The weather has affected my ability to write over the last few months – I find it difficult to focus when the boat is bouncing around so here is a little look back at the last couple of months!
My mum decided to visit back in November! Not used to checking the forecast she could probably not have chosen a worse week!! We met her at the airport and took the long bus ride back, so she could see some of the island. This sort of backfired as the rain didn’t allow us to see much. As we got off the bus the rain got heavier, which inevitably meant by the time we got to the marina we were all soaked! It was pretty much low-tide, which meant a very steep descent down the ramp and it wasn’t until we reached the bottom of the ramp that mum suddenly realised the enormity of getting on board a boat in wet and windy conditions in near darkness. She appeared to freeze and I must admit that I thought she was going to turn straight around and leave. There were no major issues getting on board, so it was on with the heating and off with the wet clothes and on with the dry! Unfortunately mum’s bag hadn’t faired too well in the rain so in a “first” for her she ended up in a pair of warm joggers and fluffy heat holder socks!! Surprisingly, she declined the cup of tea and gratefully accepted the tumbler of whisky!!
We had thought that most of the tourist attractions would still be open but soon discovered this was not the case. Mum fancied going across to Sark so we looked at the boat trip details. The boats were still running but being tide dependent it meant we had one chance. Unfortunately this one chance coincided with the worst forecast of the week so we decided Sark would have to wait. We did manage a few walks out and around the marina and across to L’Ancresse and down to Bordeaux Harbour and mum managed to take some pretty good photos of sunny skies and crashing waves! One attraction that was still open was La Vallette Underground Museum in St Peter Port so mum and I spent a couple of hours going round that – really interesting and definitely worth a visit.
Up Close And Personal With A Beaucette Resident
A Beautiful Day?
Longer Legs Required!
Prepared For The Weather
I have managed to avoid mentioning just how bad the wind was. Looking back at the photos it looked like we had some lovely weather, but at the time there was an awful lot of wind. I think mum coped remarkably well, although there were times she felt she was going to fall out of bed and was worried that we might sink – the creaking and groaning of the ropes did nothing to allay her fears! She also coped with my love of rugby. One day I think I made her watch one rugby league match (it was the world cup!) and then two Autumn International Rugby Union matches. She even seemed to understand some of it!!
Steve was a little disappointed with her as he thought she would want to enjoy lobster dishes every day along with him but she’s not a huge fan! She also had to suffer some vegetarian dishes but I think she enjoyed the butternut squash risotto!
It was really good to have a visitor but I don’t think she’ll be rushing back – at least not until the weather is much, much better!
After having written about Steve’s science project last time, we have come to the conclusion that lobsters can, in fact, read and are active online. His lobster catching has become somewhat erratic, I keep saying that it must be because of the weather but Steve is convinced they have signed up to the blog and would follow us on Facebook, if we were on there!!
Having planned our Christmas trip home, we had to empty the freezer before we left, so Steve was eating his way through his supply of lobster and fish. I had to be the bad guy and told him that he had to stop fishing for the last week. He reluctantly agreed but as we all know Steve gets bored so he broke our agreement and got his rods out again. He managed to catch a wrasse very quickly and returned it as there weren’t enough days left for it to be eaten before we had to leave. That same day, after lunch, he decided to continue fishing whilst I had my mandatory afternoon kip. However, after only a few minutes in bed, I heard a load of banging and crashing and wondered whether he had managed to fall overboard so got up to check on him and looked out the window to see him fighting with a rather large haddock. I did take a photo for him as proof of catch (very generous of me I thought) as I was adamant that he couldn’t keep it. It looks like I have to forbid him to keep any fish for him to catch any!!
We had a very good Christmas break with plenty of great food and company, thanks to our hosts Sean and Laura, mum and Mac and Steve’s mum and dad and our personal taxi driver Alex! The only blemish on the whole trip was the weather for the trip back!
