cheers with Warsteiner

We German….We Hope You Like German Too..

Sunday March 29, 2015

Ben opens a German beer

Since we had spent a good portion of last week introducing Hannes and Ben to a number of new American things they had never experienced before (Walmart..smores) they figured it was time to pay us back by bringing a little German into our lives.  Or, one good night Germanizing us.

This would include a German dinner cooked by our very own Smutje Hannes, master of the galley, and enjoyed with real German beer.  Whichever one we could find here in Southern Florida.  The meal our master chef ended on was Königsberger Klopse, roughly translated to King’s Meatballs.  Yesterday we scoured the local Walmart for all the ingredients where each of us had to memorize a list of 3-4 items as Ben’s phone lost battery power and we were left to remember on our own how much pork, veal and bay leaves went into the recipe.

(On a side note, this was the same day we had the Magic Bus break down on us in the parking lot of a Taco Bell when we went to leave and discovered the power steering lines busted and drained fluid all over the lot.  If you ever want lots of stares and random photos taken of you, try crawling under, in and above the hood of a short bus just off US-1.)

When our German night came up on us we found ourselves in the middle of a Polar Freeze with temperatures plunging from high’s in the mid 80’s to the mid 60’s.  Nights now in the low 50’s.  It was too much for our now tropical blood to handle and we all showed up to the patio in long pants, long shirts, and jackets. I may have even run back to the boat to grab a scarf because heaven forbid a cool breeze pass over my bare neck.

Getting ourselves set up outside we put Ben to work peeling potatoes as one of our sides, a job I quickly took over once he realized he was also on broccoli duty and our master chef saw that getting those cooked was of leading importance.  Before the sun could fully go down on us and we’d lose our nightly ritual of an evening drink, we made sure to stop and smell the German beer.  And taste it too.  What we had been able to find was Warsteiner which I guess is actually a pretty popular pilsener back home in Deutschland with some very entertaining commercials that we looked up on Youtube.

Matt, Hannes, & Ben

Matt, Hannes, Jessica & Ben

cheers with Warsteiner

I thought at this point that becoming Germanized meant I could just to sit back and enjoy my beer as I watched on. Smutche Hannes had other plans and continued to bark out orders for the rest of us to follow as he oversaw the operation.  Ok, maybe that’s not true, but we all withstood a little more time getting our hands dirty preparing this meal.

I may not have had the worst part of it as Hannes actually was the one getting his hands dirty, mushing up all the ground meat while I tossed in things like bread crumbs, spices, and anchovie paste.  Soon the blended flavors began to smell so good that I couldn’t keep myself from swiping the rim of the bowl with a piece of bread and eating just a bite of it raw. It.Was.Delicious.

It always cracks me up how we take up about three tables outside whenever we do a meal.  One table to sit at and eat and drink, one table to keep all our ingredients and supplies on, and one table to actually cook on since the kitchen doesn’t have a stove and the guys bring out their two burner that runs on denatured alcohol.

making dinner on patio

Before I could worry myself about eating too many pieces of raw meat though, Hannes had turned his bowl of ground veal into a plate of large meatballs and we were now working on the white wine sauce.  While taking a few swigs directly from the bottle after pouring a cup or two into the pan of course.  Then there was testing one of the meatballs after it had been cooking for about 15 minutes and still a bit pink inside.  Still delicious.

Even though Smutje Hannes and I had decided from our taste test that we were ready to dive into this meal we still let the meatballs sit another 15 minutes since there were others in the crowd that didn’t want any pink in their meat.  Cowards.  However, this did give us a little more time to thicken up the sauce and before we knew it we were ready to eat.  My mind was full of images of me stuffing 3-4 of these King’s Meatballs in my face although my stomach was only able to handle too.  I think it also knew that dessert was on it’s way from another boatyard friend of ours, Mack.  Strudel and ice cream.  A perfect complimentary German last course.

German meatballs

cherry strudel

To finish up this great night and because it was so ridiculously cold to all of us, we moved ourselves over to the fire pits to enjoy the remaining bottle of wine before we all burrowed under our covers for the night.

