I used to crew on a big, black boat. A 42′ Sparkman & Stevens called the Oh My God (A.K.A. the GodBoat; the Oh My Godzilla; the Black Pearl and the Ship of the Damned). We terrorized the South Puget Sound Racing Circuit, with a rag-tag crew of social dropout, hairier than average men, and organic women who were often scantily clad in whatever or next to nothing, as the weather allowed. Notorious for arriving late to the line and finishing with a trail of pot smoke that followed behind us like a pirate fog.
I would expect a phone call about 9ish on a Friday night and hear David’s sweetest voice on the other end saying, “Soooooo, any plans tonight? How would you feel about delivering a boat? I have rum -” And I would rarely say no. Many nights we chugged along until near dawn, from marker to marker over the dark water and through the thick fog, so we could wake up the next day for racing.
Sailing is not for the faint of heart and it certainly isn’t known to be good for your health. I nearly went to see Davy Jones personally on more than one occasion, like the time we broached and I found myself hanging from the engine handle and and David’s foot which he had slipped under the collar of my jacket because he knew he’d be needing me to help him push on the tiller. Or the time I got hypothermia, was rushed to the hospital and couldn’t get out of bed for three days. Or the time I barfed in B’s boots. That was the day, in the midst of a frantic tack when every thing stopped. We stood without breathing, listening the the crackle of the coast guard radio as we watched Almond Joy slowly lift out of the water and roll head-first upside down. When we finally heard the Coast Guard say, all safe aboard, there was a quite collective breath. “Well,” said David, breaking the silence, “sometimes you feel like a nut…”
So, when I said to the man who called me the other day, “I crewed on the Oh My God for about 8 years – “, he replied, “You’re in.” I have been invited to take a little cruise for as long as I can manage from Oly to Alaska and beyond. Where ever that is.
I don’t know if I will be able to go on this trip. But, now that boating season is in full swing, I thought I would share some boat food. The main problem with eating on a boat is that food needs to be relatively resilient, much like the crew. Meats need to be well cured, grains need to stay dry and water needs to be kept untainted. This is harder than it sounds. Moisture content and temperature variation is a constant food enemy. Vegetables and fruit are almost always safer than meat, spicy is better because it kills germs and alcohol is almost always safer than water.
With that in mind, I present you with:
Sailing Sandwich #1
- Pain au Levin
- Red Onion, sliced
- Cucumber, sliced
- Roasted tomatoes
- Jalapenos, sliced
- Red pepper flakes
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
There is a little bit of cooking involved with this sandwich which can be done either on a grill or in an oven, before hand or on the boat. Slice your tomatoes, drizzle with Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. (If you are doing this on the grill, put them in tin foil.) Spread hummus on each slice of bread, line with lettuce, then basil, jalapeno, onion, then the moister veggies – cucumber, tomatoes in the middle. This will keep your bread from getting soggy. I recommend tin foil or wax paper rather than plastic wrap for storage.