Friday, February 13, 2009

Cooking for a Living

This is where all the 'magic' happens aboard Horizon Yacht New Horizons. It's a 39 foot Bavaria and the galley is in the salon starboard side so no hiding from the guests while preparing food. No putting dropped food back in the pot!

I had my game plan ready - a 7 day menu with 7 breakfasts and lunches and 4 dinners. The guests were a honeymoon couple and they decided to eat out 3 evenings to taste Caribbean island food as well. My dinners were good old fashion baked chicken, bbq steak, fish, and spaghetti. Nobody starved and better yet nobody got sick.

Here is the honeymoon couple: Lisa and Tim also known as Timmy. They are from London and this 7 day charter is one of 3 weeks vacation for them. After the charter they are staying 2 weeks at an all inclusive resort on Grenada so they really know how to live. A lovely couple who were very excited to sail, snorkel, kayak, play cards, laugh at jokes and in general have fun.

This is Captain Andell, a 14 year veteran of the charter fleet world who really knows the islands (no need to refer to the charts since he has them memorized) and has many entertaining stories to accompany the 7 day tour we took from Grenada to Bequia and back.

This chart shows the route from the northern tip of Grenada at the bottom of the chart to Bequia Island near the middle of the chart.

After snorkeling the underwater statues near St George's we headed into the Lagoon where we spent our first night at anchor. Nice and calm. The next day's sail was quite sporty with a significant heel to the boat so it was good to have a good night's sleep beforehand. Although the main halyard kept playing its tune on the mast throughout the night which kept Lisa mostly awake. What's music to one ear is a pain in the neck for another. Halyard pulled away from mast at night from then on.

Just because it's your honeymoon doesn't mean you get to sit on your arse all day.........
Tim and Lisa did their fair share of trimming sheets while tacking and jibing our way around the islands. Faster Timmy.....faster!

New Horizons moored at the Anchorage Yacht Club, Union Island. A good place to replenish ice, buy a few fruits and fresh baked bread, and have dinner out on the island which Tim and Lisa did. Nice and clear this night and we were able to see many constellations including my favorite - Orion.

The Bavaria 39 is a well laid out boat with a large forward cabin including head and 2 aft cabins with a head in the salon to share. On this boat there is no freezer however and so a cooler is kept in the cockpit with ice and drinks.
After a day and a half this is all that's left of the Heinekens. Sorry Timmy........only the labels remain! (Not really.....many more bottles in the cockpit locker, but it was a funny joke).

Just off Union Island is Happy Island - a man decided to put conch shells around a small sand dune which caused the sand to continue to pile up. He continued to add conch shells which caused the sand to continue to pile up until this island was formed. St. Vincent took him to court over ownership but the guy won. St. Vincent owns the land that is officially documented on the charts and since Happy Island isn't on the charts, they can't own it. And so the guy is very happy on Happy Island where he has a house and runs a tiki bar for visitors.

After Union Island we sailed to Bequia - a nice beam reach all the way. Andell said, "Ok Lisa it's your turn". Really? Of course. She was a natural helmsman. So much so that she got promoted to co-captain in no time.

Tim also had his turn at the helm.
Until ---- it was time to sail through a very narrow reef. Yikes! Don't worry -- no problem!!

The blissful couple kayaked many places - Salt Whistle Bay, Bequia, Tabago Keys - and sometimes even rowed in sync with each other.

It only took a few days to fall into a routine. Breakfast was always around 7 - 7:30; lunch around noon (depending on how the sailing was going); and an appetizer and dinner in the evening.

One evening Andell drew lines and marks on a tablet of paper, had 6 coins - 3 small and 3 large, and taught us how to play the game that he invented. Lisa picked it up right away and never let Timmy win. Andell would say 2 or 3 moves before even the winner or looser knew: 'You win' or You loose'. Well he did invent the game so of course he knew what was going to happen on the next moves. Your turn to play Sue - not against Andell - he always wins!

We sailed 7 days straight and around the 3rd or 4th day Tim was getting relaxed and really enjoying the ride when.......

the Big Kahuna hit! We snagged George the Baraccuda. And just in time. The menu called for fish for the next night.

Here's Sailor Sue with the catch of the day.
Tim caught it, Andell cleaned it, and I baked it. Never had barracuda before. It was light and flakey and not 'fishy' at all. As Lisa would say, "Very lovely".

However, George didn't give up easily.....

As Andell was cleaning George and ready to make the final slice to free the fillet from the head and body.....OOOOPS......the whole half of fish dropped into the sea!
Oh, Andell it's ok. Don't worry we'll have something else for dinner.
Bloody hell we will....not after all that work.

Throwing off hat and sunglasses and donning snorkel and fins, he quickly found the remains of George and so there was plenty of fish for all.

It's true that I cooked more in 7 days than I have in the past month. But look at all the fun we were having and the beautiful places we visited.

This photo is at the Tabago Keys where Lisa and Tim snorkeled and saw 7 or 8 huge turtles. Nice.

While they were snorkeling Andell decided to leave the mooring ball and anchor instead. What a surprise they had when they headed back to the mooring to find the boat 'missing'. SSSSWWWWTTT (that's the sound of a whistle) Hey guys - we're over here now. Just as Andell was about to dingy over to them they spotted us and headed over. No problem.

The last dinner ashore Tim and Lisa treated Andell and I to dinner at Palm Beach Restaurant on Petite Martinique. Terrific food and a fun water taxi ride from our anchorage at Petite St Vincent.

Our last day was a long, rock - and - rolling one. We sailed down the east coast of Grenada in 8+ foot swells and confused seas. It was rough and hard to hang on. But in the middle of it all Lisa snagged a huge barracuda and hauled her in.

Tim had a turn with a smaller barracuda....

and Andell put both of them (the fish not Tim and Lisa) on the stern 'swimming' in the water to stay fresh.

The last night was spent at the 'lagooniest' anchorage ever - Hog Island on the south side of Grenada. Very - very - very calm.

Early on Tim and Lisa taught Andell and I how to play Black Jack (very similar to Uno) and we played this game almost every night after dinner. Everybody usually had a turn to win during the course of several rounds.

This last night Andell hadn't yet won. He kept saying, 'Just one more'. And so it wasn't until almost midnight when he had won 2 in a row and then agreed to call it a night.

You never know what's going to happen when traveling and sailing with 3 people you don't know. As it turned out we all got along very well. Tim and Lisa were great sports and now are salty sailors. Andell was always calm and cool and ever-ready with an interesting story to tell. We all laughed until we stopped.

Now when people ask me what the 'C' stands for on my hat I say - CHEF.


Andrea said...

I looked close at the final picture & could find no visible burn marks, so I'm thinking it was a good trip!

Anonymous said...

Sailor Sue is back.

The Captain can relax.

We have arrived at peace.

Chairman Meow

Sarah said...

Can't wait to hear the next installment of the Adventures of Chef Sue!