridges you probably brought along with you to the college dorm. The kind that requires mad tetris skills to fit in all of our cold goodies. Side note, we actually ended up replacing the old front-loading fridge our boat came with at purchase (after it crapped out on us) with a new Novacool model about a month before we set sail. 

And if you’re cruisers who are anything like us, then you’ve probably opened your fridge to grab a cold one and sighed at the ever expanding giant iceberg of a freezer you’ve managed to create. Without fail, our little freezer compartment seems to get smaller and smaller by the day. We ignore that frosty buildup for awhile, but of course Jereme’s good sense wins over and he convinces me that our frosty fridge isn’t winning us any points in the efficiency department, so we are left with the fun regular task of fridge defrosting. Ahhhh…one of liveaboard life’s little joys.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Bahamas-Life-Aboard-Boat-Sailboat-Refrigerator-Defrosting-How-to-Thaw-a-Fridge-Freezer-LAHOWIND-eIMG_5810

^^see that little iceberg in there…it needs some serious defrosting!^^

The good news is, this fun little task kills two birds with one stone. Or five birds really. (Don’t worry we love animals on this boat.) We use it not only as an opportunity to thaw the freezer, but also as one to clean the fridge, sort through all our old and outdated products, throw away anything bad, and reorganize that tiny shoebox into a compact chill box that any tetris champ would be proud to call his own. Seriously, sometimes I impress myself with all the extra room I create after reorg-ing our icebox. ;))

The other day we enjoyed another round of this awesome task, and here’s how we always get the job done.

We empty the fridge/freezer contents into several coolers/freezer bags and turn off the fridge entirely. We do NOT however, try and pry items out that have become frozen to the freezer’s edge before they actually come loose on their own. You risk the possibility of damaging key freezer components if you simply try to rip them out. It’s so not worth it.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Bahamas-Life-Aboard-Boat-Sailboat-Refrigerator-Defrosting-How-to-Thaw-a-Fridge-Freezer-LAHOWIND-eIMG_5815

We also remove the bottom drawer and freezer tray so it’s easier to clean once everything has thawed.

Then, we place a little portable fan facing the fridge to speed up the thawing process. Who wants to stand there and hold a blowdryer the entire time? Not me! The fan just circulates the warmer boat air into the fridge. With the door propped open, it usually takes about 10 minutes for the freezer to melt.

But get ready with some towels, because all the water can get messy. We always put a big beach towel in the bottom of the fridge to soak up all the water as the ice melts.

When we’re bored, we also make snowballs. ;))

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Bahamas-Life-Aboard-Boat-Sailboat-Refrigerator-Defrosting-How-to-Thaw-a-Fridge-Freezer-LAHOWIND-eIMG_5820

Jereme monitors the whole process as it’s thawing and “helps” it along when necessary by simply throwing out the huge chunkers of ice that come loose.

After the entire fridge is thawed out, we mop up all the excess water, and then clean the refrigerator entirely with some paper towels and cleaner. Then it’s always my job to re-org the contents of our fridge. But not before I towel off everything that’s going back in. We certainly don’t want any excess moisture immediately after defrosting/cleaning that thing.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Bahamas-Life-Aboard-Boat-Sailboat-Refrigerator-Defrosting-How-to-Thaw-a-Fridge-Freezer-LAHOWIND-this-eIMG_7630

^^I forgot to take a photo of the immediate “after” so this is technically at least a week later. Already again on its way to icebergdom.^^

Once everything has found a place in the freshly defrosted fridge, we finish the task by turning the icebox back on, of course.

And that’s that. Another day in the not-so-glamorous cruising life we call our own.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Lisa NassifSeptember 29, 2014 - 7:53 pm

Check your gasket in the refrig door. The heat from the unit itself wears on the gasket. I place pipe cleaners in that first fold of the gasket to put more spring in the gasket. Also that little bag of Sangriaa on the first shelf that is hitting the gasket can allow warm air to enter. I have 4 of these units (1 an ice maker only) on our sail boat with two children and many guest. Keeping your gasket with an even seal is key. I hope this helps!

LAHOWINDSeptember 29, 2014 - 8:03 pm

Hi Lisa. Thanks for the tips. The fridge is brand new since we replaced it in March. And so funny you noticed the sangria. I propped it up for the photo so it would look nicer, lol. It’s not usually blocking anything. ;) -Kim

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffSeptember 29, 2014 - 10:17 pm

In addition to a good seal, the real key to not getting the ice build up is never opening the refrigerator. I read that in the instructions of our unit. I am still trying to figure out how we suppose to get our food out if we never open the door.

I am surprised we did not see more Diet Coke based on the picture of the back of the rental car :)

Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff
http://www.creampuff.us

Photo Friday: Cheat Sheets!

