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Galley and Rations / Re: Ciguatera
« Last post by Owly055 on Today at 01:21:49 PM »
     There is a lot of active research on Ciguatera, but it seems to be confined to risk assessment and treatment.  As the ocean warms, the risks increase.  French Polynesia, The Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, Tonga, etc, are all seeing rapid increases in cases.   The only truly safe fish are pelagic fish like Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Dorado, etc, and fish from northern waters.  Those fish are all predator fish of course, and of course the ones that venture in to tropical waters could easily develop an accumulation of the toxin, as it builds up in the flesh, internal organs, and skin.   An organization called Ciguatera Online located in Papeete offers the advice at the bottom of the page, which is pretty universal.   
     Ciguatoxin is a basic hydrocarbon, and one would think that breaking it down in processing would not present an insuperable challenge........ Heat, time, and an inexpensive non toxic catalyst..........  A "pickling process" of some sort.   Obviously from what is written, heat alone will not break it down at normal cooking temps.  It seems to me that the right catalyst in a "marinade", followed by cooking to a suitable temp for a suitable time should allow a chemical breakdown or transformation, but of course if the breakdown product is toxic, or the catalyst is toxic, or expensive, or it requires 8 hours at 600F, it's a useless effort.   
      The populations of French Polynesia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and other island nations such as the Caribbean  are heavily dependent of fishing, many of them like the people of the Taumotos and Kiribati have little else but coconuts, and a few fruit products, no land to speak of for raising livestock.  The populations of such places will become "unviable", and even more dependent on the outside world than they now are.   It also means that those of us who choose to travel to these places will be wedded to canned foods, and expensive imported foods, fruits, and a few locally produced meats...... if they are available at all.  Not a pretty picture!!

(after post edit):    I just ran across the information that Mahi Mahi, Dorado, & Tuna are not recognized as carriers.   Also that a product called Mannitol, which is a poorly digestable sugar often used in diabetic products, made by hyrogenation of sucrose over a nickel catalyst, is given IV to sufferers of ciguatera, as it breaks the toxin down.   This suggests the possible "marinade", which is widely found in nature.  Ironically it is most commonly extracted from seaweed in China at about 20% concentration, and the plane tree at about 90%, saw palmetto, etc (based on Wikipedia).   
     The "mannitol marinade" could possibly be a solution........but so far I've run across nothing suggesting such a thing.  Mannitol is alcohol soluble, and ciguatoxin is not water soluble.  I could see an alcohol infusion of plane or saw palmetto being a  marinade for fresh caught fish................  But who knows until someone tests it??  This is NOT the direction research is going.  It's common in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, etc.... We've all probably seen it.   I would expect it to do well in French Polynesia or the Caribbean...... Pure speculation, but the solution may be right under our noses.

    Second addition:  Mannitol is available online quite cheaply.......... 500G (about a pound) for only about $12 as a bulk powder.


A toxic fish cannot be distinguished from a nontoxic one, as toxins are tasteless, odorless and colorless. Als o, methods of preparation of the fish (raw, cooked, salted, dried …) does not eliminate ciguatoxins from the fish tissue or make them less potent.     
However, it is possible to avoid and/or reduce the severity of poisoning by applying a few basic rules:

1- Seek advices from the town/island fishermen. They have, most of the time, very good knowledge of the areas and fish to avoid;

2- See our cartographysection, which report toxic areas as well as toxic fish or ask the local health authority in cha rge of your country’s surveillance network;

3- Avoid eating the head and viscera, where toxins are mostly concentrated;

4- If any doubts, only eat a small amount of fish.
Routes and Destinations / Galapagos
« Last post by Owly055 on Today at 10:03:44 AM »
While this isn't specifically about sailing, the Galapagos is a wonderful destination, and things there are in constant flux, so current information is important.    Today's New York Times has an article, In The Footsteps of Darwin:   Good photos and a good read......... He flew in, but his experience in the Galapagos is likely much the same as one would have sailing there, as you are not allowed to just roam the islands on your own boat without hiring a certified guide.

