Balls! or All Balled Up.
Three Things

Still At Sea or What We Did on Our Atlantic Crossing

We are still creeping to Guadalupe. We have fewer than 400 miles to go. The winds are still lighter than predicted. We still have no refrigeration and have just pulled out the last butane can for the portable stove. Today I had the glorious task of cleaning out the freezer. We fed the fishes. If sharks start following us, we'll know why.

Frankly, this part of the sail is as boring as the previous paragraph. My biggest challenge is to plan meals with no oven, limited butane, and nothing left in the fridge or freezer. EW is deeply appreciative, and a good sport. Last year, while we were in St. Thomas, a sailing woman on one of my groups offered recipes. I quickly answered in the affirmative, thinking she had a bunch she would email to us. Instead, she had an older cruising cookbook she wanted to pass on and I was the first to respond. The book, written in the 1980's, is marvelous, with recipes offered by coastal cruisers, Caribbean and Mediterranean cruisers, and circumnavigators.

Back then, many boats went without refrigeration or an oven. There are lessons on canning meat (something I'll never attempt), and recipes for the small boat lifestyle, which is essentially what we are living with this galley. It's reminiscent of our coastal cruising days aboard "Sirius", a 26 foot sloop with an icebox and two burner alcohol stove. I'm channeling my much younger and less pampered self, and it's working. Last night we dined on tinned beans purchased in the Canaries, and homemade "hoedown" bread, made in a skillet from a recipe in the cookbook. The beans were in tomato sauce, with no molasses and I imagine these are the kind of beans folks in British novels have on toast for tea. If we compared them to Dad's or EW's home baked beans, these came up short, but if we accepted that they were a completely different kettle of fish (or pot of beans, as it were) then they weren't bad. Tonight I served a salad of black beans, corn, salsa, and onions, with the last bag of tortilla chips; lovingly, EW exclaimed "Wow!" when presented with this meal.

I have treats planned for Christmas day: A packaged Stolen, canned fruit, and coffee con leche for breakfast; and shrimp curry squash soup with crackers for dinner. (From a carton of soup, purchased in the Canaries, canned shrimp, and curry.) We have a prized can of mixed nuts for appetizers, and special chocolates for dessert. Clearly we aren't starving out here. I can see how friends of ours on "Bear" crossed the Pacific with their fridge/freezer turned off. I could do that, but prefer not to.

As of 1900 UTC on December 24th, we were located at North 16 degrees 25.96 minutes, and West 54 degrees 37.24 minutes. We expect to drop the hook on December 28. Can you say restaurant? I can.

Merry Christmas to all. I'm on watch from midnight to 0600 tonight and will keep an eye out for Santa and Rudolph.


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Ann Willauer

Following your crossing from rainy Portland, Maine. Good luck and Fair Winds for the rest of the journey, then eat your way through the Caribbean! At least you are landing on a French Island for food!

Ann Willauer, aka Breezing Up (on the hard in Portland)

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