The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
23 March 2021 | Cole Harbour NS
30 May 2019 | Catamaran Marina
20 May 2019 | Shallow Sandbar by Livingston, Guatemala
18 May 2019 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
14 May 2019 | Isla Guanaja to Isla Utila
11 May 2019 | Grand Cayman to Isla de Guanaja, Honduras
03 May 2019 | Grand Cayman
25 April 2019 | Errol Flyn Marina, Port Antonio, Jamaica
18 April 2019 | Matthewtown, Great Inagua, Bahamas
14 April 2019 | Clarencetown, Long Island, Bahamas
10 April 2019 | To New Horizons... and Beyond!
05 April 2019 | Exumas, Bahamas
02 March 2019 | Staniel Cay, Cat Island, Bahamas
07 February 2019 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
28 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean

March was Madly Marvellous. Complete with Mayhem.

05 April 2019 | Exumas, Bahamas
David & Alexandra | What’s a Meso-Cyclone?
We spent the first two weeks of March cruising around the Exumas with the purpose of provisioning. After three months living off the stores of SV Banyan, we were sure starting to run low on basic pantry staples. And we needed a few extras... because? Friends and family were coming!

Ahh, Provisioning! While still in the States back in November and early December, we had provisioned quite heavily, as we all do before the Big Crossing. There were numerous trips to the various stores, too many to count. I'm not usually a list person, but for the Bahamas, I have lists OF lists. I have Lists FOR Lists. I have lists to find where I put the lists. {{ No kidding }}

For years now I've been keeping a record of what we buy. And along the way, as the months go by, I add items to the list thinking how'd we forget? {{ Vanilla? }}, Items we didn't have enough of {{ how is it possible to go through ALL that Parmesan cheese? }}, deleting items because... {{ Ugh? that roast beef dinner in a can smells, and tastes, like dog food }}.

Believe me when I say that no matter how organized you are, you really can't comprehend how much stuff you consume, until you start taking notes of what you eat {{ and I won't even get into the resulting garbage }}. So, when it's time for the Big Provision, I just grab my list of handwritten notes, review them for the timeframe we were going to be in the Bahamas for, and include a few extras for the four sets of family and friends that were thinking of coming to visit us.

Thus armed, we each grabbed a shopping cart, wore our FitBits {{pre-emptive discharging of calories, right? }}, and hit the aisles one by one, store by store. The end result had the cashier eyeing us warily as we surreptitiously tried to unload two overfilled shopping carts on her conveyor belt. "Have a great time..." she would wish us after we explained why we were buying 8 large jars of spaghetti sauce, with twice as much pasta, five large tubs of Parmesan Cheese, along with a dozen cans of Spicy Thai Chili tuna {{ which she didn't even know was a thing until I gave her my famous dip recipe. }}

Provisioning for your trip to the Bahamas, all at once, is an exciting and exhausting multi day feat of dollars and sense. It's definitely cheaper to buy all paper products, canned stuff, dry goods not to mention seasonings, condiments, spices and such, where you have access to, and can shop for, large quantities and special deals. Things you just can't live without and need to have should also be bought when you have access to stores with aisles full of choices. Coffee? Ketchup? Peanut butter? Crackers?

The question then becomes, just how much room do you have under your mattress in your V-Berth, under the cushion of your settee, and maybe even under the floorboards to store all this food that you're planning to eat?

I can stack those dozen packets of Spcy Thai Chili Tuna in a ziplock baggie, in that cubbyhole just by the freezer. Stuff the extra thin packets of Taco Seasoning with the Salsa? And as for that can of Lima beans? What was I thinking? Was I really on that much of a desperate health kick?

And how about those cases of beer? Bottles of wine? No thank you, there's not enough tube socks on-board to wrap the bottles up and prevent the clinking and possible breakage, so BlackBox Cardboardeaux becomes our on-board vintage!

Remember though that if you don't cook it at home? You won't necessarily make it on your boat, so don't go crazy buying everything in sight. Know your own style and tastes, double check your must have recipes, and go from there.

