Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Dinghys galore and no nearby store?  Sure evidence there’s
a yachtee party afoot!  Indeed there was in the lagoon
at Simpson Bay St Martin.

Overheard at the Boxing Day Beach BBQ:
  • You’re drinking… water?
  • Ummm, yeah.  I’ll just tell everyone I’m drinking white rum.  They’ll believe it. [Ok I admit… this was me.]

  • My daughter must be pregnant.  The only thing she’s drank since she got here is Diet Coke.  I bet she just believes it’s too early to share yet.
  • Wait until New Year’s Eve.  If she turns down the champagne toast, that’s a dead give-away!

  • I learned to drink when I was cruising Mexico with my Dad, back in the late eighties.  I was 27.  Highballs.  Martinis.  Gin and tonics…. Those cruisers knew how to drink! 

A Little Literary Liquor Lore
A Barnacles employee offered to trade whisky for
our Mount Gay Rum.  We politely declined.  Was
it the party of the 2 for 1 drinks that prompted
our Christmas dinner invitations?  Dunno, but
it was a nice welcome regardless.
In “The Log from the Sea of Cortez” Steinbeck waxes warmly and often about the virtues of drink… “Alcohol has been… a warmer of the soul, a strengthener of muscle and spirit.  It has given courage to cowards and made very ugly people attractive.”
Andrew Thesingh was delighted with the horn
we brought from our “bilge.”  He plans
to bring it along when he moves, a bit
reluctantly, after 8 years in St. Maarten to
Wisconsin, where winters are a bit cooler.
Perhaps that’s why the two presents we brought home from the “Treasures of the Bilge” Christmas Eve party were a bottle of wine and a bottle of rum.  Appropriately, the Mount Gay Rum label proclaims “Savouring the smooth and rich character of MOUNT GAY RUM has been a ‘rite of passage’ among the world’s finest sailors, which has earned it the reputation as the ‘quintessential spirit of the seas’”.

Christmas Dinner & Almost All the Trimmings
Our “Treasure of the Bilge” tablemates, Larry and Pat of Polar Bear III, kindly invited us to their Christmas dinner. 
We don’t mind that we were the stand-ins to bring dessert and we unable to proffer the plum pudding.  It’s fitting that without time to get in a shopping run, and a galley devoid of most company dessert ingredients, “The Galley Wench” made a nod to the islands and brought baked bananas with rum raisins.  Aptly, as well, the recipe came from Kay Pastorius’s “Cruising Cuisine” a gift from fellow cruiser Lili Pelko of Heron.
The rest of the meal was a delicious traditional British holiday feast… turkey and gravy, two kinds of stuffing, wild rice with leeks and squash (brought by Steve O’ Brien and Alice Kilgo of Ocean Star), cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, baked potato balls.
We were bummed to not get a chance to sup with newfound friends Madeline Polss and Skip Pond of SaraLane.  We look forward to another opportunity to get together for good company and good cheer.
Lovely end to the Boxing Day BBQ.
Good Cheer & A Happy New Year
We don’t yet know what we’ll be doing to bring in the New Year here in St. Martin.  We just know that there is good food and good drink, but more importantly, good company among the boating community here.  We look forward to giving as good as we get, and the welcome here is warm, with or without a drink.  Cheers to that!  And to you, to bring in your New Year.