Thanks for that. I'm going to order a set.
Book Locker / Hesperian Health Guides........ Where There Is No Doctor
« Last post by Owly055 on June 24, 2017, 07:02:40 PM »
     I do not own this book, or any of the Hesperian Foundation's books, but I'm adding it to my list.   Available on CD also.  The Hesperian Foundation is a non profit that has worked tirelessly since the 70's to provide health care guides to people in remote parts of the earth.  Simple, useful, and understandable and very comprehensive stuff from what I've been reading.   This book has been published in over 100 languages, and the entire collection of manuals are available for download in 26 languages.  If it's anything remotely close to the hype, it's a book a world cruiser should have not one copy of, but several.  In some remote part of the world (or not so remote) it might be a treasured gift.

Here is a snip from Wikipedia:

In the British Medical Journal, a 1998 review said:

    Chances are that if you visited a remote district hospital in a developing country you would find a well thumbed copy of Where There is No Doctor in its library. The book is intended primarily for village health workers, but generations of doctors and medical missionaries who have worked in under-resourced communities globally will vouch for its value in providing concise reliable information.[6]

The book was referenced in a 2004 article in The Lancet, entitled "Can we achieve health information for all by 2015?" Underlining the importance of straightforward information in the language of the reader, the authors wrote that:

    A community health worker may find a single copy of Where There is No Doctor, adapted and written in the local language, more useful than access to thousands of international journals.


Galley and Rations / Re: Efficient refrigeration
« Last post by misfits on June 23, 2017, 03:37:58 PM »
Not sure if this would be worth the trouble. Couldn't drink it, that's for sure.
Back in the 80's when we tuna fished we would go out early June & catch a couple hundred mackerel.  We'd clean them & brine them for a couple of days. The brine solution was seawater, ice & kosher salt.  It lowered the freezing temperature of the water, it was crazy cold & would keep in a 55 gallon drum for two days. I wonder if one was to freeze half gallon jugs of brine if it would last longer than conventional ice in a jug?

Boat Discussion / Re: SV Dayenu, Richard & Tresa
« Last post by misfits on June 23, 2017, 03:28:37 PM »
That is a nice anchor set up Richard. Nice boat period.
What kind of manual  windlass is that? Looks pretty rugged.

Boat Discussion / Re: SV Dayenu, Richard & Tresa
« Last post by Frank on June 23, 2017, 01:21:57 PM »
I really liked Friday Harbour in the San Juans...
Very funky town, extreme mix at the marina!! From high end to low...a great batch of boats. I found Roche Harbour to be extremely "snooty" for lack of a better word. Lots of big $$ boats with chrome anchors that were never used. The few folks that were actually there seems "uppity" as well. I'll take funky Friday Harbour any day 😄
Enjoy your cruise!!
You have a fine boat!!
I'll be out there headed N about the same time.
Boat Discussion / Re: SV Dayenu, Richard & Tresa
« Last post by SV Dayenu on June 22, 2017, 01:21:01 PM »
Nice boat charlie!


This month long cruise will be to the San Juan Islands. Leaving Medford Oregon on July 8th, arrive Anacortes July 10. Splashing and taking two days to set up, practice, shake down sail into the straight, then heading to Blind Bay... Not sure after that, but we wanted 2 nights at anchor to unwinds and go over our guides, Nav charts and current atlas to figure out where next. We have TONS of possible destinations, trying to spend more time at anchor then visits to marinas with slips, shore power (Although I'll be installing our 200 watts of solar once we get the main sail up to check for boom clearance to the Bimini... two semi flexible 100 watt panels). We took all 7 of our sails to the school gym to inspect and decide what to bring. Decided on a smallish jib (not sure what size but it will overlap the mast by a little bit, and a small yankee high cut heavy jib for when the winds pick up (We have on reefing point in our main.).

Still have a lot of work to do. I "should" complete our navigation/cabin wiring today! LOL! Got too hot yesterday.

I've been approaching prepping our boat like a paranoid lunatic (Ex firefighter)... Tresa and I both agree, the precautions and back ups (We have full insturmentation on the boat, but I mounted a small hummingibrd dept/speed, temp as a back up... I like our Garmin 640 and we have paper charts, but I tend to navigate with one eye on the depth and follow accordingly.

