I often tell visitors to the boat that this is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I’ve done a lot of amazing things. Why, you might ask? What makes it so great? When I get paid almost nothing, have a bedroom the size of a coffin, am constantly working, and when I’m not working, usually tired as hell?
I wrack my brains for the best moments of the last six months, hoping they might illustrate my point. Here are the ten that spring to mind, in chronological order:
1. Walking around Savannah with Eve trying to find Conrad Aiken’s grave with a bag full of martini fixings, including three green glasses we found at the Good Will, but not finding the grave, we settled on a little square with a fountain that was bubbling up green-tinted water, and Smith rode up on her bike to join us.
2. Eating a delicious plate of scallops at Circa 1922 in Wilmington one night with Smith.
3. Catching two bluefish on our transit to Greenport, and using them in two Thai dishes.
4. The night Harrison caught a squid.
5. Indulging in a lobster dinner in Marblehead, that easily tops the best ten meals of my life. Thanks P1 and P2!
6. The morning during that longest of transits when Neb said he just had to hug me, because “that quiche was so fucking good.”
7. Swinging on the swing-set and clambering all over a playground in Clayton at dusk with Eve and Smith.
8. The night we played bananagrams after a perfect meal, that was enlivened by a gift of wine from the mayor of Clayton.
9. The day Bly came and picked up Eve, Harrison, Buttons and I and we sped off down sun-dappled country roads; we hiked the dunes north of Frankfort with a picnic lunch, swam in the waves and ate ice cream in a building with a tree growing through it. (I ate key lime pie ice cream and coconut – yum!)
10. The handful of nights when half the crew ends up gathered around my bunk, talking about their lives and their days.
Last night Neb was waxing sentimental; he’s getting off here, too. His last day is the day before mine, the 25th.
“You’re gonna miss us,” said Neb. “You’re gonna miss this job.”
“Nah,” I said sarcastically, “Well, maybe the job.”
Today I made my last dutch baby for the crew. It turned out lovely. And I cooed appropriately.
I was out provisioning and left the crew with rye bread and leftover meats. Neb took out a can of chef boy-ar-dee and was apparently inspired – he added siracha, oregano, bacon bits, cheese, and I’m not sure what else. I was a little disappointed they didn’t leave me a bite.
Barbecue baby back ribs
Bean and corn salad
No-longer-Nassau Grits recipe
You may be really tired of my grits talk by now, but these grits were the bomb.
Sautee 1 small red onion, chopped in 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Add 20-30 finely chopped green olives (I used those ones with the pimientos)
Add one can of tomatoes, chopped. These had oregano, garlic and basil in the can with the tomatoes.
Then add 2 c. grits, stir, and quickly add 5-1/2 c. water.
Add bullion; I used vegetable because of Eve.
Add 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke.
Add 1/3 – 1/2 c. mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper to taste.