Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Cruise

The MV Independence got its name because it was commissioned on July 4, 1976.  So what better way to celebrate the birthday of our great nation and one great boat than with a short South Sound cruise to McMicken Island.

Plans were to leave on Friday afternoon, but various preparations took too long and we ended up just staying at the dock and leaving the next morning.  Friday evening was gorgeous even though we were at the dock.  I had some nice snacks and a nice glass of spirits and I continued to putter about doing little odd chores here and there.

Saturday morning was beautiful in Olympia.  I had forgotten something so I woke up early and went back home, but I didn't return to the MV Independence without a trip to a lovely French bakery - The Bread Peddler.  Croissants, Chaussons, and Morning rolls would allow for an tasty and enjoyable cruise up Budd Inlet to our destination of McMicken Island.  There wasn't a breath out on the water and we left the dock just about 8 AM.  Very few boats were out and our wake was the only disturbance as we motored up Budd Inlet.  Fresh hot coffee along with the exquisite pastries made for a wonderful morning cruise.  I noticed a few cirrus clouds that resembled "mares tales" and I quietly mumbled the salty saying, "Mares tales make lofty ships carry low sails."  I wondered what the day would bring.

McMicken Island
We tied up to an open mooring buoy.  I expected to anchor but this saved me a bit of hassle.  The weather was warm and we took the dogs to the beach where they swam to fetch the stick I'd throw into the water.  Afterwards I returned to doing a few small chores - sanding around the windlass and anchor pulpit.  Promptly, as if on cue, the wind rose quickly from light and variable to 10-15 knots with gusts of 20 knots.  The winds blew from the WSW from 2:00 PM until late Sunday afternoon.  My saying proved correct.  It was quite enjoyable to swing about at the mooring buoy with the scenery constantly changing.  You could see the wind charge across the anchorage by making dark rippled streaks in the water.  The boat would swing to starboard and when the gust hit, it would quickly swing to port.  The bow line would groan a bit, and halyards from nearby sailboats whistled and rattled.  I was safe, had good food and drink, so I was content to watch natures show.

Friends showed up on Sunday, and we used dinghy diplomacy between our two craft.  A beer, a tot of spiced rum, and snacks on their boat, then dinner on ours.  We hadn't seen our friends in quite some time so I planned a special dinner.  They're not afraid of spices, bold flavors, and exotic dishes.  So I planned an exotic menu of curry marinaded chicken, and an Indian rice dish.  I dug through the boat's larder hoping I had the ingredients to make it happen.  I love making a dish with what you have on hand.  Imagination is a great resource.  After appetizers and drinks on the aft deck (fresh smoked salmon, pickled green beans, cheese and crackers), we focused on dinner.  I grilled the chicken which filled the air with the spices increasing the dinner expectations.  Dinner turned out to be a huge success with everyone raving about the food and moping up every last crumb.  Satiated bellies and a few drinks soon caused everyone to be sleepy.  We watched various fireworks around the bay - large mortars being fired close by at Ballow, and it looked like a war zone farther north up near Treasure and Stretch Islands; everywhere you looked there was some sort of aerial firework.  What a show and it didn't cost me a dime.  We bid our friends adieu for the evening and fell asleep to sounds similar of being at war.

On Independence Day we celebrated with a nice breakfast hash of sausage, spicy red peppers, onions, and eggs along with fresh fruit.  The morning was beautiful and there was no cause for rush or concern.  We visited a bit more with our friends, took a walk on the beach, I read a bit of a book (The Secret Voyage of Francis Drake), and finally late in the afternoon headed back to our home port in Olympia.  It was a fine, relaxing cruise.  What better way to celebrate birthdays but with friends and family.  Happy Birthday MV Independence you are now working on your 35th year happily cruising the waters of the Salish Sea.

Marinade for Chicken Curry
In a large zip lock bag, combine 3 T of olive oil, 1 T of curry powder, 1 t of Tumeric, 1 t of Cayenne Pepper (or Cajun seasoning), 1 t of lemon juice, and 2 T of onion powder, and 2-3 T of fresh, chopped cilantro.  Mix well.  Place chicken in bag, seal and let marinade for about two hours.  Occasionally give the bag a squeeze to ensure marinade is mixed well with chicken.  Remove chicken from marinade (discard unused marinade) and initially grill over high heat then lower the heat to finish cooking the chicken.  Turn the chicken often to avoid burning.  When starting to crisp, chicken is done.

Indian Rice Recipe
Cook 1 C of quick rice and set aside.  Add 1 t of curry powder and 1/2 t of tumeric to rice and mix well.  Saute 1/2 an onion with some olive oil until edges of onions are dark and almost burnt. Saute 1 chopped carrot with some olive oil until just soft.  Take 1/2 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained well) and mash using the back of a spoon with 1 T of olive oil and 1 t of lemon juice to form a paste.  To the rice add the burnt onions, sauteed carrots, garbanzo bean paste, remaining 1/2 can of whole garbanzo beans, 1/4 C of chopped, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.  You might want to add some yogurt if you have some and a few crushed peanuts on top.  Can be served warm or cold.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I just came across your wonderful blog. We are just leaving Desolation Sound, specifically Squirrel Cove. I shall be following you from now on. Thank you for sharing.

Leslie from Vancouver, BC