The buzz on the morning net today was all about Hurricane Paul which is veering further eastward than earlier models predicted. Looks like it’s deteriorated a bit since this morning but it’ll probably still give the Baja peninsula a good bit of rain and a little more wind than we’d like to see. But, this morning it still looked like the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur was going to get whacked for sure and we were bound to get some rain and a lot of wind out of the deal. So, right after the net I took down all the canvas shade cover we’d previously strung on Chamisa. Don’t really need it so much now that things are cooling off.
Lulu opted to stay aboard Chamisa to do some deep cleaning. That worked out well since I planned to work on the head on Siempre Sabado and that would mean she’d be confined to outside where it would, no doubt, be raining. Once aboard, the first thing I did was take down the sun shade so we’d have less windage should Paul decide to make an appearance.
Before I could get started working on the head, I decided it was time to check and fill the battery water. They were all down but not as low as I was afraid they might be. However, when I fired up the battery charger it gave me an error that can be read as: a.) the batteries are too hot, or b.) there may be one or more shorted cells, or c.) the water is excessively low. Well, I know the batteries weren’t too hot. It’s been cooling off and they got lots hotter last summer in the Sea. And I’d just filled the water and none of the cells were below the plates so I doubted that c.) was the problem. That just left the “shorted cells”. Not quite sure how I test that and, the 12Volt system still seems to be operating OK so, I just turned the battery charger off and connected the second solar panel. Guess I should do some internet research to see how to test for shorted cells.
The work on the head actually went better than expected. This is mostly due to the way-too-expensive but way-more-flexible-then-the-other hoses I’ve tried in the past. This stuff is also rated way up there by Practical Sailor for its odor-containing properties. That means it keeps the odors inside, not that it contains odors. Well, I guess it does mean that it contains odors but you know what I mean. It’s not odiferous in and of itself. But it is flexible. Granted, anytime you have a 1.5″ diameter, thick-walled, wire-reinforced rubber hose it’s going to be somewhat less flexible than say a garden hose. But considering what the hose is, it’s amazingly flexible. It’s actually worth the $11.79 a foot it costs. Or at least it will be if it’s odor-containing properties match its flexibility. I didn’t finish the head install today because I ran into some really tough-to-plumb spots. But tomorrow I’ll start the day by going to the ferretería and buying some hose barbed elbows which should make things a bit easier. Lulu is banned from Siempre Sabado for at least one more day as no one should have to see the mess I’ve made of an already very messy boat. Besides, she’d just have to sit outside in the rain.
After work, as I was leaving the yard, who should I see but Alejandro. I was kind of hoping I would as we’ve been craving some more shrimp. Alejandro also had chicken tamales but I’m not really a big fan of tamales. Tamale Pie, yes, but real tamales, not so much. However, the shrimp he had were huge. He told me not to cook them now. He wanted me to freeze them and have them for Christmas. Not sure what that was all about but I assured him that there was no way I was going to leave them hanging around until Christmas. In true Alejandro fashion, he wanted to sell me 3 or 4 kilos. I wanted only 2. He assured me he’d give me a better price if I bought 3. I stuck to my guns. He showed me how nicely 3 kilos would fit in my little ice chest. I said I wanted only 2. he finally relented and sold me 2. $150 pesos per kilo comes out to about $5.35/lb. For really jumbo shrimp. Not too shabby.
Back at Chamisa, Lulu was really glad to see the shrimp. We had kind of figured on going to the Marina Cantina for their Tuesday Twofer (burgers and/or salads), but shrimp alfredo sounded way better. Look at the size of these beauties. The leaves are basil, for size comparison.
With some milk, some cream, lots of garlic, some onions and a few anchovies, Lulu worked her magic on these big ol’ sea bugs.
Wait! Did he say “anchovies”? What’s up with that? Indeed I did say anchovies. While I was working on the plumbing today I was listening to NPR Now on our Sirius radio. Much to my delight, Fresh Air with Terri Gross was on. She was interviewing a couple of cooks/authors/food researchers from “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country” about the science of cooking. One of their points was about how glutamates (remember MSG?) really bring out the flavor in foods. There are lots of ways to get these glutamates and one of them is from anchovies. That’s why they’re in A-1 Steak Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce even though you never detect any fish flavor in either one. I told Lulu about it and, since she had a few anchovy filets left from a Ceasar Salad she made a week ago, she figured, “why not?”. The result was a nicely salted sauce with just the right amount of umami and no fish flavor other than from the shrimp. Who knew? They suggested using anchovies in beef stew. I’ll have to try that although I already use lots of worcestershire sauce in my stew.
But back to tonight’s dinner. In very little time, the little grey bugs were turned a beautiful pink. Spoon some of this alfredo sauce and shrimp on some pasta, add a couple drops of Castillo Habanero Pepper Sauce and voilá!
Wonder what the rich folks had for dinner tonight.