Men of the Tall Ships on the Documentary Channel. This impressive if dated film captures the 1976 Tall Ships Race. I have resisted following this competition, which has existed formally since 1956 but of course dates back centuries as a tradition. The problem for me is that, tho' vessels like Italy's Amerigo Vespucci and the U.S. Coast Guard's Eagle are huge and impressive, this is to sailing what FIFA is to soccer--it's just too...organized? It's not men on boats sailing their hearts out, it's boys sailing under the orders of old Navy men for whom it's as much about military service as it is about the joy of tall ships. Sure, it's majestic, but I'm just not sensing any heart.
Rum Talk," a blog that is well worth following, directed me to this travelogue of rum drinking on Martinique. It's pleasant enough to imagine kicking back on a Caribbean isle with a bottle, a glass and a group of cane cutters. What stuck, tho', is the very simple recipe for the local tipple, ti-punch: ½ part sugar cane syrup, 4 parts white rum, 1 slice of lemon or lime, 1 ice cube. I tried this, tho' with Cruzan Aged, and found it the perfect answer to a personal quandry--what if I just want to sip rum and lime without mixing a full cocktail?
4. After an episode of "Destination Truth," Zanne, G'Ma and I turned to another show on the DVR, a National Geographic Channel special called "Ben Franklin's Pirate Fleet." Although I make the role of privateering (ie, John Paul Jones) in United States History a regular part of Story Time, I was unaware of this particular chapter. Franklin apparently commissioned three vessels--the Black Prince, the Black Princess and the Fearnot--not only to harrass British merchant ships in the Irish Sea but also to take captives who would be exchanged for imprisoned Americans. The former objective went well: Franklin's fleet took 114 prizes in 1779 and 1780. The latter objective, however, failed simply because the British refused to negotiate with us damned Yankees. There's also the possibility that a fourth vessel went against the rocky shore of Wales near Holyhead. The TV special thus alternated between telling the tale of Franklin's privateers and following underwater investigations by private firm Deeptrek of a wreck that may (or may not) relate. The show wasn't bad, tho' perhaps a bit overproduced as Nat Geo Channel shows tend to be. You can also read this article on Franklin's fleet, written by Claire Britton-Warren for No Quarter Given.
Stone, Green Flash and Pizza Port, all breweries in dear olde San Diego County along said State Route. This is a very balanced Scotch ale...nothing flashy, but well-crafted. I found this at the cool and funky Tacoma Boys market, which not only had good and cheap produce but also a very large and geeky beer section. Second, the rum: Seven Tiki Spiced Rum. Fiji is not a place I usually think of for rum, but this is very smooth. I've been using it as a sipping rum mostly. It mixed so well, however, that Zanne, who does not like spiced rums like Sailor Jerry, said she liked it. I'm likely to get another bottle of this, so I'll report any good recipes.
Stay tuned for another Booze and Boat Bits!