Steen Rally

Follow us on our sailing adventure from France to Australia

30 December 2015 | Sydney
29 July 2015 | Sydney
15 January 2015 | Sydney
22 December 2014 | Sydney
21 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
02 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
21 October 2014 | Port Vila, Vanuatu
01 October 2014 | Fiji
20 September 2014 | Fiji
08 September 2014 | Fiji
24 July 2014 | Neiafu, Tonga
06 July 2014 | Tahaa. French Polynesia
23 June 2014 | Moorea
23 June 2014 | Moorea
15 June 2014 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia
13 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia
10 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia

Last of Washington DC: people and food!

14 November 2012 | Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Voahangy
Washington, DC, June 24-July 8, 2012

The nation’s capital is more than monuments, museums and government buildings. Like any city in the world it has its own identity, fashioned by the people who live and work there, and while I won’t claim for one second that we captured the essence of the town we had fun mingling with the locals.

Take the Capital yacht Club (CYC). I mentioned before many of its members are live aboards, and must be the friendliest club we’ve ever encountered: we were welcomed with open arms and treated like some kind of celebrities (I must admit that our Australian flag and the mention of our round the world cruise always arises a lot of interest). We made friends with people from all walks of life: take writer Pat, defence force officer Phil, US coast guard Jodie, computer whizz Karla, and retired Idaho governor Dick; every one of them took the time to share a little insight in what it is to live in DC where probably half of the working population is in the government business (lobbying, grant seeking, representing the folks back home…) and the other half in the private business of servicing them! From detailed explanations on the functioning of the US Congress to how to tell when the POTUS is flying over (that’s the President of the United States, if you wonder), it’s been a real education. Marc could not get enough of the attention, especially when the CYC did him the honour of firing the canon, a Friday night tradition to declare the end of the week and the bar open for sunset! Anne had her own fun, with new girlfriends Katherine and Phoebe, from live aboard families, who showed us how to call the CYC home in so many ways: doing school in the mahogany lined library, enjoy a coffee anytime in the plush leather seats, join in for Friday BBQ, Saturday hot breakfast, 4th July cookout… With a major heatwave hitting the town that week, a lot of members and transients (the name for cruisers passing by) enjoyed the air-conditioned bar, which seemed to be THE place to congregate at the end of a full day of touring or schooling.

As you can tell, we didn’t spend a lot of time on the boat, apart from sleeping. Even that was sometimes hampered by the incessant noise of helicopters flying over the anchorage, evidently carrying politicians commuting between the White House and the Pentagon, or as Terry suggested taking some to the nearby Reagan airport rather than drive in traffic. Still, it was a great game for Terry & Marc, who would guess the number of rotors & blades by the incoming rumble! The rest of us would try to work out the importance of the convoy. Locals said that three together, means it is likely the POTUS is on board! So we were all eyes …

Dining on board became a rarity. Not only because the boat was transformed in a hot house, courtesy of temperatures in the 100F (near 40C), but also being at anchor in a river, we needed to be frugal with our water consumption (ask Marc who was in charge of daily dinghy trips to fill up our 20 litre jerricans). Not a conducive environment for gourmet cooking! Besides, with the money we saved thanks to the free museums, we figured we could afford to eat out. And so we embarked on a food quest, wanting to find out what else there is to American cuisine beyond burger and fries.
Our “research” took us to local hangouts such as downtown’s Harry & Harriet’s where I tasted my first pulled pork sandwich (pork shoulder slow cooked for hours, the meat then pulled into thin shreds and smothered with a tangy BBQ sauce, served on a bun). Harry’s Smokehouse in the Pentagon City Mall dishes out a delicious BBQ beef brisket (similar cooking process as the pulled pork, but different sauce) but will be remembered as the first place we tried fried chicken and waffles. Yes, you read correctly: crunchy buttermilk fried chicken pieces, served on a waffle, with maple syrup and whipped butter! What looked abominable to me was declared a match made in heaven by Marc and Anne, like eating your main course and dessert at the same time. And to think that I tried to educate their palates all these years…Thank goodness it was a one-off occasion. In fact, most times Marc would order a burger, mainly because it was the least expensive item on the menu, and the most likely to fill him up. One exception was at Thunder Burgers, in upscale Georgetown, who serves gourmet burgers at gourmet prices. Ah, but these are special. Think Elk burger with heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese; bison burger with aioli; meat balls and mozzarella burger…not for the faint hearted but soooo good! I have only mentioned some of our “special” outings; the rest of the time we would grab a quick lunch at any of the Museums coffee shops, which mostly serve average and expensive sandwiches, except for the Mitsitam Café at the American Indian Museum whose menu features native dishes. The kids and I would return there time and time again to lunch on ceviche and chestnut and goose terrine (for me), buffalo chili and cheese fry bread (for Marc), cedar planked grilled salmon and chocolate coconut cookies (for Anne). But all this doesn’t compare with the fresh seafood from the fish market only meters from the boat. Our best dining memory must be sitting on our back deck feasting on freshly shucked oysters and a pile of spicy steamed crabs, while watching the sun set over Washington DC. Cheers!!

