Wednesday, May 17

Conversations with Margo

Well-known in the boating community is Canadian Margo Woods, who is taking the journey to Alaska with us. After her husband passed away, Margo continued editing Charlie’s Charts, a series of cruising guides for boaters traveling from Alaska to Mexico and other Pacific waters. Oftentimes she "singlehands" her 34 ft. sailboat.

She has taken me under her wing and taught me little important details about boating, such as looking in the sky for a hazy brown ring around the sun which many agree foretells rough weather ahead.

Sanctuary took its first dramatic side-to-side roll when a smaller, faster boat in our group created huge wake by accident. This would have been exciting had it not been the exact moment I was serving breakfast. I got initiated into boat cooking by baptizing myself with some splashing hot water and oatmeal as they made their quick trip from one side of the stove to the other. Once the waves smoothed out, Margo gave me my first lesson in protective cooking: secure your knives, never fill pots of liquid full and a wet towel can be layed at the edge of the counter to keep things from sliding off.

Margo boated with her husband for years without knowing how to swim. She quipped, “if my husband fell overboard he might struggle for a few hours and then that would be it for him, but if I fell over – it would be glug-glug-glug, GAME OVER” At the age of 35, she finally took swimming lessons. Prompted by a friend who suggested she should learn for the sake of saving her children should they go overboard, she was a quick study and faced her fears straight on.

The main stressor we experienced a few days ago, outside of the hot oatmeal facial I had, was the quick all-guest/crew meeting off the stern. Our captain informed us that someone had left a line in the water and that we had been dragging it the whole morning. It looked like a pack of wild otters had gotten their little teeth around the rope (but in fact it was the rope wrapped around the propeller). Another boat called over on the VHF (very high frequency) radio alerting us to the problem. Apparently the line could have become caught up in the engine, causing major repairs and an immediate end to Sanctuary’s voyage.

Luckily we live for another day. My boating education is coming along, I now know the stern from the bow, the head from the flybridge, the cockpit from the swim platform. And on this particular type of luxury yacht, the trash compactor from the washer/dryer (an important distinction, I might add). Then again, after 3 weeks wearing the same 5 things, that trash compactor might come in handy).

Menus from Sanctuary (the owners requested meals that were healthy and low on the food chain):

Day 1: Lunch
Tom ka gai (Lemongrass, mushroom and chicken soup), Shrimp rolls with chile-lime and hoisin-peanut sauce, ginger cookies

Day 2: Lunch
Penne with mint-pistachio pesto, grilled asparagus, chocolate-peanut butter tart

Day 3: Breakfast
Hash browns with garlic and red onions, Scrambled eggs with basil, cream cheese and asparagus, fresh fruit, yogurt, toast and jam

Day 3: Lunch
Grilled chicken with ceasar salad, tomatoes, parmesan reggiano and lemon-anchovy dressing, leftover pasta with mint-pistachio pesto, finished off the tart.

Sea-sickness report: So far, the “patch” is working marvelously. Feeling more tired than usual but that could be due to the late evenings and the crack of dawn departures. Max is also doing well on the ginger pills (which really says something as she is a self-reported hurler on the high seas).


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