Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Black Point, Exumas Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: NE-E 20-25 knots, gusting to above 30

I’ve been hacking away at Ulysses all day today, and instead of thinking like a normal person now all I can do is enumerate my every thought: Potato. Robots. Rum. The banging door led athwartships while howling wind shook the rigging. A tattooed young man with Artaxerxes beard sat in the companionway, rubbed his face, and sighed. Scratched his sunburnt ribs and twirled an index in an ear. Bloo-choo. A cough.

So that gets old real fast. My other occupation for the day was baking bread--my last couple of loaves have turned out abysmally, mainly because of my leaving the dough unrefrigerated overnight and allowing it to dissolve and ferment. So today I followed the recipe from the Joy of Cooking down to the letter. No substitutions. I even shaped the loaf into a French boule, scored the top with a serrated knife (six times--no more, no less), and put a pan full of ocean water on the oven floor to create a steam bath for a crispy crust.

What did I end up with? The most perfect loaf of bread I have ever baked. Even the crust is delicious. Generally I’m the kind of person who eats crusts first to get them out of the way, but this crust is like candy. The loaf, and Karl-created beef stew with a drop of Dave’s Insanity Sauce in it, made a fantastic dinner.

We’ve been stuck here all day, unable to even go to town, by a cold front moving through, the unstable air mass that used to be subtropical storm Andrea. Squalls keep blowing by. We’re becoming accustomed to above-forty gusts and tropical rain. Right now, looming on the horizon, is a gray-green thunderhead that looks like it came from The Wizard of Oz. I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore. Everyone on the radio says that this is an atypical May, and it seems so to me, too. I hope we get a break in the weather to head to Georgetown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The good news, squals mean warm weather thus the fronts that come through are warm and the water is warm. Bad news is you may get two or three a day, squals that is. Don't last long but can be a pain if you are trying to get somewhere and are near shore. (once had 7 in 12 hours)
Bad news is that it is cane season, so for each squal you wonder if it part of a developing low. Still not a real big deal this time of year. Sailed in July from the Bahamas once. The idea of sailing at 3 knots to folks with large boats is difficult.