Friday, January 17, 2020

Sail the Atlantic, Cruise Line Aids Bush Fires, Mariner Job Fair, More Sailing News

blog copyright 2020, all rights reserved.


During this year's Atlantic crossing, the yacht Sea Cloud sailed approximately 2,300 nautical miles solely under sail. “Around 100 miles from the final destination, Santo Domingo, engines were needed to support the remaining trip,” reported Captain Sergey Komakin, master of the four masted barque. Even for a tall ship like the Sea Cloud, sailing 96% of the time on a transAtlantic is not typical. Sea Cloud’s crossing was from Cape Verde to the Caribbean with NE tradewinds at 15 to 20 knots. She ship sails the Caribbean in winter, Europe in summer.  See to book a trip on board.  

Cozy up in your bunk tonight with a Kindle ebook from Farley Halladay, the Yacht Yenta.  Sail vicariously, solve crimes, try her galley recipes from when she and her late husband were charter hosts on board their ketch. Three books in the series so far. Start with January Justice.


Scenic Group, the luxury small ship cruise company, donated  AU$500,000 to Australia’s firefighting and relief efforts. Based in Boston and Vancouver, the group offers international cruises. Others anywhere in the world can donate to relief efforts  via the Australian Red Cross, (www.)

    The Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy Job Fair will be held February 26 at the Academy in Norfolk on February 26.

    Sea kindly, well balanced, roomy down below and equipped with electric winches and other assists, the Jeanneau 490 is a gem for ocean cruising. Schedule a test drive through

    Now from cruise line Viking, expedition cruises combine learning with luxury on board small ships (189 staterooms)  that cruise uncrowded places. Leading educators and scientists accompany guests to such places as remote polar regions, the Falkland Islands, Cape Horn and the St. Lawrence River. 

    It’s handy to have a water filter at your galley sink and now you can have additional protection with this freestanding dual water filter installed at the hose. Easily mounted as needed, it can be used  every time or only at marinas where water has odors or a high level of particulates. It’s from CLEAR20.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Boating, Sailing News, Cruising Question

blog copyright janetgroene as Farley Halladay. To donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription use your Paypal account to janetgroene at

Question of the Week: Do you charter in other regions, waters, countries even though you have a really great boat at home?

Advantages: (1) Cruise any time of year, even when your own boat is laid up.  (2) Fly anywhere in the world to discover new cruising grounds you may want to sail to on your own later. (3)  Sail, go home, turn over maintenance and repairs to the boat owner. (4) Experience different types of boats suitable for the waters: power and sail, different sizes, layouts, rigs, powerplants. (5) Option to rent added gear for the charter such as waterski, dive tanks, kayak, Skidoo, sailing dinghy, fishing skiff. (6) Local knowledge at charter site is invaluable, enriches your cruise experience.  (7) Layout is for chartering, which usually means multiple cabins for cost sharing.

Disadvantage: (1) Cost is high to get there, charter there, provision there.  (2) Equipment may be scanty, cheesy and/or in poor repair. (3) You may not qualify to skipper the bareboat you want.  (4)  Marinas and waters are more crowded in areas handy to charter centers. (5) In your own boat you can gunkhole far and wide but charter cruising area may be limited. 


AdventureSmith Explorations has added a new, 30-guest luxury dive ship to its Indonesia itinerary. Explore exotic Bali, Komodo and underwater marvels when you sail on board Aqua Blu.


Star Clippers, the cruise ships that really sail,  have special offers for 2020 on their Mediterranean, Caribbean  and Asia sailings. Look into them and choose a cabin ugrade, prepaid tips, an onboard credit or some other tempting lagniappe.

What is Pyrate Radio? Find out at


Your first time as a charter boater? First time in the British Virgin Islands?  Join the First Timers Flotilla organized by the MarineMax folks. It’s double the fun and half the hassle when you cruise with old salts who know the ropes. 



 The hand-held SiOnyx Aurora Night-Vision Camera can function as a color or monochrome night vision monocular as well as a night vision still or video camera. The eight-ounce device fits in the palm of your hand. It intensifies available light to give humans night vision. This makes docking in a dark marina or finding one's way through crab pots, floating debris, or around an unlit breakwater or jetty much safer. The device also functions as a video camera with zoom function and has a built-in compass, GPS, and image stabilizer. See the video and review at


Magpie are crowned the 2020 Etchells Australian Champion, and Triad are the new Corinthian Champion   


Read March Malice, third in the Yacht Yenta mystery e-book series by Farley Halladay, Janet Groene’s pen name. Farley, a widow who operated a charter ketch with her late husband out of St Thomas, takes readers from Florida to the world of chartering via her online business. Meanwhile she is a cook, caregiver and crime solver.