We're not big canned stuff eaters so it's always a bit of a chore for me to face the aisles of cans. Chicken in a can? That's a personal No thank you however, it does come in really handy if making chicken quesadillas where it all gets sauced up with onions, peppers, cheese, salsa and spice. And, surprisingly, is quite tasty. Life on a boat results in an appetite that is sometimes quite surprisingly different.

On the boat I provision heavily with flour, yeast, sugar, and spice. But then I bake. A lot {{ just ask my shrinking shorts }}. On land? Not so much. Bread is a constant, usually resorting to easy overnight Peasant/Artisan Bread. This year thanks to Sharon on SV Imagine, I discovered DYAD's bread. And then I moved to Four Ingredient (non-yeast) Bagels, OhSoEasy and OhSoYum. Then I ventured into making my very own Empanadas, stuffed with whatever leftovers you need to use! Biscuit Style Cinnamon Buns? Yes please.

Banyan's pizza is a weekly feature,

and although I tripled my Pepperoni purchase from last year, still ran out last week. I very rarely buy cake mixes on land but somehow a few always make it on my boat, as there's always a potluck I can bring brownies to, or a birthday that needs cake for celebrating. And how'd I run out of peanut butter this year? Because I discovered the healthy alternative to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in my own homemade version and I went just as crazy making them as we did eating them {{ Oh well, at least they're healthy, right ? }}

I make my own yogurt and my own salad dressings. I thrive on fresh. And that's impossible to provision for months in advance. And in the Exuma chain, harder to find when the mailboat to the Pink and Blue Store in Staniel Cay is only a once a week stop. And that's dependant on weather, and hopefully not on their two week vacation. And of course requires us to be there the required number of hours after they arrive, unload and restock the shelves, but before they run out. All on island time, man.

In the Exumas, your Provisioning stops will be in Nassau (which we often bypass) at the North End of the chain, and Georgetown at the South end. Both big style stores where you can find almost everything your pantry desires. In between you have a possibility at Highbourne Cay, your next bet is Staniel Cay with the Pink and Blue Stores, as well as Aisles General who all services your propane {{ gravity fed }}. And a smaller selection in Black Point as well.

We never miss an opportunity to head to Cat Island and Long Island.

For the peace, quiet and serenity. To adventure, to hike and inhale the different beauty of these places. But best of all?

they're both conveniently stocked with greatly provisioned stores and decent pricing {{ did you notice? I had to buy more Parmesan Cheese?? }}

Since we were full of food once again, we decided to head from Long Island back to the Exumas via the banks. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed two picture perfect sailing days on the banks. With a 6’4” drag we’re always excited to sail new areas, and can say that our multi day trip, overnight stop at Rocky Point, was Glorious before arriiving back in Black Point, because, you know... laundry! Marvellous!

So now it's mid-March and our dear friends are arriving. They are both Canadian and we first met them in the Caribbean on SV Nahanni River many moons ago. Doug and Wendy are now officially CLODs {{ Cruisers Living on Dirt }} having sold their boat before their plans to sail her through the Bahamas could materialize. After dealing with some serious medical issues, they were ready for some Vitamin Sea. We knew that the Exumas would deliver much of that, and we anticipated picking them up in Staniel Cay after their Flamingo Air flight from Nassau.

Except for the weather warnings. Another front. This one a doozy. Even my Capt'N was quirking his eyebrows in an unnatural way as he studied Passage Weather and WindyTY.

Chris Parker's emails used words I'd not heard of, and didn't like the sound of. Just what exactly is a MesoCyclone? Damn.

And just for the photo op? We didn't like the looks of this water spout forming while we were in Long Island either!

The itinerary of activities we'd prepared for their two week stay with us, as with all plans that get written in the incoming surf, got washed away. We sought shelter in Warderick Wells and arranged for the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park to bring them to us.

And thankfully no cyclones materialized during their stay with us {{ phew }}.

What followed was two weeks of delicious mayhem.

