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Amanda brings you Galley Essentials gally essentials galley essentials


galley jan 2017

While on our latest Spitsbergen expedition I reconnected with Eli. We’d first met in 2000 so had plenty to catch up. In the limited time we had together I was able to convince write about her galley, although she was very reluctant as she was worried about her English grammar. I assured her it was grand, especially compared to my non existing Norwegian. Thanks Eli!

While on our latest Spitsbergen expedition I reconnected with Eli. We’d first met in 2000 so had plenty to catch up. In the limited time we had together I was able to convince write about her galley, although she was very reluctant as she was worried about her English grammar. I assured her it was grand, especially compared to my non existing Norwegian. Thanks Eli!

I learned to sail in 1996 when I met my husband Hans, he loved to sail and had always have been sailing. After our first summer together on his boat, he gave me a sailing course as a gift. It was a gift I am very thankful for, as I think it`s better to learn from someone other than one’s own husband.

I’m a school teacher in Oslo and grew up in Norway. I have always loved outdoor activities. When I was a child my family went on camping tours many weekends and every summer and winter holiday. Sometimes we went to places by the sea but more often to the woods or mountains. When I was older I went on ski and kayak tours with my friends and we stayed in either tents or cabins. It was natural to take part as a crew when I went sailing with Hans and continue the outdoor life with the sailboat.

Every summer we go cruising for 8-10 weeks on Anna; our 1995 aluminum 39’ Dick Koopman sloop. Anna is the name of Hans’ grandmother. Our general cruising areas are the North Sea, North Atlantic out to the Faeroes and Barents Sea up to Svalbard. In our cruising waters we rarely do more than 2 nights at sea before arriving at our destination so we no longer cook complete meals while offshore. Instead we heat water and for freeze dried meals which we eat out of their bags but if the conditions are extraordinarily good I make pasta with tomato sauce.

Pasta with tomato sauce

6oz pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion - diced
3 garlic cloves - diced
1 can corned beef
1 can chopped tomatoes
red hot dried chili - to taste
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta. Sauté onion in olive oil. Add garlic and corned beef; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chili and cook for as long as you want (it’s tastier the longer it cooks) Serve tomato sauce with pasta and Parmesan.

In the galley we have a three burner kerosene Taylor stove with oven and a fridge which we only use for coastal cruising as when offshore and in the high arctic we use the bilge to store food that needs to be kept cool. My galley priorities are a sharp knife, wooden spoon and large cutting board. We use drinking bottles with built in filters as sometimes we fill our water tanks from rivers. We always have a thermos with hot water for drinks and snacks like noodles. I have a couple of containers with air tight lids for leftovers and when I open boxes and bags of food items I transfer it to my own storage containers. Our main priority is KISS! Hans is only willing to maintain "essential systems", we have no pressurized water or hot water.

Eli’s favorite galley items

I do the cooking and the provisioning. I never do the dishwashing, that’s my husband’s responsibility. For provisions, I ensure there’s enough onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, spices and of course carrots for snacks. We have plenty of oats for making breakfast porridge. Lunches are generally crisp bread and canned mackerel or tuna. For making dinner I have rice, pasta and mashed potatoes, canned ham, corned beef, beans and lentils. I stock up on plenty of other foods like oil, coconut milk, flour, Thai curry paste, mustard, cheeses, peanut butter, canned condensed or powdered milk and eggs. There’s a locker with freeze dried meals and biscuits plus a drawer with chocolate, peanuts and chewing gum. Along with canned food we have smoked and dried meat and dried salted cod made by my parents.


1 1lb dried salted cod (soaked in fresh water for approx. 24 hours)
¾ cup olive oil
8 potatoes - peeled and sliced
3 onions - sliced
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 red hot chili peppers - diced

Dice the fish. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Layer fish, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and chili: you should have enough ingredients for 2-3 layers. Simmer for 1 hours, or shorter if you use pressure cooker. Serve with bread. Serves 4.

Chicken Curry

2 chicken breasts - diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 can coconut milk
¼ cup water

In a large pan heat oil over medium heat. Add spices then chicken and sauté until meat is cooked. Add coconut milk, cook for at least 10 minutes or longer until sauce thickens. Serve with rice. Serves 2.

Our worst galley event happened many years ago when spent a long summer sailing the Baltic. Hans had quit his job so were on a limited budget. Lentils and beans became a staple part of our diet and we would soak the beans in a container in the bilge. When friends joined us for a week in Gotland they were quite vocal in that beans were not part of their usual diet and they would rather do without. No problems as they also volunteered to do the shopping. It was one of those sizzling hot summers in the Baltic and when our crew left we remembered with had pre-soaked beans lying in the bilge. When we opened the container the beans had basically "gone bacterial". We never really got rid of the smell of rotten beans.

