Rough Seas Ahead, So How About That Lobster?

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Photos by Sara Ventiera
The author, manning the grill during rough seas. 

Chef Sara Ventiera is on a three-week trip to the Bahamas, manning the kitchen on a 91-foot yacht. She will file regular updates from the waters about what it's like to work on a yacht, from pretrip provisioning to seaplane produce delivery. Click here for previous reports.


"What would you like for lunch?" I asked. " have some lobster that would be good in a salad or on a roll. Or I could do something milder. It's probably going to be a bit choppy." "The lobster is fine," replied the boss. The Mrs. agreed.

She settled for the salad. He chose the lobster roll. It was about 8:30 in the morning when I asked. I wanted to prepare whatever I would be serving before we left. I coarsely chopped the lobster meat. I left a small portion dry in one container, and with the rest, I prepared the lobster salad in the classic New England style. I then positioned all of my other ingredients in the front of the fridge. I did not want to have to search around while we rocked  and rolled. On numerous occasions, I have gone to pull something out of the fridge and have had to deal with a domino effect of bottles falling down and rolling around; taking with them the contents of the entire fridge. I have finally learned from my mistakes. 

With my lunch items ready to go, we left. It was a bit unnerving pulling off the dock, in high winds, with limited space to maneuver. We had about five feet from the bow to the stern of the boat ahead and six feet to the rocks behind. Somehow we managed to exit the slip with no damage to our boat or the one ahead. We double-checked to make sure everything was properly stowed. As we made our way out of the harbor, we braced ourselves for a rough ride. 

The seas never picked up. As we rode along, the water glistened under the shining sun. The islands off our starboard side created a barrier to the strong easterly winds. On the other side of the cays, the winds were blowing a decent 15 to 17 knots, gusting at 20. This was welcome relief from the 36-knot gusts and torrential rains that left us tied to the dock for the past few days. Until this morning we had been stuck on the boat at Sampson Cay with little entertainment. 

The walls were beginning to close in. Everyone was on edge. That tends to happen when you are stuck in a confined space with other people for long periods of time. We worked and read. The DirecTV went out. We did our best to stay occupied. At least, we had food delivered last Friday. The weather was so bad the delivery boats didn't even bother to show up. The generally limited stock of the marina store had next to nothing perishable in stock. We couldn't wait to get off that island. Our departure came at the most opportune moment. 

By the time lunch came around, I had no problem putting together the meals. With everything prepared, it took about five minutes to plate and serve. The boss ate his lobster roll at the wheel on the fly bridge in relative peace from the winds. The Mrs. ate her salad at the table in the country kitchen galley. Both were happy to finally get their Bahamian vacation back. I was happy that I did not have to inhale the aroma of lobster while feeling seasick. 

With five days remaining, the trip is winding down. We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The sun has come out again.

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