We arrived at Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, late in the evening of 28th August after a fairly average voyage over from Cape Town. I wrote a blog entry for TIMEZERO by Nobeltec that covers the navigation side of the voyage and you can read that here https://blog.mytimezero.com .
It was a very average voyage in many ways; a little colder than usual due to making it earlier in the season than is normal, it lasted an average time (26 days), the weather was average but we caught more fish than usual.
Remember that like most boats that we sail on there is no refrigeration on “Pelagic Australis”. We therefore have to go old school to preserve perishable foods. We had canned quite a lot of meat before leaving Cape Town, mostly beef but some ostrich too. The ostrich was not a success as it is a very soft meat and more or less disintegrated.
Catching plenty of fish gave us ample opportunities to experiment with preserving the catch. As we consumed the canned meet the canning jars became available for excess fish so we were able to can some tuna and dorado. The canning process does destroy many of the qualities of fresh off the hook tuna. Paula has said in the past that canning your own tuna is in some ways disappointing as it just tastes like shop bought canned tuna (good quality stuff of course). However it allows us to supplement our diet as we go.
The second preserving method that we used, and one that Paula and I use on “Morgane”, was to make escabeche; which is a method of preserving buy cooking/pickling the fish in an acidic liquid (usually vinegar based). This method does not damage the fish as much as canning and produces a lovely dish that is great served as an appetiser on crackers. It does not keep nearly as long as canned foods but will last a few weeks.
And lastly we tried drying some fillets of dorado. We soaked the fish in a strong brine solution and then hung it up to dry. Given plenty of time (after arrival in Stanley we had to tidy up the boat ready for clients) I think this would produce an excellent product as the smaller bits that had completely dried were quite palatable however the incompletely dried fillets were oily and fishy.
So what of our plans? – Well whilst in Cape Town Paula got the news that she had been successful in her application for a position at Canterbury University in Christchurch New Zealand. This means that we now have an excuse for an extended stay in New Zealand however the logistics became complicated.
Paula of course had to apply for a work visa for New Zealand and I likewise need something other than a tourist visa to be able to stay there for longer than six months. We decided to make the visa applications whilst in Stanley as there is a lot of paperwork to get through including medical examinations, police checks etc.. Anyway the short story is that Paula could apply for her visa online which took 2 days to be granted but my application had to be sent in by snail mail which has now been received at the NZ visa processing centre in Washington, USA, and could take four weeks to process.
Therefore we are still in Stanley staying at my parent’s house. My parents live on their little farm, Hill Head, about 65km from Stanley for most of the spring and summer so we are looking after the house, chickens, a pet sheep that produced a lamb a few weeks back and doing land-lubberly things like mowing the lawn. We have been keeping busy doing a few renovations to the house including replacing the roof and giving the conservatory a major facelift.
We have been for a couple of walks. One day we went to an area that has only recently been cleared of mines that were laid during the 1982 war.
We also helped move some horses from their winter grazing on an island.
We hope to be on our way to New Zealand within a few weeks. Once there we’ll get Paula settled into her new job and then work out how to get “Morgane” from Tahiti to New Zealand. Most likely: I’ll head over after the cyclone season and prepare her before Paula joins me for the next phase; which is still a very vague plan at best.