Lentil Salad

2 cups green lentils
3 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion - diced
1 red hot chili pepper - minced
3 cloves garlic - crushed
salt and pepper
extra ingredients: olives, diced hard boiled eggs, feta cheese, diced peppers, diced tomatoes, olives or whatever you like.

Cook lentils. In a large fry pan add lentils, lemon juice, oil, onion, garlic and chili: heat through. Remove from heat and add extra ingredients.

Our most memorable meal was in the most unsuspected place! After a 6-week cruise on W and N coast of Spitsbergen we were in Hornsund waiting for a weather window for return passage to the Norwegian mainland. One morning we awoke to find our German friends Peter and Lore Vörsmann on SV "Orion" anchored 100m away from us, having just arrived from the mainland. They’d brought with them fresh meat and served us steaks and fresh vegetables from the grill the following evening.

Image Courtesy of Granville Island Media
Vancouver’s Granville Island

Like it fresh? Like it local? Like to support the growers? Like BC? Then there’s no better place to be than Granville Island Public Market. I’ve visited the market numerous times and although it happens to be on a dark nippy night in February each time I was blown away by the vibrancy of the fresh produce, the gourmet selection and the cultural experience. It’s now certainly a place I’ll allow time for on any visit to Vancouver. Located across False Creek from downtown Vancouver, Granville Island is actually a small peninsula that’s tucked under Granville Street Bridge. It’s easily accessible by ferry, driving, aquabus, biking, bus, walking or even your own boat as you’re allowed to anchor for free for a few weeks in False Creek or berth at the public dock for 3 hours.

The expansive Public Market sits on the NW waterfront corner of the island and in the evening offers breathtaking views of towering city lights across the creek and its numerous illuminated bridges. Sounds, smells and tastes of fresh produce tantalize the senses of many happy market goers creating a bustling carnival atmosphere while others gather in communal dining area savoring an evening meal and a chance to catch up with friends. Thankfully my first visit to the island was Beth Cooper from Sarah Jean II who featured in January Galley Essentials 2012 and after a recent voyage to Alaska she’s contributing a “Halibut Galley” in April issue. Beth is a local so her guidance was extremely welcome along with the stall holders who were keen to share their knowledge on how to best prepare and/or cook their products.

Having fun choosing flavorful apples with Alana from #1 Orchard

High on Beth’s list of must visit venders is Duso’s Italian Foods is along with The Stock Market for its soups, stocks and sauces, then there’s Seafood City, where besides astounding fresh seafood, you can also acquire extremely delicious maple smoked candy salmon nuggets. If it’s a true Canadian experience you’re after then it’s best to head outside kitty corner to Edible Canada where you can immerse yourself in their locavore retail store, dine at their bistro or participate in one of their culinary tours.

On my second visit to Granville Island I quickly realized that the Public Market is just a small fraction of what the island offers. South east of the market the Emily Carr University of Art and Design has a large footprint on the waterfront and its presence brings a very strong arty vibe to the surrounding diverse shops and galleries. Five theater companies add to the mix offering enlightening entertainment including one for children. Beside the Carousel Theatre for kids there’s a Kids Market and numerous parks of which the summer WaterPark is a big hit. If playing in the park and/or theatre viewing leaves you famished there’s a superb choice of atmospheric restaurants to tempt your taste buds.

Although a chilly visit to Granville Island may not be in your current calendar perhaps a visit to the annual late February Winterruption Festival ( will help ward off the winter blues. I owe my thanks to Duso’s for the following pasta recipe and to Beth for a wonderful small island foodie experience and an introduction to these other heart-warming recipes.

Red Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion - diced
1 red pepper – diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sumac
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups dried red lentils
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Heat olive oil in a large pot for 1 minute. Add onion and red pepper and sauté until soft; 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, sumac and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes until the lentils have softened and the soup has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with yogurt and chopped mint. Serves 4.

Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa - warm or cold
3 large handfuls kale - stalks removed & finely chopped
3 apples - diced
5 celery stalks - diced
1 cup walnut halves - toasted
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
½ lemon - juice of
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Add quinoa to a large mixing bowl along with kale, walnuts, apples and celery. or dressing whisk together remaining ingredients and combine with salad. Serve salad cold or warm, on its own or with chicken or turkey.

