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Month: September 2017

Boat Chef: Hoppin’ Jalapeno Popper Dip

Boat Chef: Hoppin’ Jalapeno Popper Dip

Whenever we are invited to a party, people ask us to bring this dip.  Jim loves with with tortilla chips, while I prefer it with a sliced and lightly toasted baguette, but it is delicious on almost anything you put it on. You can take our word for that because we’ve used it to top fish tacos, baked salmon, crab cakes (you can find our recipe here!), burgers, and mixed with macaroni and cheese. And if you try it and come up with your own unique uses, please let us know!

Scroll past the video to see the full recipe.

hoppin jalapeno popper dip

Hoppin' Jalapeno Popper Dip

This dip will be the hit on any party you bring it to and pairs well with either tortilla chips or a toasted sliced baguette.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author lifeatsixknots


  • 4 bricks cream cheese
  • 1 16 oz tub of sour cream
  • 5 jalapenos chopped
  • 1 package shredded cheese We use "Mexican"
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic crushed
  • 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1.5 tbsp butter melted
  • seasoning of your choice


  1. Combine cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl. Mix. 

  2. Add shredded cheese, jalapenos, fresh garlic and seasoning. Mix. 

  3. In a separate bowl, combine panko, melted butter and seasoning to taste. Mix well.

  4. Spread dip in a baking dish. 

  5. Sprinkle with panko mix. 

  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until panko has browned a little. 

  7. Serve with tortilla chips, sliced toasted baguette or whatever your heart fancies.






life at six knots jalapeno popper dip

Mast Step Repair: Part 3

Mast Step Repair: Part 3

The dirty work begins! We didn’t anticipate the mast step would take so many hours to remove, but we finally got it out! Fortunately, only one of our stringers was partly rotted, so we removed the section that needed to be replaced and got to work rebuilding it.

It was a challenge trying to live on a boat where we were also trying to do a massive repair project. Steph spent a lot of time in coffee shops and on Peter’s boat (he’s the one we bought Willow from) editing photos from weddings we’d shot. It was difficult for her to have to uproot her workspace every couple of hours and not know where she’d be working the next day. But we are happy to report, all weddings were delivered on time!

Another challenge was feeding ourselves. For a lot of the time, there was a fine dust covering every surface. Not a good environment for trying to cook a meal in! Aside from the dust, our belongings had all been removed from their hiding spots in the main salon area and moved into different spots. Tools littered every surface and that included the surface of the galley.

And it was hot. So hot. Probably the hottest part of the summer, and we were chugging away at this project that required me, at times, to be in a full white dust suit and mask. It was particularly awful when I had myself and “the hole” covered with plastic to minimize the dust spreading in the boat.  But with time ticking away, we needed to use all the time we had available, no matter what the temperature was.


Next week we get the mast put pack in and the boat back together and go for a shakedown sail! Stay tuned for the final episode!


Sail On!

Boat Chef: Steph’s Crabulous Crab Cakes

Boat Chef: Steph’s Crabulous Crab Cakes


Welcome to the first episode of our new series, Boat Chef! One of the questions we are asked most about our liveaboard lifestyle is whether or not we cook on the boat.

When we moved aboard, I promised myself I wouldn’t let the size of my galley prevent me from cooking exactly what I wanted when I wanted to. Last December I baked Christmas cookies aboard, and on St. Patrick’s Day I made Jim and our neighbor, Skip, a corned beef with all the veggies (I get double credit on that one since I don’t even eat corned beef!). I’ve made risotto while underway and handfuls of lunches on a heel.

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it, so I am starting this series to share with you some of the recipes and dishes I prepare in my tiny galley.

Scroll past the video for the full recipe.



Crabulous Crab Cakes (with Sriracha remoulade)

These crab cakes are delicious and easy to make. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 people


For the crab cakes

  • 1/2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonaise
  • 4-5 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 green onions chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • seasoning salt (or Old Bay) to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Approx 1 lb fresh crab cracked, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed into crumbs
  • olive oil (or coconut oil) for cooking

For the Sriracha Remoulade

  • 1/2 green onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnnaise
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha depending on your taste
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • seasoning (salt, pepper, etc) to taste
  • 1/2 lemon juiced


  1. Mix remoulade ingredients together, set aside.

  2. Combine your sauces (Sriracha, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard), mayonnaise, green onion, crushed garlic, lemon juice, seasoning salt, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

  3. Add eggs and crab. Mix.

  4. Add cracker crumbs. Mix.

  5. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, add crab mixture in small lumps, flattening each one slightly.