We had been keeping an eye on the forecast and I was starting to worry as things weren’t looking good for our return journey on 30th. We got a message from Condor on the Friday afternoon to advise that our ferry had been postponed until the evening. I suppose we were lucky that we had decided to travel on the Clipper as the Liberation (the faster trip from Poole) was cancelled for several days.
Fortunately, this time, the temperature in the quiet lounge area was fine but the captain’s announcement of “Welcome aboard, it’s going to be pretty awful, 50 knot winds and 5m swell so there may be some pitching and rolling” didn’t bode well!! With Stugeron to hand and decent food to eat I was feeling relatively confident and even had a couple of vodka and cokes. But unfortunately I had been wishful-thinking. My temperature started rising and I felt the need to lie down so Steve made me a “bed” on the floor. I may have fallen asleep for a short time but woke with the urge to throw up and I am extremely disappointed and embarrassed to say that I managed to throw up an awful lot, even managing some projectile vomiting. Steve would probably have liked the temperature a bit higher as he had to remove his jumper and wash off the sleeve. After emptying the entire contents of my stomach I didn’t move from my bed for the rest of the night – plenty of pitching and rolling, water spraying over the windows, a poor dog in the hold somewhere yelping and crying and some very unusual boat noises – disconcerting at times! I was extremely pleased when we arrived in St Peter Port. As for Steve, he had no problem with the boat motion and was a very competent and able nurse – thank you xx
The weather (well, the wind mainly) hasn’t improved greatly since then we seem to get a few nice days interspersed with several grotty ones. With our position in the marina, Shearmyste tends to cope best with westerly winds but manages fairly well with most directions. There is one particular point, somewhere between north-westerly and north-north-westerly where we get a lot of resonance through the forestay but fortunately, so far, we haven’t had that for too long. Northerlies push us off the pontoon, making getting on and off more interesting and southerlies push us on – this has been a little weird as the pontoon suddenly becomes a lot closer than expected when getting off!! The worst direction for us is an easterly. Due to our proximity to the marina entrance big easterly winds with big easterly waves would be the absolute worst but fortunately, so far, we have not had to deal with that!
Looking forward, we are planning this summer’s trip and it looks likely that we will be heading back to France especially as Steve has missed his attempts at communicating in another language. This has become quite apparent recently as he has found a fellow chess enthusiast – Bogdan. Bogdan comes from Poland and doesn’t speak very much English – which isn’t much of an issue whilst playing chess. However, it is very entertaining to sit and watch/listen to Steve slipping into French when talking to Bogdan! It certainly proves that Steve learnt more French than he thought during our 10 months there!!
I can’t actually believe that we are now in October! Where has the time gone? We seem to have been quite busy however we don’t know what we’ve done!!
Steve has continued with his pot-fishing and has decided to try and turn it a bit “sciency” to see if he will be able to predict what he may or may not be able to cook for dinner.
We have finally had our first (and only) visitor – our first-born, Sean!! The day before his arrival, Steve commented that it would be ideal if he was able to catch a couple of lobsters to feed the protein-hungry child, but then thought that two in the same pot wasn’t a good idea as they would fight. However, that morning Steve lifted his pot to discover two lobsters, one being the largest he’d caught to date – weighing 1kg. Steve then started to worry whether it would actually fit in our biggest saucepan.
Sean came for a long weekend (and I think he found it a little bit of a culture shock as the pace of the life can’t be further from his usual London lifestyle). However, the restaurant that is Shearmyste, may have made up for the other short-comings, including a lobster roll breakfast, made with homemade bread roll and freshly caught lobster. We did try to entertain him but our choices of entertainment were quite limited – generally either shark fishing with daddy (with son as bait) or snorkelling/swimming with mummy. Surprisingly he chose to go swimming with me – this then caused me to return to being the worried parent with small child at the beach. I did very little swimming as I was panicking that I couldn’t see where he was – it was like he was four years old again and not twenty-nine! It was absolutely brilliant to see him and we hope he will join us again!
