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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

Carol and Ned Backus introduced themselves upon our arrival in Falmouth, UK. They’d originally met John when they took the Mahina Offshore Seminar, way back in the day before I came on the scene, and they eagerly invited us aboard Frannie B for afternoon tea and fresh scones, served with strawberries and cream, so we could trade Scottish cruising notes for their “Galley Essentials”.

...Ned and I sail aboard our Outbound 44, Frannie B. We’ve owned her since 2006 and have cruised the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Queen Charlotte Islands, around Vancouver Island and south around South America. Having just crossed ‘The Pond” we’re now looking forward to exploring Scotland.

The boat is named after Ned’s mother. She always wanted a boat named after her and Ned, as a child said that he would name the boat for her if she bought it for him. So, 50 years later she is gone and has her wish. We’ve both been sailing virtually our whole lives. I learned in Connecticut on Sunfish and Ned took lessons at Corinthian Yacht Club Seattle as a child. Needless to say, we were attracted to each other because of our mutual childhood dreams of sailing around the world. I don’t get seasick, but Ned does though not so much anymore. If he does he doesn’t take anything for it.

My galley priorities are a good stove and adequate counterspace. Our galley layout is the standard Outbound setup: large U shaped to the left of companionway, stove on the left, fridge forward of stove, sink athwartships with wraparound drawers. If I was to change one thing it would be to make the bottom of the freezer an inch higher, so I could reach it more easily. My one must have galley item is a god cup of coffee. I freshly grind coffee beans, use a $30 AeroPress and aerolatte steam milk frother.

For passages I make as many meals as I can in advance so while we’re adjusting to sleep and the sea or if the weather is rough we still well. Pasta dishes and premade burritos that can be heated in the oven or microwave are the norm, as well as eggs. Store bought rotisserie chickens, which we’ve nicknamed “Big Chicken” are also generally really yummy (especially in Mexico) and go a long way for the first few days of passages.

Uses for our “Big Chicken”

Day 1: big pot of rice and fresh green veggies
Day 2: bone what’s left of the bird and make a big Caesar salad topped with chicken.
Day 3: Throw the carcass back in the pressure cooker half filled with water cook for an hour. Salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles, rice, veggies to make soup. Serve with crusty homemade bread.

Baked Breakfast Eggs

6 eggs
9 strips of bacon - partially cooked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 cups in muffin tray. Bend 1½ bacon strips around the edge of each muffin cup (think bacon instead of muffin paper). Crack in an egg, top with cayenne pepper or Tabasco and a little butter. Bake to your liking: runny or crispy approximately 15-30 minutes.

Ned’s comfort food is peanuts, mine is anything chocolate and although I don’t have any food concerns Ned worries that he’ll run out of food and that there’ll never be another grocery store. We used to can food but no longer. Both of us do the cooking, cleaning and provision and when crew come along we assign a day to each person and rotate: if there’s three aboard you get a full day of prep and clean up then 2 days off. Our favorite food at sea is probably pasta, and our favorite recipes are all and any one pan or pot items like chicken stir-fry, noodles or pressure cooker mushroom soup. If we catch a fish I then get creative otherwise hunger and maybe sometimes boredom inspires us to create meals.

Chinese Noodles

This is a good first night out at sea or a lunch snacky thing.
1 1/8 lbs. rice vermicelli noodles
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons hot chili oil
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup pine nuts or nuts of your choice
3 green onions - diced

Cook noodles and drain. Combine soy sauce, chili oil, sugar and vinegar Pour sauce over noodles. Serve garnished with nuts and green onions.

Pressure Cooker Chicken, Rice and Mushrooms

This chicken dinner tasted great when we were finally safe, warm and dry after three miserable days from Christchurch around the East Cape of New Zealand.

