Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweetest Thing Delivery: St Thomas to Nassau, June 2011

Day 4 continued and Day 5:
Just after I sent off the email containing our blog from yesterday the excitement really started. I have to say that yesterday has to rank right up there as one of my all time favorite days at sea.

I was actually in the middle of downloading and sending off the blog when the reel on the fishing pole started smoking... “FISH ON.....” Dylan and Jared were on the back of the boat pulling on the pole trying to get a handle on a fish that really didn’t want to be there. By the time I had the email sent off and the Iridium phone shut down Bob had joined the fray and they were all taking turns trying to reel in this fish. The fish was winning. For every turn of the reel the fish took a foot of line.... zzzzzzzzziiiiip it was quickly becoming a sad situation. We wanted that fish! We had been trying to catch one all day every day so far and he was the first to take the bait. We were still flying the screecher and the Genoa wing-on-wing and needed to slow the boat so we rolled in the Genoa and I started the engine and turned us into the wind as much as the screecher would allow. This slowed the boat enough to turn the tide in the battle against the fish. The guys were running from one side of the cockpit to the other fighting this fish. Sweetest Thing has a 26 foot beam and it was kinda funny to watch these three guys chase back and forth with the pole trying to catch this fish while I tried to keep just enough wind in the screecher to keep it from flogging itself to death but spill enough wind to keep the boat speed low enough to manage the fish. By the time the fish was close enough to the boat to see it the guys had given up on the reel. It was making some strange sounds of protest and giving as much line to the fish as it wanted. Bob put on his sailing gloves and started pulling the line in hand over hand and pretty soon the pretty little 3 foot green and yellow bull Mahi Mahi was flopping around in the cockpit. Bob wants to note that, I quote,

“It wasn’t no ordinary fish... it was a powerful little three foot fish!”

For myself, It kind of reminded me of the knight with his arms and legs cut off in Monty Python... as it laid there on the deck, I could almost hear it yelling, “Come on.... I’ll bite your knees off!” Dylan finished him off and Bob and Dylan crawled on their knees in blood on the cockpit floor filleting it.

Thanks to the efforts of the crew I was able to make us an awesome supper of Teriyaki marinaded Mahi Mahi, steamed veggies and rice that, even if I do say so myself, ranked right up there with the efforts of past chefs on board Sweetest Thing. As we were sitting around eating supper I mentioned to the crew that since we had just eaten all of the frozen veggies we now had extra pie crust because I couldn’t do another pot pie. Bob mentioned the apples sitting in a bowl by the fridge and we all agreed that it would be fun to make an apple pie. We all sat around joking, listening to music and peeling apples, then we started cooking them down on the stove. When you have four guys working on one pie in a boat with limited resources things get a little creative. We didn’t have quite enough apples, but we did have a banana. I added white sugar and brown sugar until I thought... “hmmm guess that would be enough...” We had lots of cinnamon but it was in sticks and our grater was a big one made for cheese so we grated cinnamon with one little grater area often breaking off chunks of stick. Bob found a box of dried currants in the food cupboard and we all sniffed them, ate a few and agreed that they would taste yummy in the pie. I found some funny looking little stick things in a little baggy in the galley and when I smelled them they were very strong and smelled familiar. I knew I had smelled them before with apples when Beck cooked stuff on the stove at Christmas. I put a handful in before Bob weighed in and told us that those were cloves and we should only put in a few. Jarred and I spent the rest of the time that this mixture was cooking down fishing out cloves. About this time Bob decided that it needed some corn starch to thicken it but we didn’t have any, so he put a little flour and water in the mixture. Bob had an epiphany and asked me if we had any Amaretto liquor on the boat... he thought it would taste good in there...

“No,” I replied “But we do have Bailey’s!” They handed me the bottle and I poured some in the mix. Jarred drank the rest of the bottle while I filled the pie crust with our new filling. I put the top crust on the pie and we baked it for 45 minutes...

Ok. So you all need to make this pie at home! if we could do it out here you can do it at home. It was one of the best pies any of us had ever tasted! No kidding! Try it out yourself and send us comments on the Iridium.

By the time we were done watching a movie and eating pie it was dark and the wind had increased to a steady 25 knots gusting a little higher so we needed to pull in the screecher. Pulling in the screecher in the dark is a real offshore adventure. We all wear our harnesses and have to roll it in as far as we can, which is never quite far enough, then the guy on the halyard tries to drop it slow enough to keep it from blowing into the sea and fast enough that it has a limited time to inflict bodily harm to the crew on the for-deck who are trying to wrestle it onto the deck. To the uninitiated it must look like a couple of guys tag team wrestling a huge flopping white snake. The sail doesn’t cause a lot of damage but let me tell you the flailing sheet can sure put a bruise on a guy. I saw it take out Jarred just before it chased me down on the deck! Once the sail was all secured on deck and we were laying on it breathing heavy I looked over at Jarred and he smiled and said, “Well that was fun!”

Today Bob made scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast and we are sailing through the Bahamas. I can see a little island just off our starboard right now! It’s a tough life huh?

Cooking Along,

Captain Tofer, Bob, Jarred, and Dylan

Recipe: Sweetest Thing’s Signature Offshore Apple Pie


Apples - any variety quantity as required (peeled)

Banana - 1 severely bruised and lonely (you should peel this too)

Dried Currants - sprinkle as many into the pie filling as you think would taste yummy.

1/2 cup water

Sugar - just start pouring it in directly from the bag until you think it’s enough.

Brown sugar - same as above

Bailey’s - pour directly from the bottle only sampling occasionally.

Whole Cloves - one handful, cook for 5 minutes then remove from mixture. (that’s fun)

Cinnamon sticks - grate with large sized grater trying not to remove the skin from finger tips.

Cook Pie filling down until thickened stirring when ever you remember. If filling need thickened add one tablespoon of flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water.

Add pie filling to a deep dish pie pan with crust in it.

Put pie crust on the top

Bake for 45 minutes at around 375

Send us your comments on Iridium!

1 comment:

  1. hey kristofer its me Paul I have been wanting to talk to ya if you get the chance try and get a hold of me and my parents