Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Sorrel

A holiday tradition in the islands is to make a drink called sorrel from the plant with the same name.  We asked the advice of one of the market ladies who gave us this "recipe".

 "You take 'bout a pound of sorrel, put it in a big pot and cover with de water.  Add cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves and a little sugar."  I asked how much ginger she would recommend?  "Bout a tum" as she held up her thumb to show the size.  "You boil it and then cover de pot and let sit 'til next day." 
Strain, adjust sugar if needed, add some rum and bottle.  Delicious!
 You cut the seed out and just use the flower, which emits the flavor as well as a beautiful red color, the perfect Christmas drink.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Curry, Curry, Curry

We had such a wonderful day on Sunday!
We went with friends to the home of their friends high on a hilltop overlooking Grand Anse Beach.

 The home is called "Inside Out' and it is the perfect Caribbean home.

On the left is Ellen and Stewart's home, Brit's who have lived in Grenada for about 7 years.  The pool and patio is in the center and the guest cottage is to the right.  Everything is just the right size.  Perfect pool, living space with dining inside or out and a kitchen built for a chef.  Jim had some serious envy going on when he saw Ellen's kitchen complete with a restaurant-size stove, or cooker as they call it.

Here's a view of the guest cottage which they do rent when family or friends aren't visiting.
You can see more at

Relaxing pool-side with Steve and Hope of S/V Starshine (left and center) and new friends Walter and Joanne (right) who are professors at the university.

 This was one of those special days in a beautiful setting.  I wish I had some pictures of the curry dinner that Ellen prepared but as usual our hands and mouths were full.  But I'll give you a little taste this way:
The starters were piri-piri shrimp and roti.
The main course was curries of goat, chicken and fish.   These were made with pan roasted and freshly ground spices. There were also a couple of vegetable curries - Aloo Palak (spinach and potato) and Dhal (lentil).  Basmati Rice infused with saffron stamens and cardamon was served with the dishes along with a raita and home-made Lime Pickle as well as home-made hot pepper jam.
Dessert was Kulfi or Panna Cotta.  Spectacular!
To cap off the evening, this view from our dining table.  Thank you to Ellen and Stewart for a memorable day.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Day in the Life

Jim's been feeling like everything on the boat is broken.
He found putting this video together cathartic.

Click on the link below to view.  Misery loves company!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jim's 2013 Calendar

Due to popular demand, (yes, we have been getting requests) Jim has put together a new calendar.  This will be his 3rd calendar and we appreciate hearing from all of you who have enjoyed seeing his beautiful photographs hanging on your wall.  Remember, calendars make a great gift!

The 2013 Boats and Beaches calendar is available at
Please note: there is a change to how Cafe press processes orders.  The form will ask you what month you want the calendar to begin.  If you don't select January, they will print it beginning with the current month and your calendar won't go through 2013.  Sorry, but they gave the option to the customer, not the photographer.

Christmas cards were also popular so this year there are 2 to choose from.

Hope you enjoy this year's images!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!
That's what the friendly man in Immigration said after clearing us into Grenada.
How did he know we weren't tourists here for vacation? 
Was it the numerous Grenada stamps in our passports?
Is it possible that he recognized us?
Perhaps it was the big smiles on our faces.

Merengue was waiting in Prickly Bay.
Home Sweet Home!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy. In Milwaukee?

 This week, Hurricane Sandy devastated cities along the east-coast of the United States.
Millions of people are without power, many have lost their homes and the death-toll continues to rise.
Our thoughts are with them all.

Living aboard a sailboat has taught us to never underestimate the power of Mother Nature.  We live by the weather reports and where we go and what we do is determined by the predictions.

Milwaukee sits on the western shore of Lake Michigan and as we "cut our teeth" sailing on the Great Lakes we know how dangerous they can be.  It's 747 miles from New York City to Milwaukee and yet we were feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Beachfront properties along the lakefront were filling sandbags and people turned out in droves to watch what Sandy created on Lake Michigan.  The weather buoy off of Milwaukee reported a 21.7 ft. wave at the peak of the storm.  

These are waves cascading over the break-wall at South Shore marina where we used to moor Merengue when we lived here.  I'll bet these boat owners are sorry they decided to leave their boats in a little later this year!

Hopefully this will be the last for this hurricane season.
Meanwhile, Merengue sits in 80 degree water in Grenada waiting for our return.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn in Wisconsin

Hard to believe but we have been back in Wisconsin for 5 months.
If there is one season that I miss while living in the Caribbean it's Autumn.
Red, gold and orange leaves against a bright blue sky.

 We spent some time at our family cottage in northern Wisconsin.  It's one of our favorite places.
Here's the view looking down the hill to the lake.
 Did you notice Bailey sitting up on the railing?  It's one of her favorite places too!