One of the major jobs we had on our Job List but kept putting off was the coach-roof leak repairs. We had planned to replace some small sections to see if that would cure the leaks using the wood supplied at Christmas by Mac. Unfortunately this repair, although looking good, actually created other internal leaks. This meant that we could no longer put off the inevitable so, before starting to rip it off, Steve checked with the local timber merchant that they would be able to supply a hardwood. As the price wasn’t too eye-watering the job could commence. Steve was adamant that it would be a relatively easy job and take a maximum of five days. We have a large tarpaulin that would cover most of the roof and provide protection from any rain. What a mistake to make!! Without paying too much attention to the weather forecast he decided to start ripping off the old teak-faced plywood after removing the grab rails. Unfortunately the rain decided to come with a vengeance and the tarpaulin acted like an old frame tent and as we all know frame tents when touched from the inside leak like sieves. Removing the handrails had created an extra 24 holes and with the two large window openings no longer fully secure the rain came in. To make matters worse as the rain came in Steve was busy in the galley filleting a wrasse! I was running around grabbing buckets and towels and trying to catch as much rain in my hands as I could! Happy Days!!! Four or five buckets later we had been able to catch the majority of the water ingress. Once the rain abated Steve was more focussed on getting the job done. Once all the wood was up, it was time to fill all the holes (at least another 50 grub screws!) The wood would take two weeks to be delivered so we had that time to do all the prep work and this also pushed us to remove the teak under the sprayhood as this was in poor condition as well (but didn’t leak!)
The Start of Five Days’ Work
Another Bucket Please
When the wood arrived we fixed the centre sections of the panelling then we had to wait for a two day weather window as we knew we would be unable to complete the hatch areas in a single day. Our first planned start of this next section was going to be the Sunday/Monday following the Beaucette Marina BBQ on the Saturday. However, due to the free-flowing free beer and good company, Steve woke with a headache along with a large number of other marina berth holders! (As did I, however I took headache pills and neglected to tell Steve!!!) This caused a two day delay as more rain was forecast. We managed over the next ten days (in between the rain showers) to fit the remaining wood sections and seal and return the boat to a watertight state (ish). Unfortunately we were still experiencing leaks around the hatches, so more sealant was applied. We are now pleased to report that we are leak-free!!!!
The other debate whilst we were fitting the wood was how to finish it. Neither of us are keen on silvered hardwood so our options were oil or varnish. As we have not had a great amount of success with oiling, varnish was always going to be the preferred choice (for Steve especially, as varnishing always seems to be my job). We set up the tarpaulin to protect the newly varnished surfaces form our resident seagulls who like to deposit from the top of the mast, but this seemed to turn the space into a greenhouse and also happened to coincide with what felt like the three hottest days of the year! We managed to apply it over the three days and are extremely happy with the result.
Overall Steve’s five day job took from 26th June until 28th August – the longest five days I’ve ever heard of. Did he really earn a living as a project manager?
With Steve catching all this stuff (fish) that I don’t really like eating, his focus has widened to try to provide other foraged meals. The first foray was mushrooms. With a newly purchased book in hand off he went to return with the following items:
With a view that these would cooked and placed on my pizza that evening, Steve prepared the mushrooms and cooked them in a bit of garlic & butter. First I tried the fairy champignons, they slid down, slimy and tasteless – urgh. Then the field mushroom – which was pretty bland and finally the puffball – the worst of the lot – the texture of undercooked lamb fat – bleurgh. So I had tomato and pepper pizza instead!! This hasn’t stopped our foraging but has stopped me trying any more mushrooms so far – he is still working on me. So, on the island, non-fish based foraging has resulted in finding blackberries (which has renewed my love of homemade jam – without bits, sorry mum!), apples (spicy apple chutney), chestnuts (still to be eaten), wild garlic (our very first foray, back in April!), nasturtium flower heads and leaves (very peppery), wild onion and wild fennel. We are still searching for nut trees on the island but have been informed that there is a walnut tree within an hour’s cycle! We now have our eyes on the haws. Haw jelly is the next planned test.