Duso’s Fettuccine with Mussel Curry Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves - chopped
1-inch piece ginger - chopped
1 shallot - chopped
curry powder - 1 tablespoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 400ml can coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass - outer skin removed and the core crushed
1½ pounds mussels - rinsed and de-bearded 1 cup cherry tomatoes - cut in half
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lime zest
handful cilantro - rinsed and patted dry, with coarse stalks removed
lime wedges
1 350g pack Duso’s Fettuccine

Boil water in a large pot for the pasta and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy skillet and sauté garlic, ginger and shallot until tender. Add curry powder and heat for a few minutes. Pour in coconut milk and add lemongrass, then bring to a boil. Add mussels, turn heat to high, cover and steam until the mussels open; about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a bowl and set aside. Add tomatoes to curry mixture and continue simmering until the tomatoes soften and the sauce thickens. Adjust with salt and pepper. In the meantime, cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, add to curry and bring to a simmer. Add mussels and stir to combine. Discard lemongrass. Serve sprinkled with the zest and cilantro with lime wedges on the side.

Apple Chutney

3 lbs cooking apples - peeled and chopped
3 cups of muscovado sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
2 cups raisins
2 medium onions - chopped
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan. Bring to a boil the simmer over a medium heat uncovered; about 40 minutes or until thick and pulpy. Taste during the cooking process - you might have to add a bit more sugar, depending on the apples. Leave to cool in the pan, and transfer to sterilized jars

I first introduced you to Beth in January 2012 while she was cruising the South Pacific. Now a seasoned sailor she’s returned to her home waters for more adventures.

I remember when I first looked at a chart of SE Alaska when we were planning our trip for the summer of 2017. A confusing maze of islands and channels stared back at me from the page. How on earth would my husband Norm and I figure out a path through this area? As with any route planning I did some research and talked to others who have cruised SE Alaska (SEAK). Our friends Fred and Cinda on “SV Songline”, whom we had met while cruising the South Pacific, were now back living in Juneau and they keenly provided us with an extensive list of their favourite anchorages. We decided on a route beginning with Ketchikan on the Inside Passage, heading north to Juneau, Glacier Bay, west to Sitka and back south again on the outside using “Exploring Southeast Alaska” by Don Douglass and Reanne Hemingway-Douglass as our guide.

We really wanted to see glaciers, bears and whales. And we wanted to fish! We’ve caught our share of salmon on the BC Coast in past years, but we’d never fished for halibut. Norm purchased a halibut rod and reel plus special halibut jigging apparatus and even though we were somewhat mystified on how to catch them, we were excited about the challenge. Sarah Jean’s freezer is not large so in anticipation of all the fish we hoped to catch we purchased a 12 volt “Dometic” stand alone freezer. On May 1st we set sail from Vancouver aboard “Sarah Jean II” our SAGA 43 sailboat. I’d only been retired for 4 days but we didn’t waste any time getting off the dock to make the most of five months of summer cruising.

Our friends Randy and Julie flew into Juneau to sail with us in June. We had a permit for Glacier Bay and on our way there we decided to try some halibut fishing. The day before at the dock in Hoonah Norm studied some fishermen from Yellowknife as they cleaned and filleted their impressive catch of 10 halibut caught at Mud Bay. Apparently, Homer is the halibut capital of Alaska but as it’s across the Gulf of Alaska we weren’t going there so we thought we’d try our luck in Mud Bay.

We anchored in 100’ of water and put the halibut apparatus, baited with herring smeared “smelly jelly”, (concentrated fish oil), into the water. We then bounced the rig off the bottom until about 10 minutes later when someone yelled “FISH ON”. We’d caught our first halibut, about 34” and weighing 17 lb. Our friend Fred had loaned us his big stainless shark hook and that helped us secure the halibut while we bled it. Time for the obligatory photo!! A short five minutes later we caught our second halibut! That was easy! As non-Alaskan residents our limit is 2 per day but these 2 modest size fish gave us enough fish for several meals. The Dometic freezer worked wonderfully both for freezing fish and keeping it frozen plus I got to make ice cubes for my gin and tonics!

Now I needed some halibut recipes. In Ketchikan I’d purchased “The Little Alaskan Halibut Cookbook” by LaDonna Gundersen. She and her husband Ole commercial fish in Alaska, she’s also the author of “The Little Alaskan Salmon Cookbook” and her website is worth a visit for more recipes. I eagerly tired the following recipes from LaDonna’s book and they proved so delicious, and were loved by all the crew, so I wrote to her for permission to share them with you.