Overall I think our German night was a huge success and Matt and I did very well on our way to becoming Germanized.  Or as Bob Marley may have sung if he were with us:

Yeah, we’re – we’re German,
We’re German,
See, I wanna German wid you
We’re German (German, German, German)
I’m German: I hope you’re German, too.

fire pit at marinaSunday Funday with Sailing Conductors




Sailing Conductors - Hannes & Ben

Photo Caption Week: Life with the Sailing Conductors

Wednesday March 25, 2015

Hannes, Ben & Matt get Marianne's engine back in

What can I say?, there’s been nothing interesting to report on the progress of Serendipity because general cleaning work is pretty ho-hum.  Unless you’re interested in knowing things like Matt was all ready to polish the side when he realized we didn’t have pads for the polisher, so we had to wait three days to get a ride into Stuart to buy a few…only to realize they were the wrong size and had to wait another five days before we could get back into town to replace them.

The good news is our nights have been incredibly busy and incredibly fun as we get together with Ben and Hannes almost every single night.  From sushi making to smores, hot wings and pool at the local saloon to watching the sun set between our boats with a cold one in hand, these guys have been great company for us during our time here and I can only hope that we do the same for them.

Life may not be very productive when you have such new yet good friends just mere feet away from you…but it sure is a lot more fun!

Hannes records Ben making sushi

Hannes records Ben as he slices the fillings for sushi.  Think it will make it onto an episode of Soundwave2Berlin?

Matt and Alex at Indiantown

Matt hangs out with the local hooligans, Alex and Adam.

Hannes inspects wasabi sauce

Is it still considered wasabi sauce if it comes in a squeeze bottle that came from Walmart?

Sailing Conductors - Hannes & Ben

Are they saying they love Moosehead Lager or they love each other?  We’ll let these special friends* decide for themselves.

Ben making sushi

Ben adds some smoked salmon to drown out the flavor of imitation crab.

homemade sushi

Although it came out pretty pitiful looking, trust me, it tasted fantastic.  Look, it even had sliced ginger!

bringing up the engine

Marianne’s engine is finally rebuilt and being brought back on board.

cheers for Marianne's engine

Hannes & Ben cheer while Matt tries to forget  that one of them is in their underwear.

bonfire at Indiantown Marina

The guys prepare to enjoy their first smore ever.  The anticipation is killing them.

Sailing conductors first smores

They may have been all smiles for this photo, but they were choking those smores down.  Too.Much.Sugar.

hanging between Marianne and Serendipity

After going out for happy hour and hot wings we gather between our boats for a few more beers.

Matt & Hannes

O.M.G.  I don’t even know what to say…

Captain Ben Bart

Hannes captures a close up of Ben while playing with my camera lenses.

Hannes smutche

Hannes contemplates life…music….or perhaps what all of us are going to do tomorrow night.

Sailing Conductors - Marianne

Marianne….best boat yard buddy anyone could ask for.



*Inside joke.  They’re not actually a couple.

Serendipity on the hard

Work Time on Serendipity

Saturday March 21, 2015

Hannes & Ben working on Marianne

I will be honest.  The first two full days we had Serendipity on the hard, we were working machines.  Getting to work by 9 am, scrubbing and cleaning until after 6.  The days flew by and we hardly knew where the time went.  Then…Ben and Hannes got back from Tampa and as we mentioned, our crews became distractions for each other when it came to getting work done.

That’s not to say that it hasn’t been happening on both ends.  Just not as gung-ho as before we all met.

So what’s been getting done to Serendipity?, you might ask.  In short, we are trying to make her immaculate for her next owners, whomever they may be.  There really aren’t any big projects or fixes we need to worry about, just little touch ups and a bit of TLC.