Having received a call from our youngest, sometime in July, suggesting daddy might like to go to the rugby double-header as his birthday present (perhaps I should swap birthdays with him as it is more a present for me!!) we decided to make a “holiday” of it as this may be the only way to see our families as they don’t appear to want to travel to see us – or perhaps it’s just the sleeping on the boat putting them off! With the Southampton Boat Show also on in September we decided to arrive just in time for the rugby and leave just after the boat show. The most convenient route for us was to travel overnight on the Clipper, arriving in the early hours in Portsmouth and then take a train into London, stay with Sean and Laura for the weekend and then travel north to see my sister in Skegness and my brother in Burton on Trent and then return south to spend time with our parents before returning via Poole to Beaucette.
This gave us a deadline to work to, to finish the coach-roof and to reduce the contents of our fridge. Steve was reluctant to quit fishing, as he needs his twice daily fix of pulling his pot. We carefully planned our last ten days of meals, not accounting for any new arrivals. The lobster were obviously unaware of our intentions as in those last ten days Steve probably had lobster every day and also supplied three other boats with at least seven adult portions of lobster – even providing an evening of instruction on the best way (his) to dress one. This, in turn, added to our predicament as, after instructing, we were too late and too inebriated to bother to eat our smoked eel or Mediterranean veg quiches! We did end up leaving some cooked gammon behind in the fridge but Steve had decided to allow this to go off to use as his first bait on our return!
With our bags packed, off we trundled with our faithful trolley loaded, bus to the ferry and proceeded through Customs! This was the most lax customs we had ever seen, I’m sure they carry out more checks on the Isle of Wight ferries!! We hadn’t booked a cabin as there hadn’t been the option to do so online but had booked reclining seats in the quiet lounge (unbeknownst to us at the front of the boat). We had seats 3 and 4 – giving us a dual aspect view right at the pointy end! Leaving St Peter Port we were escorted by a large pod of dolphins (always makes any trip better!) The route was via Jersey to Portsmouth with a two hour stop in Jersey. Just before entering St Helier another pod of dolphins greeted us. The crossing itself was calm (fortunately) but the seats weren’t that comfortable so Steve took to sleeping on the floor. We were not as prepared as others, who appeared with mattresses and sleeping bags! We had booked a 10 o’clock train so we would have plenty of time to get to the train station and also find breakfast. As soon as Steve spotted the Sainsbury’s he promised me almond croissants (remembering back to Lancaster – best almond croissants ever!) Unfortunately we were half an hour before opening so had to wait outside on a bench, feeling like we looked like bag people. Steve returned with a pecan plait for me (a suitable alternative as they had no almond croissants!) and a plain croissant for himself. It was a really lovely train trip to London Victoria, passing Arundel Castle in all its glory although the train did get a little busy at Gatwick! Still, it was certainly better than going into Waterloo as they had issues with overrunning engineering works!! We finally arrived at Sean’s in the afternoon (23 hours after leaving the boat – compared to Sean’s four hour trip the other way by plane!!) and Alex arrived early evening. Chinese takeaway for tea! The following day’s plan was to leave Sean’s midmorning, grab some lunch with a view to getting to Twickenham in plenty of time for the first match kick off. Having navigated our way across the smoke we found a lovely little chip shop with a park opposite. Sitting down to eat our lunch we were joined by some very inquisitive and tame squirrels – who also enjoyed the chips! Probably not the best diet for them, but they looked pretty healthy!
The rugby was pretty good although Harlequins did lose. The first match was Saracens v Northampton and as we were sitting amongst a large number of Northampton fans, it was very entertaining as they well and truly got their arses kicked!! Fortunately (as I am not a big fan of Sarries), I didn’t make too much of it, which was just as well when we lost!!