Halibut Asiago Cakes

Halibut Asiago Cakes

1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup onion - diced
½ cup celery - diced
¼ cup red pepper - diced
1 large clove garlic - minced
1 lb. halibut - skinned, trimmed and finely chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup fresh parsley- chopped
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
¾ cup asiago cheese - grated
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat sauté pan, add oil and sauté onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic until soft. Remove from heat to let cool. In a bowl, combine halibut, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, parsley, bread crumbs, asiago, salt and pepper. Mix in cooled vegetables. Using your hands and a 1/3 cup measuring cup, form mixture into balls then flatten into cakes. Heat a large sauté pan, add a little oil and cook cakes until golden brown, turning once. Makes 12.

Fish Tacos

12 soft 6-inch tortillas - heated
1 lb. halibut - cut into strips
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs - lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
1¼ cups Panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil
¼ head green cabbage - shredded
4 green onions - thinly sliced
2 limes - cut into wedges

Pat halibut dry with a paper towel and lightly season. Dredge in flour, egg then bread crumbs. Sauté fish in batches. Serve tacos family-style with following salsa and Sriracha mayonnaise. Serves 4

Mango Salsa

2 mangos - diced
1 cup red onion - diced
1 small jalapeno - seeded and minced
½ bunch cilantro - chopped
1 lime - juiced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Sriracha Mayonnaise

¾ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce

Combine ingredients.

Halibut Chowder

3 cups potatoes - peeled and diced
4 slices thick-cut bacon - chopped
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic - minced
½ cup onion - diced
½ cup red bell pepper - diced
½ cup carrots - grated
½ cup celery - diced
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups organic chicken broth
1½ lbs halibut - trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoon fresh thyme - chopped
¼ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
butter pats
fresh parsley - minced

Boil potatoes until tender. In a soup pot, fry bacon until crisp then transfer to paper towels. Add butter then garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery; sauté until soft. Stir in flour and broth, bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently, until thickened. Add potatoes, halibut, bacon and half-and-half. Simmer until fish is cooked and the flavors come together. Garnish with butter and parsley. Serves 4.

SE Alaska exceeded all our expectations and we hope you get the chance to cruise there as well, plus fish for halibut! If you’d like to follow our voyages sail to

The iconic captivating Tree Hose Cafe

Our return to the Pacific NW a few years ago, saw us coastal sailing from Ketchikan to Sidney. We had loads of sunshine and some serious winds forecasts, frequently gale and occasionally storm force, but unfortunately, other than our Dixon Entrance crossing and a couple of great short sails we experienced calm conditions. However, our spectacular, clear days helped make up for the lack of wind and we defiantly saw more whales than our combined 2 previous Alaskan expeditions.

After a mammoth non-stop 140-mile day and night passage south from Prince Rupert to beat forecasted southerly gales, we entered one of the first all-weather anchorages in many miles, in the dark. We could hear the waterfalls on either side of the narrow entrance and when we later awoke we gazed about an amazingly beautiful tiny bay surrounded by mountains and glaciers. Our next stops included many intriguing places like Shearwater Resort, peaceful Codville Lagoon with a great swimming lake, the abandoned fishing village of Namu, Calvert Island with its dramatic ocean beaches and then on southward weaving our way around the many islands as we navigated the numerous channels.

Near the end of our expedition we met up with sailing friends south of Dodd Narrows and while hiking together they encouraged us not to miss the largest town in Canada’s Gulf Islands. What we didn’t know was that Ganges is home to the award-winning Tuesday and Saturday Salt Spring Island Market.
Upon our arrival I was eager to check it all out so when our crew spotted the Salt Spring Coffee sign and disappeared for some mojo I continued to the market alone. It was hard not to get caught up in the astounding array arts and crafts, so I put my head down to quickly bypass their colorful displays with hopes that I’d catch them later.

I knew when I came to the food stalls that I’d arrived at a true haven for the hungry. The massive selection of local fresh produce featuring seasonal fruits, berries and organic vegetables complimented the huge range of artisanal food products ranging from farmstead cheeses to sought after local lamb. As the vendors must "make it, bake it, or grow it" themselves a simple homespun guarantee abounded resulting in a genuine sense of island ingenuity.

Sheep farming has been a tradition on the island since the 1890's and there are now over 10 different breeds. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth even prefers the famous flavor which comes from the sea salt that settles into the land after being carried inland on the sea breezes. To compliment the local lamb, I purchased a Monsoon Coast garam masala to create the following recipe.

