Everything is Changing

Tuesday June 2, 2015

The Sailing Conductors & Jessica

That seems to be my motto lately.  Serendipity is sold.  Big change.  We have at least moved her to a slip after sitting on the hard for the past 7 weeks.  Change.  Our boat yard buddies the Sailing Conductors are leaving us to begin their sail back to Germany and there’s a good chance we’ll never see them again.  Big change (for me….I love those guys!).  Our other friends Hanna and Mark will be out of here soon enough as well to begin their lives as cruisers and spend the season in Guatemala.  A change that I can thankfully at least put off for a few weeks.

And while all our friend’s lives are changing for the better and I am so happy for them, I have to look at our upcoming future, and honestly it makes me a little melancholy.  And a bit apprehensive.  Trust me, I am all for the renovation of Daze Off, I’m the one that pushed for it more when Matt was unsure.  I know it will be a great boat for us once it’s finished and we’re traveling again.  The only problem is, that is a long time from now and we have a very hard road ahead of us.

I want the new (to us) boat that we know every nut, bolt, and screw; and have also tailored it to exactly our taste, the only problem is I don’t want it 6-12 months from now….I want it tomorrow.  But as Scarlet O’Hare would say ‘I can’t think about that right now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow’..  Right now we do still have our good friends with us and I’d like to enjoy every moment of it possible.

Sunday we brought our whole group together at the marina for one more German night.  Now that we have one more addition from that country (Hanna), and we had been enforcing so many American things on them (with the exception of the cheap Costa Rican beer we’ve all been turned on to, thanks to Mark) I wanted to sample another treat from Deutschland.  The Königsberger Klopse Hannes made before was so good that I couldn’t wait for another delicious sample of something I had never tried before.

Gathering for the night and being told to bring nothing other than ourselves, I found out the meal of the night was to be stuffed peppers.  Something I never knew had German origins, but apparently they do.  (Or maybe Hungarian.  Close enough.)  Unlike last time, we had two new sets of hands which meant all I had to do was sit back and enjoy a few cold Becks.  Just after the sun had gone down, I think we tend to get distracted when all of us are together and meals take 2 hours to cook, we pushed two tables together and chowed down on appetizing German (Hungarian) stuffed peppers.

When the plates were cleaned away we brought out the wine and guitars.  Since Hannes now had 2 with him after having his grandfather’s refurbished in Nashville, one was handed over to me and I lamely tried to strum along even though I’ve now had almost three months to practice yet can not play the A chord Ben tried to teach me the first night we all hung out.  Eventually my duties turned into ‘flashlight holder’ and I sat perched at the end of my seat, making sure to illuminate the pages of whatever tune the guys were playing.

Mark, Hanna, & Ben

dinners on the patio

Matt & Jessica - MJ Sailing

stuffed pepper dinner

Captain Ben Bart

Jessica, Ben & Hannes

Tonight we said our final farewells to Ben & Hannes, which was incredibly hard to do.

This morning they left Indiantown bright and early with a newly decorated Marianne (thanks to Jack), with plans of anchoring in Stuart for the night before pushing on toward Fort Pierce where they’d do last minute provisions and wait for a weather window to head out into the Atlantic.  Plans were for Matt and I to head out and treat them to a nice dinner, a thank you for letting us take their place as sailing instructors to the Bahamas back in April when the original request had been for them.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Ben that afternoon that they were making it all the way out to Fort Pierce in one day and would in fit in our schedule to have dinner that night instead?  Well…we’re in the middle of packing up Serendipity to get everything that isn’t being sold with her onto Daze Off, which is still in storage at the moment.  Not to mention that I still wanted to turn this into a Fancy night out since I’d been promised one by Matt ever since we reached American soil again in March and so far had not happened.

A change in plans meant rushing a few more loads of goods to Daze Off as well as jumping into the shower and furiously towel drying my hair in time to still straighten it before we hopped in the van to head to Fort Pierce.  But….there was no way we could turn these guys down.  They’ve done so much for us in all our time together (and have given me so many free beers) that it was time for when they said “jump”, we said “how high?”.  Getting my hair and make-up done and throwing on a new dress, I was able to get in the Kia with just enough time to meet them at 7.

Getting lost in the vast rows of slips at the city’s marina, we eventually found the brightly painted Marianne and the guys.  True to his word, Hannes even wore his ‘sailor’s outfit’ for our last good-bye, something I’ve been asking him to put on ever since we were first placed next to each other in the work yard and I had been internet stalking them based on their website printed on the hull of their boat.

Walking up the short distance to Cobb’s Landing, a nice little restaurant on the waterfront, we sat down in time to hear not only live music coming from inside, but also that we came on a particular beer special night where all beers start at $0.50 at 7:00 and go up $0.50 on the half hour until they are full price.  With a huge selection in front of us we all ordered something different and followed it by a taste test where we’d pass our glasses around the table so we’d each get a sample of something new.

The food was heavenly and even though I had originally been weary of my choice of lobster & shrimp macaroni and cheese, it is now something I would drive all the way back up here just to enjoy. The four of us continued to sit outside and enjoy the music and cheap premium beer until the sun was going down and it was time for us to get on the road.  Luckily we didn’t have to say a teary goodbye at the restaurant since we were bringing the guys back to Indiantown with us so they could retrieve the magic bus. Of course the whole ride back was filled with jokes that Matt and I would chuck any plans of fixing up Daze Off and instead fly to the Netherlands where of course Matt has already found another ‘perfect boat’.  Placing us right next to Germany there’s no way we couldn’t be sailing buddies again in the future.