As Melanie (my sister) failed to respond to phone call and voicemail we changed our plans and Alex drove us to Mac and Mum’s instead. We spent about a week there, foraging whilst walking Jake (the dog). Steve found hazelnuts, beech nuts, more mushrooms including chicken of the woods and an inedible bracket fungus. He roasted the hazelnuts – very tasty. The best smelling man in the world (brother-in-law Kevin) joined us for a few days and it was decided that we would take him back to Burton on Trent and meet up with David, Zoe and the kids for a pub lunch. Squeezing the five of us (and Jake) into Mac’s Mazda 3 was entertaining – we almost thought we’d have to put “granny” on the roof Griswald-style (National Lampoon’s Vacation), although David suggested we might look more like the Clampetts!?! Mac had put Steve onto his insurance so Steve got to drive a car for the first time in over a year – and a manual one at that! Mac finally managed to get rid of us by very kindly driving us to Steve’s parents, I think he did it to make sure we got there and didn’t reappear on his doorstep!
We planned a week with Steve’s parents as well. With the weather being good, we went for a relatively long walk one day and Steve found an apple tree a stone’s throw from his parent’s house. So he started climbing and picking. Steve’s mum thought we had been up to no good when we returned as I brushed the remnants of the tree off his back! Steve took his dad and a large bag back and they managed to pick 9lb of apples from a tree that his dad had no idea was there! Plenty of apple wine on the cards now.
Whilst we’d been at my mum’s, she’d mentioned that she and Mac were keen to get a map of the footpaths around the village and she wanted to ‘posh up’ her cake eating with some of those little cake forks – the ones with the little knife-like bit on one of the prongs, so this was in the back of our minds. As usual we found ourselves in the charity shops in Hythe and Steve spotted a map section in the Oxfam book shop. Amazingly, in there was the Ordnance Survey map covering Owslebury – result! Steve had spotted, whilst returning from his sisters, a large catering shop in Southampton so a plan was hatched. When the opportunity arose to go into Southampton, we got dropped off nearby and investigated the shop. The only suitable forks available came in a pack of twelve so we purchased those and packaged them up with the map and posted them. The next day I got a phone call thanking us, although mum did say we should have bought her bigger cake tins if we expect her to provide cake for twelve!
I’m not sure whether it was because he took over or was encouraged to take over but Steve cooked every other day at mum and Mac’s and every day at his mum’s (except one – the traditional pea fritter and chips or fish and chips night!!) I did do some things – I gave my mum a bread making lesson and we had homemade bread, rolls and pizza! We also had at least four crumbles there – different fruit each time (and requested by us!!) Steve made fish pie, devilled kidneys and toad in the hole for his parents. We also had fruit crumble with Steve’s mum and dad – we certainly overdid the puddings on this trip!
One of the most unusual things to happen, food wise, was that on the day we arrived at my mum’s she had made cheese scones. Now I haven’t had cheese scones in I don’t know how long and Steve wasn’t even sure if he liked them – funnily enough he did! That in itself wasn’t unusual, however the day we arrived at Steve’s mum’s she had also made cheese scones! What a coincidence!!
The boat show was very quiet. We went on the Monday but speaking to some of the exhibitors it hadn’t been any busier over the weekend. We had a good wander around and got the information we were after about possible berths for 2018, potentially on the southwest coast of England and a few bits we were after. A good tip: if you are going to the boat show and fancy a glass of wine at lunchtime visit the insurance brokers!!
Our return ferry was the faster Condor Liberation out of Poole. This should have taken 3 hours but was slightly delayed as, apparently, they made a mistake loading the cars and then because of tidal constraints we had to take a slightly different route, going through Big Russel instead of Little Russel. Again we were extremely lucky with our seats, getting a huge amount of legroom, right next to the duty free shop. Yet another smooth crossing – thank goodness! Arrived back at Shearmyste having had a very good break and fortunately Steve helped me put everything away before getting to his most important job – baiting and lowering his lobster pot!!
