Hi, I’m Guy Fieri, and on this episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, we’re answering the age-old question: is Cheez Whiz an entrée?
I’m just kidding. This is Chip, the usual author of the boat log. You can tell because I inserted the Oxford comma in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, even though that’s not the official name of the show.
I sort of feel like the last boat log entry requires an explanation, but I have none. We actually did go to that diner. No vampires (or Fuzzy Bunnies) were harmed. It was a completely normal, average experience. Which is, admittedly, an enormous upgrade from what it was when I used to frequent it. I did refer to one patron as a potential “zombei,” which then required a lot of explanation to Jenn. I guess being in that place took me back to a time when I knew someone who would misspell the word “zombie” when painting it on their own Oldsmobile Cutlass. But the customer wasn’t a zombei; it was a regular person going hard on a look. Nothing out of the realm of a typical diner run.
And yes, I get french fries with my corned beef hash and eggs. I’ve spent a lot of time in diners, and I’m just playing the odds. Home fries can be fine, or they can be one big lump of unseared potato meat where almost none of the potential surface area has actually touched the griddle and crisped up. French fries are usually the safer bet at a standard diner.
For the record, I am aware that the actual Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives went to the Vincentown Diner, and although that diner was definitely nearby when I was in my Deep Diner Phase, that is not the diner in question. I don’t think the V-Town was open 24 hours at the time, which made it useless for our purposes. I have recently eaten at the V-Town, and it’s…different. It no longer has the usual 18-page diner menu, and they appear to be attempting to distinguish themselves as somewhat fancy. When Mr. Fieri was there, for example, he got the “Mile High Meatloaf,” which was not 1,760 yards tall, but was approximately 1,760 miles away from Denver, where that name may have had at least a single entendre (as it was filmed before they had recreational marijuana in Colorado). It was an ample but not absurd portion of meatloaf, stacked like two bricks with some mashed potatoes in between as mortar. I’ve already discussed my opinions on unfried potato flesh, and didn’t find the arrangement of the meatloaf slabs to be particularly revolutionary or necessary.
…and also, sailboats.
Right, this is supposed to be a boat log. We would have sailed on Sunday, but there was no wind. This time of year, without the more direct rays of the sun to heat up the land and kick in the sea breeze, we’re at the mercy of whatever the macro weather patterns of the region are. If only we had some sort of stacked meat product to predict this—a Meathenge to use as a solar calendar and track the passage of the seasons.
Regardless, we keep ticking off maintenance items. We needed to top off the fuel for the season, which is commonly done to displace the air in the tank and limit the amount of moisture that can be added through condensation. I feel like winter air barely holds any water compared to summer air, but who knows? I’ve got to fuel up at some point either way. I usually fill the boat from a portable 5 gallon can and don’t let it get too low, but this season I felt like the diesel in the tank was getting old and I wanted to burn through as much as possible and start fresh. It was down to about a quarter tank, which is teetering on three trips to the gas station to fill it from a can, so I decided that we’d motor over to the marina across the creek and fill up at the fuel dock there. Buying it on the water is a little more expensive, but I barely use any diesel at all, and a few extra cents seemed worth the convenience.
I was slightly worried that it would be a challenge to tie up to an unfamiliar dock, since I don’t think Jenn had ever done it before, but it was nothing; I pulled up slowly, she stepped off holding the bow line, she grabbed a shroud while I got the stern line, and it was over. We were aided by the near-complete lack of wind, but I think we would have been fine either way.
There is much consternation about fuel cans in the sailing community. I’ve never had a problem with them. I don’t know if it’s because I lack any pertinent nostalgia regarding the glory days of fuel cans, or if it’s because I’m not tuned in to any infotainment that repeatedly beats me over the head with a message that “all environmental regulations are the direct work of Satan,” but so far, I’ve been crafty enough to successfully pour liquid from one thing into another thing. I will say, though, that an actual gas station-style fuel pump can fill a tank way faster than gravity. The whole experience was easy enough that I might retire my fuel canister and just always do it like this.
The attendant at the fuel dock (who may have been the proprietor of that marina?) was friendly and curious about the engine in Fortuitous. He had a lot of stories about re-powering sailboats. After I paid, Jenn and I motored the 500 yards back to our marina and started taking off the sails.
Taking off the sails and flaking them also went shockingly easily. It’s like we know what we’re doing. Or maybe it’s just that I didn’t wait until late November, when it’s 27°F and blowing 30kts.
With the sails off, we’re officially done sailing until the spring. Haulout should be soon, and we’ll have a few remaining winterization tasks to complete once she’s out of the water. Maybe one or two more trips to my other favorite South Jersey diners, and that will be a wrap on the season.