Camp Quality Grainger Style

Camp Quality Grainger Style

On Sunday we participated in Camp Quality at our club (MOFSC, Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club). It was our first time as we were under the impression that it was only for house boats and pontoon boats.  because they are able to do crabbing and fishing up the estuary and we are not.  I  have since spoken to a lot of bigger boat owners at the club and all were disappointed that they were not aware of the need for different types of boats to be involved and I am sure that next year, they will try and keep the date free to be able to get involved.

Our club co-coordinator approached us a few weeks ago and asked if we would consider using our boat to take some families of the Camp quality kids around the estuary, we did explain that we didn’t think our boat was suitable due to the draft (the amount of water we need under the propellers,)  we were advised that ALL boats are suitable.  We said yes we will join the others. We had 4 families on our boat, and  we had a fantastic day. Even Grumpy dressed up.

The theme for our Camp Quality day is pirates.  There were that many pirates at our club on Sunday it was not funny.  There were  over 200 people that our boating members took out on the water for a few hours.  Water fights (water bombs, water guns, pistols, hoses and by one cheating pirate, buckets) were the highlight of the day. Unfortunately for our guests, I didn’t prepare very well (Grumpy’s words) because I didn’t fill up any water balloons so we had one of the boys, one of the mothers and 1 of the fathers filling up and getting ready the water bombs, to our detriment, however, we kept running out of ammunition and we wore the brunt of most of the other boaties firing lines.  In other words, were got soaked the entire time.

My friend Shelley and I made 100 lolly bags, one for each of the kids, we had to ensure that all children received a lolly bag, as it would have been unbearable for any child to be without. We had a lovely BBQ lunch with lots and lots of crabs, (250) that were donated by one of the local fisherman. One of the local supermarkets donated and fishing rod and reel for every child, we had bread rolls donated, someone made a huge cake with Camp Quality on it. It never ceases to amaze me, the generosity of our community.

Nearly all the boaties dressed up in pirate gear and we were no exception, I did go to the fancy dress shop and found that I wasn’t impressed with the selection of the clothing so  I went through my closet and found a red and white striped shirt, a black vest and a pair of harem pants, Grumpy wore his Maritimo shirt and Braandi was all dressed up in a pirate outfit.  We had so many comments about her as ran around the boat in her costume and just look gorgeous.

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We had 2 mermaids come up on the beach and I took the little girl down to have a swim, big mistake, she wanted to swim and look for fish, so the rest of the afternoon while we were sitting having lunch she whimpered and made all sorts of whiny noises, until I noticed a border collie swimming in the beach, so I let her go down and swim for another hour or so before it was time to go home.

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Braandi is on an Australian wide newsletter

I received a newsletter today from Conni Critter hat has a photo of our little girl doing her business.

We are so proud of her doing the right thing and I bet she is so happy that she is facing the other way.

Braandi using her Conni critter mat

Braandi using her Conni critter mat


We have several of these mats that we use both at home and on the boat, once it has been used, we chuck it in the washing machine we put another mat down so that she always has a wee mat.

We have 3 on the boat as we only do washing every few days, so there was always a clean mat for her to use.

We only have to say to her go and do your wees and she will go to the mat and do about 50 circles (how hard is it the mat is only so big) and then do her wees.

We had 13 people on our boat on Australia Day and we weren’t sure if she would do her wees in front everyone, but she did, she  just walked over to the mat, looked down and did her business, got up and walked away.

Our Fantastic celebration of Australia Day

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We decorated anything that stayed still on our boat, even Braandi got some, she had a headband with dual flags and a bow tie with the Australian flag. Unfortunately they didn’t last too long, she kept going underneath the chairs so her head band ended up getting broken, I don’t think she was bothered about it.


The  boys all joined in the fun, some swimming, all drinking some getting towed and 1 brave soul, swam over to play on the trampoline with the little kids, he did have to be rescued.

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Everybody that came contributed to the day, we had a tossed salad from Olivia & Lee, potato salad and mini quiche from Louise & Shane and Kelly, El made lamingtons, both chocolate and strawberry and some special lamingtons with NO coconut for Tash, Ben, El’s partner made salted caramel truffles that were divine, Kyel and Tash brought the sausages and rolls and everyone brought their own drinks. with the exception of Lorraine & Perry, they brought their drinks the next day, swings & merry go rounds, we have enough on their boat at different times and Mr John, who was a last minute visitor. We did a fruit platter, garlic chilli prawns made with my special chilli sauce, they were spectacular, Grumpy’s cacciatore with mint sauce, icy poles (Grumpy only put a handful in the freezer), and my famous true blue dinky di Shepherds pies, picture and recipe below.