Dropping the guys off in front of the magic bus we gave them the biggest of hugs and wished them well on the rest of their journey as well as any future ventures.  I know we’ll still keep in close touch, but with them headed back to a land based life it’s much harder to say ‘Maybe we’ll bump into each other again on the water someday’.  Something I’ve been able to do with so many of my new friends and that I am so grateful for.  But in this case I don’t see it happening and that is incredibly saddening.  As I’ve told myself earlier.  “I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

Ben & Matt

Jessica, Ben & Hannes on Marianne

Ben, Hannes & Matt at Cobbs Landing

Cobb's Landing

Sailing Conductors & MJ Sailing

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We German….We Hope You Like German Too..

Sunday March 29, 2015

Ben opens a German beer

Since we had spent a good portion of last week introducing Hannes and Ben to a number of new American things they had never experienced before (Walmart..smores) they figured it was time to pay us back by bringing a little German into our lives.  Or, one good night Germanizing us.

This would include a German dinner cooked by our very own Smutje Hannes, master of the galley, and enjoyed with real German beer.  Whichever one we could find here in Southern Florida.  The meal our master chef ended on was Königsberger Klopse, roughly translated to King’s Meatballs.  Yesterday we scoured the local Walmart for all the ingredients where each of us had to memorize a list of 3-4 items as Ben’s phone lost battery power and we were left to remember on our own how much pork, veal and bay leaves went into the recipe.

(On a side note, this was the same day we had the Magic Bus break down on us in the parking lot of a Taco Bell when we went to leave and discovered the power steering lines busted and drained fluid all over the lot.  If you ever want lots of stares and random photos taken of you, try crawling under, in and above the hood of a short bus just off US-1.)

When our German night came up on us we found ourselves in the middle of a Polar Freeze with temperatures plunging from high’s in the mid 80′s to the mid 60′s.  Nights now in the low 50′s.  It was too much for our now tropical blood to handle and we all showed up to the patio in long pants, long shirts, and jackets. I may have even run back to the boat to grab a scarf because heaven forbid a cool breeze pass over my bare neck.

Getting ourselves set up outside we put Ben to work peeling potatoes as one of our sides, a job I quickly took over once he realized he was also on broccoli duty and our master chef saw that getting those cooked was of leading importance.  Before the sun could fully go down on us and we’d lose our nightly ritual of an evening drink, we made sure to stop and smell the German beer.  And taste it too.  What we had been able to find was Warsteiner which I guess is actually a pretty popular pilsener back home in Deutschland with some very entertaining commercials that we looked up on Youtube.

Matt, Hannes, & Ben

Matt, Hannes, Jessica & Ben

cheers with Warsteiner

I thought at this point that becoming Germanized meant I could just to sit back and enjoy my beer as I watched on. Smutche Hannes had other plans and continued to bark out orders for the rest of us to follow as he oversaw the operation.  Ok, maybe that’s not true, but we all withstood a little more time getting our hands dirty preparing this meal.

I may not have had the worst part of it as Hannes actually was the one getting his hands dirty, mushing up all the ground meat while I tossed in things like bread crumbs, spices, and anchovie paste.  Soon the blended flavors began to smell so good that I couldn’t keep myself from swiping the rim of the bowl with a piece of bread and eating just a bite of it raw. It.Was.Delicious.

It always cracks me up how we take up about three tables outside whenever we do a meal.  One table to sit at and eat and drink, one table to keep all our ingredients and supplies on, and one table to actually cook on since the kitchen doesn’t have a stove and the guys bring out their two burner that runs on denatured alcohol.

making dinner on patio

Before I could worry myself about eating too many pieces of raw meat though, Hannes had turned his bowl of ground veal into a plate of large meatballs and we were now working on the white wine sauce.  While taking a few swigs directly from the bottle after pouring a cup or two into the pan of course.  Then there was testing one of the meatballs after it had been cooking for about 15 minutes and still a bit pink inside.  Still delicious.

Even though Smutje Hannes and I had decided from our taste test that we were ready to dive into this meal we still let the meatballs sit another 15 minutes since there were others in the crowd that didn’t want any pink in their meat.  Cowards.  However, this did give us a little more time to thicken up the sauce and before we knew it we were ready to eat.  My mind was full of images of me stuffing 3-4 of these King’s Meatballs in my face although my stomach was only able to handle too.  I think it also knew that dessert was on it’s way from another boatyard friend of ours, Mack.  Strudel and ice cream.  A perfect complimentary German last course.

German meatballs

cherry strudel

To finish up this great night and because it was so ridiculously cold to all of us, we moved ourselves over to the fire pits to enjoy the remaining bottle of wine before we all burrowed under our covers for the night.

Overall I think our German night was a huge success and Matt and I did very well on our way to becoming Germanized.  Or as Bob Marley may have sung if he were with us:

Yeah, we’re – we’re German,
We’re German,
See, I wanna German wid you
We’re German (German, German, German)
I’m German: I hope you’re German, too.

fire pit at marina Sunday Funday with Sailing Conductors

 

 

 

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