But first a surprise when we saw SV Saunterer, cruisering friends we hadn't seen since... 2016 !! Sundowners complete with a reunion with Ben, SV Loon, who we'd met several times in our travels this year. Fun times {{ and we brought SV Banyan's Spicy Thai Dip! }}

Had an unannounced Wizard invitational game at Scorpios in Black Point with DJ Dave.

We feasted our way through the Cays,

Shroud Cay and Sanctuary Creek? Oh Wow.

At Normans Cay, the current had us swimming sideways with the Sergeant Majors,

We left our mark on BooBoo Hill,

swam with the Spotted Eagle Rays, didn't have to go far to swim with the Nurse Sharks,

followed the Turtles wherever they may lead,

petted the swimming pigs at Big Majors,

and greeted the plastic bag thieving iguanas

{{ they look oh so innocent though, don't they? }} on Bitter Guana Cay.

And were you wondering just what exactly are Cays as opposed to islands? Cays are small, low-elevation, sandy "islands" on the surface of coral reefs.

There were caves that required snorkelling

and much exploring.

We accumulated enough sun to have tan lines. We water logged enough time in the crystal clear waters,

that salt crystals formed in our hair and had us craving salty chips during nightly Wizard games,

where we each lost some and won some.

But best of all, we walked the beaches,

and left footprints in the sand.

Footprints that have since washed away but will forever leave their imprint in our hearts.

Madness and Mayhem. Memories made in March. Marvellous.

... *** ... *** ... *** ... *** ... ***

Were you wondering what I do with all that Spciy Thai Chili tuna? Here's Banyan's famous Spicy Thai Dip. It's Easy Peasy, and delicious. A guaranteed Hit every single time. And no one would ever guess it's Tuna.

Spicy Thai Appetizer Dip

1 can Spicy Thai Chili flavoured tuna
1/2 - 1 package of cream cheese

Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature, as this makes it easier for mixing. Which in the hot Bahamian heat, doesn't take very long.

Place in a bowl, mash until smooth then add the tuna. Mix very well. Scrape delicious goodness into a serving bowl. I add the little red pepper that's in the can to decorate the dip with savoir-flair.

Cover and Chill until it's sundowner time. Serve with crackers. {{ because you've remembered to buy lots of those while you were stateside, right? }}

... *** ... *** ... *** ... *** ... ***

Banyan's Pizza Recipe

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 - 2 cups (approx) unbleached white flour
1 tsp yeast
salt, honey, olive oil

To the warm water add just the tiniest dollop of honey (or sugar). Stir around. Sprinkle 1 tsp yeast over the top and set aside for about ten minutes. What you're doing here is proofing it. The honey activates the yeast and within ten minutes the mixture will start to foam/bubble. This process ensures your yeast is good.

Add 1 cup of flour, some salt, and with a wooden spoon mix it all heartily. Keep adding flour (another 1/2 cup or so) until the mixture comes together to form a ball that's less sticky and pulls away from the bowl.

Every time I make this I seem to use a different amount of flour, pending atmospheric conditions I guess, which is why the amount varies. It's all touch and feel.

Place it all on a lightly floured board, and with floured hands start to gently make it all come together, adding small amounts of flour until you can knead it for a good ten minutes without adding flour (maybe some on your hands just 'cause). The dough should be soft, pliable, springy to the touch. You'll know when you're satisfied with it.

Place it an LIGHTLY Olive Oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in the sun (or galley counter, where its warm) for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Place well risen dough on lightly floured surface, pat it down, and then place it in the middle of your well buttered pizza pan/cookie sheet, carefully and gently spreading it evenly to the edges with your the palms of your fingers.

Set it aside to rise for a few minutes, during which time you can prep your ingredients. Slice and dice your onion, peppers, pepperoni, ham, salami, olives... whatever rocks your pizza.

Ladle your Sauce over the dough, I use whatever Spaghetti Sauce I have. Sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Oregano and Parmesan Cheese. Layer your ingredients starting with the meats, then vegetables, ending with grated mozzarella cheese and guess... more parmesan cheese.

Bake until it's done. Sprinkle with hot chilli pepper flakes and more Parmesan Cheese. Voila...

Bon Appetit.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
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The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!