Posted on: June 15, 2011 Posted by: Cole Ruth Comments: 3
Bean dip and crostini.

I climbed up the shrouds and onto the yard for the first time. The islands were scattered about below. Neb asked if I looked down on the backs of the birds. But I was too busy watching my footing and trying to use what little arm strength I have to lift the sail. 

We got up at 3 AM this morning to get to Clayton. I was exhausted from cleaning the stove the night before, and then staying up late to make updates here. The wind was behind us, so we set the courses – essentially a split spinnaker that hangs down each side of the yard. It’s a pretty awesome set of sails, and makes the boat look like something out of The Neverending Story.

We had the mayor of Clayton on board, an older woman who brought homemade cookies and other goodies for the crew, and whose presence guaranteed us an extra-special grand arrival. 

Section of the arrival committee.

Not Sailing, Really
Today, looking around at these islands, I missed sailing. Eve said later that when I asked to climb up the mast, she knew I must be going through sailing withdrawl. Though I’ve said many times that this job is perfect for me because I love sailing, and I love cooking… I really don’t sail much. And even if I went on deck and coiled lines, and threw myself into sweatpiles (which I am known to do on occasion), it’s still wouldn’t give me the feeling  of sailing. That feeling of being able to go where the wind will take you. Of being in command of your own vessel. Of making small adjustments to the sails and seeing immediate results. 

No, this tall ship racket is a different thing entirely from the sailing I know. And there’s so much show to it. Sometimes as the crew hustle the crowds onto the boat or start to set off the guns, they channel the voices and language of circus ringleaders. We’re dressed in awkward outfits (I feel awkward even when I’m forced to wear the non-period uniform – a polo shirt and khaki pants). It sometimes feels more like we work on a ride at Disneyland than on a sailboat.

When we arrived at the dock, a new crew member was there waiting. He’s sailed on the Marlin before. He has a crazy haircut that looks like someone took a razor and dragged it across his skull and those big flat thumbprint-size earrings that look like they must be painful. I’ve named him Strauss. Though he looks out of place, it will be great to get another experienced sailor on board. 

A Thousand Island sunset.

Last night Eve and I took a walk around Clayton, and stopped at a park. Somehow Smith found us, and we three maids of the Marlin swung on the swingset until our butts hurt. There was a full moon out, and when we walked back toward the boat, the water shined below a pink sky, and against this backdrop loomed the silhouette of the Marlin. It may seem a bit goofy sometimes, it may feel like a lot of hoop-la. I may not really be able to hack it as a tall ship cook, but it still feels great to tell the bartender, without bravado, that we sailed into town on that boat.

Roasted garlic soup with all the fixins.

Tuesday’s Menu
Breakfast
Swedish hash (with ham, onions, potatoes and mustard
Scrambled eggs
Lunch
Roasted Garlic Soup
Quesadillas
Bean and chili pepper dip with crostini
Dinner
Food we’d been gifted with at lunch – sandwiches and mayonnaise salads (one with macaroni; one with potatoes) and pizza

Roasted Garlic Soup
Serves 6-8

3 heads whole garlic
2 T veg oil (pref’ peanut)
1 med onion, sliced thin
8 Cups chx stock
1-2 dried or canned chipotle
1/2 t cumin seed, toasted & ground
Lime & salt to taste

Coat garlic with thin film of oil & Roast garlic @ 400 for about 45min
When cool, peel & reserve
Warm 1T oil, and saute onions until soft & lightly colored
Add to blender, add garlic, & puree, adding stock if necessary
Add remaining oil to saucepan, warm over med-high heat
Add blender mixture to saucepan, watching splatters
Saute until it just starts to dry out & color
Add chipotle, salt, cumin, and sautee for 25-30min
Remove from heat & add lime juice
Pour over toasted tortilla strips & avocado, & enjoy!

3 People reacted on this

  1. thanks for the recipe…
    and yes sometimes tall ship sailing is like a carnival ride….but it is what pays for the joy of seeing these amazing vessels still on the water.
    Nothing worth having isn’t without some kind of price.

  2. Re-reading it, that sounded pretty negative. I wasn’t trying to be critical of the tall ship performance (although I am NOT a costume or uniform person). I only meant to say that it isn’t exactly like sailing.

    There are many aspects of the circus I enjoy, actually. I like talking about the galley and the food I make. Sometimes the questions get old, like: “Can I get a big mac and some fries?” But a lot of people ask thoughtful questions, like how you find out about this work, and if I enjoy it, and how do I make it work with just that little refrigerator. I also like hearing Smith and others talk about the life of a sailor – that you can grow up to be one. That this is a career choice. That never crossed my mind as a kid.

    Re: the recipe, it’s definitely worth trying. It was a big hit!

  3. I always hated dressing in costumes also but learned while on the other ship that doing so helped the kids understand the history of the era. Of course, being a former teacher, anything that helps in the education of history, I will do.(but not always willingly!!!!)
    I hated (actually loathed) the stupid questions you get from the public about the galley but tried to turn it around and discuss the positive aspects of working with wonderful crew and using my intelligence to figure out how to make the small space function. The is one of the few countries that has so much space both in our living situations and country-side. Maybe working in a small space could be equated with how we should all be conservative.
    Take care and stay positive.

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