Guess what day it is??? Nope not hump day, but photo frrrrriiiiiiiddddaaaaaayyyyy!!! It’s becoming one of my very favorite days of the week. As if Friday wasn’t already the obvious winner.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Caribbean-Photo-Friday-Boat-Dog-Photo-Tips-Guide-to-ISO-Photoshop-Keyboard-Shortcuts-Cheat-Sheets-LAHOWIND

As I was poking around the lovely world wide web thinking about ideas for this week’s post, I noticed there are tons, and I mean TONS, of photography related “cheat sheets” floating around the web. So many so that you can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. Instead of linking a hundred million different photo cheat sheets here on the blog, I decided to create two of my own (using inspiration from others I found on the web and tweaking them to my liking). I think for starters, these two are simple to understand and (hopefully) very useful for beginners!

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Photo-Friday-Tips-Beginners-LAHOWIND-Beginners Guide to ISO Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Photo-Friday-Tips-Beginners-LAHOWIND-Photoshop Shortcuts Final

Links to the full size versions of each of ^^these^^ are below.

Beginners Guide to ISO

Camera ISO is one of the three pillars of photography (the other two being aperture and shutter speed) and every photographer should try and understand ISO to get the most out of their camera. ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera. >>The Beginners Guide to ISO Cheat Sheet<< is a quick reference sheet that gives you a guideline of which ISO level to use depending on the light you are working with. A common rule of thumb to remember is the more light you have, the lower your ISO value. Lower ISO means less noise (noise = gross grainy images) so select the lowest possible ISO level where you can retain the most detail in order to have the highest quality image. Only increase the ISO when there is not sufficient light for your camera to be able to quickly capture an image.

Wow, ^^that^^ felt like a mouthful, but hopefully you get the picture. Pun intended. ;))

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re using Photoshop, then you probably know all too well how time consuming post-processing images can really be. They can literally suck the life right out of you. But guess what?! There are a few tricks you can implement to help speed up that workflow and make your post processing much more efficient. One of the easiest ways to do so is by using keyboard shortcuts! >>The Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet<< outlines all of the main keystrokes and menu shortcuts, from selecting the clone tool to making a brush smaller or larger. These really can be a huge timesaver if you familiarize yourself with them. My personal favs are zoom in+out, transform, and brush sizing shortcuts!

Hope these cheat sheets come in handy!

*I’ve started a regular “PHOTO FRIDAY” series on the blog. You can find all of my photography series posts >> here.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Dan N JayeSeptember 28, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Liebster award — somewhat like a bloggy chain letter recognizing good blogs that could stand a wider audience. I got one, now passing the good vibe on to you. Details here: http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com/2014/09/liebster_27.html

Grocery Gems in Puerto Rico

(Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico)

Since leaving Florida on this sailing journey, our grocery-store experiences have run the gamut.

From the teeny-tiny local and oftentimes poorly stocked island stores in the Bahamas to the super expensive mega grocer in the Turks + Caicos, we have seen it all. Believe me. Shopping for food has typically been very expensive and rather limited on this sailing journey of ours. Shoot, a bag of doritos in the Exumas sold for $9 and a case of Budlight for $52…just to give you an idea. I’m still so thrilled we packed our boat to the gills before setting sail. …Even if we did blow through our stash of 312 cans of beer in no time at all. ;))

For a total wannabe foodie like myself, grocery shopping has become somewhat of a chore on this trip due to the lack of quality products. And I hate that it feels that way. :((( I literally have dreams of shopping at my favorites back home…Publix and Trader Joe’s, with their well-stocked aisles, great cheese selections, and all around awesome products.

And let me tell ya, finding quality fresh food (veggies, fruit, meat, and bread even) has really been the hardest part. It’s one thing to pack a boat full of non-perishables, but our tiny dorm style fridge can only hold so much frozen meat and we all know how long most produce lasts.

Now that we’ve been enjoying life in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Season, I was positive the grocery situation would improve dramatically from our experiences in many of the remote islands we had visited before arriving here. And it has…for the most part. The main grocery stores here (Mr. Special, 100% Fritorifico, Walmart, etc.) are fine, I suppose. Although we were still having difficulty finding a widespread selection of quality fresh foods. That is, until we were given the tip of a lifetime from our new friends and owners of Rincon Sailing, who we recently met while checking out the regatta here at Marina Pescaderia.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_7058

^^We finally managed to stock up on a TON of fresh goodies at our new fav spot in PR.^^

We are SO lucky they introduced us to a great source of quality fresh products from El Viandon, a major food purveyor for high end restaurants in Puerto Rico. El Viandon is located here on the west coast of Puerto Rico at the northern end of Mayaguez (the big city over here).  If you are planning to sail to Puerto Rico (particularly the west coast) go ahead and bookmark El Viandon’s website right now. ;))

Luckily, El Viandon is not exclusive to its restaurant/chef clientele and is open to us regular folks too! They are located in a warehouse area of Mayaguez with two large refrigerated rooms with loads upon loads of fresh products. They also have a nice cheese, spice, and condiment selection, along with a small freezer room full of different meats and a selection of various organic dairy products (think almond milk etc.). Everything here is sold by weight. Which is great for us. We don’t really need or have the room for a whole bag of carrots let’s say, but we’d love to pick up one or two when we need them.

