I Don't Know, Maybe It Is All About The Food:
Yesterday I finally fired up the stanchion-mounted BBQ for the first time. It's just been sitting back there like a faithful dog waiting. We bought a used charcoal BBQ at Columbia Marine Exchange in Portland several years ago. It didn't come with a mounting bracket and, since Magma wanted like $50 for a bracket, I chose to try to figure out something else. Of course, that's part of the reason it sat unused, and unmounted for that matter, for a very long time.
Yesterday was the first time that I've really felt like the weather and everything was cooperating enough to fire it up. That, and I was inspired by some amazingly good arrechara (believe I already wrote about that) from Rancho Viejo. So, as I previously wrote, we bought a skirt steak and applied plenty of meat tenderizer and then let it sit for a day or two. Last night was the night to cook it up.
I cut it into smaller chunks to make it cook a bit faster, slicing carefully across the grain. Once the coals were ready, on it went. After a bit it started to really smell good. Been too long since I've BBQ'd. I opened the lid to turn the little beauties over and started salivating.
Meanwhile, Lulu was whipping up a fresh salsa with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado to accompany the meat on a fresh tortilla. A few more minutes of cooking and the meat was ready. I took it off the grill and sliced it nice and thin.
We heated some tortillas over the still-hot coals and then piled them up with meat and salsa. Oh, the anticipation as I raised the taco to my mouth. I bit in. I bit harder. Damn, I couldn't bite through the meat! I ended up dragging half the meat out of the taco with my first bite. It was the toughest meat I have ever had the misfortune to try to sever with my extremely sharp teeth. There was no freakin' way that we could eat this in a taco. The meat tasted really good but it was REALLY tough! Like "Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry" tough. Finally just put the meat on a plate, topped it with salsa and ate it with a fork using the rolled tortilla as a pusher. Geez, what a disappointment!.. Next time I'll cut the meat smaller before sprinkling it liberally with tenderizer and than maybe marinate it as well. Sheesh!
On a more successful note, we made a very tasty shrimp ceviche tonight. When we were at the marina the other day, there was a guy there selling fresh shrimp. A kilo cost $140 (pesos) which comes out to about $5.25 (dollars) a pound. We took it back to the boat, peeled it and soaked it in lime juice and minced onions for about 6 hours to "cook" it. After draining off most of the lime juice, Lulu added chopped tomatoes, minced serrano peppers, garlic and Clamato juice and returned it to the fridge. Tonight, we sat in the cockpit with a cold Pacifico in hand and scooped up ceviche with tortilla chips. Oh, man! It was so good I almost wet my pants! And the best part is that there's still more.
Okay, Maybe It's Not All About The Food:
Earlier yesterday we took a nice long walk along the malecon. For those who don't know, most, if not all, Mexican coastal towns have a walkway along the water. It's called a malecon. Families come out in the evening to walk along it and enjoy each others' company as well as the beautiful evenings.
We walked from where the malecon starts just north of our marina all the way to Marina Palmira, about 4 miles away. It was a beautiful walk. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you might be able to see the masts of the boats at Marina Palmira. They're just to the right of the turtle's (trash can) head. Looks like he's looking right at them. The main reason for the walk was to get a look at the boat yard at Marina Palmira where we may have our boat hauled in January so I can do some engine work.
Afterwards, we stopped at the Ahumburo market for come produce for the ceviche and then at La Fuente for some ice cream. Lulu had strawberry frozen yogurt again and I had a scoop of the "small orange" frozen yogurt and another of lime frozen yogurt. Very refreshing.
We have some family coming down to spend Christmas here in paradise with us. They'll be staying at one of La Paz's newest resort complexes, Costa Baja. It's located at the extreme north end of the bay and just about as far as you can get from where we're anchored. However, they have a marina there. But, looking at the website, the marina definitely looked out of our league, cost-wise. So we figured we'd just stay put and ride the bus back and forth. That's what we figured. But guess what. We won a 1-month stay at Marina Costa Baja in a raffle. How freakin' cool is that? So, tomorrow, when our moorage here at the virtual marina is up, we'll be moving to the lap of luxury for a month. It's a long way from town but they have everything you need right there, plus they run a shuttle service to town 9 times a day. Our friends John & Vickie took us out there today to check things out. Geez! What a place! So, Merry Christmas to us.
Let's see, what else?
Oh yeah, as you saw earlier, I am finally able to take advantage of one of the main reasons I bought a single sideband radio and got a ham license: the ability to send and receive simple text-only e-mails via the ham radio from pretty much anywhere that there isn't an internet connection. I'll be able to update blogs this way so maybe we won't worry people (Mom!) again. Paul from s/v Jeorgia came over and walked me through some of the set-up stuff that I apparently had wrong. So I guess my installation is OK after all. Thanks, Paul.
And finally, a bummer note:
We dropped off one of our fiberglass propane tanks at Marina de La Paz last Friday to have it filled. Lupe, the guy who gets them filled said he'd have it back by 1:00 PM or so. Well, he actually got it back a about 12:20. When we arrived at 1:20, it was nowhere to be found. We watched security tapes at the marina today to see if we could figure who took it or what happened to it but, unfortunately the cameras weren't pointed at the spot where the tanks are dropped off and picked up. Close, but not close enough. They've remedied this and the tanks are now handled directly below a camera. Too late for us but maybe it'll save someone else's tank. I'l announce the loss on the morning cruisers' net tomorrow morning but I doubt we'll ever see it again. Have to be pretty ballsy to take it since it's clearly marked "s/v Siempre Sabado -Yoder-" all over. But, if it's in someone's backyard feeding their BBQ I guess the markings won't really matter. As far as I can ascertain, they don't sell the fiberglass tanks in La Paz so we'll be contacting a dealer in San Diego to see if we can get one and then seeing if one of our fellow cruisers and friends can bring it down with them. (That's right, Jay and Judy, stand by for an e-mail). Oh, and Lupe (whose reputation is at stake) is notifying the propane plant that fills all the bottles in La Paz about the marked tank so they can watch for it if it ever comes in to be filled. Oh well, it's still in the low 80s every day so what the heck am I complaining about? So it goes.
And that, folks, is about it for now.