From Cooking to Coconuts to Sailing

Tuesday April 23, 2013


Yesterday was a great project day on Serendipity, trying to finish little things that hadn’t been done yet. I once more worked on sewing and Matt took on the big projects of running all lines back to the cockpit. This means that he no longer has to go up on deck when we need to reef the sail, all three of our reefs can now be put in from the cockpit. This makes me feel much better since anytime a reef has to go in, conditions are usually deteriorating and up on deck is the last place I want Matt to be. Our cockpit may now look like it’s growing red, green, and white vines, but that’s fine by me. We took a break in the afternoon for a fishing excursion with Brian and Stephanie, although my only intention was sitting in the dinghy with Stephanie and soaking up some sun. From what Brian had mentioned anyway, visibility wasn’t great in this water and I’d probably only end up shooting at rocks if I were to try fishing (my assumption, not his). Matt was still able to spear a grouper that I turned into delicious fish cakes that night.

This morning we were reunited with our friends on Nila Girl. Ashley just got back from a quick trip to the states, and now her and Ren are slowly making their way to Honduras for a dive competition in late May. They’re planning to make a stop in Jamaica on their way and so we all decided to rally up and make the trip together. Along for the ride was their friend Lance on his catamaran EZ, and friend and fellow diver, Nick. He’s also competing in Honduras and will be helping out in getting Nila Girl there. After some excited chatter on the radio with Ren when we got in Sunday, it was great seeing their boat pull in and anchor by us. It wasn’t long before Matt was kidnapped for a day of fishing and I was left working on pink jobs on the boat. Something I was absolutely fine with since all people and no time alone makes Jessica go a little crazy, remember? I spent the afternoon preparing enough food for a three day journey from Long Island to Great Inagua, which is situated just on the east side of the Windward Passage. According to the most recent weather updates, winds in the passage at the time we’d get there would be in the 25-30 knot range, and when you couple that with the high seas that are notorious for that area, well, we’d rather wait them out.

Blasting music out of the speakers since there was no one in the bay to hear it but us, I got to work making things like hummus, pancakes, and pork fried rice. I’m pretty sure the dishes actually took longer to work on than the cooking itself so I was very happy when Ren radioed that he was going to come kidnap me as well for a hang out on Nila Girl. Grabbing a shirt for Matt to put on and a couple of drinks for us to enjoy over there I climbed into the large skiff belonging to Lance that the boys had been using to fish. It was a full house aboard Nila Girl with three couples and two lonely boys. Luckily their cockpit was plenty of room to sprawl out and talk about our last few weeks of travel. We got to see how Ashley’s baby bump had grown in just the two weeks that we’d seen her, and according to her doctor’s visit back in the states, everything was going perfectly. Then while telling them about our time in the Raggeds and Jumentos we sipped water from coconuts and then added it to coconut flavored rum for a really delicious treat.

It was getting close to dinner time and since Nila Girl didn’t have enough raccoon stew to go around (I’m not kidding), Ashley instead put out a nice little spread of crackers, cheese, and fish salad (think chicken salad but with fish instead of chicken). On the perfectly laid out cutting board were also sun dried tomatoes, grapes, and goat cheese. She claims that it was ‘nothing at all’, but I’m still amazed at the bistro style meals and snacks she whips up seemingly out of nothing. If I could order an Ashley to keep on our boat, I would. A great time was had by all as we sat out in the warm breeze and watched the sun disappear behind the clouds. And for those of us that were paying attention, we just just a hint of a green flash as it slipped below the horizon.

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‘Showers’ off the back of the boat.

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Finally a little down time to relax.

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Matt & Nick on Nila Girl.  (photo courtesy of Ren Chapman)

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 Enjoying the sunset.  (Photo either courtesy of Ren Chapman, or me with Ren’s camera, I can’t remember)

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