  6. Fry each cake for about 3 mins on each side or until they're golden brown. 

  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

In the video, it only shows me adding one egg. I did add a second one that didn't make it on camera


Mast Step Repair: Part 2

Mast Step Repair: Part 2

With the sails off and the boom stored, our inspection panels cut and the wiring disconnected, we were ready to have the mast pulled. It’s quite an emotional thing…to have your mast pulled. It’s the very lifeblood of your boat. It’s what makes a sailboat a sailboat and not a power boat; without it, you have nothing to attach your sails to. Which means your boat doesn’t move through the water in the way it was intended. It was hard to watch our being wheeled around the back of Sea Marine and set to rest (however temporarily!) in the middle of a mess of masts that looked like they’d been left to die.

But we were glad to get the show on the road. We’d been aware of the problem for over a month before we got to work, and getting the job started was a relief. We knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but when we finally dug into it, we realized we had no idea!


Stay tuned! Next week we get the dirty work started!


A day at the wooden boat festival

A day at the wooden boat festival

This past weekend, September 8-10 was the 41st Annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Located at Point Hudson Marina and the Northwest Maritime Center, the three day festival was a truly special event. In addition to the myriad of really cool old (and not so old) wooden boats on display to be toured (and some even chartered!), each day was cram packed with informational seminars, talks by authors and experts in all things wooden boats.

Edensaw hosted its annual boatbuilding challenge where teams of up to four people worked to build a sail, paddle or row boat made of wood over the course of the three days of the festival. We were only there for the one day, but it was neat to see the progression of these small boats, each one very different from the next.

There were tons of activities for kids including treasure hunts, boatbuilding (on a much smaller scale, of course), oceanography on the dock, a puppet theater and boat rides just for kids. We watched a race between two kids on boats made out of cardboard and duct tape (in a large pool-type tank, not in the marina) that looked like a lot of fun!

One of our favorite parts of the day was meeting Carol Hasse and seeing where our sails were built at the Port Townsend Sails Loft. It was so neat to see the space and to listed to Carol’s talk about sail construction. We learned a lot and gained a better understanding of how our boat works.

We hadn’t planned on staying all day, but 6 p.m. rolled around and we were still chatting with friends we’d met on the tall ship Ladyhawk at Festival of Sail in June. It was a great day, and we can’t wait for next year!



Mast Step Repair: Part 1

Mast Step Repair: Part 1

We realized we had a problem when I was replacing the float switch on our shower sump. I looked toward the mast and saw what looked like corroded metal sloughing off at the base of the mast. Since there was no inspection panel around the mast, the first thing we had to do was create one in order to determine the extent of the damage.

What we found was disheartening. Spots of our step were paper thin, even worn completely through. A huge pile of corroded iron littered the hull just under the mast. We had just returned from our first overnight trip to Tacoma, and we’d gotten into some heavier winds in places. We couldn’t help thinking of what might have happened, what could happen at any time. We brought in a few friends who have spent their lives around boats, repairing them, building them and sailing them. They confirmed what we knew to be true: we needed to replace our mast step. And possibly the stringers.

It was going to be a big project. And expensive, thought doing it ourselves would save us a boatload of money. Unfortunately, we found the problem right before we left for a month-long trip to California, which meant most of our summer sailing season was going to be devoted to repairs and not to sailing.

As soon as we could get an appointment with the crane operator, we got to work removing sails, loosening rigging, storing the boom and prepping the boat to have the mast pulled.


Stay tuned for the next installment of our mast step repair project next week!


Sail On!

Checking out the Ballard Locks

Checking out the Ballard Locks

When we made the decision to move to the Seattle area, and started doing our research, it seemed likely that if we were going to be moored in the city of Seattle, we would end up in Lake Union. And therefore we would need to learn how to navigate the Ballard Locks (officially called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks). It was a terrifying prospect, and we’d heard horror stories around the Internet.

In the end, we found ourselves outside of Seattle and therefore nowhere near the locks, but we were still curious to see what they were all about. Considering they attract over 1.3 million visitors per year (according to and, with over 400,000 boats passing through per year, are currently the nation’s busiest locks, we had to see what the hype was all about.

In talking to one of the locks operators, we learned that they actually have boats going through 24 hours a day and a boat can sometimes wait hours in line depending on the number and size of the boats ahead of it.

We also walked down to the fish ladder, where the salmon were running. It was pretty cool to see them all swimming against the current, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the video below for more on our visit to the Ballard Locks!

It was a fun day, and we enjoyed our experience. In fact, whenever we are in Ballard and we have a little extra time, we like to walk down and watch the boats.

Have you ever been to the Ballard Locks? What did you think?