Cockpit Okonomiyaki

sally okanomayakiHiroshima Pizza?  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the captain of the Japanese boat told us that’s what he would be making for the potluck with the American boat I was crewing on.   When I tried the actual dish I immediately fell in love with the delicious dish.

A year later I was crewing on the same Japanese boat making okonomiyaki myself.

The captain, Sato San’s “Hiroshima Pizza,”…

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Globe Hackers

Cruisers and sailors are some of the most interesting people.  I haven’t met a single citizen of the high seas who wasn’t at least a little bit out-of-step with the white picket fence world.  The lifestyle lends itself to the quirky, quixotic, fanciful, and fantastic; those special people for whom life is about exploration, learning, and perusing new experiences.  It brings some of the

I met…

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Catamaran Crab Cakes

Floridita, Hemingway's favorite bar

Floridita, Hemingway’s favorite bar

Touristic Havana can be expensive, or at least the prices can be comparable to the US.  Often even at higher prices selection is limited (I couldn’t find something as simple as flour in Havana to save my life).   But if you know where to go, or are lucky and stumble across them, there are wonderful hidden treasures to be found for next-to-nothing.

 

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Cutter Cuban French Toast

Cutter Cuban French Toast

Wandering the streets of Havana Vieja is like a photographer’s wet dream.  I walked from the historic Hotel Nacional with its crystal chandeliers, ornate furnishings, and pictures of stars who had visited from the 1920s to today.  I walked through the crumbling sections, with the locals playing football, baseball, or dominoes in the street, and finally to the touristic “Havana vieja,”…

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Gaff Guava Feta Pastries

Gaff Guava Feta Pastries

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Salud! Education! Seguridad!

Cuba’s motto and Castro’s battle cry. Health, education, and security.  Well, Cuba certainly has all of those things, but at what cost?  Cuba has an excellent health care system.  In fact the Cuban government is encouraging foreigners to come for medical tourism.  Unfortunately, especially in smaller towns, it is difficult to even get soap.

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Even in Havana women come…

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  Cuba is one of the most fascinating and frustrating places I have visited.  The local…

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Cuba is one of the most fascinating and frustrating places I have visited.  The local population and the foreigners are in two worlds and the government does everything it can to keep them separate. Cuban citizens aren’t allowed in marinas if they are not working there. No Cuban who isn’t on official business, in other words checking a boat in or out of a marina, is allowed on a boat or even…

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Oyster mushroom

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“I don’t like hyenas. They’re so ugly! They just look vicious,” the French-Canadian man stated.  That was how the argument started. Bev, the lovely Australian cruiser, chimed in against the hyena. I wasn’t having any of it.  Hyenas fascinate me.  This maligned straw-man of the Serengeti.  Everyone thinks of them as canine, but they are genetically closer to cats.  It always upset me how people…

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Latin Landfall Salad

What is the most famous band from Cuba?” Sato San asked me over lunch.

It was our first day in the country and we were exploring Varadero.  So far the famous beach town had offered little but street vendors and tourist traps.  Even the locals had told us emphatically that this was decidedly not Cuba.  We had found the least touristic-looking restaurant we could and had a meager lunch of bean…

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Fair Weather Feta Leek Quiche

Fair Weather Feta Leek Quiche

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Bent Rudder

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Spirits were high motoring out of Gaviotta Bay.  We were going to Cuba!  Cuba… home of the mojito and the daiquiri, with salsa, fabulous music and better cigars.  The Bahamas had been lovely, but we were ready for a little culture and some fabulous night life.  Maybe some lush jungle treks as well.  Who knew everything Cuba had in store.  We were more than ready to explore all…

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Pinky and the Brain

Pinky and the Brain

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Pinky and the Brain

Postscript

Before we could even pick up a mooring ball off of George Town a dinghy motored up, calling to us.  “We have a mooring ball for you. Just follow me.,” a boy who couldn’t have been older than early 20′s led us around the island to the St Francis Resort.  We had been looking forward to getting to the North American St. Francis headquarters.  We had met George, the…

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