The 'Cassoulet of Death'

Steve Powell
Wed 4 Nov 2009 07:38

Or how to go around Cape Hatteras with the aid of jet propulsion.

Food seems to have dominated the last couple of legs. Once again it features heavily on this leg. Not because of the fine dining of Martha’s Vineyard or the restaurants of New York. But because of Scrotum’s, AKA Tony Cadman, signature dish of the ‘Cassoulet of Death’ which we have been eating, with various imaginative additions, for the last three days now.

Just before we left Annapolis, 6am Sunday, Tony cooked up a very large pot of what he calls a Cassoulet. The ingredients are a closely guarded secret and of uncertain origin. The problem was not that it didn’t taste good, it did, in fact it was fantastic. The problem was what it’s done to our insides and the boats plumbing systems. (Sorry Mum, but it is all boys together this leg).

As you might have guessed from my opening, this leg, which is from New York to Fort Lauderdale, has taken on a completely different hue, from earlier more civilised legs. Gone are the canapés, and fine dining and in comes the ‘doggy bowls’ and stew. The conversation seems to have deteriorated as well.

L-R My crew now consist of Tony ‘Scrotum’ Cadman, David ‘Bottie’ Botterill and Oli Pettifer, my new 1st Mate.

We successfully navigated the Delaware – Chesapeake Canal and after spending a night tied up to an abandoned Marina wall, very ‘Psycho’, we made good time into Annapolis, the home of the famous Naval Academy. We spent four days in this fantastic city, and apart from the usual maintenance and cleaning issues we managed to visit the site of the famous Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg. Which for a military history buff like myself was fascinating. Relax I am not going to bore you all with it, too much! I’ve managed to do that with my crew already. But when you look at the topography of the battle and the disposition of the Union Forces, you have to ask the question, which from what I understand has still not been answered properly today.

What on earth made General Lee, a General who had not put a foot wrong until that point, order ‘Pickets Charge’?.  Sorry, but these type of questions fascinate me.

The Union Guns on the high ground overlooking the ONE MILE of open ground that the Confederate Forces charged over. That copse of trees in the top left is known as the ‘High-water Mark of the Rebellion’. That’s as close as the Rebels came to Washington DC. After that it was all downhill until final defeat two years later.

We also visited Washington DC which turned out to be a bit of a damp squid. Literally cold, wet and we couldn’t park anywhere, we did see the White House though, in the distance. The high light of that day was driving back to Annapolis to come across a large sports crowd heading towards a stadium. Well we parked up and wondered along to see ‘what’s up’. Thirty two bucks later we had seats in the Navy vs. Temple, College Football Game, American that is. The highlight of which was the half-time entertainment of over 200 cheerleaders!! Bottie was in heaven.

An important update for followers of the boats valet, Scrotum, he spent most of both trips dutifully taking pictures of Bottie.


He is very loyal, and willing to do just about anything.......

Yes Beans, he’s even fixed your Hoover. He’s very handy, will try and fix anything and grovels a lot, that’s him grovelling. :-)

I am sorry I realise that this has become all very domestic, and possibly a little boring, but remember it’s all important to someone.

What’s happened to the tales of daring do, I hear you say. This leg,  Annapolis to Charleston, South Carolina, was supposed to include going around the infamous Cape Hatteras. Well we did, and it was a little robust at times, I saw a least two very green faces that had doubts about whether this was as much fun as they been led to believe. But in reality we had a perfect weather window, northerly that blew a steady 20-28 kts for two days and two nights. The seas around Cape Hatteras were very confused and made for a very roly-poly ride. But it was all downhill sailing which is ‘the best’, with a back eddy coastal sea current of about a knot under us all the way.  We averaged 170 nm a day which is great for a heavy cruiser like UHURU.

As we speak we are sailing along in a gentle 12-14kts of wind with the sun shining, the first we’ve seen in nearly two weeks,  and the fishing rods are out, two 4-5 pound tuna so far, sashimi for tea, and we have the Blues, Willie Dixon, on the sounds, getting in the mood for the bars of Charleston.  ‘Life’s Good’.

Luv to all

Steve & Das Boys.

PS. One latecomer for the NABS collection. Sunset from UHURU in Manhattan. This view is actually New Jersey.

Steve Powell (Owner/Skipper)
UHURU of Lymington
steve {CHANGE TO AT} uhuru {DOT} mailasail {DOT} com
Mob: +44 7774 423 449
Boat Sat Phone: +870773150353

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