This article was written by a member of our writing group. It was published in the “All At Sea” January issue magazine. (minus 2 photos)
THINK DOCK PARTIES!
BY FRAN CARLSON
If you believe provisioning means loading up your cooler
with beer and deli meats, listen up! Living the cruising
lifestyle means new friends at every port and many
opportunities to celebrate those new friendships over
shared meals or drinks. Here’s how to plan for the inevitable
dock parties and potlucks that are bound to crop up
if you’re cruising right.
Spice It Up
The first year my husband and I were cruising in the Bahamas,
the only spice I brought was a bottle of dried basil. It
worked well on fish and Italian dishes, but it didn’t do much
for the stir fry. Now I include ethnic blends of herbs in my
spice rack, which provide a variety of flavors without taking
up much space. I also keep cans of peppers, mild to hot, to
add a bit of sizzle to almost any dock party dish — when that
sweet couple from down the dock brings a prized plate of
eels and insists that you try them, it’s nice to have a bruschetta
nearby that’s juiced with jalapenos to cleanse the palate.
If you’re cruising for longer periods of time, go home grown
with a fresh herb garden in a few small pots on deck. Basil,
rosemary, lemon, thyme and dill will go a long way to enhance
the flavors of locally caught fish and bring an authenticity to
your dishes that will have people asking for your recipes.
PHOTOS BY VICKI LATHOM AND FRAN CARLSON
JANUARY 2014 ALLATSEA.NET 33
Sauce It Up
Packages of powdered rubs and dry salad dressings to be
mixed with olive oil are a great way to keep flavor without losing
space. Read the labels on your favorite sauces, tapenades
and bruschetta and decide on the ingredients you really need.
Reserve any glass jar purchases for top grade taste enhancers
like green and black olives, roasted red peppers and capers.
You can purchase quality vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard and
mayonnaise in plastic containers.
Cheese It Up
The idea of cruising is to have fun and relax. Cheese is the
ultimate quick and easy snack in rough water or calm, and
cheesy dishes are always the first to disappear at dock parties.
I make sure I always have some onboard. When you
run low on fresh products, canned items made palatable
by your spice rack or cheese supply will substitute. Include
a variety of multi-colored beans, diced tomatoes and artichoke
hearts, so you can wow everyone with a spicy hot
artichoke, bean or corn dip.
The day we took part in our first dock party, we were out
of most fresh ingredients and had no crackers or bread. I
used thick slices of large radishes as a substitute, topping
them with dried salami, brie cheese and an olive to finish.
Cheese is the answer to most questions in the galley, but in
that case, toothpicks were my savior.
Stocking up on crackers, chips, quinoa, and grains is always
a good idea. At the end of a hot day, quinoa mixed with
green onions, carrots, and fresh herbs in a vinaigrette sauce
and served cold makes dinner planning easy. Beware,
though, as water can be an expensive commodity depending
on your cruising location. In the Bahamas, water can
cost from 8 cents per gallon to 50 cents per gallon depending
on the island!
Some cruisers start drinking early and don’t stop, but I’m one
of those people who just can’t function drinking in the hot sun.
My secret weapon has become the sparkling water maker.
Many of the brands available also sell flavor packets, which
means you don’t have to stock up on heavy cans for the rum
and Cokes for your guests. More importantly, I can add a slice
of lime to my glass of fizzy water and join in the fun.
Now you’re ready to party. Remember, if you are bringing
a dish to a dock party that requires the use of a plate,
you are expected to provide the plates. And when the captain
of that big yacht asks, “Who made this sublime bruschetta?”
take a bow. But be careful, you’re on the end of a
dock! Bon Appetit.
34 ALLATSEA.NET JANUARY 2014
By now everyone’s heard the rumors that the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
is getting out of the chart business. In reality, the
NOAA is making charts better than ever. True, the
federal government will no longer be printing the traditional
lithographic paper charts that they’ve been producing since
the days of the Civil War. Instead, NOAA-certified print-ondemand
(POD) partners will handle the printing of the wide
array of charts that the NOAA will continue to create.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently
NOAA STOPS PRINTING CHARTS
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLENN HAYES
handles printing for the NOAA, but with recent federal cutbacks,
the FAA announced that it no longer had the means
to incur such a cost. Surprisingly though, the announcement
ultimately translates to a better, more accurate experience
for everyone using the NOAA’s charts.
Historically, the charts have been printed in large runs,
meaning many copies of the same chart were printed at the
same time. Those charts were then stored and delivered to
outlets as needed, until the supply ran low and a new printing
was ordered. That meant each batch of charts was only as
JANUARY 2014 ALLATSEA.NET 35
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