Our really good friends Ralph and Maerushia invited us to enjoy the magnificent Hauraki Gulf on their cruising yacht. We couldn’t have had a better introduction to Auckland – the city of sails. This was my first experience of living on board a yacht. Would I make a good sailor? So with a Lemon Tipple Cake in hand and a little trepidation I boarded Shenandoah.
|Ralph hoisting the sail|
|As we left we saw Prada coming in from a training exercise|
|Peter at the wheel with Maerushia keeping a close eye on where
he is taking her Shenandoah. Maerushia was brought up around boats and
has a healthy respect for the sea so will not take risks with their home on the water.
Being a “boatie” is like being part of a big seafaring family and I was amazed at the friendliness of people on the water. There is a fair amount of sailing jargon and etiquette you have to learn like calling, “permission to come aboard” when boarding a vessel and having a back of the boat bucket bath after swimming to avoid the salt from your skin attracting moisture to the upholstery.
|The galley looks larger in this photo than it actually is.|
Chicken Rissoles with Mint Yoghurt Dressing
In a bowl mix the chicken with breadcrumbs, add garlic, and egg.
Add grated lemon zest, salt and pepper and cumin.
Add mint leaves. Mix really well to evenly distribute the flavours.
The rissoles are now ready to cook.
To prepare the Yoghurt Dressing, first measure yoghurt into jug, add mint sauce (this one is Delmaine Thick Mint Sauce), lemon juice and mix in the jug…how easy is that?
|The Yoghurt Dressing|
Cook rissoles until brown on both sides (approx 5 minutes per side). I was in charge of cooking the rissoles and made sure that the temperature wasn’t too high to avoid having them brown on the outside but raw inside.
Meanwhile Maerushia prepared a fresh salad of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes and peppers to accompany the chicken rissoles. Ralph set up the table on the deck that cunningly fits around the compass and wheel. Peter had bought a blast from the past to have with our lunch – Mateus Rose`from Portugal. Some of you may remember those distinctive shaped bottles that in the 70’s were often used as candleholders. We were surprised how good it was.
|Lemon Tipple Cake by candlelight|
And that evening we enjoyed my Lemon Tipple Cake (see my previous posting for the recipe) made all the more special by candlelight.
|Our perfect breakfast view – Kawau Island looking out at Governor Grey’s Mansion|
There was no need for a sea shanty as we gently chugged into the bay on Kawau Island and anchored with ease in a spot where we had the perfect view while we ate our breakfast.
With a nod to Shenandoah’s American connection we prepared pancakes for breakfast. I do make a particularly good oat hotcake or pancake but it does use two bowls, has quite a few ingredients and requires an egg beater. All too time consuming and difficult on a boat.
Here is Maerushia’s easy pancakes (well they are a cross between a crepe and a pancake really).
Well… yes you could say this is cheating using Edmonds Shaker Pancakes. Sometimes convenience food has its place and with Maerushia’s additions they were a delicious start to our day. You shake the contents, add water and shake again like mad. First up I didn’t add enough water so my pancakes were too thick for what Maerushia wanted to do with them.
|These are the pancakes that are the more “cakey” American style|
I added more water than was suggested so that the batter would pour easily and make a thinner pancake that could be rolled.
The magic touch is the addition of currants once you pour the mix.
|Once a number of bubbles appear then burst it’s usually time to flip them.|
To serve you sprinkle with sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice and roll them up.
We later landed on Kawau island to visit Grey’s mansion and to walk around the pine covered island thinking about what it would have been like in Governor Grey’s time with all the exotic animals he imported. Only the wombats survive. The highlight was the giant American Redwood tree. Peter showed us how to tell a redwood from a pine by knocking on the bark – its bark is softer than pine.
|Giant American Redwood tree on Kawau Island|
|This coiled rope on deck is not for decoration but for safety
to avoid tripping on rope and easily unwound when needed.
Peter and I became part of the Shenandoah crew and we each spent time at the wheel.
Shenandoah is an Indian word that comes from a legend and roughly translates as “daughter of the stars”. Our sleeping quarters were in the bow and we kept the hatch open so that we could look up at the stars on those perfect starry nights on the Gulf.
Thank you Ralph and Maerushia for sharing your Shenandoah with us.
|Me a midships gazing to starboard!|