The New Year, slush, snow, shopping, and some legal drugginess

I’m enjoying the Vicodin after some long-overdue dental work.  Hail, a new year of dental insurance!  Hail, not spending boat and travel dollars on teeth!  Hail, my catlike old pup!

We drove up to Anchorage, in what would be considered treacherous road conditions by others.  We carry the basic safety gear, and we keep good tires on the car; but after close to a quarter million road trip miles between us, and entire adult lives of driving on icy Alaskan roads, we are a tad blase.   We check the weather cams at the AKDOT website, and if we think it looks good, we go, in our little 2wd Ford Focus.  I was a little hungover from a great New Year’s ‘bonfire’–we were all having such fun talking and laughing, we forgot to light the bonfire, but didn’t forget to empty a Costco jug of spiced rum *alarm!

Anchorage was having a nice little snowpocalypse while we were there:  warm (30-40 degrees F), and alternating between snowing and slushing.  There is something about seeing a city dressed in a nice new white coat, temporarily untrammeled by the mess of her residents…. although the moment passes and soon you get the popcorn view of people who should know better losing their minds on the roads. *shrug.

We ran our errands, including a long stop at the New Asian Market, a slightly seedy, stuffed-to-the-ceiling ye olde shoppe of imports, with that very specific smell of dried fish and ferment funk.  Nathan piles in an assortment of exotic candies, and I pile in spices, condiments, ‘totally necessary’ galley equipment, and weird veg.  At the best markets, I have to stand in the aisle and google ingredients, and this one has an aisle of Indian spices of which I have no experience.  Nathan likes to snap photos of my ecstatic face.

We enjoyed a similar shopping experience with more prosaic goods at Fred Meyers the following day (after my dental appt, so mentally unhinged on my part), courtesy of his company’s annual present of a holiday gift card.  Two Nordicware loaf pans!   A 13 x 9 Nordicware deep pan which fits excellently in our small boat oven!  A new flat square nonstick frying pan so Nathan can…I’m not sure what Nathan can do with it.  He wantsed it, and due to the gift card, he gotsed it.  A Bialetti Venus moka pot for Nathan!  More candy for nathan!  A stainless steel fish turner spatula!  Heights of excess!

Thanks to the kitchenette in our hotel room, I figured out what to do with the large new space in the galley which had resulted from me replacing the old two basin sink with a larger single basin and simplifying the plumbing and wiring runs underneath.  I’d pulled out the old (and only held in place by one screw thanks to someone who was a little wiggly with his jigsaw when he cut the opening in the liner for the drawer frame) drawer and drawer frame.  The old drawer was a good idea originally, but didn’t use the big new space from the sink swap very well, and the drawer couldn’t be removed to get to the bilge without removing the companionway steps as well.

Looking at the sink cabinet, I realized I didn’t want a new fully enclosed drawer and drawer frame.  No! I wanted a false floor to span the full space, stopping short of the sink through hull amidship, secured from coming loose in rough seas with a few cotter pins or similar.  The sides would be canvas secured with soft shackles or similar to padeyes on the galley liner.  Just something to keep contents from spilling into the bilge.  Internal divisions for later.  I’d stuff all my canning gear and pots and pans in there, and figure out how to secure them later, before we leave in February, or while we are underway.   Conceal all with a simple bifold door which can clear the companionway steps, and be secured shut by a dowel or latch.

Why do the simple things sometimes seem so hard?  I’ve been trying to figure out THE BEST WAY to use this new galley space since summer, while inconveniently rotating the contents of the former storage among the remainder of my stuffed galley lockers.  [This relates to a tipsy discussion we had with our friends about New Years and resolutions and character flaws.  Procrastination and the perfect plan.]

We lazed around the hotel room, and bathed many many many many times.  Overwintering in a cold climate (aka no running water at the docks) on a sailboat makes us TRULY appreciate hot running water.  And Nathan TRULY appreciates a big TV and a couch to lounge upon while browsing cable and eating candy.

The snow started the last night and continued during the dental appointment, and all through the half-dozen errand afterwards.  Honey and I romped through a few mostly empty box store parking lots filled with six inches of untouched powder, while Nathan had to be responsible and get stuff done.  Under normal circumstances, I hate taking painkillers of any kind, but the mellow glow of Vicodin and pain relief made for a jolly good time.  Honey probably felt pretty good too, she’d slept in the car two nights in a row, and wanted us to Pay. Attention. To. Her.  (She has extra cushions, and treats, and walks, and loves road tripping, btw–she just gets lonely at night on the rare occasions we abandon her for a hotel room.)

The snow was still coming down fat and thick as we were leaving Anchorage.  Whiteout conditions–the mountains ringing Turnagain Arm were completely obscured by driving snow.

I napped the two hours to Seward, while Nathan drove and listened to his current fave Spotify playlist–late 90s and early 2000 pop.  I had dreams about Slim Shady, and he’s a real bastard.

Now we are back on the boat, and I’m reclining on the memory foam mattress in the main cabin, trying to type this while Honey wriggles ever closer to the keyboard.  Tomorrow, we finish insulating the vberth, and start moving everything back in.  Almost time to cut our new (to us) beautiful mattress to fit.  We are sad.  But Honey will love having space in the main cabin again.  We’ve got parts on order for the new solar panels, a dozen little projects in the works, a ton of new ingredients and toys to play with, and dinner plans with friends as soon as my jaw stops aching.

A month left before we sail away!

Happy New Year!








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