Provisions and Prices from the Florida Keys to the Virgin Islands

We sailed from the Florida Keys to the Virgin Islands via the Thorny Path April-June. I thought it might be helpful if I threw in some generalizations about the costs across the route. Nothing new here, but here is a rough ranking from most expensive to least expensive with color commentary. The usual caveats apply, YMMV. Interested about your experiences. Continue reading

Winter 2018 Cruising Plan

We get asked by our land dwelling friends and work mates “Where are you now? Where do you live?” Of course, on Echoes. We have a mailing address, but the address on our Florida drivers’ license is our USCG vessel documentation number. Yep, we officially live on Echoes.

For Summer 2018, we are back in our home marina Herrington Harbor North in Tracy’s Landing / Deale, MD. We plan to leave September 28 and we’re Not Coming Back. We are going where the snow don’t blow and the ice don’t go (except in our Tervis cups). Christine is selling her car and Rick is returning his VW Passat TDI to Volkswagen as part of their DieselGate recall. Continue reading

Heading South on the Intracoastal Waterway – November 2017

Work and life kept us from taking Echoes south until mid-November. The plan was to stop in Charleston until after the holidays and then head to Jacksonville Florida as a start.

What’s the ICW like?

Let’s just say that we won’t be waiting so late to head south in 2018. It was cold. We have a full enclosure, so we avoided a lot of the wind during our passages. But, it got cold at night without a furnace below. We made do with a Honda EU2000i gas generator and an oil radiator heater. But, you can’t leave that generator running all night. Temperatures got as low as 40-degrees Fahrenheit in the mornings. Rick got up early and started the generator to warm the boat up. Continue reading

Echoes Winter 2017 Refit

Christine and I bought Buddy & Dariene DeRyder’s Surfryder in December 2016. She is a beautifully well-kept 2003 Beneteau 423, hull #32. She has higher than average engine hours, but that does not show and the engine runs beautifully. We worked with Zimmerman Marine’s Yacht Purchase Support Program and Haywood May was our broker with Steve Zimmerman consulting. We hired the well-known Mike Previti of as our surveyor. We began a refit in January and just completed the final work June 23. We move on the renamed Echoes full-time June 30. This process took longer than planned, and unplanned – we expected to be done with the refit by the end of March. Why did it take three months longer than expected?

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Introduction to Echoes

Introduction to Echoes

We bought our liveaboard sailboat in December. We are renaming her Echoes after the famous Pink Floyd song. Why Echoes? Just LISTEN, here is the first phrase:

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

Listen to that at night under the stars on deck with a glass of rum!

We talked about what we were looking for in our ISO LIVEABOARD SAILBOAT post. You can’t have everything, but we got everything we wanted except for the traditional mainsail; Echoes has a roller furling mainsail. Echoes is a 2003 Beneteau 423. Reviews of this model mention the large volume, great livability at anchor, easy sailing and suitability for couples cruising. We love the large shower that is in the forward master’s berth and the large island queen bunk. We also love the big cockpit the allows Rick to lay out full length for cockpit sleeping on warm nights. Continue reading

RickG’s Keeping Wheat Bread Recipe

I’ve gotten a couple of requests for my recipe for my Keeping Bread that I have been working on for a couple of years. My goal with this bread is a slicing bread that keeps for a week. The addition of wheat gluten, dry milk, oil and honey aid in the keeping quality. Starting with a 30 minute rest lets the yeast get started, but also lets the proteolytic (protein reducing) and diastatic (starch reducing) enzymes get started; this results in a more relaxed dough.

This recipe is in bakers % by weight and is sized for a single standard loaf. I provide conversions to volume for convenience, but you will get more consistent results measuring by weight.

At 50% AP flour to 50% whole wheat flour you will get signifiant lift. I have great results going as high as 75% whole wheat (my favorite). At 90% whole wheat the loaf is heavier and at 100% the loaf is heavier and more crumbly. Size the loaves to fit your oven. This also works well as a round loaf, but it will spread a bit as it is a soft dough.

Recipe spreadsheet at: rickgs-keeping-wheat-bread-facebook-bakers-percentage-170211

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