One of the areas that had been neglected for awhile and needed to be addressed was the teak on Serendipity’s deck.  We hadn’t done this since last May/June because of all our passages and we knew that the salt water hitting the deck would help destroy any time we put into it so we put that project on hold until we were in Florida.  Because we know that varnishing is a pain-in-the-butt, the last few times we’ve taken on this project we’ve opted to use Starbrite Tropical Teak Oil .  Just clean the teak, easily paint to coats of this on, and you’re good to go.  I think taping off the areas took me 3x longer than the application process.

After that was the start of some serious scrubbing and cleaning.  For two days I spent my time in the aft lazerette with a bucket, and sponge, and a toothbrush; trying to wipe off every speck of dirt from every wall, nook, and cranny.  Some areas were a little harder than others and I would have to exercise my contortionist skills just to get to them.  Other areas I scrubbed for a good ten minutes not realizing it was a shadow being cast in front of me and not in fact a very stubborn section of dirt.

We also now have one area of the boat that is completely cleaned and needs no more attention, and that is the v-berth.  Surprisingly that one only took one day as we scrubbed every surface, bleached it to prevent future mold, and emptied and organized the storage spaces under the cushions.  I have to say, it’s so nice having a second boat to drop off extra junk at as we spruce this one up.  So far Daze Off is holding our life raft, guide books, and spare electronics.

Serendipity on the hard

cleaned out v-berth

storage in v-berth

Serendipity on the hard


My project de la semaine this week has been to replace the zippers on the dodger.  Some of the teeth have begun to fall out and they don’t do the best job of going up and down anymore, so I’d hate to leave that hassle for the next owner.

At first I was incredibly happy to get outside of the boat where temperatures are already beginning to skyrocket toward 90 degrees so that I could sit in the fresh breeze outside.  placing myself under Serendipity’s hull I’ve been shaded by the sun, and as long as I have my x-boom next to me, I’m a happy little girl.  With the exception of ants….

A few of the yard workers had come by early on to warn me about red ants in the area, but since I didn’t see them at all I paid their warnings no need.  That was a bit of a mistake.  The reason I didn’t see them running around is because they are so incredibly tiny…but that doesn’t mean they don’t pack a huge punch with their bite.  They’ve gotten me a few times now and the painful and itchy bumps they leave behind torment me for days after.  We’ve sprayed around the boat a few times now which I think is finally starting to keep them at bay.

There have been a few times though that a rogue ant or two will still get through the barrier and take me by surprise.  Unfortunately they usually do this by crawling up my shorts.  There have been multiple times now where I’ve been sitting there sewing or chatting with the guys next door while they work and I shoot up like a bullet and begin shaking my legs around because I literally have ants in my pants.  Not very fun.  I make sure to keep double cushions between me and the ground now.

working on dodger

Photo courtesy of Hannes.

Each day still ends the same, and that’s with me and eventually Matt wandering off to Marianne to see how progress went that day for Hannes and Ben.  I inevitably end up there first with the lure of shade and the promise of cold beer.  Today they just fixed their fridge and had a champagne of beers already waiting for me, so it was perfect.  I also like to get over there in time to see them record their daily progress to send back to their production company for the documentary series they have back in Germany, Soundwave2Berlin.  I rarely understand a word of what’s being spoken, but it’s fun to watch Ben or Hannes step in front of the camera and become animated as they speak of what they were or were not able to fix that day.

So, slowly and surely we are getting there.  Before we know it (we hope), Serendipity will be in the water and on the market and we can begin tearing apart Daze Off.  Although if our work so far on boat #1 is any indication of what’s to come, we could be here a very, very long time.

Ben & Hannes working on fridge

Hannes recording Ben

jam session at Indiantown Marina

Who Needs Work When You’re Having Fun?

Wednesday March 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day with the Sailing Conductors

A little over a week now in the work yard and we have spent about…hmm two of them working.  Ok, ok, there have been some projects happening (and I’ll get to those in one of my next posts), but the truth is, we’ve just been having lots of fun instead. Those Germans we talked about, Ben and Hannes, have a way of distracting us from our work with fun.  Although they’re telling us the same thing, so I guess it works both ways.

