The First Cruiser Supper

Over our broken bridge beers Ginny excitedly proposed having dinner together, pot luck style. She was planning on roasting a chicken, and there was plenty for four. If we could bring some sides to contribute it would make for a lovely meal. 

This prospect was both exciting (our first cruiser meal!) and also slightly anxiety inducing as the reality of our state of provisions very much reflected the crew aboard. We were heavy on meat and eggs, and light on “sides”. Would pork medallions count as a side? Or would poor Ginny think we were trying to upstage her chicken (not the case, Temujin doesn’t even have an oven, so roast chicken is a rare bird).  The decision was made to sacrifice the morning fruit and make an avocado and grapefruit salad, and boil a large pot of rice in case portions were more on the French side of French Canadian.

Our contributions proved acceptable and we were granted entrance for dinner.

While two feet shorter than Temujin, Magic was much beamier and significantly larger inside. Her interior was homey and packed with food in baskets and knick knacks no doubt discovered during her decade of voyages between Canada and the Carribean. Harold and Ginny hailed from Nova Scotia, and the evening’s festivities would be set to the rhythm and pipes of Cape Breton music. This genre of music was new to some of the Temujin crew, and is decidedly Celtic in style, no doubt owing to its first colonists, some intrepid Bretons who spent a few months crossing the Atlantic, landed on the Cape, found the climate familiarly dismal, and decided to stay.

Unlike their forbears, Harold and Ginny, having been exposed to tropical climates and white sandy beaches, made a habit of avoiding Nova Scotia during the winter months. Here it bears explaining the cryptic reference to Harold and Ginny being pseudonyms for these fine Canadian folk. In fact, Magic is not even the name of their boat, although it is a stayless Hunter. The reason for the disguised identities is that we were expressly forbidden to use their real names. Some of the reason for this may be informed by Harold’s career in delicate operations for the Canadian military, but the primary reason is healthcare.

Canada, lovely socialist utopia that it is, has free healthcare for all citizens. However, as Ginny spiritedly explained to us, the Canadian Government is remarkably diligent in keeping track of exactly who is fulfilling their required citizenship hours (living in the country for 6+ months of the calendar year in order to qualify for certain government benefits) and turns off the faucet for those found to be deficient in their quota. Hence the need to keep a low profile. This we understood perfectly, as protecting assets from tax exposure while taking advantage of every applicable government structure and program is a rite of passage in America. We did not mention the fact that skipping winter while expecting your bitter frostbitten neighbors to similarly contribute to the healthcare system seemed decidedly un-Canadian.

After a lovely meal and rousing conversation, we eventually retired to 5 yards across the decks to our own berths, very happy to have made new friends, but suddenly acutely aware of the proximity of our sleeping quarters. We closed the hatch boards as some among the crew have a tendency to snore.

Eric Bihl