1chicken whole or chopped
1 cup rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup water
2 onions - chopped
2 celery stalks - chopped
2 carrots - chopped

*extra vegetables of your choice: peas, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers, corn
In pressure cooker, brown chicken in oil. Add rice, water, and mushroom soup then pressure cook according to your pressure cooker instructions for chicken. At the last 10 minutes of cooking add more vegetables*.

We don’t have a special in-port dish other than going ashore to eat as soon as we get in, especially breakfast, and not cooking until we leave. Nor do we have a favorite cookbook although we enjoy Seattle’s Pasta & Co cookbooks. Now that we’re much older we eat and provision with less than we used to when we circumnavigated with our son and daughter on Plain Jane, our Cal 39 in the 90’s. Way back, when we were in Tahiti, I took the bus with a 4 and 6-year-old to Euromarche. I loaded our West Marine trolley with all our groceries and then had to run across the busy street, with two kids in tow, to the waiting bus. I tipped and the whole thing crashed over sending cans and bottles rolling. Traffic stopped, kids screamed, bus couldn’t move cuz my food was strewn all over the street.

I’ve cooked local exotic food aboard such as conch, plantains, and tapioca but our most interesting meal ashore was in 1993 with Piri Puruto “The Coconut King” of the Cook Islands. At 65 he easily climbed 75-foot coconut trees to get fronds and coconuts. While Piri cooked chickens, wrapped in leaves, in an earth oven we made bowls to eat from and cushions to sit on from the palm fronds. The fact that I still remember it must make it memorable.

My parting advice for fellow cruisers is not to leave without Gorilla Tape and Gorilla Glue as they can fix anything.

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.

"Catch of the Day" - cod & whiting

If you read May Galley Essentials I apologize if I left you hanging as to our whereabouts after our North Sea crossing. Having dined on North Ronaldsay lamb we set sail for rugged Fair Isle, located midway between Scotland and Shetland. Our plan was to spend two nights waiting for forecasted fresh NE headwinds to diminish but by noon the wind was still offering a favorable passage, so we continued to Shetland. The 14 knot SE winds provided a fun smooth broad reach for the 31-miles to Shetland’s southernmost east bay, Grutness Voe, located around the corner from the impressive Sumburgh Head lighthouse, yet another built by the family of Robert Louis Stevenson.

It’s an amazing clifftop trail run to the stunning lighthouse and it’s supporting buildings which have been turned into an impressive visitor center, a restored vacation cottage as it would have been in Stevenson's day, a visiting artist residency, and café serving scrummy treats of which you can download recipes at Soon the predicted frontal passage arrived with 35knot winds making our evening anchorage at Levenwick Bay a surfers delight and a zippy passage to the expeditions end in Lerwick. Over a few drams and curries we caught up with Marlyse Boller and Peter Smith on Kiwi Roa and they entertained us with stories of Morocco, Peter’s Rocna and Vulcan anchor designs and whether they should circumnavigate Svalbard or transit the NW Passage.

As Lerwick’s waterfront was in full summer bustle with cruise ships, ferries, roadworks and visiting yachts John decided to set sail in a gale for Whalsay Island 12 miles north Lerwick. Discovering it full of the offshore fishing fleet we sailed on to the mainland village of Vadlin. Here we delighted in a tranquil retreat which was enlivened with hitchhiking excursions and chats with the locals who eagerly offered us their catch of the day from which I created the following.

Thai Fish Cakes

1 thumb ginger - diced
1 shallot - diced
6 cloves garlic
½ cup cilantro
2 limes - juice and zest
16 oz firm white fish - cooked and diced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon paprika (plus additional for sprinkling)
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
lime wedges

Place ginger, shallot, garlic, cilantro, zest and juice into food processor; pulse until well chopped.
Add fish, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, paprika and arrowroot flour; pulse until well mixed. Form mixture into patties. Heat a large skillet, add sesame oil then allow pan to get hot before sautéing cakes until brown and crispy on each side adding sesames seeds after a minute of cooking each side. Serve sprinkled with paprika and lime wedges.

