A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The same but different

Beginning last Friday, the marina (or at least our pier anyway) underwent a metamorphosis. Boat  owners began to arrive and adorn their boats and the dock with all sorts of interesting paraphernalia. Out came the planters (some of them with real plants) umbrellas, deck chairs, barbies…and by Saturday morning the pier looked more like an outdoor restaurant than a marina.

Each time we would depart on our foraging trips, we would wind our way down through the friendly crowds sitting on their “porches” by their boats. On Saturday night we were invited to join our nearest group and took the opportunity to investigate the protocols and equipment necessary to participate in such activities. On Sunday Carolyn went and bought  all the paper plates, plastic cutlery etc, and of course the folding deck chairs with the little built in table, so are now ready to party with the best of them....just like G pier at Westpark. In fact if the piers at Westpark were as wide as here, I could imagine it looking just like this.

On the subject of foraging, we seem to oscillate between Walmart and a supermarket named Pick N Save. One thing we have found, foodwise, is that you need to be very careful reading the nutritional data on US packaging and almost everything processed here contains sugar. Unlike NZ where nutritional values are given per serve and per 100 grams of product, here it is only per serve. This has caught Carolyn out a number of times when she has bought products that state, say, 10 grams of sugar when the serving size is only 22 grams. Thus the product is nearly 50% sugar. The other thing to watch for is the clever ways that the manufacturers disguise the truth without actually lying about it. I particularly liked ‘dehydrated cane syrup” and “cane syrup solids” as ingredients on products in the natural or organics sections of supermarkets……..it sounds so much healthier than “sugar”.

In Walmart I couldn’t find a single jar of peanut butter that didn’t contain sugar (I have since found some at Pick N Save), but I did find this little gem. Waldon Farms Whipped peanut spread. According to its label, it has as much nutritional value as a glass of water – 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol. According to its ingredients it contains, amongst other things “ Purified water, roasted peanut extract, corn starch, xanthine gum and vegetable fibre (Sawdust, maybe)”. Still it tastes a bit like peanut butter, and if you eat nothing but it you would starve to death (allegedly).

I love this place!!!!!!

I have decided that fitting the inverter myself was getting into the too hard basket. It would be easy to buy the wrong wiring, or too much or too little, so I decided to get the local marine electrician to come and do it. He had a few issues at first with how I wanted it done, as he would do it differently, but once he understood what the design critieria were, he seemed happy enough to do it my way. Mind you, that was three days ago and I haven't seen him since!. The outboard went off to the local Mercury dealer and came back fixed. As I suspected, the carburettor was gunged up and fter a good clean out it works fine. We weht off for a wee tutu around the marinain the dinghy yesterday, but not before Norman, our neighbour and an ex USCG captain loaned us all the safety gear that you have to carry round in a dinghy to undertake such a perilous voyage over here. Last night the name "Urban Legend" was removed from the boat, so we are currently a "boat with no name". I shall try to get Loopy Kiwi put on by the weekend.
It is warming up again. Yesterday got to 94F (35C) in town, but at the lakeside the breeze keeps us a lot cooler. Now I can open the side windows in the salon (I doubt they had ever been opened either) the boat stays a lot cooler inside. We ran the aircon in our stateroom last night and it worked perfectly - it appears that cleaning the filters was all that was needed. There were two heat related deaths up in Milwaukee yesterday and its supposed to be hotter today.

We pumped out the holding tank and flushed it out last weekend. It was not full, but the gauge still showed empty. Despite my rushing around and listentening for sucking or filling noises during the process, I still have no idea where the tank is located, or how to get to it. After that we took the boat round for a wee run to Kenosha harbour. Part way up was a fixed bridge that we sidled up to but hen turned around as we didn't know what clearance it had and it looked quite low. It turns out it had 21ft so we should have got under it OK with the VHF aerial down but, boy, it looked low.

Till next time


  1. Walden Farms has a whole line of salad dressings, bbq sauces and such that are all 0 fat, 0 carb, 0 calorie. They were a lifesaver for me when I was on a 0 carb diet last year.

    One other sugar you have to watch out for here is "High Fructose Corn Syrup." This is some nasty stuff that has been directly tied to an increased incidence of diabetes in this country. And it is in nearly every soft drink.

    The diet sugar substitutes are even worse, particularly Nutra-Sweet or Aspartame by its chemical name. If you read the history of how this garbage got to market, it is likely to instill emotions like rage and disgust. This stuff is literally poison and when heated turns to formaldehyde.

    Good luck with eating healthy in this country. It can be a full time job.

    1. Yes I know about corn syrup and Aspartame. I have been a low carb eater for 12 years now - even got to meet Robert C Atkins before he passed away. Thats one of the reasons I make a lot of my own sauces and dressings. My sweetener of choice is saccharin, and preferably in liquid form, but I haven't been able to find it here. The closest I have found is "sugar twin", which we got in small packets from the Mexican Mart a couple of weeks ago. The problem is it that is extended out by using dextrose, as does splenda, whereas the liquid is pure saccharin. If you know of a source, please email me on loopykiwi@xtra.co.nz

  2. Great to be reading about your setting up your new home. Would love to see pictures when you feel up to it.

  3. Sounds like you are acclimating well. Decorating the dock and cited the temperature with Celsius in parentheses. What exactly is a wee tutu?

    1. Yet another Kiwi colloquialism.

      Wee, (amongst other things) is old scottish for "small". Tutu, pronounced toot (as in "foot") and two (as in 2), is the maori word for "to be inquisitive". So in the case of boating it's a short trip to "check things out". So you can go for wee tutus, big tutus or just tutus...which are for an indeterminate time.

      It does not mean a small ballerina's costume when used in this context.

  4. Wee i knew, tutu ( other than the ballerina costume) one was a new one. I have added it to my vocabulary just to demonstrate my vast cultural knowledge. HAH! Hope it has cooled off a bit for the two of you and you have a wonderful July 4th, a great American holiday.

  5. Somebody in the Owners Club probably knows where the holding tank is located. If the gauge is made by WEMA, the original sensor was plastic, replacement is stainless, and there's a published installation commentary on the SOC website. -Chris, M/V Ranger, Silverton 42C, www.silvertonclub.com