Category Archives: food

Costs and Impressions of Traveling in Thailand for 2 Weeks

I’m never sure whether readers of our blog are interested in hearing about travels we do off the sailboat – like Mexico last year. But since Thailand is a pretty major cruiser destination, I figure it might be of interest.

We flew to Thailand the day after Christmas for a two week vacation, visiting Bangkok for 5 days, Patong Beach in Phuket for 3 days, Phi Phi island for 3 days, and Naiyang Beach, Phuket for the final day. 2 full days were consumed by the plane travel from Seattle (22-24 hours travel time).

Of course, I viewed much of Thailand thru the perspective of sailing and other cruisers’ experiences there. Delos has been to the Phi Phi islands that we visited on our trip (Delos in Southern Thailand and Phi Phi Islands).  The prior-prior owner of our boat actually bought it to sail to Thailand, and after a year of prep work decided it’d be easier to fly there and charter. I’m inclined to agree.

We rewatched the Delos episode. It was really interesting seeing our different perspective on it this time. It still looked awesome and fun, but we could see all the things they had omitted. They avoided the most touristy bay, briefly mentioned the party beach’s loud music keeping them up at night while at anchor (a 5-second clip that would be easy to miss), and snuck into a park that charges a high tourism fee (I think they said 300 baht, but it’s 400 baht now).

I don’t blame them – they’re catering to their audience, most of whom are not going to sail to Thailand, or necessarily anywhere else. Those people only want to see the fun times, and discussing practicalities won’t get you a quarter million followers on YouTube.

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Hiking Mt Norman Leads Us To A Panoramic View of the Gulf Islands

As we huffed and puffed up the steep climb, we said to ourselves, “This had better be worth it!”  It was only a 1.8 mile (2.9 km) hike – 3.6 miles roundtrip –  but with 800+ feet (266m) elevation gain, and we hadn’t done any real hikes in a while. It was hot out, and we hadn’t brought enough water – from the San Juans we’d grown used to island hikes being short and easy.

Mt Norman is on South Pender Island, our first stop in Canada after crossing the border from Friday Harbor on Sunday. Our Nexus passes had made customs checkin a breeze – we called in, got our clearance number, and did a touch-and-go on the customs dock (if there are no customs agents, with a Nexus checkin you don’t have to stay).

As we rounded the last corner of the hike, we came to a viewing platform with a 180 degree view of the Gulf Islands stretching out before us. It was a beautiful day, and all I could think was wow, the hike was definitely worth it! The photos don’t really do it justice because unfortunately I can’t stitch together my panoramic photos since I forgot to download a panorama program before leaving Seattle, and don’t have Internet in the South Pender anchorage.

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Good Eats While Cruising

Patrick has been bugging me for months to write a blog post about the food we eat onboard Violet Hour. So here it goes…

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I LOVE food. I love thinking about it, making it, talking about it, eating it and planning my next meal to the point that it often consumes my thoughts. Honestly, it’s a miracle that I don’t weigh 300 lbs. (thanks Mom and Dad for good genes)! So when we bought our sailboat, that was my #1 priority. How can we make and eat delicious food while sailing? I wanted a chef’s kitchen on the boat. Turns out that isn’t quite practical; I learned quickly that my Cuisinart had to stay at home, but it has forced us to be creative in what we can do on the boat.

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Sure we eat our fair share of grilled brats, but we don’t sacrifice ingredients! We buy Uli’s sausage, top the toasted bun with cream cheese, add some sauerkraut, Sriracha and a few cilantro leaves and voilà, you have our “house” dog.

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Another favorite grill go-to is blackened salmon tacos (which by the way is currently in the top five for the Three Sheets Northwest cook-off). They start off with a blackened spice rub. I make a bunch and keep it in an air tight container to use on other meats as well. Patrick grills to perfection and warms the tortillas in foil on the grill while it’s hot. We top the tacos with an avocado, lime secret sauce, add a few sprigs of cilantro and shredded lettuce to complete. Yum!

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We pre-make and freeze pizza dough. It has time to defrost while sailing and helps keep our fridge cold. Add your favorite ingredients and it makes for a cozy warm cabin and a delicious dinner.

For breakfast, we always have dehydrated hash browns onboard. You can get them at Costco, they are super easy to store, and you can cook them up in a pinch for just about any meal. Breakfast for dinner anyone? We also found a camping griddle fits well over two burners on our stove and it makes perfectly crisp hash browns, cleans up with a wipe of a paper towel and is easy to stow.

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I often bake desserts in the morning when the cabin is the coolest and you need a little warmth. If I have extra fruit that we need to eat before crossing the border, I whip up an apple streusel that we can enjoy in the afternoon. Why not have some with your morning coffee too?!?

Stay tuned for more food related blog postings. Up next – biscuits and gravy on the boat, five must have ingredients and how to make the most of a grocery run.

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