Lamb Curry

1 lb boneless leg of lamb - diced into cubes
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger
4 tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon each: garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin
½ teaspoon each: cayenne pepper, turmeric
½ cup Greek yogurt
12 baby potatoes

Chop onions, garlic and ginger in food processor then tomatoes. Heat oil skillet and toast cumin seeds for 30 seconds. Add onion mixture, sauté 3 minutes. Add lamb and brown 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes, salt and spices: cook, stirring occasionally 3 minutes. Stir in yogurt, and ½ cup water. Cover and low simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, boil potatoes until just cooked. Fold them into curry and cook and additional 15 minutes. Serves 4.

Lots of folk were on ritual shopping trips but just as many were wandering around the wonderful prepared food and snacks. I worked my way through amazing tasting selections of jams, honeys, canned tomatoes, plus rustic breads and gazed in awe at breathtaking array of baked goods. Once my bag was stuffed with more calories than I could justify and a generous selection of healthy vegies to assuage any guilt I rejoined our crew who relayed tales of the fun sailing folk they'd meet at the iconic Tree House Café

Views of Salt Spring Island Market

As we sailed for Sidney with the following recipes to create I vowed to return Salt Spring Island. It may not be possible to experience all it has to offer at once but there’s a groovy vibe which leaves one with a nourished soul.


3½ pounds tomatoes - peeled and diced
2 cups good quality tomato juice
1 English cucumber - diced
1 red bell pepper - diced
1 red onion - diced
1 jalapeño - seeded and diced small
3 cloves garlic - minced
¼ cup olive oil
2 limes - juiced
1½ tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

For serving - Greek yogurt, diced cucumber and bread
In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients. Refrigerate 2 hours. Serve with yogurt, cucumber and bread. Serves 6.

Asian Carrot and Parsnip Salad

1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic crushed
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon sesame oil
4 carrots - grated
3 parsnips - grated
4 green onions - chopped
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup cashews

In a bowl, whisk together first eight ingredients. In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients then mix in dressing. Serves 4.

Zucchini Noodles with Walnuts and Mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz. cremini mushrooms - sliced
1onion - diced
3 garlic cloves - minced
2-14 oz. canned diced tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup chopped walnuts
4 zucchini spiralized
½ cup fresh basil
salt and pepper

Sauté mushrooms and garlic 8 minutes in olive oil. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar and simmer 5 minutes. Add walnuts and noodles. Cook until zucchini is to your liking. Add basil, salt and pepper.

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of cold unsalted butter - chopped into ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
sugar to top

Preheat oven to 325F and line 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. In food processor, blend flour, sugar, rosemary, salt, and zest. Add honey, juice, and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Press mix into pan, sprinkle top with sugar then bake 35 minutes.

Andrew with his lobster catch

Upon our arrival in Falmouth, southwest England, last year is was a treat to tie up in front of the National Maritime Museum at Port Pendennis Marina. Our morning runs soon lead us in all directions with Pendennis Point Shipyards and the commanding well-preserved 16th fortress of Pendennis Castle, built by Henry VIII, a favorite.

We took ferry rides to other locations dotted around the Fal Estuary and delighted in handsome village of Flushing that seemed a world away even though it’s just across the river from Falmouth. Settled in the 17th century by a Dutch community that hailed from Vlissingen, also known as Flushing, the village is dotted with majestic Queen Anne style houses built by ships captains who perhaps favored its quieter location. In the evenings we relished the bustle of Falmouth sampling its numerous global cuisine choices including the following.

Thai Beef Salad

8 roast beef - sliced
3 cups Romaine lettuce
½ cup cherry tomatoes - halved
½ cucumber - sliced
¼ cup each of cilantro, mint and basil leaves - chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 clove garlic - minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger - minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, mint, and basil. Combine remaining ingredients and toss with salad.

For a weekend getaway headed off to the famed west coast. Hoping for a relaxing drive through sweeping landscapes views I discovered I was the dedicated navigator plotting a course through unannounced roundabouts to yet another unruly tiny high hedged lined lane containing extremely menacing rock walls hidden behind the foliage. By the time we arrived the charming working fishing port of Padstow I was eagerly anticipating a quiet lunch. It was not to be as this foodie village, nestled between glorious sandy beaches at the head of the Camel River, attracts celebrity chefs and was swamped with folks happy to sit about the quayside and watch the tide roll in as they indulged on gourmet fish and chips. “On, On” we thought as we quickly purchased beetroot dip, rustic bread and a trendy raw slice for an impromptu picnic.