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_7010 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6940 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6946 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6954 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6965

We hit up El Viandon the other afternoon and were greeted by friendly faces very willing to show us all of their products and help us find what we were looking for. I was so impressed with their focus on quality. One of the stockers in the first produce room literally grabbed a baby eggplant out of my hand as I picked it up and told me to pick from a different box that was fresher. He could’ve easily let me buy the less fresh one since I clearly didn’t know the difference, but he didn’t! Way to go El Viandon! Way to go.

We packed out our grocery basket with tons of fresh produce — 3 different varieties of tomatoes, 2 different kinds of lettuce, eggplant, peppers, plantains, squash, zucchini, broccoli, avocados, lemons, limes, cilantro, scallions, and probably a few things I’m forgetting. We obviously have lots of healthy dinners in our very near future! ;))  We also hit up their cheese selection and grabbed a huge hunk of gorgonzola, along with a bottle of sweet chili sauce that I can hardly wait to start using!

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6962

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6996

^^they weighed everything in the back room and this is how we checked out.^^

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_7001

^^new favorite condiment = this bottle of sweet chili sauce we picked up.^^

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_6977

^^who doesn’t love a good cheese selection?^^

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Puerto-Rico-Caribbean-Groceries-Fresh-Produce-Vegetables-El-Viandon-Mayaguez-LAHOWIND-eIMG_7005

We walked out of El Viandon with three huge paper bags of fresh goodies from our new favorite spot, and all for around $30. Not too bad if I do say so myself!

:)))))))))

PS – We’ve already made wheat flatbreads with garlic + lemon roasted broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and pine nuts one night, and then chicken/pepper/onion/zucchini shish kabobs and parmesan couscous another night. Pretty decent meals on board, eh?

PSS – Our other fav spot to shop is the small Selectos grocery store literally across the street from the beach in Joyuda Beach…a quick 5 minute car ride from the marina in Puerto Real.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

JuliaSeptember 25, 2014 - 9:37 am

Wow – looks like a great selection of produce there with great prices! Making me drool here!

We have not had any problems finding fresh produce here along the Med coast of Spain. However, certain things are difficult to find such as cilantro, peanut butter, and canned soups. When we do find these things, they quite often come with a large price tag. We paid almost 2 Euros for a can of tomato soup! We bought two cans and we have been hoarding them like gold…saving them for when we are in desperate need of comfort food from back home.

Carolyn - The Boat GalleySeptember 25, 2014 - 11:54 am

Love the restaurant supply houses — we found one in the Sea of Cortez that yielded all sorts of treats we hadn’t seen for a while (we didn’t have problems with fresh produce there, as there were farmer’s markets, but it was other little stuff . . . bagels, rye flour, caraway seed). And yes, they’ll usually let us mere mortals buy from them too — great tip!

Mike GoodmanSeptember 26, 2014 - 2:10 am

Glad I came across your blog. Sailing as you visit magnificent places happens to only a lucky few and documenting your adventures would definitely encourage others to try it out.

JeanneSeptember 30, 2014 - 12:09 am

Thanks for the mention of Rincon Sailing! Glad you are getting some good meals! When you come to Rincon, make sure you also check out Edwards grocery on the 115. There is an abundance of goodies. Also, if you want Farm Fresh eggs, I know where you can get them by dozen.

Boat Life Lately. According to my iPhone.

From fish in the toilet to fish on the grill (not in that chronological order of course), it’s been a ton of boaty boat life lately around these parts. ;)) And in case anyone is wondering what’s going down in that one photo of me + Oliver, I’m trimming his nails…while wearing a head lamp. Lol. Whatever gets the job done.

All photos courtesy of Jereme’s iPhone. :)))

Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Caribbean-Boat-Life-Lately-September-2014-Puerto-Rico-LAHOWIND

Instagram >>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

PeterSeptember 24, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Life on a boat rocks even if here in Daytona Beach with 8 inches of rain over a 4 hour night. My wife and I love it.

Hope to see you cruising soon

Peter