Tresa gets me to lighten up sometimes when she reminds me that my last sail up there (for two weeks), was with a little San Juan 21, using "some" paper charts and a handheld compass and nothing else! We've both been sailing most of our lives with some blue water experience. My plan is to sail/motor with the keel almost fully down (6'2 and go SLOW when entering areas that have shoals or rocks. If we "bump", we can raise the keel (2' 3" when up), and back up. LOL! Yes, we too love shallow draft! Especially a swing keel... Our crusing plans for the rest of our lives is to Gunkhole and explore (ICW, Bahamas, Sea of Cortez (Been going down there since 1973 at LEAST a few times a year. LOVE it down there!)

We're also planning to go to Sindey and visit Buchart Gardens. Sucia is high on our "must" list as well as Stuart Island and traveling up and down the west coast of ?? Island (Lime Key Point), to look for Orcas... We'll return from Canada to check in at Roche Harbor, spend the night in a slip then maybe a couple of nights in Garrison bay with day sails up and down the coast there on our quest for Orca encounters...

Counting the days (17 days!), till we leave and praying I can get all my to-do list, done! Working EVERY DAY from 6AM until it gets too hot up there... She's sitting in our driveway next to my shop. (I forget how lucky I am to be able to have these resources just a few steps away from the boat. LOL!

OK... enough procrastinating... back to work.

Book Locker / Re: Not a book... (or: The video thread)
« Last post by Pappy Jack on June 21, 2017, 09:31:08 PM »
Save this one for next winter. You won't regret it.

Fair winds
Pappy Jack
Galley and Rations / Re: Efficient refrigeration
« Last post by Owly055 on June 21, 2017, 08:47:11 PM »
    I just had a refrigerator crisis..........The door on my GE side by side doesn't always close by itself as it should.   I left for the afternoon with the door not completely closed, and indoor temps hit 95.  I don't have AC here, really don't need it.   I got home and "oh my god"!!   Opened the door and the temp was 70F in the fridge.  Not a big deal really, I closed the door to allow it to drop back to where it should be............  The auto defrost kicked in a few minutes later, and nothing I could do would start the fridge before it was through!!    I like auto defrost.  It's a real asset.  I remember the days of having to chip ice!!   A friend of mine just discarded a fridge because he was chipping ice and heard a hissing noise, and then it would never work.   How can you live to be 55 years old and not know that the freezer compartment is the evaporator and you should not hammer at it with a knife???    I knew that as a child!!

    The most ingenious refrigeration system I ever saw was in a homestead called The Mitchell Place, way back in the hills.   The house had long ago fallen in, but I was able to piece together their system, something most folks would have missed.   This system dated back to the 40's.   A cellar under the kitchen was heavily insulated with whatever was available, mostly wool trimmings called "tags" by sheepmen.   (I have a lifetime history working with sheep and other livestock).   Round bottom troughs outside the house were designed to be inverted to dump out large chunks of ice.  A chute like you would use to load coal into a house allowed these big chunks of ice to be slid down into the cellar.   They were stacked and covered in sawdust as in a typical ice house.    The well and hand pump made the function obviousThe big differences were that this ice house was below the kitchen, and the kitchen contained a dumb waiter (small elevator for lifting and lowering things other than people).   The dumb waiter lowered milk, eggs, and whatever else, right down into the ice house, rather than breaking off chunks of ice and carrying them into the house as was usual in those days.   Hooks were still in place for hanging carcasses of butchered animals, and shelving along one wall allowed for things to be kept long term under "refrigeration".    The Mitchell family was long gone when I got here, and the two men I knew who knew them are now dead.  This was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg of innovation on that homestead, now part of a huge ranch of about 50,000 acres.  I've been friends with 3 generations on that ranch, and only the oldest had any idea about what Mr Mitchell did.. I've seen it with my own eyes, wandered that old homestead, and admired his thinking for many years.  I've many times wished that I had been able to know the man, but I know him only by his work.  I admire true innovators beyond all other humans, and Mr. Mitchell was an innovator par excellance for his time and what he had to work with.  I could write a book about the things I've seen that these early pioneers did to address their problems and make life easier.   It's rapidly disappearing in crumbling shacks that once were typical houses of their day, dozed under and farmed over, their legacy is forgotten by almost everybody.  Lost in our modern technology, the children of today or tomorrow will likely be faced with similar challenges and only primitive technology.  All things ultimately move in a circle.  Don't forget  how to use your sextant!!!

     My refrigerator is now past it's defrost cycle and the temp is rapidly dropping.


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