Beet Dip

3 beets
1 head of garlic
½ cup walnuts
½ cup cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Wrap each beet in foil. Cut the top of garlic and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil then wrap in foil. Roast beets and garlic 45 minutes. Peel and dice beets. Blend all ingredients in food processor.

Our destination was the remote tiny natural harbor of Boscastle which lies in the bottom of a long narrow ravine guarded by a large stone breakwaters. These days a few small craft berth at the tidal mudflats but before the railway was built it was a thriving port serving much of Northern Cornwall. We discovered numerous hiking paths along the rugged high cliffs with raging seas and sweeping views, castles, Norman churches and iron age fort remains which made our afternoon hike and picnic extremely romantic.

Cornwall is steeped in history and it was super to be following in the footsteps of the famous novelist Thomas Harding as I’d long ago enjoyed being introduced to Wessex with Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbevilles. I guess I’m a little behind the times as most folk I spoke with had come to Cornwall to view Poldark filming locations. It’s also a pleasant wander through the main village which sits high above the harbor as attractive white-washed thatched cottages offer an assortment of potteries, galleries and tea rooms. It was interesting to hear that the rolling fields adjoining the coast are known as the Forrabury Stitches from when they were divided into ancient “stichmeal” cultivation plots and that they’re still using the original crop rotation sequences.

Dating back to the 16th century the historical Wellington Hotel was our getaway accommodation. Its original role was a coaching inn and colorful characters including King Edward VII, Sir Henry Irving, Guy Gibson, and Thomas Hardy have stayed beneath its roof. With fabulous weather we dined on the upper stone wall terrace enjoying risotto and the village views below.

Asparagus Risotto Verde

Asparagus Risotto Verde

1lb asparagus
handful parsley tops or spinach leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped shallot or onion
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups light broth
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
juice from half a lemon
watercress for garnish

Cut off 3 inches from asparagus tips and slice remaining stalks. In salted boiling water cook tips 1 minute then stalks 3 minutes. In a blender puree stalks, parsley, a pinch of salt and ½ cup of cooking water until smooth. In a heavy pot melt 1 tablespoon butter; add shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute. Add wine, stir until it evaporates. Add 2 cups of broth; cook until absorbed, 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add another cup of broth; cook until almost absorbed. Rice should be tender but slightly al dente at core. If needed add more liquid, 1/4 cup at a time. Add remaining ingredients.

Serves 4.

We choose Port Isaac for our morning run as we’re fans of the BBC series Doc Martin. It was great to visit scene locations plus trail run the South West Coast Path coast and we vowed to trek more of the 630-mile path created by coastguards on the lookout for smugglers. All too soon we were back aboard Mahina Tiare and off to the fuel barge. How funny to discover the fishing smack moored alongside was owned by Andrew, a barge worker. He’d been out attending his lobster pots and after some prompting he proudly displayed his catch. Preferring to eat lobster “au natural” Andrew offered the following recipe if you need to stretch it out.

Lobster Linguine

8 oz linguine
10 oz cooked lobster meat
2 oz olive oil
1 garlic clove - chop
4 spring onions - chopped
½ teaspoon finely chopped red chili
1 oz dry white wine
1 tablespoon each chopped parsley and basil
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and sauté garlic, spring onions and chili for 1 minute. Add lobster and heat through. Add wine and cook until alcohol has evaporated. Add pasta to crabmeat and stir in parsley and basil. Season to taste. Serves 4.

Amanda and Paulo at his family's olive oil and wine establishment

When our expedition crew joined us last season in Falmouth, England a passing frontal system, bringing strong winds and rain heralded the beginning of winter so we knew it was time to head south. After the blustery conditions passed we had started out with a nice sail but a near-stationary ridge of high pressure kept wind speeds in the 5-7 kt range so we motorsailed a little until the breeze stabilized and we could resume sailing.

It was a treat to make landfall in La Coruna, Spain in warm sunny weather and we spent hours exploring the old city with its quintessential tapas bars and wandering the historic waterfront to the impressive Tower of Hercules; the oldest lighthouse in the world.

From La Coruna we took delight in a few ria (river estuary) anchorages along the coast. With chilly waters, cold enough to make our swims extremely brief, and hot sunshine we were often in fog on passage and relied on radar for spotting traffic plus our deck lookouts for noting the numerous lobster pots. At the attractive fishing port of Muros, a handsome new marina tempted us but when music from a visiting carnival began blaring we chose instead to anchor and dinghy ashore for decadent churros and cupcakes.