 Hiking the numerous trails is another favorite fall activity.
This is the Bearskin Trail outside of Minocqua.

Falling leaves tell us that it is time to head south, back to Grenada, back to Merengue who has been patiently waiting for us there.  We can't wait!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where II? Milwaukee, that's where.

Look who showed up in Milwaukee last week!
It's our friends Matt and Karen from the Australian vessel "Where II".
They have been doing some land cruising around the U.S. and Canada for the past few months and we lured them to Milwaukee with the promise of lots of great beer.

 We enjoyed  showing them Milwaukee, by land and sea.
This was the Margarita cruise aboard one of the river tour boats.
 The Milwaukee skyline as seen from Lake Michigan.
 We introduced Matt to the Fonz.
There was quite a bit of beer tasting. 
This day it was following a tour at the Lakefront Brewery.
The visit went much too quickly as they headed out a few days later to continue
Matt and Karen's Great American Adventure!
Thanks for spending a few days in Brew City with us!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back in the USA

WOW, I just noticed that we have had more than 32,000 page views on this blog since we first began so some of you may be wondering where we've been for the past few months.  We are back in the states for the summer.  We plan to return to Grenada and life on-board Merengue in the fall. 
Don't forget about us!  We'll see you then.

Jim, Wendy, Bill and Natalie tasting at the Big Bay Brewing Company,
Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Barbuda Revisited

Just because we live on a boat doesn't mean we don't sometimes need a vacation.
So after several cloudy, rainy days we thought we'd take a video vacation to the island of Barbuda. 
You'll notice that all you see is sea, sand and sky.
We were the only two people in this beautiful place. 
Grab a rum punch and come along with us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crayfish Waters. Mannish Waters. What's in the Water?

What's for dinner Uli?
This guy.  He's the star attraction in a wonderful soup called crayfish waters.
We were at the Victoria Food Fest!

 The Victoria Food Fest is a street festival held on the last Saturday of each month in the town of Victoria.

 The street is blocked off and vendors set up stalls where they prepare all the local foods found in Grenada.  Here's part of our group placing their orders.  The young women in the photo made a fabulous sweet potato and callaloo bake that was similar to a bread pudding.  As our British friends say, "It was brilliant!"

 What's on the menu?
Stewed lambi (conch), mannish waters, salt fish cakes and bakes, fried breadfruit, fried plantain, fried fish, breadfruit balls, fried cou cou, pig foot souse, cow skin souse, ginger beer, golden apple juice, coconut bakes, and much more.  We sampled quite a few and they were delicious.

 Jim looks on as our friend Trevor samples the crayfish soup.

In all honesty, not everything was wonderful.  This is a bowl of cow-skin souse with a piece of beef tongue.
We tried a bite of cow-skin souse which had a very nice flavor but a weird consistency.  We couldn't bring ourselves to sample the tongue.  I'm guessing it's an acquired taste!  Nothing goes to waste.

 Next we went to listen to the band and of course I couldn't sit still.  This gentleman saw me dancing in place and pulled me out on the street for a little dance.  I had a hard time keeping up with him!  What fun!

 More eating.  Easter Sunday and we were off to brunch at Whisper Cove Marina.

Gilles and Marie France served up a wonderful brunch of roast pig, beef, ham, several pates, eggs, crepes, potatoes, fruit and lettuce salads, quiche, and more followed by chocolate cake, baklava and apple pie.  All this in the beautiful atmosphere that is Whisper Cove Marina.

To further enhance the atmosphere, we enjoyed the music of Cecil Bartholomew, one of the finest musicians in Grenada and a personal favorite.

It has been interesting and lots of fun being in Grenada at this time of year.  We usually leave somewhere between November and January to sail north and don't return until July or August.  Being here in the winter and spring has given us the opportunity to attend many new events.  We are enjoying every minute of it!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

St. Pat's Continued......

Yes, I know that St. Patick's Day was over a week ago and even the hangovers are a distant memory but we just got around to posting these photos from our celebration.  This was not due to a hangover as there were none onboard Merengue!

De Big Fish threw a great party.  Jim provided them with 5 hours of Irish music to play on the sound system.  Yes, we have lots of Irish music!

We started with green Carib........

..... and then went for the Guinness.  Ahhhhhh!

Friends showed up early to get the celebration started.

I even managed to catch the Marquette game and part of the Wisconsin game.  Sorry for being a little anti-social but that's what March Madness basketball will do to you!

The "Guinness Girls"  who kept the food and drink coming all evening.  The Fish prepared a 3 course Irish dinner for us.
First course, your choice of potato and leek soup or a rustic Reuben salad.
Second course, beer-batter fish or Steak and Guinness pie.
Third course, Bailey's Irish Cream pie or a Guinness float.
Thank you to Kim and Rikky for a wonderful evening.

Same holiday, different island.