Having spent the first three weeks in Beaucette checking the weather for an appropriate weather window coinciding with a favourable tide time, we did quite a lot of soul searching and wondering just what it was we were doing. Whenever we saw Ricky (the marina manager) and advised that we would be staying a bit longer, his response was: “stay as long as you want”. I believe this sowed a little seed in Steve’s head and made us face up to some difficult questions – What are we doing? What do we want out of this life?
It felt like all we seemed to do was watch the weather, looking for the opportunity to move to another marina to do the same thing again there – relax, drink and people watch. Neither of us particularly enjoys the sailing side of things but absolutely couldn’t go back to living in bricks and mortar. Steve felt that he wanted to put down some tentative roots – in fact it appears that we are not the gipsy/roaming types we thought we were after all!
Why is Guernsey the right choice for us?
The people are amazingly friendly. When we have been out and about, looking blankly at our map of the island, people stop (whether on foot or in their vehicles) and offer assistance
Steve can understand the locals
The ‘hills’ aren’t big
Honesty boxes are prevalent for local produce
The marina is picturesque, gnarly (being an ex-quarry), entertaining during strong easterly winds with a good mix of friendly live-aboards
Great walks – as we are in probably the least populated part of the island where beach and cliff walks are plentiful
Even in hot weather, as we are a stone’s throw from the sea, it is at least 5 degrees cooler
Why is Guernsey a poor choice for us?
Wine at English prices
Bread selection is poor as there doesn’t appear to be any small bakeries on the island (only the supermarkets)
Haven’t managed to find an egg supplier yet (other than supermarkets)
Shower block/toilet trips are best planned to coincide with high tide (the ramps are a tad challenging at low water). This also applies to trailer shopping trips as the decline is quite impressive which could result in a runaway trailer!
After chatting with Sunil in the marina office and then Ricky, Steve returned to the boat with the figures for a year’s berth here! Could we do that? Should we do that? We could always do some sailing from here and return but it would mean that Steve could have his required roots and he would be able to find something, other than the boat and the weather, to occupy his time. This again caused more conversations and we agreed that it might be a good idea so Steve ‘paid up and looked happy’, but this then caused more issues!!
After having spent practically every day for the last year together (ok we did have one 24 hour period apart when he took off with a French man!) we were starting to realise that we have absolutely nothing at all in common. So after many hours discussing matters we have decided that it is in our best interests to follow our own particular dreams and go our separate ways.
Steve and friend
To be honest, it is not as bad as it sounds! We have both decided to return to our great loves. Steve’s love is food and cooking and being the hunter/gatherer type he decided that he would try his hand at fishing. He bought himself a tin of sardines and put them into his lobster pot and dropped that over the side of the boat. He didn’t have any luck for the first few days so decided to try the other side of the boat, closer to the pontoon. I think he had pretty much given up and was going to wash off the pot and put it away when he pulled it up and discovered a decent sized lobster inside. He was like a kid in a sweet shop, so excited!!! This was all the incentive he needed.
Surprisingly my love is for getting fit again. We have walked and cycled around some of the island and have discovered some lovely beaches – good enough to encourage me to “take the plunge”! So now I cycle the ten minutes to L’ancresse beach and spend some time splashing around in the water! When we first arrived we noticed a blackboard proclaiming “Bendy Beaucette Yoga”. I have wanted to try yoga and thought perhaps a small group here might be a good introduction – although I wasn’t sure if I would be confident enough to do something on my own. However, Steve encouraged me (or should that be, pushed me) to give it a try and so far I have been to two sessions and that combined with the swimming and cycling seems to have helped me with my intermittent back aches and has also resulted in a marked increase in my fitness level, such that on our most recent cycle ride together I had to brake whilst cycling behind Steve as he wasn’t going quick enough!
