Squalls on Day 11
Day 11 again, maybe this is due to crossing time zones or the squalls!
Great day sailing with some good boat speed. Also experienced our first squalls – which I find quite intimidating as they come very quickly with big increases in wind and more challengingly wind direction. We have radar on during the night so we can spot them ahead.
Casamara is going really well – the design and build quality really shine through on a trip like this.
We are now under 1000nm and bets have started on ETA in St Lucia. So will now hand over to Julian for gastro news. SP
We have had a good day today food wise despite me feeling a little weary. I am sleeping in the forepeak and we have had some big swells and squalls the last few nights and sleeping has been very tough to say the least!
Breakfast continues to be of a healthy light variety, although the boys have tonight put in a request for a full English, so that will be my first job in the morning!
Lunch today was pasta with smoked salmon and herbs in a white wine and cream sauce and proved to be very popular, as even the skipper asked for more! Dinner tonight was one of my old favourites, Beef in Guinness! It doesn’t take long to do and is really one of those dishes that warms the heart. I sweated off some onions in a pan with some olive oil, a little garlic and then added some sauté potatoes left over from last night. Having got Tim to dice some carrots and some celery for me, all that went in too for a sauté, along with the usual seasoning. I then transferred all this along with some chopped mushrooms to one of our GN Espace casserole dishes with the liquid sealable lid. I then diced some stewing beef and coated it in flour. Using a little olive oil, I sautéed all this in the same pan as before until the edges of the beef turned brown and then added it to the casserole dish with all the rest of the ingredients. Pour over a bottle of Guinness, a splash or two of red wine, a little Worcestershire sauce, season again to taste and once the lid is firmly in place, put into the oven rack and allow to cook. Once ready, I served it with some potatoes and a little butter. This time they all asked for more! Luckily I had prepared plenty, as it so often tastes even better the following day. If you would like to see any recipes such as the Beef in Guinness, you can find a selection on our website at www.gn-espace.com
I promised to mention a little more about the integrated system that we have for the galley and I have to say that doing this trip has only made me wonder even more how people cope without it! In even light sea conditions the boat rocks and in an Atlantic swell or similar, it rocks a great deal! Preparing and cooking food in such conditions is not for the faint hearted! Sure you can just opt for the pot noodle, but why should you have to? This system ensures that everything stays where you put it, similar to a jig saw puzzle, all the bits fit together to complete the picture. The gastronorm containers that we use are the building blocks of the system and fit with not only the GN Espace cookers but the Waterstation sinks, fridge/freezer, under floor fridge/freezers/larder and cupboard storage etc.
All different sizes of gastronorm container fit in the same way with all the individual bits of kit by orientating them one way or the other. Like an A4 piece of paper, it can be scaled up or down depending on your requirements. The Waterstation sinks double the surface area of the galley as you can work on multi levels, so you can prepare food more easily and even more importantly your cooked/hot food stays firmly held in it’s built in fiddle when you need to serve it. Essentially you can take your dish/dishes of whatever gastronorm size you want straight from storage to your Waterstation sink for preparation, all held firmly in place, then into your oven to cook, again where the shelf design hold all dishes firmly in place, so there is no likelihood of having it slide out onto your toes. Once cooked it goes safely back to the Waterstation sink again for serving. The same dishes can be used for storage. cooking and serving and consequently greatly reduce any resulting washing up!. This description may give you an over view of the system and how it works, although it is really only the beginning, as you can go on adding bits like central serving stations in both the saloon and cockpit tables and so on, The central serving station is a wonderful addition if entertaining guests on board and a feature I know some of the larger major boat builders are choosing to opt for, as it allows for both a hot and chilled facility. I suppose in essence you can have as much or as little of the system as you like, the cookers are unrivalled in the marine market as a stand alone item, but when you add the other aspects of the system to them, then you truly transform the galley into some where you can comfortably go and work in all sea conditions. I hope one day soon, someone comes up with a similarly clever system for those who have to go up the mast in such conditions! JK