Back in Lerwick it was all go, even more so with daily filming of the BBC series, Shetland. Our new crew were soon aboard and we sailed north on a crackin’ 22-mile broad reach to Yell Island to
enjoy hikes along the misty green cliffs and a visit to the quaint museum. The next day our navigators correctly calculated the Yell Sound tides, which run up to 7 knots, and as we departed Shetland for the Faroe Islands, 180 miles north the skies were clear.

Our passage was a mixed bag - some sweet broad reaching and a little motoring as we arrived at Vagur, a deep bay nearly splitting Sundroy Island in half. After tying up in a fishing harbor we didn’t want to waste the brilliant midnight sun so we embarked on a late evening hike up the impressive hillsides and before dinning on grilled fish and nourishing kale salad at 2am.

Kale, Nectarine and Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1¾ cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon course-grain mustard
2 garlic cloves - minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups kale - sliced
4 fresh nectarines - sliced
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup almonds

Cook quinoa in water. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, jam, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Add kale, nectarines, onion almonds and quinoa. Serves 4.

Amanda, Helge, Andy and Wei ready for sea, Scotland and crumble!

After sleeping in, our next stop, 37 miles north, was Torshavn which bills itself as the world’s smallest capital city although with a population of 13,000, it really feels more like a friendly small town. The very active harbor front boating club makes visiting yachts extremely welcome and wanting to experience more of the countryside we went touring with a van and driver. When tummies began rumbling at northern cliffside village of Gjogv we descended on the charming Gjaargardur Guesthouse and enjoyed a variation on the following soup. And as a final treat on leaving for Scotland Helge surprised us with a delectable crumble.

Broccoli, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

2 garlic cloves - mashed
1 thumb ginger - finely grated
1 thumb turmeric - finely grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
600ml water
300g broccoli - chopped
250g cauliflower - chopped
150g kale - torn from stems
salt and pepper

In a saucepan sauté garlic, ginger and turmeric in oil until soft. Add coconut milk and water; bring to boil. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cook 10 minutes. Add kale and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and blend soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble

1½ cups flour
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt - divided
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter - cubed
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
3½ cups rhubarb - sliced
3½ cups strawberries - sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add butter; using your fingertips, incorporate until pea-size lumps remain. Mix in sour cream. Knead in bowl until a biscuit-like dough forms, 5-7 turns. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour filling into 9-inch pie dish and scatter with crumble mix. Bake 40 minutes. Serves 4.

Andrew with his lobster catch

When our Leg 3 crew joined in Oban, Scotland, we instantly set sail south to the slate village of Cullipool on the Isle of Luing. Although slate is no longer quarried, the rugged dark slate beach, quarry pits, steep hillsides, small railway and rows of white cottages bear evidence of an industry which supplied England with much of its roofing slate. The museum, explaining the slate operations, serves delightful cake - impossible to turn down on a rainy day.

Coffee Cake with Baileys Irish Cream

1¼ cups sugar plus
¾ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ cup butter, softened
3 cups flour
1¼ cups sour cream
½ cup Baileys Irish Cream
3 eggs - beaten
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease angel food cake pan with butter. In small mixing bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour, sour cream, Irish Cream, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat until blended, then 3 more minutes. Pour ½ of the batter into cake pan and sprinkle with ½ the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour in remaining batter to form the second layer and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar mix. Bake 50 minutes.

Our next passage was somewhat longer; 250 miles to Inishbofin, a small island off the NW coast of Ireland and a previous haunt of pirate queen Grace O’Malley. Upon completing a ramble to Grace’s castle, we took advantage of the somewhat-rare NW winds and set sail south for the Connemara Peninsula. Well rested after a quiet night at anchor, we delighted in an early start the next morning for the Aran Islands. Inishmore has bicycles and horse traps for hire and with sunny skies we were eager to visit the stunning clifftop bronze age Dun Aengus Fort.

