Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fish Out of Water

The boat in the yard:

Rigging going up:

Dillon hanging from the mast:

Today was a big day. The rigging went up; a process which took the entire day and one very big crane… The guys finished just as a giant rainstorm hit. I was in the kitchen putting away all the provisions I’d shopped for today when I heard the blip-blop of rain on the hatch. Then, I heard the scampering of feet running overhead and all the boys came barreling into the boat. It was a big accomplishment to get the rigging up, and that everything fit properly. This means that tomorrow we go into the water, and then the sails will go on. Now it is a mad dash to get everything ready to set sail on Monday or Tuesday…

I spent hours this morning on the phone talking to my meat and fish purveyors and placing orders. On Friday morning I’m picking up 160 lbs. of fish including sea bass, sea bream, salmon, halibut, cod, tilapia, calamari, shrimp and scallops. On Saturday I’ll be picking up almost 200 lbs. meat and cheese including beef, lamb, pork, quail, duck, venison, a whole proscutto, cured meats and sausages. I’m a little freaked out about how much I’ve ordered but Dario told me to provision the meat and fish for six months – including parties.

We have a deep-freeze unit, called a coffin. I’m tempted to make the crew get in just so I can figure out how much it will hold! I’m holding my breath… I’m also holding my breath to find out how much my meat order is. My fish order is $1,600! And I’m guessing my meat at about $2k. Other provisions are probably going to total another $2k. I have spreadsheets with all my prices on them and have been haggling between my purveyors for the best deals. I’ve got Quicken on my laptop now and have to keep detailed accounts of everything I spend, as well as all my receipts for Dario to go through to make sure that I stay in line and am not feeding the crew Kobe beef. I’m basically running a small restaurant on the boat. Only I’m open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu changes every single day…

Dario was on the boat for dinner tonight. I hadn’t expected that he would be here as he doesn’t usually stay on the boat when we are out of water at the Marina. So, this was the first time that I cooked for him. He walked into the kitchen and said, “what’s cooking, chef boy-r-dee?”. Is now a good time to tell him that I call him Papa Smurf?

I made my own version of fajitas for dinner tonight; black beans with Chorizo, sautéed Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and red onions, roasted red peppers, roasted pablanos, and fried queso fresco. The queso fresco that I found was really firm, much like Hallumi, and it cooked up really nicely. Papa Smurf asked me if I was cooking tofu, I think he was relieved that I wasn’t. Everyone, including Dario, enjoyed dinner and they said that they wished I had been there all summer (but I can honestly say, I’m glad I wasn’t because it would’ve really sucked to spend a summer in a boat yard in Staten Island).

Dario designed this sailboat and had it custom built in South Africa. It took five years to build and was completed in 1993. He had built four other 88 foot sailboats before embarking on this one, which was the realization of a dream. This past year, while the boat was in the Caribbean, the mast snapped in half. Amazingly, it didn’t cause any significant damage to the boat. But the 150 foot mast, originally built in Holland, had to be shipped back there for repairs and then back to be New York to be replaced on the boat. It took two giant cranes to get the mast back on the boat, bigger cranes than the one used today…

As I walk through the boat, I feel as though I’m in a humidor. The interior is almost entirely wood – all of it polished to a high-shine (and all the responsibility of that, thankfully, is on the steward and the deckie). It’s a very handsome boat.

Big day tomorrow, must sleep…

1 comment:

schatzli said...

and never leave finger marks (the stewardess will tell you off)

kobe beef for the crew?lol... recycle one day i mean for the crew.

have a safe trip

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