Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dinner in Culebra

Culebra is said to be like Tortola was 50 years ago, a pristine and sleepy
little island on the edge of the world. So far it has lived up to that
reputation for us.

I arrived in Culebra this afternoon after a sail that started out kind of
weak, but finished strong. Sayonara and Madness set out for Culebra from
Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke (home of the famous Fox's beach bar) The winds
were behind us, but too much so. With the wind dead behind us, and the ocean
swell from the quarter, the motion was kind of rolly and uncomfortable for
the first couple of hours of the sail, but the wind clocked around to the
south in the early afternoon, making for a fast and comfortable beam reach
into Culebra.

We took the boats out of the inner harbor to a spot behind a barrier reef,
with nothing but ocean on one side, and the mangrove lined shore of the
island on the other.

We checked in to US customs and immigration (I am coming home!) and headed
out to our boats. I had invited Dave and Kristen to share the Flank Steak
that Dana had brought down to me on her last visit. Dana brings provisions
when she comes, and good beef is particularly hard to find down here.

Dave and Kristen came Madness for dinner and we put on the feed bag in a
major way. We had the flank steak rare off of the grill, Asparagus steamed,
drizzled in olive oil and salted with sea salt, brazed Brussels sprouts,
grilled pork chunks, spring potatoes, roasted red bell peppers, some grilled
portabella mushrooms, a French red wine from St Martin, and Armagnac and
chocolates for desert. All were served under a starlit sky on smooth waters
with the sound of the surf in the background. The hell here never ends.

It would be better if we did not have to come all this way, go through the
expense and effort to get to this place to fully enjoy such a meal. I am
sure that there are those who can fully appreciate it without leaving home.
But I have to admit, for me, it is hard to get myself living so fully in the
moment. This has been the greatest benefit of the trip.

Today I am eating the leftovers, and they are just as good as I remember
from last night. We (Dave and Kristen swung by) spent the morning chatting
with John, a local 25 year livaboard who was trolling for his lunch on his
very cool little sailing dingy with its hand painted sail with a stylized
dolphin jumping before a full moon. We also enjoyed visiting with his
little dog Lucy.

I fixed the outboard today, it needed another pull cord...I keep wearing
them out. This afternoon we will snorkel and fish, and go ashore for some
provisions. On Friday I head to San Juan to pick up Bruce, Ted and TJ for
the trip to the Turks and Caicos and beyond. Dana will join the program
again in the Turks and Caicos. I have already started cleaning and preparing
for a visit from the owner.