Farley Halladay’s
Griddle Corn Cakes

    A quick galley breakfast means hearty, hot, filling food in a flash.
1 cup each yellow cornmeal and flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 stick softened butter

    Put dry ingredients in a clean bag and jostle to mix well. (Bag can be reused.) In  a bowl whisk milk, eggs and butter until smooth. Dump in wet ingredients and mix until no dry spots remain. Cook on an oiled griddle as for pancakes. Serves 3 to 4. Serve with butter and syrup or jam, fruited yogurt or sausage gravy.

Double griddles are a plus to have on board for making hot sandwiches, griddle cakes, burgers and such. Cast iron griddles cost a lot and are heavy. This lightweight aluminum griddle is a bargain at $l4.95. It's light to handle and stow. It slides in a small space for stowage. Beware double griddles with high handles that make stowage awkward.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Life on Board for for Motorboating, Cruising, Sailing

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. to donate $5 a year in support of this blog use your Paypal account to janetgroene at

Survival Food Handbook (International Marine)  is a guide to stocking your boat (and your emergency pantry at home) with shelf-stable foods from the supermarket.  No high-priced survival rations needed.  The book covers a full range of food lists, ruyles and emergencies and is packed with tasty recipes that can be made with no fresh food supplies.


    Just add golf! Exclusive to AmaMagna, the ultra-wide, ultra-luxury river ship, guests can enjoy the new Concierge Golf Program, allowing visits to four top-level golf courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany during an Old world river cruise. In the new year, AmaMagna’s itineraries include the Magna on the Danube, Grand Danube, Gems of Southeast Europe and Christmas Markets on the Danube.  It’s booked through AmaWaterways, (800) 626-0126 or

Sailfish 320 Express
As most regular readers of BoatTEST know, the test pilots there like  walkarounds or express fishboat designs for serious bluewater work.

 The closed foredeck makes all of the difference, they believe,  when things get sloppy. Now they report on the Sailfish 320 Express Walkaround. It’s built on the same hull as the proven Sailfish 320 CC, but the overnighting capability means that avid anglers can sleep and make light meals on board.  

    With the optional hardtop and back curtain (available on the pilothouse version), she becomes a three-season vessel that can run rain or shine. She has a standup head and galley below, and she can sleep four in convertible berths. The optional overnight package includes a 5kW gas generator for the electrical needs and air conditioning for climate control. subscribe free to 


Cozy up to your Kindle and Farley Halladay's cozy mystery e-book series. Meet the feisty widow, her ketch, her  cooking, her crime solving in the new Yacht Yenta mysteries.

January Justice

February Felony


March Malice


The books are also available for Nook and other e-book formats. If you don't have a Kindle, get the Kindle app free from Amazon and read the books on your tablet, pad, PC, laptop or phone.

Soon to be released: April Avenger.



    Sail the Nile and explore ancient Egypt on board the 106-passenger Steigenbuerger Royale. Sail in luxury, eating Egyptian inspired cuisine and going ashore for guided tours of legendary historic tombs, pyramids and landmarks. Book with CroisEurope Cruises, the river cruise specialists.



She’s green, she’s keen and too much fun underway, in the anchorage and at the dock. Live in luxury on deck, with its wet bar and barbecue,  and below with a queen-size master cabin and  a VIP guest cabin, each with their own bathrooms with shower. Choose between electric engines and shaft diesels for leisurely cruising or speeds up to 30 knots. Solar and battery power provide juice for minimum generator running. Dutch yachting technology and smart European styling make this an easy choice for entertaining, weekending and even extended cruising. Take a look at the Greenline 45.

Celebrate the New Year with a subscription for yourself or a gift. Good Old Boat magazine has been a favorite among serious boaters for years. It’s only $39.95

Farley Halladay’s
Deck Grill Apple Dumpling

    The tricky part to making anything in foil is to keep heat moderate and steady and turn packets regularly. If heat is too high, dough burns and apples don’t cook evenly. The goal is to brown the dough to a toasty finish and cook the apple filling, all without scorching or hotspots. The finer the dice, the quicker the apple will cook. 

Nonstick spray  for foil
8-count tube of crescent dough
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced fine
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

    Lay out four sheets of nonstick foil. Spray or grease centers. Separate dough into four squares and press seams together to seal. Toss diced apples with cinnamon sugar and place some on each square. Fold over dough to form a triangle and press edges with a fork to seal. 

