St. Lucia - Green Figs and Salt Fish
Arriving in Vieux Fort I grabbed a ride to Rodney Bay, where the World ARC was gathering. My driver took me to a roadside bread baker with a wood-fired rock oven. There were about 20 locals hanging out listening to Reggae, smoking and eating bread so hot you could hardly hold it, filled with butter and cheese or salt fish. Yum. Welcome to St. Lucia!
My epicurean mission while on the island was to make St. Lucia's national dish, Green Figs and Salt Fish. The dish required a considerable amount of boiling water – boiling green bananas (or "figs") twice, and boiling extremely stinky salt cod. Why my skipper and his wife didn't boot me off the boat right then and there I'll never know.
Off to Santa Marta, Columbia
We headed WSW towards Columbia on a broad reach for 5 days. This gave the skipper ample time to set out lines for whatever sea-faring creature would take the bait. The first catch was a beautiful mahi. Filleted on the fantail for sashimi it was the freshest fish I'd ever eaten. The rest I cooked up into a wonderful Coconut Grapefruit Mahi (which even got a shout-out on The Daily Meal!)
Other meals we had under way included meatloaf prepared before departure, pressure cooker pork, rice, steamed broccoli and Shrimp and Lardons served on fettuccini.
Land Ho! Beautiful Santa Marta!
We made landfall in Santa Marta at that magical time of day, right before cocktail hour. That first glass of wine was heaven! The restaurants in Santa Marta were fantastic! Best arepas ever at Lulo Cafe. Fantastic Mediterranean cuisine at Ouzo, great atmosphere watching the street's activities at à Deriva.
The Paradise of San Blas Islands
Considered the "Tahiti of the Atlantic" the San Blas Islands are the archipelago of the welcoming Kuna Indians. The Kuna women are known for their unique embroidery, called Molo, that they sell to the visiting cruisers, while the Kuna men fish from their dugout canoes and small single engine power boats. Anchored cruisers are greeted daily with lobsters, crabs, fish and Molo art. Having lobster every day in the San Blas islands was our routine. Not bad!
Canal Transit to Panama City
We picked up my husband in Colón and headed through the Panama Canal. After a two-day transit we landed in glistening, vibrating Panama City. High rise hotels, fine dining, culture and shopping are a rare treat to sea farers. I was relieved I packed at least one dress as we were pampered by crystal and palm fans at La Posta. Their rich menu gave inspiration to Galley Pirates' Eggplancheetta and Cucumber Gazpacho.
Off to the Galápagos!
After a hull scrubbing, a governmental cabin fumigation and a thorough investigation of what we had on board, we shoved off for the Galápagos. Skipper's wife, Torie, had a real thing for eating healthy and vegan. Her favorite all-time meal was tofu, wild rice and broccoli sprinkled with scallions and a couple shots of Bragg Liquid Aminos Spray. Better than I ever imagined I have to say I've had cravings for it since. I also made Tofu Egg Foo Yong and Torie whipped up a wonderful Italian sauce with fresh vegetables purchased in Panama. Eating vegan was our salute to the Galápagos as we were about to be welcomed into their environmentally delicate archipelago.
The equator crossing is a big deal for sailors. We thought it deserved a toast of champagne, the one and only time we consumed an adult beverage out at sea. Very appropriate as we Pollywogs were now Shellbacks and considered Sons and Daughters of Neptune. Cheers! We also continued on with our vegan meals having Torie's Kale and Quinoa Soup after the crossing.
Galápagos - The End of My Journey
Once we reached the Galápagos my husband and I departed the sailboat and headed to a B&B on land to meet up with some friends. (one of whom was going to take our crew position on the boat and continue the next leg to the Marquesas). I have to admit that this Galley Pirate did not cook one meal for two weeks. We seemed to survive on the islands' staple of ceviche, plantain chips and Pilsner along with street food of grilled fish, skewered chicken and corn on the cob.