Passage Preparation Sweet Potato Pockets

Passage Preparation Sweet Potato Pockets

Have food prepared for the first few days of passage

Have food prepared for the first few days of passage

Thar be dragons!

I’ve loved dragons ever since I was a little girl.  It might be date back to seeing the Magic Flute at age 3 or my fascination with dinosaurs.  Perhaps even reading Anne McCaffery’s dragon rider series.  It only seems fitting that maps of old stated “Thar be dragons!” in uncharted territory.

There are those who have wondered…

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Passagemaker Pizza Dough

grissini dough with rolling pinPizza is a favorite among yachties and land-lovers around the world.  Sure, if you are lazy you can bring store-bought crusts or pizza crust mixes (yeah, I didn’t know mixes existed either until one boat I crewed on had a stock of pizza dough mix.) but let’s face it.  Making your own pizza always tastes a thousand times better. Cheese may be a commodity on long passages, but saving a bit for a…

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Panama Canal Popcorn

Mooring Buoy in Gatun Lake

Mooring Buoy in Gatun Lake

We have seen some strange moorings, but tying up to a big floating mooring buoy with other boats rafted up to us may have been the oddest.  Imagine a floating steel barrel as a mooring.  Now imagine a boat on either side.  Then two other yachts rafted up to them.  It was not the ideal situation, but it was our only option.  We couldn’t make it across Gatun Lake at 8…

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Monkey Fist Apricot Poppy Seed Biscotti

Monkey Fist Apricot Poppy Seed Biscotti

tires and lines for transiting the canal

tires and lines for transiting the canal

The Panama Canal.   After months spent going through locks on the Erie Canal I was finally transiting the legendary Panama Canal.  This was the big time.  The man-made cut severing the umbilical cord of the Americas.  A channel through between two oceans.

We had visited the lock museum and seen the cars pulling along the monstrous container ships.  Now it…

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Charter Chirashi Sushi

DSCN1054The barter system is still thriving in the sailing community.  One of my favorite trades was on Elephant Island in San Blas.  I traded some banana bread for a winch handle.  I was delighted with my side, but the Australian couple seemed equally pleased with their banana bread.  The woman even threw in some clothes she liked the bread so much!  That isn’t quite the norm though.

At Shelter Bay…

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Winch Watercress Wasabi Salmon Sandwiches

Winch Watercress Wasabi Salmon Sandwiches

Declined.

shipThe worst single word you can hear at a cash register.  It worse still when you have spent 4 hours provisioning and the cashier has rung up a month’s worth of groceries.  When the store in question is over an hour taxi ride away from the marina it is like something out of a nightmare.

Umineko had gotten to Balboa marina the day before and it was lovely.  It had a swimming pool, hot…

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Paddle-Out Paella

plump kuna womenSailing is fantastic.  More than just the exhilarating, relaxing, challenging time on the water, I adore nature, snorkeling, and exploring new places.  But what makes places is the people and the unique traditions.

From the start of our stay Kuna Indians rowed dugout canoes out to Umineko hawking bracelets, and the traditional mola weavings they were famed for.  Several plump Kuna women made…

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Furling Fish Sausage Omelet

Furling Fish Sausage Omelet

DSCN0956

Sailing into Chichime Island, skirting shipwrecks and coral heads, was stunning.  A lush palm forest ringed in transparent turquoise.  I understood why backpackers paid upwards of $500 for a week squeezed into tourist boats like so many sardines to visit the famed San Blas Islands.  A glimpse of this paradise was almost worth it.

Dozens of masts reached up to the sky greeting us as we sailed up…

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Captain’s Kombu Kale

Captain’s Kombu Kale

I cried when we left Cuba.  I had to!  Well, if I wanted to leave, that is.

Half-sunken ship in Cien Fuegos marina

Half-sunken ship in Cien Fuegos marina

Immigration always makes me nervous, no matter how many times I cross a border I invariably tense when dealing with the shifty border officials.  You never know what hoops they will make the foreigner jump through or what taxes, bribes, or fines they will expect you to pay.  Or if…

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Sloop Soba Salmon

xbienvenidos

xvaraderobeach

xvaraderoVaradero isn’t Cuba,” countless people told us.  It’s just for tourists.  You can’t see the real Cuba there.  When we got to Havana I had to agree.  Havana seemed like a different world from the famous beaches,  performances, and posh hotels catering to foreigners of the lauded beach town.

 

 

xclassiccars2But when we left Havana it was the same.  Everyone told us Havana wasn’t the real Cuba.  So what

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