I had a little fun over the weekend at the Grand Banks Rendezvous. 

We all had to bring a gift of value under $20 and it had to be useful on a boat.  This was quite a challenge.  Boat things are expensive.

I found a box and made the signs, scrunched up some brown paper and nestled a dinky bottle of Mount Gay Rum carefully in it.

Every boat needs a bottle of rum, albeit a small one.

Last week we stripped off 30 years of varnish

from her handrails.  Flaky yellow shavings

filled the decks like sawdust in a stable.  

I hated seeing her like that —

naked,

stripped down to bare wood 

raw and vulnerable,

her lustre gone.  

And then the rain came.  

Yellow streaks ran down her gunwales like tears. 

One more from the weekend.  

The sun, the boat and the paperback Robb found on Saltspring Island.

"As an infant of eighteen months I was struck down by cerebral malaria, delirious for ten days. The doctors told my parents that it was probably better if I died, because if I survived I would be brain damaged. Despite the primitive medical facilities available in Africa in those days, their prognosis proved correct; I survived and am now only mildly crazy. Which is good because you have to be at least slightly crazy to write fiction for a living." — Wilbur Smith 

Another beautiful weekend out on the water.

This is my best attempt at keeping the sun off the outboard engine’s tiller.  I know, it looks like a ballerina’s foot in a pointe shoe

or an ostrich with an elongated head (and beady eye)

but it really is the tiller of the outboard 

covered by a kiddies sock. 

10 knots is record speed for Lily B.  We usually cruise around the islands at about 6 knots, but here we had huge help from the current.

Perhaps it also helped that she had had a little grooming!  

We scraped off long strands of green weed from the bow that wafted along the waterline like a beard on her chin.  We then power washed the hull until her bottom was smooth, as if she’d had a bikini wax!  A special cream was applied to the propellor to inhibit the growth of barnacles — now this is really sounding like she went to a spa — and hoped that by doing all this she would pick up a knot or two.

And she did.  

Be back soon … gone messing.

Boerewors — pronounced [bu:r … eh, can’t find the schwa icon … vors]

Sometimes I hanker for boerewors, but only late in summer when the ground is hard and dry and the night air smells like a dusty desert road 

and I’m feeling flush.

A local butcher sells coils of frozen boerewors

image

which tastes just like it should — fatty, peppery and full of dried coriander — it’s a delightful mixture of beef, lamb and pork ground in with lumps of white fat that you can see through the casing. 

image

We braai boerewors in South Africa and use hardwood logs to make coals that glow long into the African night.  The smoke from the hardwood, be it kameeldoring (camelthorn) or rooikrans (acacia), infuses the sausage and enhances the taste.  I prefer this smoky taste, but the BBQ is quicker.   

image

MUCH quicker.

image

Robb melts those fatty nuggets over a good heat and lets the fat mingle with the meat. When the skin is firm and slightly blackened and the inside soft and juicy, we snap off pieces from the coil and devour them with dollops of blatjang …

image

pronounced [chutney] !

The sun was showing her fatigue and as she slipped down behind the trees she left a moiré pattern on the water.  All around the bay lights were flicking on like fireflies in a forest.  The water lapped gently against the hull as the tide pushed in and I could see tiny pearls of dew collecting on the dinghy and the deck.  

It was time to go in.  

We lay down in the salon, we didn’t want to miss the moon.