THE OTHER HOLY PLACE
ceviche. A fisherman had come to the dock and sold a
fellow boater fresh-shelled conch, which was chopped
and mixed with lime, salt, jalapeños, and cilantro. Talk
about delicious and exotic!
Another potluck was described to us by two of our
liveaboard cruising friends, Bernadette and Douglas
Bernon, who hosted a holiday potluck while anchored
near the San Blas Islands with a half dozen other
cruisers. Each boat owner agreed to cook a couple of
dishes, and they all gathered to a feast that included
ham, chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed
onions, red and green salad, creamed corn, and
canned cranberry sauce. They had champagne and
pumpkin pie, and a cranberry tart made with a bag of
cranberries that the Bernons had kept in their freezer
for nearly six months for just such an event. It
sounded absolutely delightful.
Potlucks usually do not require a lot of preparation.
In fact, the word “potluck” means one’s luck or chance
as to what might be in the pot—implying little planning.
Everyone brings his or her favorite dish, and you have an
on-the-spot party. When we rendezvous with friends, we
often simply each bring our own dinners onto someone’s
boat and eat together, sharing a little of our portions.
One evening, under a stunning star-studded sky, we
savored such a dinner with sailing friends on our boat
and had a veritable feast. We dined on skewers of
beef and shrimp with rice and salad. Another couple
brought a lovely pasta dish with antipasto and bread,
and our other friends brought a platter of veal with
roasted peppers dressed with balsamic vinegar and a
platter of pierogi. We all shared wine and toasted our
fortune in being cruisers.
We often host “grill potluck” parties, where we offer
our cruising friends use of our grill to cook whatever
they want for dinner and share side dishes such as bread,
salad, vegetables, and dessert. My favorite is the “leftover
potluck” party: on the last day of a cruise, everyone brings
what they’ve got in their galley, and we come up with a
delicious meal. On a small club cruise in late October
several years ago, we found ourselves anchored in a
pretty cove with no restaurants ashore. It was a cool,