Day 17 nearly there…
Sorry I’m late posting this one, busy day, so nearly there and some history about the Northumberland Fusiliers…….
Very nearly there and what a great trip. Shame that we have had to motor the last three hundred miles but it has allowed us to clean and tidy Casamara. A few minor repair jobs scheduled for ST L. Thanks to everyone on board and bigger thanks to my wife and family who have indulged me in this adventure. Love to you all. Simon P
Over to Charles for the history lesson and Julian for gastro news.
Battle for St Lucia – the feather in my cap
Charlie’s second contribution and one that he’s keen to write as he has a story to tell; its one that isn’t however related to life on Casamara over the last 24 hours but is pertinent to our imminent “nearly there”arrival to St Lucia. In 1778, the British Army was sent to St Lucia to make battle with the occupying French and restore British sovereignty over the Island. The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the 5th of Foot, was the unit selected to take on this task. Battle was joined on St Lucia, and the white feather hackles from the headdress of the defeated French soldiers were taken by the Geordie victors and worn in their hats. The popular myth is that the white feather hackles had red tips because they were dipped in French blood. The truth behind the story is that the Northumberland Fusiliers new addition to their uniform was so admired back in England that all infantry regiments were ordered to wear them; to give the triumphant Northumberland Fusiliers the recognition they deserved they were given a Royal status, thus the red tips. I (Charlie) am a serving soldier in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the descendent regiment of the Northumberland Fusiliers, so have worn the hackle with pride every day of my service and will be wearing one in sailing hat today as we land. A few days in St Lucia gives me the opportunity to understand the detail of the run up to the confrontation in 1778 and visit the battlefield(s); very exciting if that’s what fires your rockets. If you want to know more about the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers do visit the Regiment’s Headquarters in the Tower of London adjacent to the Jewel House. Charlie
Well we are now only 6 hours from our destination, our ETA is just past midnight local time. I do have a similar feeling now to when I finished a trip I did some years ago, when we sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti. That trip was 2,500 miles straight down the middle of the Pacific. Essentially myself and my traveling companion Tom had overstayed our welcome on the US mainland and rather than try to leave via an international airport, we decided to fly to Hawaii (classed as an internal flight) and to slip away by boat instead. Having spent some time on Maui, we left around midnight one night and just sailed off in a 37 foot yacht that was very basic to say the least. It had no engine and no heads and the only means of navigation was a sextant. After nearly 4 weeks at sea and having overcome all sorts of challenges, we landed on Maupiti which is one of the outermost islands in the Tahitian island group and then had the pleasure of visiting Raiatea, Bora Bora and finally Tahiti itself!
As you know this trip has been somewhat different in terms of the total quality of the vessel we have sailed in, but the feeling of achievement is none the less because of that! I’m not sure quite yet, what we will have as our final supper before heading into the local restaurants for the rest of the time we all have in the Caribbean, but lunch was a filling pasta dish with prawns, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs all wrapped up in a white wine and cream sauce. I have very much enjoyed writing about my culinary adventure on this trip and hope that you have enjoyed reading about it. If you would like to keep up with my cruising cuisine column, you will find it in the Sailing Today Magazine, where over the following few months, I will be featuring some of the dishes that I have prepared over the past few weeks. Also a selection of the recipes will, as always be posted on our website GN Espace or you can always email me directly for information at email@example.com on any of the issues and galley equipment highlighted on this trip.
One final mention is that of a new GN Espace cookery course that we will be launching at the London Boat Show in January 2012. Adam Gray, my Michelin starred colleague, who has his own cookery school in Northamptonshire and I will be doing a series of cookery courses, partly land based there in Northamptonshire and partly yacht based in the Solent, for anyone who would like to get more acquainted with the rudiments of galley catering. Again for more details please email me at my email address above or come and see me at the London Boat Show in January 2012.
Thanks again to everyone who has followed our progress and good luck in all your sailing adventures, wherever they may take you. Julian Kimberley
Image: St Lucia Sunset courtesy of Ardyiii’s Photostream