Place in center of foil. Fold foil to seal and place on a grate over well-started coals, i.e. Medium heat. Turn every five minutes for 10 minutes, then check one package for done-ness. Caution. When you open the foil, and again when you bite into the dumpling, steam will be hot. Makes 4 dumplings.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Sailing, Boating, Cruising and Charterboat News

blog copyright janetgroene, all rights reserved. To ask about placing your ad on all six groene sites for one year, one low rate, email janetgroene at

Author Farley Halladay, aka boating writer Janet Groene, is a salt-cured widow who is now shore-bound with a fictional online boat charter business, caregiving, cooking and crime solving. Read a cozy mystery with true sealove and boating flavor  that takes you from a Florida retirement community to the waters of the world. 

There are now three Yacht Yenta mysteries. Start with February Felony, then go back to meet Farley  in her first book in January Justice, and ahead to see her latest caper in March Malice.

Don’t have a Kindle? Get the Kindle app free from Amazon and read e-books on your phone, laptop or tablet. The books are also available on Nook. Kindle app free for PC
News About Boats, Boaters and Cruising

American Cruise Lines, which does relaxed and scenic cruises on American rivers,  announces its new Music Cities cruises between Nashville and Memphis, sailing the Cumberland, Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers and Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Kentucky. See for departure next summer and book early for savings. 


    Better Way Products makes this Waterside Lounger. It serves as a weatherproof, spacious, 14 cubic-foot storage box as well as a handsome and comfy lounge on deck or on the dock. Just add cushions to match your color scheme. Prices start at $1,219.

    They’re real sailing vessels based on ages-old designs that get their energy from the wind, so Star Clippers took home honors in three categories of World Travel Awards for being green. To take a small ship luxury cruise under canvas, check them out.


    A respected name worldwide, Hinckley has been building strong boats for the rocky shores of Downeast for generations. Here’s a new 40-footer with a Kevlar hull.


    Cruise the Nile on a 10-day Cairo-to-Cairo expedition with Avalon Waterways, Book early for the best savings.


     Do you know about Bob Bitchin and the crew at Lats and Atts? Sign up for the free newsletter to learn about parties, gams, raft-ups, boat shows and much more strictly for the serious cruising sailor with an attitude. Email bob (at) and tell him Farley Halladay, the Yacht Yenta,  sent you.    


Elegant Egg Sauce
    In a galley that is short on space, gear, water and (sometimes) money, we take shameless shortcuts. Turn the same old dishes into a creamy sensation with this kicky sauce. It works with any milk-–fresh, canned or reconstituted .
    Make it vegetarian when served over vegetables or add saucy interest to seafood patties, burgers, baked potato,  toast. Amounts are easily tweaked to serve as many crew as needed.

3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs
½ stick butter
1/4 cup flour
About 2 cups milk
1 tablespoon each parsley flakes and  prepared horseradish
Salt,  pepper to taste

    Chop eggs and set aside. Melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually stir in milk to make a smooth sauce. Stir in parsley, horseradish, salt, pepper and chopped eggs. Makes about 2 1/4 cups sauce. 

Cook's note: To put an add ruffled on the meal, save one or two of the egg yolks and put through a strainer to serve as a garnish.

    Timid about tackling a charter in the BVI for the first time? Join a friendly flotilla with Marine Max. Everyone welcome, even if you’re an old hand. Bookings now being made , so reserve your spot for February, March and May at (813) 644-8071.


Friday, November 29, 2019

Florida Sailboat Show, Gulet Saling in the Mediterranean, More Boat News Here



    The St. Petersburg, Florida Sailboat Show, one of the best bets on earth for great boats seen in a great location, is on December 5-8. Come to shop for a boat or gear, to hang with other sailors or just to drool. Charterboats will be on show to tour before booking your next charterboat vacation.


 When strangers come aboard, especially for overnight, the skipper should require safety drill with information on MOB, abandon ship and reboarding from the water. Do you know where you MOB equipment and emergency boarding  ladder are located and how they work? Location and operation of emergency exits?




Charterboats usually come in power or sail. A Gulet is something else again, a classic Turkish boat featuring Jacuzzi’s, theaters and beach clubs, AND a bargain price compared to other types of cruise. Originating in Turkey, Gulets were built for traders to carry fresh produce from marina to marina. Fisherman sailed the “Blue Cruise” route, delivering and trading. The ships today are transformed into luxury sailing vessels. Offered for charter by the Ahoy Club, they accommodate 36 guests.