The girls were far more sedate and sat on the front of the boat drinking most of the time.


The girls obviously hid their glasses of drink for the photos, oh wait, they got their drinks after the photos.

My True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

My True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

Lee’s  True blue, dinky di Aussie Shepherds pies

makes 75 mini shepherds pies


1 kg diced lamb steak

2 onions diced

2 tspn mixed herbs

2 tspns Worcestershire sauce

1 sachet Continental Shepherds pie

1 tin of tinned tomatoes – diced

1 tspn EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 packet of wontons (Aussie true blue ones obviously, I got mine from the Asian shop near work)

1 kg mashing potatoes

Olive oil spray

Mini muffin trays

1ltr water for potatoes

Salt for the potatoes


Precook the wontons

Heat the oven to 180°C

I am lazy so didn’t butter them, I sprayed the mini muffin pans with plenty of Olive oil cooking spray

Place the wontons into the muffin pans, ensuring that the corners don’t touch

spray the top of the wontons liberally with olive oil spray

cook them in the oven until the are slightly brown, I can’t give a time, I just kept checking them.


I cooked this recipe in the thermomix, don’t tell Grumpy

Mince meat gently – YOU WANT LUMPS IN IT

add 250g of lamb steak to TMX bowl and mince on speed 10 for 10 seconds,

take this mince out and continue until all meat has been minced

Cut onions in 1/4 and put  in the TMX bowl

Dice onions for 3 seconds speed 4

Saute onions with EVOO for 2 minutes 100°C speed 1

add mixed herbs and saute another 2 minutes 100°C speed 1

Add worcestershire sauce, tinned tomatoes, meat and packet

cook for 20 minutes 100°C speed 1


Peel and dice 1kg potatoes

add to TMX bowl


Cook for 22 minutes 100°C speed 1

check the potatoes after cooking time to ensure not too soggy

if they are cook for another couple of minutes with the MC off


Spoon the meat into the cooled wontons

Spoon the mashed potato on top of the meat

Place the trays in the oven approx 180°C and cook for until browned on the top

We are celebrating Australia Day

We are celebrating Australia Day with friends, family and friends of our family anchored at Matilda Bay on Saturday. We are heading up to Mangles Bay on Friday afternoon, then head into Fremantle Wharf on Saturday morning before heading up the river to Matilda Bay to anchor and raft up with 3 other boats.

We will be having a BBQ with sausages and chicken with salad for tea with fruit platter and nibbles throughout the afternoon waiting for the fireworks. We have a great bunch of people coming, they are all contributing to the day.

The fireworks for Australia Day are the biggest in WA and is a big deal.

Tradition is lamb chops, lamingtons and anything else Aussie.

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-707...

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t buy any lamb cutlets as they were $36 per kg and there were only about 4 to a kilo and I wanted at least 2o cutlets 1 for each person. I decided on  dinky dy Aussie Shepherds pie.

I have made 70 mini shepherds pie with lamb steak, that’s nearly as traditional as using leftover lamb roast.

One of the girls coming is making lamingtons (sponge cake coated with chocolate and coconut).

I have bought bunting to go on the side of the boat and Bali style flags for the rear, a beach ball and little ears and an Aussie bow tie – all from Red Dot for Braandi. I have no idea what Grumpy will think of all of this junk going on his boat, just tough like I suppose, you have to get into the spirit of the thing.

Back In Mandurah they are having an Australia Day flotilla, this is where all types of boats get decorated and do an on water convoy through the canal system and then come back and raft up. Unfortunately this is a long weekend and we ALWAYS go away on the boat for a long weekend so we won’t be able to participate.

Cryovac spaghetti Bolognaise for tea


Grumpy had to take the loan car back to the service place so I took the little girl to the park to do her business and then Braandi and I were going to have a swim in the canal so I needed to have a quick and easy meal, so I suggested spaghetti bog.
I took one of the meals that I had cooked in the thermomix a few weeks ago and cryovaced out of the freezer and put it on the sink and went and had a swim.
I used some fresh basil from my little herb garden and some of my chilli sauce.
I need to make some more as we are nearly out.

Freshly harvested Mussels, Basil & chillis and Lee’s chilli sauce

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The little girl has found that she loves swimming in the canal – chasing the blowies, so we went down to the water on Wednesday and while we were waiting for her when she was swimming, Grumpy decided to pull a few mussels of the pontoon.

He asked if I felt like chilli mussels as we haven’t had them on our wall for about 7 years so we have not had fresh ones for a long time.

