Tuesday, 19 April 2011

It Could Make Or Break Me.

Roast veg awaiting spicy hoummus for my vege option sandwich filling.
Sandwiches. You can’t escape this one I’m afraid. You see, I did some figuring out and a few sums, something I never do lightly or for fun. And yet I thought I needed to do this in order for you to understand why sandwich fillings are a big thing in a typical race season for me. Then, it’ll be done with and I will never, ever talk about it again. (lying).

This year we are racing in 8 regattas. Regattas are typically 4-5 days long and we train before each regatta for at least 2 days. Everybody on board has 2 sandwiches each with a choice of 2 different fillings and (don’t worry it’ll be over very soon) there are usually between 23-28 people on board.

Thus! I will be making around 2920 sandwiches this year. Yipee!

George on the bow.

Natty working on the bow sprit
 Now I’m sure there are people reading this thinking;  ‘So what?’, and you're right, this new insight you have into my job is really not that impressive. Its just that each time I'm 'sandwiching', I’ll be making 60 sandwiches in ,hopefully, one hour then launching myself up on deck to pull up sails and work the staysail (sometimes underwater), work many different lines under speed and in all weathers, then when the race is over, lowering said sails before quickly popping myself back down below to change out of soggy gear, cut up left over sandwiches, join in enthusiastically with a race de-brief then start dinner for the crew, canapés and dinner for any guests we may have and begin on my sandwich fillings for the next day….and now draw breath.
folding sails

So there you have it. I do know I’m not alone in this highly advanced and technical area of yacht chefing. John a brilliant chef who worked on ‘Eleanora’, a large and very pretty schooner, has just retired from doing exactly this. I think he’s not missing it.

Cheese and Pickle. Who’d have thought it but this one is a life saver especially if I team it up with a ‘wild card’ filling like smoked mackerel and prawn mayo (lots of lemon and black pepper and chopped parsley) or even egg mayonnaise. Egg mayo is my favourite but sadly it’s not for everyone and is therefore a ‘wild card’ sandwich.

Roast beef and horseradish teamed with rocket in a wrap will bring you marriage proposals as will Chinese chicken (with hoisin sauce, thin rice noodles and bean sprouts all packed into a chicken wrap).

Basically, most things you can put on a plate, you can put in a sandwich. But look, it’s my second race season aboard the good ship Mariquita, and I’m after inspiration. So any favourite sandwich filling ideas would be gratefully accepted.

I’ll leave you with that one and hope as much as you do that my next blog will be a little more interesting and useful. I put some photos in of our last training sail to help it go down a little easier. Hope it worked.

Phew! Glad that’s over with. Thanks for reading, see you soon and remember, I need hearty sandwich fillings for lots of hungry, rope pulling sailors. I do so enjoy those marriage proposals.  Cheers!

This is what I crawl over to get to my galley at the end of the day.

 If its been a long, wet sail then this is all pretty soggy just to add to the romance of it ...

view at the end of the spinnaker pole.