The winds increased during our sail to More Bay on the Kilkee Peninsula and we spent the night on anchor watch due to serious pitching and were happy to be away sailing by 0500. With worsening weather we rode out a gale tucked safely inside Fenit Harbour before heading to Smerwick; a lovely sandy bay, but rolly anchorage, on the Dingle Peninsula. Thankfully the weather was calmer for our motorsail to Great Blasket Island.

Formerly home to a hearty group of Gaelic speaking fishermen, shepherds and smugglers, the island was evacuated in 1953 due to its isolation. We tackled the landing and steep hillside to explore the rebuilt cottages before wandering the white sand beach where a rookery of seals basked in the sun. With hopes to find Celtic music on Saturday night we headed to Knights Town; a historic village on Valentia Island. A singer/songwriter was performing, but alas it was in the next village and started at 2230 - long past our bedtime. Instead I raided Paul’s self-service greenhouse with designs to create the following.


Pub Grub at the Atlantic.

Strawberry Basil Chicken

4 chicken breasts - pounded to 1-inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves - crushed
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze

Combine strawberries, basil, balsamic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a large skillet heat olive oil, add garlic; cook a few minutes. Salt and pepper each side of chicken, cook until golden; 4 minutes per side. Top chicken servings with strawberry mix and serve with salad greens. Serves 4.

Near Fastnet Rock, we were greeted with a sheltered inlet at Crookhaven Harbour. Dozens of folks soaked up the sun with a pint at O’Sullivans while their kids jumped off the wharf; a delightful sight from the drizzly weather that had hounded us. Sadly, the next morning brought another front for our passage to Baltimore, but it made the township’s raiding history and commanding 800-year-old Dun Na Sead Castle come to life.

A fast broad reach to The Iles of Scilly, off the tip of SW England, was accompanied with whales and dolphins and we landed at St Mary’s eager to discover it’s pub-grub of which Beef and Guinness pie was a hit. Upon returning to Mahina Tiare, strong wind and rain heralded the arrival of yet another front and by morning we’d chafed through two mooring pennants.

During our oatmeal breakfast the harbor master stopped by. He was strongly advising everyone to leave the anchorage and suggested we head to Falmouth. It was a doozy - winds gusted into the low 30s against strong tidal currents and as we crossed the Traffic Separating Zone fog and drizzle fell upon us.

Beef and Guinness Pie

pastry to make a pie
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - crushed
2 carrots - chopped
2 celery sticks - diced
4oz mushrooms - sliced
1 lb stewing steak
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - chopped
pinch salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup (aprox. half can) Guinness
¼ cup beef stock
4oz grated cheddar - divided
1 egg - beaten

Banana Oatmeal with Walnut and Dates

2 cups water
2 cups milk plus additional for serving
3 bananas (½ cup mashed, the remainder sliced for serving)
2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon cloves
4 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk

for topping (optional)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
½ cup toasted chopped walnut
4 tablespoons brown sugar, plus additional for servings (optional)

In saucepan combine all ingredients except walnuts & sliced banana and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently; 7 minutes. Garnish with walnuts, sliced bananas and brown sugar. Serves 4.

In large ovenproof saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté onions 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, beef, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook 4 minutes. Add flour and cook 1 minute then add Guinness and stock. Stir in half the cheddar, allow to cool for one hour. Preheat oven to 375ºF Place 1/3 pastry to one side. Roll out the pastry pieces and line the base of a greased pie dish. Fill with beef and scatter with remaining cheddar. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg, place on top and pinch edges together to form a crust. Brush top with beaten egg and make a small slit with a knife in the center of lid. Bake 45 minutes.

Thankfully, the wooded picturesque Helford River proved a tranquil final anchorage before our arrival in Falmouth where we shared dock space with the Volvo Race yacht AkzoNobel. In chatting with a kiwi mate aboard, it was interesting to hear that the weather conditions had forced them to retire from a sponsorship run to New York.


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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