Sometimes when we leave the shore, we have no idea where the voyage will lead to nor even a chart or map to guide us. We can depend on the wind and water to push us through time or we can take action to change our destiny or even the destination, stops along the way, changes of course. Life is just that, a voyage and adventure we embark on and if we can read the waters and the winds we can steer for more favorable routes. Or even find destinations and dreams from long ago, still lurking in our minds.
That is the point I am in right now on the trip. Yes, I still have bought myself a SCAMP being custom manufactured for me by Gig Harbor boats. But she has been renamed and redesigned to make her mine. Her name is now “Cowboy Cookies” to be known affectionately as Cookies. If you know me at all then you know I am famous for baking cookies for those I love all my life. If you have been to Sail Oklahoma you know about cowboy cookies and may have eaten one or gotten the recipe from me. What a lot of people do not know is why I bake them. My mother Pauline whom many of you met was also famous for baking cowboy cookies. I learned to bake them from her as a child, about nine years old and have been doing so ever since. So, the boat honors not only me but my mother who loved me dearly and thought women could do and be anything in the world they wanted to be. But you baked for those you loved.
The Cookies SCAMP will be the colors of the cookies, dark chocolate brown, beiges and creams with cream sails. The colors of the ingredients that go into the cookies, dark bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, white sugar, butter, eggs, flour, oatmeal and lots of pecans. A rich beautiful palate of colors and textures, bronze lights and trim, mahogany woods. I am not building a memorial, but a continuation of life and dreams. If one wants to sail away one must do that and not look back.
The Michalak AF3 continues and will be the finest boat Gene Berry has ever built. He has learned to love good woods and appreciate the skills and methods to build one. He can only continue to grow in his boat building journey. He and Mike got to work together and he learned so many of the techniques that made the boats things of great beauty. But neither is she a memorial, she is my boat built for me by a boat builder who has continued to learn and learn and recognize his own talents. Her colors are no longer red and white but are now hunter green, beige sand and perhaps some burgundy accents, the same colors I chose for my Kiwi Duck by John Welsford, my true first boat.
Her name however, remains “Bottoms Up!” because I expect I will still be capsizing her quite a bit as I learn to sail and learn to recover boats. She is also a celebration, a toast as it were, to sailing, the classic bar salute to going on and drinking a mixed drink.
Going to this March’s Everglades Challenge, the race that never was, left me with several very deep impressions on my psyche. One was that if one decides to go on the water on any voyage, one must be able to rely upon ones self, not someone else to rescue you or save you when things go wrong. If they do you have to be prepared to accept the consequences and self rescue. I don’t plan to end up waiting for someone to right and bail out the boat for me. So I did about a month of soul searching because it doesn’t happen instantly nor does it come without cost, effort or education, work many aren’t willing to do. No one exemplifies this belief and concept better than does my good friend Howard Rice who practices everything I would want us all to be and do. Nor better than another good friend, John Welsford who is designer of the SCAMP and so many other seaworthy and functional boats. It will surprise no one I hope to find out I am going to spend a lot of my summer in Port Townsend, WA to attend and take part in all the SCAMP activities, the skills classes, SCAMP Camp, the Red Lantern Rally, the Pocket Yacht Palooza and all the great fun adventures involved. I have been honored to be asked to help out as SCAMP Camp mother and get to be a member of the SCAMP group. I cannot think of anything that would make me happier, being around a group of people I admire and respect, a boat I truly love.
||SCAMP by Welsford and built by Jackie and Michael Monies
||AF3 from stem
||AF4 port side
||Bottoms UP already bottom up getting ready for her bottom
||AF4 getting her bottom protection
||John Welsford, designer, builder and orator
Were this not enough, I am working on buying a co-ownership on another pocket yacht, a blue water cruiser I have loved for over twenty-five years, my dream boat, the Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. Designed by the great Bob Crealock, she is the ultimate trailerable boat that can and has circumnavigated the world. I will keep her along with the current owner in Port Townsend, WA and I will learn to sail her myself, for while I have sailed on the Dana, I have never sailed one. I have however washed quite a few and done wood restoration and care, a good qualification for ownership, as while glass boats, there is a good deal of wood.
No worries that I am abandoning small boats or boating events, you will actually be seeing a great deal of me now I hope and I will finally get to meet some of you on the water.
Sail Oklahoma will continue on as always, the designers will still be coming here, the classes will go on, the sailing, the fun, all just like before and perhaps even better. Kelly McGuire is already committed to coming to play for us and even offered to go help me take delivery on Cookies, my SCAMP. I told Kelly it was a micro-cruiser, not a Crealock. I haven’t mentioned the Dana yet, it was his favorite boat I think?
No, life goes on with new attitudes, new latitudes. Someone said about me that I went from one adventure to another to another. Well, isn’t that what adventures are supposed to be? Isn’t life an adventure of the largest sort? Don’t wait to have adventures, build a boat, go small, go now. Who knows, adventure can be in your own backyard, just down the street, down the river that leads to the sea. The possibilities are endless.
And, as for the cookies, they are delicious. If you don't have pecans in your country, substitute any nut you like or any good dark chocolate pieces chopped or chunked in small pieces, if not chips. John Welsford says I have to bake a large amount for SCAMP Camps and for Cookies launch.
COWBOY COOKIES - SAIL OKLAHOMA
2 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks of butter) softened
1 cup of sugar (white)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 (6 oz.) package of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl and set aside.
Cream butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
Add flour mixture and mix well. Add oats, chocolate chips and pecans and mix well.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie or nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes on sheets and remove with spatula to cookie racks to cool.
NOTE; DO NOT USE MARGARINE INSTEAD OF BUTTER. It doesn't turn out right. I have had some luck substituting butter flavored Crisco with some extra water to mix.
Also, I like more chocolate chips and pecans to beef up the flavor. I have tried all sizes of chips, our personal favorite are the dark chocolate chips. I have also combined all sizes of chips, chunks, normal, mini's and even once threw in all the leftover chips I had, caramel, butterscotch, white chocolate and assorted chocolates in different sizes.
IT'S THE DOUGH THAT MATTERS MOST, I IMAGINE YOU CAN ADD M AND M's too.
You may need to adjust cooking time for your own oven.
Jackie Monies, Sail Oklahoma