One particular cycle ride stands out in my memory – is this the unluckiest woman in the world? We had bought a picnic at the supermarket after visiting the largest car boot sale we’ve ever seen (well , at least ten cars!) and ended up at L’ancresse beach, sitting with a nice bottle of cider and some bread and cheese. The only other occupants of this part of the beach were a young family and then after a while a woman and her son stopped to chat with them. I suddenly heard a “thwack” and the standing woman fell to her knees. The poor lady had been hit by a stray golf ball. The fairway that the golfer was aiming for was at least 150 yards away. The man from the couple disappeared off and, according to the kids, was going to “go and tell off the golfer”. He returned shortly with two men – they had both hit their balls off course towards the beach so were unsure which one had actually hit her! Amazing, considering how much empty beach space there was, that one of them managed such a direct hit. Fortunately the lady had turned to reach her phone so it hit her on the side of the neck and not smack bang in the middle of her face. She was a bit dazed and shocked but I don’t believe she suffered any serious damage and the rather embarrassed golfers were extremely apologetic.
There have been some very large, beautiful yachts visiting here. At one stage we were one of the smaller ones, having been dwarfed by an Oyster 62, Hallberg Rassy 64 and a possible Contest 60ish. When I went to my first yoga session, inevitably I was asked which boat I was on so pointed Shearmyste out. Comments were made about Beaucette becoming a ‘Super Yacht Haven’ and I believe Shearmyste was included! Quite chuffed about that, although I already knew she didn’t look out of place amongst them!
The buses here are cheap (£1 per journey) so we have taken advantage of them and have been into St Peter Port (Town) a few times. You can also go all the way around the island and if you want to sit in the bus station for about 20 minutes that still only costs £1. We did the trip but broke our journey in Town. This did mean that our ‘round the island’ cost £2 but to be honest I think we would have quite happily paid at least £5 each. The nearest shops to the marina are at St Sampson which is about a 10-15 minute cycle away with a Co-op and an Iceland and there is an Alliance (Tesco) fairly close too. There are lots of small produce stands dotted around, so far we have purchased tomatoes, strawberries, cauliflower, new potatoes, cucumber and lettuce. As they all have honesty boxes it is necessary to make sure you have enough pound notes (yes I do mean notes!!)
Liberation Day back in May – we took the bus to St Peter Port, saw the parade and had a little mooch about. We walked past a lady who was the spitting image of Shane Spall (wife of actor Timothy Spall) and “star” of one of my favourite TV programmes – Somewhere at Sea where they sailed their Dutch barge around the UK. It is one of my go-to DVDs as they visited quite a few of the same places we have and I have noticed a lot of similarities in our relationships! I didn’t approach her as I thought it was inappropriate but when we got back to the boat I looked for her on Twitter and she had posted a photo of the life boats taken from the exact spot I had seen her! I am just amazed that she didn’t recognise me from my avid viewing!!!
Steve has now become quite a proficient fisherman. In his lobster pot he has managed to catch three lobsters (one too small to keep), a haddock, a brown crab and an eel. He took the dinghy out of the marina the other day and attached himself to one of the waiting buoys and caught himself two mackerel. I must admit that the only item I have eaten was a small portion of the haddock in a curry! I did try the first lobster but I really didn’t like it and I think Steve was quite pleased about that as he won’t have to share any!
Steve then turns from fisherman to chef, so far he has made:
Lobster with lime and caper butter served with coconut rice
Lobster fusilli with a lobster bisque sauce
Haddock jalfrezi with boiled rice (this was for me!!!!)
Crab and Haddock with a spicy noodle broth
Smoked mackerel on toast
Smoked mackerel quiche
As I write, the smoked eel is sitting in the fridge, excellent taste test results, no dish yet created! (Cooking time 45 minutes, preparation time a day and a half – so not your Jamie’s 15 minute meal!!) Recipes will appear on the Recipe Page!
Other food highlights have included, I’m sorry to say, yet another falafel based meal. I had made a rather tasty pea risotto and as is normal I’d made enough to feed an army! So we decided to use up the leftovers as arancini – mozzarella stuffed rice balls. Steve thought about putting breadcrumbs on the outside but then suggested using falafel mix – hence the creation of Falancini! Served on a spicy tomato sauce they were bloody lovely!!!