So we harvested, cleaned and cooked the mussels using my freshly grown basil, Grumpy’s chillies and my special chilli sauce, and a small garlic bread.

Well it was great, albeit a little salty, but we think that might have been the bacon.

There is nothing like having fresh produce, especially when you hunt and gather and then cook it yourself.

We are going to have some more next week as there are plenty more mussels growing on the pontoon.

I did want to make them in the Thermomix, but didn’t dare ask, I know what the answer would have been.


Braandi swimming in the canal

Braandi and I  went down to the canal to feed the ducks our leftover toast and bread rolls from the weekend and the blowies (poisonous blowfish) came in and started eating the bread.

The pontoon was too hot to stand on so I sat down and put my feet in the water, and when I did, the blowies started to nibble on my feet , Braandi got right down on the edge of the pontoon, so close that she was touching the blowies with her paws and then she slipped in.

Braandi feeding the ducks 1

Braandi feeding the ducks 1Braandi feeding the ducks 2

I let her swim for a few minutes and then called her back, she wasn’t having any of it, she swam for about 20 minutes solidly, so she will sleep well tonight.

Braandi's Scamper Ramp

Braandi’s Scamper Ramp

We eventually got her to come to the edge of the pontoon to get out because she was buggered and I had to help her get out because the pontoon is very steep. I then remembered that when she was a puppy and new to the boat I bought a Scamper ramp so that she can get out by herself. Grumpy spent the next 20 minutes trying different places to keep it so that she can climb out of the water if she happens to fall in or if we are not there to get her out.

They are made in New Zealand but a lot of Americans have them to keep wildlife from dying in their swimming pools. I saw it on the internet a few years ago and was able to source one from a local pet store. We were able to use it on one of our boats, but unfortunately it is too steep to be used on our current boat, so it has been sitting in the undercroft all this time.

Once it was tied and she tried it twice, we decided that she could use it when we aren’t there, we decided it was time for her to come inside as she was getting very tired and we forgot to get a photo of her using it, we will try another time.

Given that she had a fantastic time swimming and chasing the blowies, we now have to keep the gate closed to the canal level just in case she decides that she is going to try again when she goes out to do her business.

Happy New year and all that jazz, BACK TO WORK TOMORROW

Happy New year and all that jazz, BACK TO WORK TOMORROW.

Well we have had our 3 weeks annual holiday and we will be back to work tomorrow, BUMMER.

We spent the first 2 weeks on the boat, the first week we were by ourselves and it was very relaxing, I was able to read 9 books, WOW, the second week was unbearably hot, high 30’s to low 40°C in temperature, and very uncomfortable.

I packed very well as I always do, with enough clothes, both casual and some for going out to dinner, albeit coming off the dingy on the beach. As we didn’t see anyone else I wore the same outfits after washing of course for the first week and a half, so naturally most of the clothes that I took, I didn’t wear.

I wore lightweight breathable clothes that were easy and comfortable to wear and when washed will dry very quickly as we had to hang the washing in the guest head (bathroom) and I hung the undies in our head so I could close the door when we had visitors. Unfortunately it was so hot not many people came boating this year, but we did have a few who came for the day.

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We had a very quiet Christmas day, we were by ourselves and it was too hot to cook, so we had ham and salad for lunch and then again for tea.

We arranged for our son and his wife along with 6 of their friends to come for a BBQ on the boat on the Saturday night at Matilda Bay. It was a stinking hot day but a beautiful weekend, we were able to feed the black swans. There was a family with 3 cygnets.

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The boys all went swimming and so of course we had to have the blue lights on so that Braandi could see them IMAG1675IMAG0349

The yachting Regatta at Mangles Bay was a spectacular event this year, they had over 60 yachts entered.


When we returned from Matilda Bay (we were only gone about 18 hours) the northerly wind had come in and it was rotten and some sod was on our mooring, we had to wait for 3 hours for him to finish his yacht race as he was crewing for another yacht and then come back and move his yacht.

He eventually came and moved his yacht and we then go onto our mooring again, Grumpy took Braandi over to the beach for her business and when he got back he told me he was  bored and hot and when do I want to go home, I immediately said NOW, we changed our mooring ropes, put the dingy up and headed home we made it in record time as we realised that if we didn’t get a move on we would have trouble getting into our pen as the first wave of tourists boating in the canals to look at the Christmas lights.

We got home and the first thing I did was turn on the air conditioning.

We do have aircon on the boat, but we thought if we are going to sit in the aircon and watch movies, we might as well do that at home.