Washington DC, 24 Juin – 8 Juillet 2012

La capitale de la nation a bien d’autres choses à offrir à part les monuments, musées et édifices publiques. Comme toutes les villes dans le monde, Washington a sa propre identité, formée par les gens qui y habitent et y travaillent ; et même si je ne vais pas prétendre avoir capture l’essentiel de la ville, nous avons eu beaucoup de plaisir à rencontrer les gens du coin.

Commençons par le Capital Yacht Club (CYC). J’ai déjà mentionne que beaucoup de ses membres vivent à bord, et ça doit être le club le plus chaleureux qu’on ait côtoyé jusque-là : on nous a accueilli à bras ouverts, traites comme des célébrités (il faut dire que notre pavillon australien et la mention de notre tour du monde attirent toujours beaucoup d’attention). Nous nous sommes lies d’amitié avec des gens de tous milieux : Pat l’écrivain, Phil un ancien militaire, Jodie des US Coast Guards, Karla une génie de l’informatique, Dick ex-gouverneur de l’Idaho…tous ont pris le temps de nous donner un aperçu de la vie quotidienne a DC ou la moitié de la population travaille pour le gouvernement (que ce soit lobbying, obtenir des subventions ou représenter un électorat…) et l’autre moitié dans le secteur prive passe son temps à « faire tourner la machine ». Entre les explications détaillées sur le fonctionnement du congrès américain, et comment repérer quand le POTUS (President Of The United States, pour les non-initiés) nous survole, c’est toute une éducation. Marc a adore tout l’intérêt qu’on lui a porte, surtout quand le CYC lui a fait l’honneur de tirer le canon, une tradition tous les vendredis pour déclarer le début du weekend end et l’ouverture du bar pour le couchant ! Anne n’est pas demeurée en reste, avec ses nouvelles copines, Katherine et Phoebe de familles locales, qui nous ont montré comment profiter du club à fond : en faisant la classe dans la bibliothèque meublée toute en acajou, sirotant un café dans les fauteuils douillets en cuir, nous joindre au BBQ du vendredi soir, le brunch du samedi, le buffet du 4 Juillet (fête nationale américaine)… Vu la canicule qui sévissait cette semaine, beaucoup de membres et de « voyageurs en transit » (c’est comme ça qu’ils appellent les plaisanciers de passage comme nous) ont profité du bar climatise, qui est devenu LE point de rassemblement après une journée de tourisme ou d’école.

Comme vous pouvez le constater, nous n’avons pas passe beaucoup de temps à bord, sauf la nuit. Et encore, le sommeil était dur à trouver parfois, du au bruit incessant des hélicoptères qui survolait le mouillage, manifestement transportant des VIP entre la Maison Blanche et le Pentagone, ou à la suggestion de Terry, moyens de transport préféré pour éviter les embouteillages. Ceci dit, Terry et Marc se sont inventes ce jeu ou il fallait deviner le nombre de rotors et de pales selon le bruit ! Un truc d’hommes quoi. Nous autres nous sommes amusées à comprendre l’importance des convois. D’après les gens du coins, 3 hélicoptères cela veut dire que le POTUS est à bord ! Tout le monde aux aguets…

