The Virginia Cut & North Carolina
Alas! A fish was caught and we ate him on an eerie and rainy night anchored somewhere just before Virginia. Colby cut him up into nice steaks and I cooked them in lots of coconut oil, garlic and herbs de Provence. The next afternoon I used the leftovers in a simple limited ingredient stew, which we both agree was the best meal out of the galley thus far:
two onions minced
light handful chopped garlic
simmered in a healthy drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
Pour in 4-6 cups water and simmer it down…
adding more herbs as you wish
when the broth tastes salty and herbal..
add a can of tottorusso crushed tomatoes
stir and boil down slightly
add half a minced jalapeño
and two to three handfuls of small pasta (we used mini shells)
light boil for about 7 minutes
turn off the flame
stir in a very healthy spoonful of honey and a squeeze of half a lemon
stir in leftover fish meat
more salt or pepper to taste but the final result should be a mellow spicy tomato soup with a slight sweetness.
In Norfolk, it finally felt like Christmas time. The sidewalks had arrows pointing in the direction of theaters playing certain holiday classics. Lights woven through park tree branches and wreaths on doors and posts, electric candle lamps in windowsills are my favorite. A band of old men in matching outfits paraded down the main street playing Christmas songs in the drizzling rain.
I had no idea that the Navy really wakes up to that bugle salute! We slept in for as long as we could, ignoring the bugle, and then had a big breakfast at D'egg Diner, breakfast food is not my favorite, but I tend to indulge if there is eggs Benedict on the menu, especially if it comes with beef brisket. My system has been severely out of sorts since it began floating on the ocean. For example, since we started cruising I've lost interest in coffee (too heavy and makes my teeth feel funny) yet I've developed a love for apples, a food that I haven't touched since I was ten.
We cruised through to North Carolina by way of the Virginia Cut…its a shallow, winding route, eerie and slow. We were planning to anchor across from this abandoned marina when the 'Tir Na Nog' sailed by and the Captain shouted for us to follow him to a nice marina an hour or so away. Well, about three hours later we ran into 'Tir Na Nog' again but this time they were aground, stuck in the shallow muddy depths. Colby set an anchor and risked running aground himself to check on the crew of 'Tir Na Nog', we waited for the sea tow to pull them out and we followed behind. An indescribable animal scream welcomed us into Coinjock, North Carolina. Once we were tied up to the dock I dashed into the pub for a glass of Mount Gay and met the brother and sister team of Ellen and Ed from the 'Tir Na Nog'. Ellen and Ed provided Colby and I with some much needed, deep belly laughs. Ed fought in the Vietnam war and told us about his pet monkey and how his wife wrote him a letter everyday. Ellen had a deep, smokey voice and sang great renditions of Janis Joplin songs through sips of tequila. She reminded us: "Don't fret, No regrets". In the morning we awoke to Ellen yelling "Hey Skippa....wake up, we're heading out!" We jumped out of our bunk to see Ed and Ellen off. Ed told Colby he had "Lady Killer Style" (the style being board shorts over long johns) and that I "look beautiful even without shoes on!" We exchanged addresses and planned to keep in radio contact throughout the day. "Get on the boat Ellen!" Ed yelled in a great Boston accent as Colby prepared to throw them their lines. We looked on with smiles wide as they continued along towards the Alligator River.
Here we are in Manteo, North Carolina. It is starting to feel real Southern now! I am loving the accents and am on the lookout for gators and snakes. We had missed the Christmas Parade by a day but the streets were still speckled with glitter and a flag of Santa Claus flew from the weather warning tower. We met a potter named Bob who we bought some ceramics from, he gave us the "boatbuilder/potter discount" too. It was here in Manteo that I saw my first real life palm tree! Another magical experience was the night before while walking at Jockey's Ridge State Park. Hundreds of tiny jellyfish lay along the shore line and when you stepped in the sand, the area lit up bright and blue, phosphorescence in a way I've never seen before!
A Happy Birthday to Azalea!
Keep your eyes open for Pashas "Boatyard Dog" feature in an upcoming Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine
Love from the magical cedar tree filled town of Ocracoke, North Carolina. (Hideaway and final resting place of Blackbeard the Pirate)