Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Yesterday evening we had a visit from Ulf and Jen from Seaquill.
They have been off sailing to Belize to renew their visas as well as traveling in to the highlands in Guatamala to attend Spanish School, meet up with friends and do a bit more sightseeing. It was really nice to catch up again and especially so as they bought a pile of new books with them! Books are one of the things I really miss. Not being able to wander in to Waterstones and come out with an armful of the latest titles. Sometimes I wake up having dreamt of wandering round the bookshelves in a big bookstore- I'm really happy till I remember I was just dreaming. Lots of places have a bookswop corner but sadly the quality offered is usually pretty dire. Loads of quasi-religious novels, thrillers etc but little good quality literature. Its such a joy when you meet a boat with similar taste- like Christmas.......So, I have a nice pile of new books to read which is just great!
Plus they came armed with wine, ice, nuts and olives-the perfect guests.
I made a couple of pizzas and we had a great evening putting the world to rights.
One of my successes this season has been herb growing. The deck of the boat is covered with pots of greenery. Basil, oregano, chives,mint,lemon basil, coriander. Its pretty hard work getting them to survive in this environment but mostly they do okay. It makes a great difference to cooking to have access to fresh cut herbs. In fact its the envy of most other cruisers! The most difficult thing is finding good soil, we have survived on a bag of potting compost that we have been carrying since we left Panama but this is now finished-oh misery! I have hopes of getting some new stuff from Guatemala City. It needs to be sterilized compost or you can pick up all sorts of nasty bugs and creepies that eventually kill off the plants........very nasty.
On the dock and at anchor they all live on deck but when we are underway the forward heads gets converted to a green house! Mostly they survive okay for a few days but the more delicate stuff does look a bit seasick after a while! I have also had great success with growing salad leaves and rocket(arugula). We had a continuous supply for a month whilst in Honduras from just one small trough(1'6" x 8") That was such a treat!
I also grow mustard&cress and sprout beans, very self-sufficient! It'll be tomatoes and cucumbers next! Thats a joke!
I was dismayed to read a comment on a forum posting on the YBW site that the poster considered the sight of greenery growing on deck the sign that you had reached the home of a dead-end cruiser! I beg to disagree, anyone who sails to remote coasts and islands will do all they can to ensure a little variety in their diet. We are often well away from any form of retail outlet and many of the islands in this part of the Caribbean don't grow decent greenstuffs and definitely no herbs!