Manger à bord est devenu une exception. Non seulement à cause de la canicule qui a transformé le bateau en vrai four, mais aussi dans le cadre d’une meilleure gestion de nos réservoirs d’eau. Etant au mouillage dans le fleuve, il nous était impossible de faire fonctionner le dessalinateur, et la consigne était d’être frugal avec notre consommation (demandez à Marc, charge de remplir les jerricans de 20 litres tous les jours !). Bref, c’est un environnement loin d’être propice à faire la cuisine. Et puis nous nous sommes dit qu’avec les économies qu’on faisait grâce aux musées gratuits, on pouvait se permettre de diner à l’extérieur. On s’est donc embarque dans une quête de la cuisine américaine, souhaitant découvrir d’autres choses que hamburgers et frites.
Notre « recherche » nous a menés dans des restaus typiques tels Harry & Harriet dans le centre-ville, ou j’ai goute mon premier « pulled pork sandwich », un burger sans doute inconnu en France, ou une épaule de porc est fumée pendant des heures à basse température, résultant en une viande qui s’effiloche. Servie avec une sauce BBQ vinaigrée, la viande est d’une tendresse incroyable. En parlant de viande fumée, mentionnons aussi Harry’s Smokehouse au Pentagon City Mall, qui propose une délicieux BBQ beef brisket (de la poitrine de bœuf cuite lentement comme le porc, aussi servie avec une sauce BBQ) mais restera dans les annales pour son plat de « poulet frit et gaufres ». Oui, vous avez bien lu : de croustillants morceaux de poulet a la KFC, servi sur une gaufre, accompagnes de sirop d’érable et de beurre fouette ! Ce que j’ai trouvé abominable fut déclaré un parfait mélange de saveur par les enfants, c’était comme manger le plat et le dessert en même temps ils disent. Et dire que je m’échine depuis des années à éduquer leurs papilles…heureusement l’occasion ne s’est présentée qu’une fois. En fait, Marc a préféré commander des hamburgers la plupart du temps, non seulement car c’était ce qu’il y avait de moins cher au menu, mais le reste n’était pas assez nourrissant pour lui. Une exception notoire cependant, a Thunder Burger dans le quartier trendy de Georgetown, qui sert des burgers gastronomiques à un prix gastronomique. Ah, mais c’est qu’ils sont spéciaux quand même : imaginez un burger d’élan aux tomates et fromage de chèvre, un burger de bison a l’aïoli, un burger aux boulettes de viandes et mozzarella…a déconseiller pour ceux qui ont le cœur fragile, mais c’était tellement bons ! Je n’ai fait mention que de quelques endroits qu’on a particulièrement apprécié, le reste du temps nous nous sommes contentes d’un sandwich rapide dans les cafeterias des musées, ou tout est cher et médiocre a l’exception du café Mitsitam a l’American Indian Museum dont le menu propose des plats indigènes. Les enfants et moi y sont retournes maintes fois pour y déguster la ceviche ou la terrine d’oie et de châtaignes (pour moi), le chili de Buffalo et son pain au fromage frit (pour Marc), ou encore le saumon grille a la planche de cèdre et les cookies au chocolat et noix de coco (pour Anne). Et même après tout cela, il n’y aucune comparaison avec les fruits de mer frais du fish market à deux pas du bateau. Nos meilleurs moments ont sans doute été nos diners sur le pont, à attaquer des huitres fraichement ouvertes et une pile de crabes épicés, tout en admirant le coucher du soleil sur Washington DC. A la vôtre !!!
Comments
Vessel Name: VOAHANGY
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 560
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
About:
Terry, 71, skipper, ex-pilot, surfer, aerobatics champion, can fix anything, never sea sick, loves a beer, hates the cold, is happiest anchored off a deserted beach. [...]
VOAHANGY's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
2 glorious months, cruising various parts of Fiji. So many different experiences in one country: lush rainforests, colourful indian towns, blue lagoons, traditional villages, great fishing, fancy resorts... And the best part was sharing the cruising with family and friends. Can't beat Fiji with company! Here is a collection of our favourite moments (and there are a few!!!)
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 12 October 2014
Some of the whales actions we witnessed in Tonga, to read with the Whales action post by Anne!
7 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
Whale watching, snorkelling, bonfires, making new friends...One of the most remote and austere destination, far away from big tourism, with friendly people holding on to their traditions. Weather a bit chilly, but who cares???
46 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
49 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
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Created 25 July 2014
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Created 30 June 2014
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Created 28 June 2014
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Created 23 June 2014
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Created 15 May 2014
37 Photos
Created 11 May 2014
40 Photos
Created 30 March 2014
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 15 March 2014
The time finally came to leave...a month of celebrations and sadness!
30 Photos
Created 5 March 2014
Another holiday within the holiday! Spent 13 fantastic days in Whistler, British Columbia joined by Aussie friends David and Denise. First time on skis for them, perfecting camps for Marc and Anne, loads of fun for everyone.
70 Photos
Created 8 February 2014
Nothing like having family and friends coming for a visit in the sun. Lots of eating, drinking, swimming, laughing...showing everyone our small paradise.
99 Photos
Created 30 January 2014
End of school year in Puerto, many get togethers before flying off to Paris for a family Christmas.
25 Photos
Created 23 January 2014
Day of the Dead festival, a friend visiting from Australia, Anne participating in her first martial arts tournament,...As usual a lot of eating and socialising!
40 Photos
Created 2 December 2013
68 Photos
Created 6 November 2013
Having visitors means putting on our tour guide hat "Voahangy & Co in Mexico", much exploring and eating: ruins, cenotes, beaches, villages, markets,... . I shared Mexican cooking lessons and was repaid with Dutch baking classes from our French guest. We ate a lot of cakes this month! So much sugar, no candies needed for Halloween this year, just parties...
74 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
