About Me

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Sacramento, California, United States
so salty pieces of coral from surfing Hawaii in the 60's and 70's getting reef pounded living in my body fall through my skin from time to time!

sailing to Oahu

Jimi Hendrix was playing on Oahu. I had never sailed. Surfed Mexico, California, Hawaii! Aw, how hard could it be to sail 90-110 miles from Kauai to Oahu? Piece of cake, right? Remember it was the 60's! This is so bad. We thought we were looking at Kaiena Point,Ohau, knowing we weren't going to make the concert! But at least we were in site of Oahu-wrong! Coy, who had never sailed before, me,who had never sailed before, jeff and Abbott etc. We were looking at the sleeping giant on Kauai! We had done three-sixty's in the night! We sailed on the only tri-marran I've ever sailed on ( except later ) in my life, missed the concert! It was at the Waikiki Shell Ampitheater ( Moon eclipsed . We finally made Nawilwili Harbor! The Skipper tried to give us his boat saying, " It's trying to kill me"! We watched him go stark raving mad not even realising that had we got caught in the channel current we were on our way to Japan! Remember it was the 60's and we were going to see Hendrix. I left out some of the good stuff but I will make up for it later!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hardtack ( ugh ! )


"Baked hard, it would keep for years as long as it was kept dry. For long voyages, hardtack was baked four times, rather than the more common two, and prepared six months before sailing."

"In 1801, Josiah Bent began a baking operation in Milton, Massachusetts selling "water crackers" or biscuits made of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from the port of Boston, which was also used extensively as a source of food by the "gold diggers" emigration to the gold mines of California in 1849. Since the journey took months from the starting point, pilot bread was stored in the wagon trains, as it could be kept a long time. His company later sold the original hardtack crackers used by troops during the American Civil War. The G. H. Bent Company is still located in Milton, and continues to sell these items to Civil War re-enactors and others."

"During the American Civil War, 3-inch by 3-inch hardtack was shipped out from Union and Confederate storehouses. Some of this hardtack had been stored from the 1846–8 Mexican-American War. With insect infestation common in improperly stored provisions, soldiers would breakup the hardtack and drop it into their morning coffee. This would not only soften the hardtack but the insects, mostly weevil larvae, would float to the top and the soldiers could skim off the insects and resume consumption."

Fun Food Facts:

Pirates & Seamen would tap their biscuits on the table (remember these biscuits were hard) to knock most of the weevils out before eating. If the biscuit was going to be eaten in a broth, they would emerge the sea biscuit in the liquid and wait. "Wait? Wait for what?" They would wait for the maggots to float to the top of the liquid so they could remove them before eating. Some Pirates were so tough, seeing all these maggots and weevils didn't bother them at all. They would eat the food with or without the crawling and wiggling little critters.

Hard Tack is also know as:

sea biscuit, sea bread, hard bread, pilot bread, worm castles or ships biscuits.

Kind of like the worm in a good bottle of Tequila? Do you think when you read about being shanghaied that sailing aroud the Horn would be a good thing? Knocked on the noggin, waking up before the mast! Wondering where Annabel Lee is now? Have you ever been in a storm on land so ferousious that you didn't think you would survive? Imagine being in that same storm on a vessel at sea with land close by!!!! Scary? Yea!!

bully-beef, Pago Pago, Samoa

I was compelled to buy two cases of big Steinlager for my new friends after arriving in American Samoa. After all, I was a guest who had just arrived from Fanning Island. It was warm! Not the beer but the temperature. I joined into a marathon volleyball competition that lasted two days. It wasn't the beer that allowed me to become a part of a Samoan family but an attitude. In a very real sense the Hawaiian word " Ohana" sums up a feeling of mutual respect that relays a feeling of family or a relation of trust without bloodlines in all of Polynesia. But sometimes a deeper, spiritual, friendship that bypasses race, creed, or color, is often times realized. I stayed with my new friends for four days. Where billy-beef (bully ) comes into the picture is that when we sat down to a full dinner, I was placed in a position of honor. Just right of the matriarch (Chieftess) and was given a plate of pure fat with a little meat, taro leaves and sweet potato (yams). She kept saying, " Eat, you are to thin! You must put on some weight!" In Samoa you can buy 5 gallon buckets of beef similar to what early sailor's were reduced to eating after they had been away from land for two weeks. The diet of early sailor's consisted of what? Use your imagination! Before refrigeration! I was honored and ate everything on my plate and more. It would have been a major insult for me to try and explain to this wonderful Samoan family that had taken me in to the very heart of their being that I was a vegetarian! When I returned to " Sea Rover ", I found that my skipper and his wife were so worried about my absence that they had informed the American Consulate that I might have been abducted and were instigating an A.P.B for my whereabouts! All I really wanted was for them to have some privacy as the boat was only 32 feet and we had been together for awhile. Husband, wife, child and Scuppers (the cat) and me. All on our way to stralia! Ready for more?

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