Lemon Cup Cakes

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup honey
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
¾ cup créme fraiche

Pre-heat oven 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl together honey, ricotta, oil, zest and vanilla, whisk in eggs and-yolk. In batches whisk in one-third of flour mixture then one third créme fraiche until both are incorporated. Bake 25 minutes then add lemon glaze.

Lemon Glaze

1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Sift sugar into bowl. In a steady stream add juice while whisking sugar. Stop adding juice when you achieve desired consistency. When glaze is poured onto a hot muffins it will soak in and become invisible although you'll detect it's intense flavor. If added to cooled muffins it will result in a shiny topping.

We again discovered another excellent new marina, just steps away from the extremely historic Galicain viliña mariñeira or little mariner's village of Combarro famous for horreos; raised storage structures used for drying corn, potatoes, fish or ham. Upon strolling the ancient granite-paved lanes we were repeatedly invited into tiny shops to sample fiery grape skin liquors and vibrant colored flavored, creamy liqueurs.

We awoke in the town of Baiona at first light as a sliver of moon rose above a steady stream of small fishing craft heading out to sea. As the city came to life it appeared that the fishermen, chatting and playing checkers on the pier across from the marina, were the same ones who'd been there last night when we went to dinner. Lead by our friend Leon, who sails a sistership, we'd navigated the Baiona's back streets in search of the ultimate tapas and weren't disappointed when served an impressive variety of seafood dishes of which the cilantro scallops were divine.

Tapas scallops in Baiona

Grilled Cilantro Scallops

1-lb scallops
1/4 cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
3 garlic cloves - minced
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
lemon wedges

Light grill. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and season to taste. Grill scallops over moderate heat, basting with marinade until golden and just cooked, about 2 minutes each side. Serve in shells and garnish with lemon wedges.

After crossing the border, we spent an enchanting evening in Viana do Castel town square experiencing a multi-ethnic folkloric dance festival until the wee hours, when driven by hunger we entered a small bar that was in full swing. Using sign language they apologized they were low on items and could only offer us gazpacho, which we eager devoured.


1 14oz can whole tomatoes
2 cucumbers - peeled seeded and diced - divided
2 garlic cloves
1 quart tomato juice
1 lemon - juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 ripe tomatoes - cored and diced
½ cup minced red onion
1 green pepper- minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
½ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Puree canned tomatoes, one cucumber and garlic. Pass through a sieve to remove seeds and combine with remaining ingredients. Chill then season to taste. Serves 6.

Our final stop before the expedition's end in Lisbon was at the new Douro Marina at the mouth of the river of the same name which runs through Porto after creating the famous wine growing Douro Valley region. With a safe haven for the boat we took a tour to the town of Pinhao in the heart of the region and had a charming day visiting numerous wineries, feasting on frittata at the riverside and meeting Paulo at D'Origem olive museum who charmingly explained his family's traditional method of making olive oil.

Brussels Sprout, Chorizo, and Gruyere Frittata

½ pound cooked diced chorizo or bacon
2 shallots - halved and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ lb brussels sprouts - halved and sliced
salt and pepper
8 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
¼ snipped chives

Preheat broiler. In a skillet sauté chorizo, shallots in olive oil; 3 minutes. Add brussels sprouts, season to taste and cook 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a large bowl beat eggs with milk, add cheese and chives. Add egg mix to skillet and cook, stirring gently, until eggs start to set and bottom in slightly browned; about 5 minutes. Broil frittata until center is just set; 3 minutes. Serves 4.

Amanda is currently en route home to New Zealand from Fiji. To see if she arrives in time for the infamous annual Opua Cruising Club Thanksgiving dinner sail to


Cruisers Potluck at Shelter Bay Marina

On our past December passage from the BVI’s to Panama, after hearing rave reviews, we decided on a brief stop at the new IGY Marina Santa Marta, Colombia. As we approached the coastline it was surreal to be sailing under sweltering skies with palm lined beaches only to have the view topped with the stunning glacial peaks of the nearby Sierras. A contrary current of up to 1.8 knots held strong and we had to push to arrive before dark on the day we’d planned to. The marina is located in the middle of a surf beach and thankfully we got help from the marina staff in securing MT in a berth that had blustery afternoon beam-on winds and an impressive surge that jerked and tugged the dock lines.

