Every day now seems so prescient, so full of meaning. With only 25 days left on my contract, I have that quickening feeling I used to get as a kid as summer vacation came to a close.
I’ve loved being in Frankfort. This morning I ran out to the lighthouse in a 25-knot wind, with the waves hitting the breakwater and splashing over the concrete making my sneakers wet. Then I ran through the neighborhoods, old, sturdy Michigan homes with their yards and gardens in all their late summer glory. I even found a house I want to buy: 505 Leelanau St.
When I bought my apron at the local kitschy gift shop, the cashier told me it was made by an older local lady who needed the money. I wanted to meet this lady and help her out by upselling her aprons. When I asked after a butcher, and the cashier told me there wasn’t one, I thought aloud, “Well, maybe I should move here and open a butcher shop!” (Not that I know the least thing about running a butcher shop!) I could just see myself here, having a life by the lake.
But, as is our plight, it inevitably came time to leave. We sailed this morning for Ludington, as the weather service continued to issue a small craft advisory. The winds were still high and the waves rocked the boat pretty hard as we left the shelter of the breakwall. It was some of the heaviest weather I’ve seen on the Marlin.
Not long after lunch I got a phone call from the captain of the ship I mentioned yesterday. When it rains. Or should I say when it blows…?
He’s looking for someone to start in March at the latest, possibly for their yard period starting in November. And a year-long contract. It could all work out perfectly.
Full crew with supercargo
With two passengers, we’re topped out at fourteen onboard. We also have three captains among us – our new leader, Captain Smiley; our first mate, Seth #2, who will be relief captain for Captain Smiley after Bay Harbour; and our beloved Captain Flash.
The changeover will be complete when we arrive in Ludington and Captain Flash leaves us for other adventures.
Right now we’re sitting on the hook, about three miles out from Ludington, so we can make our grand arrival tomorrow at noon. The crew just watched a short film called, “Around Cape Horn.”
I’ve been working hard all day to film my cooking and food; a tough job when all the deckhands are hard at work. And I made dishes for lunch and dinner that feel very “me” … They were well received; with the exception of Captain Flash, everyone even loved the grits! There was not a shred of food leftover.
Sour cream coffee cake
Caramelized onions in balsamic, salt and pepper
Leftover rib eye diced and briefly reheated in a skillet with lime juice, salt and pepper
Mozzarella cheese because I couldn’t find queso blanco
Watermelon pico de gallo
Brisket slow-cooked in soy sauce, vermouth, brown sugar, sriracha, white and black pepper
Nassau-like Grits (cooked in bacon grease, with bacon, onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, mayonnaise, chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce, salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
Warm-pickled yellow squash (essentially sautéed in rice vinegar), with salt and pepper and mixed with fresh chopped basil
Broccoli in vermouth, sriracha and brown sugar with dried cherries and bacon
Cherry pie from the bakery in Frankfort