Thursday, February 26, 2015

Running out of Coffee...I mean Propane

I write you this morning sans caffeine. That might not sound like a big deal to some of you, but to you fellow coffee addicts lovers and mothers of small children who rise with the sun - I'm pretty sure I heard you all collectively gasp. "First world problems", I know. But it's a problem nonetheless. My head is positively pounding. I never knew the caffeine headache was real, I mean I heard about it, but was skeptical - but it is. It is very, very real.

How does this happen, you wonder? Well, our boat carries two ten pound propane tanks which provide gas for our stove and oven. They each last well over a month usually, and when we finish with one, we are typically careful to monitor (by the passage of time, we have no gauge on our tanks) when we might need a refill so we don't find ourselves in this predicament. When we ran out the other day, it was no biggie. Switch tanks, use the full one and - voila! - we were back in business. Except we weren't because our spare tank wasn't full. Looks like when we put our boat away, way back when, we forgot to top them up or at least remember that one was empty. So yesterday, as I was cooking pasta for lunch, I saw the flame flicker and fade out - poof! - and just like that, it was gone. The plus side of this was the pasta had actually cooked, so that was good. The down side was we had no idea when and where we'd get more propane. Sometimes this can be a tricky endeavor that involves leaving tanks in various locations only to get them back days later.  My first thought, of course, was "What will I do for coffee in the morning?!?!" I mean, cold meals I can deal with a but a morning without coffee? That just seems impossible. But here I am. This is happening.

My point in all that is to excuse this post. It might ramble and it might not make sense. It probably doesn't even have a point. But I'm just going to go with it while the babies nap and Scott and Isla get our tanks filled ashore (fingers crossed).

After spending a week in the beautiful Hansen Bay, we decided it was time to move. Not because we needed a change of scenery - we actually really enjoy finding a nice spot and staying for a while (because sailing with three little ones is a...production), we decided to move because of upcoming weather. The easterly trade winds are supposed to pick up significantly in this area and night time calls for gusts in the 30's, which isn't too crazy, but the bay we were in has very little land mass to the east, meaning gusts could be even stronger (think williwaw effect except a little different). We decided to move somewhere that offered a little more protection from the wind and, as such, better sleep at night. So we did, over to the easternmost side of the island in the area of the main town, Cruz Bay. Where, luckily (hopefully?), we will be able to fill our propane tanks.

The passage was okay, if not a bit rolly. In fact because I was up and down and up and down so much between getting the kids to sleep and preparing lunch, it was the first time I actually thought I might get seasick. Luckily I didn't. Laying down in the cockpit once all the kids were out was all I needed. Sleep, precious sleep. The cure-all for just about anything. Other than coffee, of course.

I have to say, each time we sail with the three kiddos I praise our choice to stay in an area where passages are short and sweet. I mean, wow. There is no way I would attempt anything longer than three or four hours with this crew right now (unless it was overnight, and even then I wouldn't want to because that can be beyond exhausting). The other day we met a guy on the beach; "So he sails the boat while you watch the kids?" (he paused inquisitively) "So who's job is harder?" he asked in earnest. I wasted no time in telling him mine was. Because it is. You do not need to be a math whiz to figure our that two arms for three kids is simply not enough. Factor in a moving sailboat where two of the three cannot maneuver safely because of their fledgling legs, and it's a no brainer. We make it happen and it works pretty well, but we have found two hour sails are our sweet spot. Long enough to get some place interesting but short enough that they can all be sleeping for most (if not all) of the journey. Baby steps.

SKEEEERT....Stop the press!

Okay, our amazing buddy boat just dinghied over with a french press full of steaming hot fresh coffee so I must go drink it now. Right this minute. This blog post is over.


Boy does it pay to have good friends. And caffeine.
Saved by the Press!! Thank you s/v Necesse! Best cup of coffee I ever had!


NIkki @ Sailrite DIY Advice Blog said...

I love this post! I would be equally distraught without coffee!

Unknown said...

So funny...we are about to set sail around Jan 2016, one of our big list items is "How are we going to ensure we have coffee"...We've been considering getting a french press too! Looks like it might be the way to go! Coffee headaches suuuuuck. Thanks for the awesome post...Along with the others!

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Unknown said...

Hi. I just read about your coffee issues. The main problem with French presses is that you still need hot water. Have you considered getting a Toddy cold brew system? They have them on Amazon. It would be a great backup.

sailinglunasea said...

Yaaay for friends with coffee!

Unknown said...

Not sure I could go without a hot cup of coffee April Winston!

Unknown said...

So glad you got your coffee fix!!! A post we can all relate to! Enjoy!

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

It makes me sad that you are ever drinking Folgers. (I am from Seattle.). And, cold brew is AWESOME and you don't need anything but a coffee grinder (or ground coffee) and a clear container water. You make it just like you do Sun Tea and heat it if you want it hot. (Don't boil.) If you run out of propane, just drink it. Much smoother than brewed, perked or steamed coffee, and always available with a clear container and sunshine. I'm thinking sunshine isn't a problem. It keeps well, on the counter for a couple days. You just throw the grounds in the water, steep it and strain it (paper or any towel will work) and enjoy. Start by using twice as many grounds as you would for brewed coffee and adjust according to taste.

Anita said...

Sorry...after you put the grounds in the water just it hang it or set it somewhere where the sun will steep it. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours of "sun" time. You could leave it on the pulpit when you are in port or find a way to hang or secure it if you are underway. On second thought, with all your babies, probably hang it somewhere in the sun. You are braver than me...I keep my 2-yr-old grandson half the week and there isn't anything little fingers can't find and mess with. But, thanks to you, we are finding the courage to buckle on life jackets and take him out for a sail!

Jordan said...

I hear you about running out of coffee! French presses are a life saver. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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