New gear for SV Bear!

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New monogrammed towels and cutting board – mom said we needed something classy!

This holiday season we have been reminded of how lucky we are to have parents who support our sailing adventures.   Jeff’s parents in particular have helped us on multiple occasions to provision, clean, and even sail down the ICW last year.  This Christmas, Jeff’s folks were again extraordinarily generous, putting a bunch of our wish list items under the tree!

1. O2Cool misting fan – We had one of these on the boat last summer and are very happy to have another.  Pop in two AA batteries and get a refreshing blast of cool mist! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2. Sweet Swat Fly Swatter – Last year we were attacked by black flies as we sailed from Crisfield, MD to Deltaville, VA.  On this trip we perfected our fly swatting skills, breaking one of our coveted swatters in the process.  We are glad to have received two of these telescoping bug smashers, though I hope we are never as in need of these tools as on that sail.

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3. Phantom Aquatics Dry-Pack Backpack – This was one of the top items on my wish list (just under the Olympus Tough Camera that I shot all of these photos with).  I wanted a  better, more waterproof way to secure our laptops and other electronics while we travel on the dingy from the boat to land.  Each time I handed my non-waterproof backpack to Jeff in the dingy, I imagined the day that one of us slipped and dropped the bag overboard.  This new dry-pack will help to quell those fears.

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4. Nesco Food Dehydrator – While our Tayana 37 has a fair amount of storage space, we hope to experiment with food dehydration next summer.  This method of food storage not only creates more compact and lighter-weight treats, but it also will allow us to have another option aside from canned fruits and veggies when we are away on extended trips.

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5. Squish 4 qt. collapsible colander – We use the former freezer space as the storage for our pots and pans aboard Bear.  One of the items that seemed to overwhelm this space last summer was our colander.  While I have really tried to pare down our galleyware, I knew that with the amount of pasta that Jeff consumes that we could not do without a colander. Luckily, we received a collapsible version that will take up about 1/5 of the space of our traditional plastic contraption.

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6. Starboard Collection Carina Bowls – A few weeks ago I wrote a review of these plates and bowls and added these serving bowls to my wish list.  If you are in the market for new tableware for your boat, or your lanai, be sure to check out Starboard Collection, a new company started by a fellow sailor.  Lucky me, I got two serving bowls!

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7. Oven and Refrigerator Thermometers – If your galley stove is anything like our fickle 20+ year old Shipmate 3 burner, then you know the challenge of successfully baking cookies or pizza.  I am hoping that this new oven thermometer can help me to create better baked goods aboard (though now I will have one less excuse!)

I am also hoping to better manage the amount of spoiled food we have to discard from the refrigerator with this stainless steel thermometer.  Our current method of running the engine an hour or two a day does not seem to keep our perishable items safely chilled, and I am hoping to keep a better eye on the “danger zone” with this device.

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8. A new shower head!!!!  – I may be a little too excited about this gift!  One of the things that I miss the most about living on land when we are on Bear is a nice shower.  While we often seek out free or cheap showers at marinas or public docks, sometimes we need to shower aboard, and our current shower head is terrible.  This head will allow us to turn the water pressure off on the handle, so that we can conserve water, yet enable us to sustain water temperature, something our current shower does not allow.  I can’t wait to install this when we get to the boat next week!

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9. Trek Wireless Speaker – This was not on our wish list, but we are really excited to have this new electronic gadget!  Jeff and I like to listen to Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, The Talking Heads, Ani Difranco, and lots of other good music while drinking sundowners in the cockpit.  This will surely help us get our groove on!

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