Friday, June 28, 2013

Creature Feature: Mahi-mahi

They're much prettier alive (but harder to eat)

Beautiful and tasty, too! What more could you ask from a fish? Oh, and also very abundant and fast-growing, which makes for a pretty sustainable fishery at current fishing rates.We really look out for mahi when there’re flying fish and lots of floating sargassum, and have had our best mahi luck with green/white lures with a reflective head. Also known as dorado or dolphinfish (Note the word “fish” in there. When you see dolphin on a menu, it’s this fish species, not Flipper), these deep-water fish take only four to five months to reach maturity, and live about five years.  They can get up to nearly seven feet in length and ninety pounds. This one that Chris caught en route to Trinidad isn’t quite that large, but large enough to have fed (so far) the two of us very well for four meals, six of us with leftovers when we had friends over for a fish feast, and there’s still a large bag (at least two meals’ worth) in the freezer. I read online that the flesh is considered rather soft and oily, like a sardine’s, and all I could think was that this person didn’t have it prepared well. Mahi has nice, white flesh with a light flavor. Our favorite ways to cook it are to either marinate it in Italian dressing, then broil or grill it only until done, or else to sauté some onions and garlic (and peppers if you have them), add a can of diced tomatoes (seasoned are good) and heat, add chunks of the fish and cook a few minutes until the fish is tender, then let it sit for a little while (heat off) for the flavors to meld. Delicious!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Artsy Illumination

The Island View Restaurant (see previous blog) had this light/sculpture kind of thing hanging by the bar that slowly shifted colors in a nice, not tacky, way. I thought it was really pretty.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Island View Restaurant, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

The guys relaxing with a drink and the outstanding view
Steve, Jamie, Carrie, Keith, Chris, Carl (Anne and Lynn are missing from pic)
For great food and unsurpassed views, try out the Island View Restaurant next time you’re in Charlotte Amalie. Several friends had recommended it, so one night we piled into a taxi with Steve and Lynn (Celebration), Jamie and Keith (Kookaburra), and Carl and Carrie (La Creole) and headed up the hill. It’s an open restaurant overlooking Charlotte Amalie, the bays, and the Caribbean Sea beyond. There’s an honor bar, but we had brought an inexpensive bottle of French red wine that we had picked up in Martinique. Chris and I split the grilled rib eye, it was so big, and we still had some leftovers! Since we were splitting, we each also got a baked potato, grilled asparagus, and salad bar. To end the evening on a sweet note, we splurged and each got dessert: New York cheesecake (Chris) and Reeses cake (Anne). It was lovely to relax with friends and watch the day fade to night, and the full moon rise over the hill. We’ll definitely go back.
Moonrise over Charlotte Amalie

Yes, they tasted as good as they look

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yacht Spotting: Netanya 8

We saw Netanya 8 in Charlotte Amalie this past winter. According to the Superyacht website, she was built in 2007, is 190’ long on deck and nearly 37’ wide.  She carries 14 guests, a 1:1 ratio with crew. The pictures on the website are neat, showing both interior and exterior, including a great upper deck with cushioned space for sunbathing around the hot tub. This isn’t to be confused with some of the several other places for lounging, with their comfy-looking couches and chairs. There’s one odd-looking photo. It’s an interior shot of what must be an entertainment room, with a large-screen TV in the wall. Exterior windows extend nearly to the floor, and with the lights reflected off them, it resembles a futuristic spaceship. The impression is intensified by the four fuzzy beanbag chairs, which look for all the world like enormous tribbles (you Star Trek fans know what I mean). Interesting.

Sorry to have forgotten the picture the first time I posted!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family Visit!

Paul, Aidan, Bridget, Tess, and Karen

Anne’s sister Karen and her family were down for a visit recently. They rented a villa on Great Cruz Bay, St. John, for the week, and we moored in the bay. It was a perfect set-up; it was easy to dinghy in to the house, and easy to drop the mooring to take them out for a day sail. We went over to Francis Bay, walked to Annaberg Ruins, then snorkeled before sailing back. Our nephew Aidan even tossed a line over the side to see if he could catch some dinner, but no such luck. Other days we dinghyed around the point to snorkel, went to Cruz Bay to lunch and shop, and rented a car to tour the island, stopping to snorkel at Leinster and Salt Pond Bays. Unfortunately, I misplaced my camera for a few days, so I didn’t get as many underwater shots as I’d hoped for. We stayed at the house a couple of nights, and Karen and the kids were going to stay on the boat one night, but with everything going on, we forgot! Besides, I’m not sure the kids would have wanted to give up their free-running water, convenient refrigerator, and indoor pool (yup, you read that right) for sleeping on Mr Mac’s settees. We had a wonderful time, and missed them even as we saw their ferry chug into the distance.

The twins, Tess (left) and Bridget