Matt and I still have not gotten over our habit of sleeping in and by the time we get to ‘work’ after 10 am, we usually only get about a good 2 hours in before it’s time for lunch and a little socializing.  Which is extremely easy when you’re friends are less than 50 feet from you and you just wander over to say hi or “Whatcha working on?” and it turns into an hour conversation.  Then beer-thirty comes just a few hours after that and it’s relaxing in the space between our two boats with a cold Miller High Life in hand. Monday night we had another late night at the patio with these guys, but yesterday was even better when we introduced them to an American St. Patrick’s Day.

We’d heard through the marina grapevine that a group of people were headed up to the local watering hole, JR’s Saloon, for $1 tacos and $1 drafts, their Tuesday night special.  When we thought there might be green beer involved as well we jumped at the chance to join and found out the guys were doing the same. As a huge treat for us, Hannes and Ben agreed to drive us out their in the school bus they just purchased and are renovating into a type of RV for a road trip across the US in a few weeks.  As we stepped on it for the mile long journey, we could see that they’d taken out all but one row of seats and thrown their cockpit cushions on the floor as well as most of their other belongings.  I have no idea what it will be like to road trip in this vehicle for six weeks, but it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

Getting to JR’s and locking up the bus with a good ol’ fashioned chain and padlock, we entered to find we had come fashionably late and almost everyone was already done eating.  I guess that’s what happens when you show up 30 minutes before happy hour ends.  We spent a little time meeting new cruisers from the marina, but personally I was having much more fun with Ben and Hannes, noting the differences between our cultures and making light jabs at each other.  Like when I handed the guys a Shock Top and told them it was a delicious wheat beer, they about spit it out and said that it was extremely watered down and if we wanted a real wheat beer we needed to come to Germany.  (All in teasing though, I mean, they do drink nothing but Miller High Life at the marina).  Then it was my turn to make a few jabs at Ben as he told me a little bit about his family.

“My cousin just got a baby”

“Really?  Where did she get it, Amazon?”

“You don’t say ‘got’ here?  What do you say?”

“Have.  One has a baby.  Usually you would only say ‘got’ if it was something you were given or was purchased”.

“Oh, ok.  Well, she ‘got’ hers on clearance, very cheap.  It was a German model.”

Without skipping a beat.  I love it.  And it was like that with them all night long.

Jessica & Ben, St. Patrick's Day

 When we’d finished our meals and the crowds had thinned out, it turned out the four of us weren’t ready to go home yet.  Plus Matt and I wanted to make sure we forced some more terrible American beer down their throats so we purchased a pitcher of Shock Top and made our way over to the pool tables.  One pitcher turned into two, and two games turned into four.  Before we knew it the sky had grown dark and it was time to go home. Ben racking for pool. Hannes breaking for pool. Jessica & Ben playing pool Ben shooting pool Matt & Ben Hannes & Ben on the bus

We thought the night was going to be over once we got back to the marina but it turns out that all our fellow dinner patrons that left us at JR’s were just bringing the party back to the patio.  Music was already being played between acoustic guitars and even a fiddle.  We were already tired and knew we needed to at least try and get up early the next morning to get some work done, but when there was a bottle of rum placed on the table along with some fruity mixers that one of the cruisers was trying to get rid of, there was no way we could say no.

We ended up spending another couple of great hours sitting out at the patio, enjoying live music, and sipping on a few green cocktails.  The guy that had brought the green food coloring to the bar to give us a hand there with our beers since they apparently were not serving it, made sure to leave it in the kitchen at the marina so we could keep with the St. Patrick’s Day theme all night long.

Hannes and Ben grabbed their instruments to join in on the fun and I was even given a quick lesson on how to play the cello.  I think that for only having two strings at the moment, I did pretty well.  So, now you can see why we haven’t been getting much work done on Serendipity so far.  All these impromptu events keep coming up and we don’t want to turn them down.  Life is too short, and hey, the work can wait.

Jessica with a green cocktail

jam session at Indiantown Marina

Jessica playing cello