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Sailing Streak Ends With A Splash
Last night, I pulled four rectanglish bars of chicken out of their Gwaltney packaging and noted that they must have had quite a journey before they arrived on Avemar via the local IGA. They were oddly misshapen tubes with flat sides and rounded ends.
I usually cook hotdogs aligned with the grill bars to control rolling them evenly for a perfect all-around charing. But these dogs had flat sides, and I placed them diagonally for a more aesthetic stripe pattern.
I almost took a picture, but it was dark and raining.
Years ago, I bought an antique Alberg 30 in Urbanna, Virginia, and I recruited friends to help deliver ‘Sabrina’ to her new port in Dahlgren. Chris, Karl, Nick, Tracy, Wendy, and I set off at sunrise and sailed down the Rappahannock River towards The Chesapeake. We had planned a two-day trip and would anchor near Reedville.
We each brought a meal to share during the trip.
The Chesapeake Bay ‘shore breeze’ arrived on time. We were close reaching East of Reedville as dinnertime approached, and for the first time, we were cruising up the Bay at 6 knots.
We were sailing!
Everyone was in good spirits so I decided to take advantage of this new wind and continue on this point of sail to an anchorage across the Potomac in the St. Mary’s River.
Chris was on deck to provide dinner, and he fired up the brand-new Weber kettle grill that we mounted on the stern rail earlier in the day.
Food went on the grill as we passed the Smith Point Light and began to feel the waves building at the mouth of the Potomac River where two tides and two currents meet wind blowing across the Bay.
A couple of miles later, Chris learned that the black handle on top of those round grills was not designed to be used while cooking. Sabrina had no pot holders on board, but we found something else below, left by the previous owners, and the top was now swinging from a tiny metal wire under the grill.
I remember stopping and staring for a few seconds. Potatoes, ears of corn, and steaks had cooked under that little hood!
We were beating, and Sabrina was heeling to port between 10 and 15 degrees as we punched through the waves.
Chris served dinner for six without a single round piece of food rolling off the tilted round grill!
A few years later, I remember successfully grilling sausages off the stern of my friend Frank’s boat, “Dr. Heeks,” during a J/24 regatta in New York.
The streak of grilling without losing food overboard ended last night.
After 34 years of sailing and cooking aboard, somehow, I lost a rectangle chicken dog as Avemar rested calmly in her slip.
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