We managed to catch marina manager Kelly in the office before she went home and she explained that Colombia allows vessels to stop for up to 72 hours, without clearing customs, if they only require fuel, water or provisions; perfect for us as clearing in is a multi-day process that requires hiring a ship’s agent. Kelly then gave us city maps and a restaurant recommendation. Santa Marta, the oldest city in Latin America, has a population of 650,000 and reminded us of a cross between Mexican and Spanish sea port towns. Tourism is relatively new as most visitors were Colombian, here to enjoy the beach. We dined in Donde Chucho’s courtyard beside the historic plaza delighting in the evening atmosphere and a dinner that was fabulous and ridiculously inexpensive.

Chicken and Coconut Soup

4 tablespoons butter
½ cup diced onions
1 red pepper - diced
2 scallions - diced
1 carrot - grated
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground achiote
3 potatoes - diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts - diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ears corn - cut in pieces
2 cups coconut milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup peas
salt and pepper
cilantro for serving

In a medium pot melt butter, add onions, red bell pepper, scallions, carrots, cumin and achiote; cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken, tomato paste and broth, simmer 25 minutes. Add corn and coconut milk; cook 5 minutes. Add cream, peas and heat through. Season to taste and serve with cilantro.

Our next stop was the San Blas Islands of Panama. We easily covered the 290 miles in under two days with stiff trade winds even with 1-2 knot contrary current. Mahina Tiare really hummed and periodically we’d nudge 10 knots. Swimming Pool Anchorage, East Hollandes Cays, is one of the most famous San Blas anchorages and an excellent landfall choice. Shortly after anchoring, a lovely Kuna mother with three children paddled out to visit. We purchased molas of applique picture panels and winis of stung beads the women wear on their limbs and gave her rice, onions and apples. She wished us Feliz Navidad and invited us ashore to their tiny one-hut island. Situated near the impressive booming outer reef we enjoyed our sunset visit and admired her tenacity.

After spending a few more day cruising San Blas we stopped off at Portobello on our way to Colon where it’s always fun to visit with Birgit and Ray who run Casa Vela; a sail loft and pizza joint. Sadly, they informed us that although Panama is considered to lie outside the hurricane belt, last year a hurricane pummeled the bay from the west sinking 13 of the 16 moored yachts and sending waves crashing through their casa.

Shelter Bay Marina, Colon was our crew departed port with Christmas just five days later. Under the guidance of Jo Anne and Bill aboard Ultra the many permanent and visiting liveaboard cruisers pitched in to make it an unforgettable event. There was a competition for the best decorated boat, Christmas caroling, a progressive dock to dock party then a huge potluck on Christmas day in the Cruiser’s Palaopa. Bill spent all day cooking a 17lb. ham then carved it up for all. We sat beside a charming Russian family who sail a Nauticat and chatted with dozens of international cruisers while sampling dishes equally varied from salads, dips, to an awesome paella and many cakes.

Baba Ghanoush

2 medium eggplants
5 garlic cloves - peeled
olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
sea salt

Preheat oven broiler. Slice eggplants into 1-inch thick pieces. Sprinkle with salt and let rest 5 minutes. Rinse slightly and pat dry with a towel. Place eggplant and garlic on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. When eggplant is cooked cover with foil, 5 minutes, then peel skin. In a food processor blend together eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and parsley.

Paella at Shelter Bay’s Cruisers Christmas Potluck


5 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - chopped
2 tomatoes - chopped
½ teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of saffron threads
4 small cleaned squid bodies slice with tentacles left whole
3 chorizo - sliced
2 cups paella
3 cups chicken stock, plus extra
1 cup dry white wine
12 shrimp
16 mussels
1 red pepper - sliced
1 yellow pepper - sliced
chopped artichoke hearts
lemon wedges

In paella pan saute onions in olive oil. Add garlic then tomatoes, sugar, salt, paprika, and saffron; cook 7 minutes. Stir in squid, chorizo and rice. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring stock and wine to a boil. Pour over rice, bring to boil spreading rice out evenly; don't stir anymore. Cook over medium-low heat 25 minutes frequently rotating pan. After 15 minutes, add mussels then shrimp. When done, remove from heat, cover with foil 10 minutes. Meanwhile saute peppers and artichoke, add to paella before serving.

Eggnog Buttered Rum Cake

½ cup unsalted butter
2½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
½ cup eggnog
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
   For Butter Rum Sauce
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup water
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup rum
confectioners’ sugar - for garnish

Preheat oven 315°F and prepare a 12 cup bundt pan. Cream butter, sugar and salt together on high speed until light and fluffy; 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time then slow mixer and carefully add flour, eggnog, vanilla and nutmeg. Bake 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes then invert onto cooling rack. For Sauce: in a small pot bring sauce ingredients to a boil. Poke cake all over then pour on sauce.


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