    I’m loving  fictional books by Elizabeth Peters and her Victorian era adventures in Egypt by an Egyptologist and her archaeologist husband. Now Scenic Luxury Cruises has added Israel and Oman to its 12-and 20-day cruises of the ancient world. Book before December 31 to get the best cabin at the best price,

Friday, November 22, 2019

Rare Cruising, Sailing News Plus a Galley Recipe


An Immersion in Japanese Culture, May 30-June 7, 2020, Le SoléaL

Highlights of the itinerary include an exclusive, private meeting with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, the oldest temple in the city and the birthplace of the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism, and a cooking class on how to cut and plate the deadly puffer fish.

 Three experts  join the cruise to add insight. THEY ARE Timon Screech, Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London; Holly H. Shimizu, Former Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden; and Osama Shimizu, an expert in historic and contemporary Japanese gardens.


Farley Halladay’s
Ration Of Grog Sweet Potatoes
    Every sailor deserves a daily ration of rum at the end of the day. Here’s one for the galley cook.

2 eggs
Small can (2/3 cup)  evaporated milk
½ cup each rum and packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Large (#10) can of sweet potatoes, drained

    Set the oven for 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Add sweet potatoes and use a potato masher to mash and blend them well with the egg mixture.  Turn out into a greased baking pan and top with:

1 cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Toss together to mix and sprinkle evenly over sweet potatoes. Bake about 40 minutes or until golden on top and the filling is firm. Serves 8 to 12.



Hobie, the manufacturer of kayaks, sailboats and watersport products beloved worldwide, announces that Venezuelan sailors Yamil Saba and Gonzalo Cendra are the 2019 Hobie 16 World Champions. A total of 504 athletes, representing 25 countries and six continents, competed in the event November 1 – 16 off the coast of Captiva Island, Florida.

The event featured three world championship divisions: Women’s, Youth and Open; and three additional disciplines: Masters Cup, Grand Masters Cup and Great Grand Masters Cup. All competitors raced on new Hobie 16’s, Hobie’s signature 16-foot catamaran sailboats, issued specifically for the event.

Annie Gardner and Sarah Kraft from the United States won the Women’s World Championship;  Rod and Kerry Waterhouse from Australia finished first in the Masters Cup, in addition to taking home the title of Grand Masters Cup champions. Mike Montague and Kathy Ward triumphed in the Great Grand Masters Cup. For a complete list of results visit



 Kayak to see whales. Look for the northern lights. Catch a polar bear taking a snooze.  If you’re looking for frozen treats in cruising, Poseidon Expeditions recommends booking early for such 2020 packages as the Best of Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge or the Arctic Wildlife Safari out of Spitsbergen. Children go for half price. 

Cuddle with a Good Kindle 
Book on a Cold Night

Farley Halladay lived on a ketch that was her home and charterboat business. Then her husband was killed and life became complicated. Read about her adventures as cook, caregiver, crime solver and online charterboat booking agent in the Yacht Yenta mystery e-book series. So far the series has January, February and March.  Start with February Felony, then if you like the cut of her jib,  go back to January Justice  and ahead to March Malice.

    Take a stitching seminar at at sea with Deb Luttrell of Stichin’ Heaven and go home with an heirloom quilt you made yourself. Deb offers quilting vacations on board luxury cruise liners with time for learning, sewing, networking with other quilters and sightseeing in such places as Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Alaska and the Bahamas. Reservations are going fast for 2020 packages. See

Friday, November 15, 2019

Cruising News and Farley's Galley Recipe

    When you’re looking for small boat with an all-weather serious pilothouse, take a test drive in the Axobar 28. The curved windshield has good wipers, sliding doors on the pilot house to provide quick access to decks for tie-ups and down below there is sleeping for two plus a refrigerator and sink. For information or a test run go to 

    Want serious cooking lessons? Now Carnival Panorama has nine marble cooking stations and a full schedule of cuisine coaching in its Carnival Kitchen. Get the idea in this video.:

Farley Halladay’s
Pulled Chicken BBQ


This takes 10 minutes in a pressure cooker, 35-45 in a saucepan.

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken, white or dark or a mixture
½ cup ketchup
12-ounce can cola

    Cut chicken into bite size. In a pan whisk cola and ketchup. Add chicken. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is very tender. Using two forks, shred chicken. Serve in buns or spoon over a starch such as mashed potato, pasta, rice, noodles. Serves 6. 

    If you’ve never experienced an all-standing jibe (Brits say gybe)  you will when you read March Malice, the third in the Yacht Yenta cozy mystery series on Kindle or Nook. 

Don’t have a Kindle reader? Download the free Kindle app from Amazon and read e-books on your laptop, tablet or phone.

January Justice
February Felony
March Malice

Kindle app free for PC