This is the slowest month of the year in Mexico: hurricane threats, hot and humid weather, torrential rains drive the tourists away and confine the rest of us indoors. It poured for 22 days non stop! We still managed a dive (in the rain) for Father's Day, a day of all you can eat and drink at the local resort for Terry's birthday, and as usual lots of cooking and eating. Just on cue, the weather cleared at the end of the month for the arrival of Marie Suzanne, a French girlfriend. So lots of touring and catching up. Celebrated Mexican Independence Day all month long (it seems), eating black beans and pork verde!
47 Photos
Created 10 October 2013
No excursions this month. Just hanging around Puerto Aventuras, school, friends, ...Sat thru a couple of storms, torrential rains, big winds...Nowhere to go so more time spent in the galley and writing about it!!!
33 Photos
Created 12 September 2013
Holiday month for everyone: visitors from the USA, kids in and out, parties, US National Day celebration, French National Day celebration, Tulum for a night (bliss...) The start of a new food blog meant a month spent in the galley experimenting. Not much in terms of local food, mostly home cooked French. Chocolate cake anyone?
41 Photos
Created 24 August 2013
Holiday Seasons with old and new friends, provisioning and preparing to leave the USA...
54 Photos
Created 16 July 2013
End of school year performances, lots of baking/cooking for school festivities, Marc hospitalised, first tropical storms testing our nerves, road trip to Belize... Eat ceviche, my latest food addiction!!!
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 July 2013
Lots on! An interesting road trip to the Chiapas region, wonderful ruins of Palenque, green and lush Tabasco, Anne's birthday, Cozumel by boat, Kids sports graduation...Eat chilaquiles, breakfast with a difference.
26 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2013
Settling down and mixing with the locals: kids are off to school, birthday parties, more of Tulum, unexpected reunion with fellow cruisers. Eat: black bean soup!
30 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
Not much tourism this month. We finally made the decision to stay for the rest of the year. So it's head down with school, get together with cruising friends ( they're passing thru while we stay behind) and switching to "landlubber's" mode. Resolved to eat at home more often, back to healthier diet.
19 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Exploring the Yucatan peninsula by car, to Uxmal ruins and Merida. More of Tulum. Marc's Birthday. Try Flyboarding. Join in the local community of Puerto Aventuras. Xel-Ha. Discover Playa del Carmen. Eat nachos.
27 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Landfall in Isla Mujeres, find our way around our new home in Puerto Aventuras, excursion to Coba ruins, discover Tulum, swim with dolphins, eat tacos...
31 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Our last few weeks (even months) have been spent in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Not much cruising for us, more like enjoying company of new friends, safety of a protected harbor, and relaxing for a while, knowing we don't have to go anywhere for a while...
25 Photos
Created 2 April 2013
2 weeks in an island where time has stood still for 50 years! Road trip La havana - Vinales- Cienfuegos - Trinidad - La Havana. Cruise down the west coast, beautiful beaches, good fishing, diving,... Warm waters at last!!!!
3 Sub-Albums
Created 5 February 2013
To be enjoyed while reading the post!
43 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Exploring Charleston and Savannah
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 27 December 2012
2 weeks shore leave, driving to Shenandoah National Park: lots of hiking, eating "country style" food, looking for bears, avoiding bears...Long drive across to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to visit the Wrights brothers memorial and Cape Hatteras.
28 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Caught up with friends, left the boat on display at the 2012 Boat Show, toured historic downtown and US Naval Academy, watched a football game...welcome to the US sailing capital!
51 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Unforgetable summer cruising around Block island, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 16 December 2012
46 Photos
Created 17 October 2012
A leisurely cruise from New York to Newport. Quite anchorages, fresh ocean breeze, ...a million miles away from Big City living!
37 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
July and September in the Big Apple. Cruise, Eat, Shop, Walk,...Look at some of our best memories (work in progress, I am still sorting thru thousands fo photos!)
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 3 September 2012
Museums, memorials, parks, bike trails...the most photogenic city.
85 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
First voyage in July, on our way to Washington DC. Passing thru quaint and historical towns, sampling crabs and oysters in hot summer nights... Returned in September, enjoying all Annapolis has to offer (well, nearly), and the spectacle of autumn foliage.
20 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
Where there are some seriously clever people!
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
29 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Shore leave: Make believe, dreams come true, thrills, fast food...Anything goes here!!!
42 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Welcome to America! Our port of entry, last moments with friends, base for a mini-refit, and our first taste of the USA...
18 Photos
Created 30 June 2012
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Created 12 February 2012
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Created 12 February 2012
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Created 28 January 2012
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Created 8 January 2012
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Created 4 January 2012
40 Photos
Created 28 December 2011
What happens during a transat?
40 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
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Created 19 November 2011
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Created 19 November 2011
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Created 19 November 2011
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Created 17 November 2011
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Created 30 October 2011
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Created 1 October 2011
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Created 8 September 2011

S.V VOAHANGY

Who: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
Port: Sydney