I don’t know what it is about boats and alcohol.
I’m not talking about drinking and driving issues, the DUI of the water – that seems to be very rare, at least in cruising circles. (Day-trippers on powerboats, however, is another matter!)
But there is definitely an undercurrent of thinking/fantasizing/obsessing about and planning for the consumption of such beverages aboard. Why is that?
They’re called “Sundowners”, or in the words of author/cruiser Bill Robinson’s fractured French, a “chapeau” – a night cap. It could be anything from splitting a beer before turning in to loosing the cork to the rum bottle, so…
It’s often said that in planning to leave your shore abode for an extended cruise aboard, you should assume that the way you’re accustomed to living on land is the way you’ll live on the boat – your habits, likes and dislikes aren’t going to change overnight just because you’ve changed to a moveable address.
This is valuable information when you’re planning for things like provisioning and touring abroad. Never liked canned chili when you were ashore? Then don’t expect you’re going to fall in love with it once you leave land behind. Not much of a hiker? Then chances are you’re not going to be making a 20-mile hike every day to view the Catacombs of Paris and such.
But I think “beverages” is a place where that rule falls down. There is something wonderfully insidious at work after a long passage, or even a long day of sailing. The wind is drying and the sun is hot, the constant motion of the boat has (hopefully) eased as the anchor settles in and the sun dips toward the horizon. It feels, somehow, luscious and decadent and oh-so attractive to find a sweating glass of rum and coconut water and watch the sunset unfold, for you alone…
The chances are that if you enjoy the occasional drink ashore, you’ll enjoy them even more, and more often, once you’re living on the water. That, and the company of others of similar mind, means you’d better plan for more booze storage than you were originally thinking. Heaven forbid you should run out when the nearest liquor store is 500 miles to windward!
Run & Coconut Water a la Sionna
4 oz. unsweetened coconut water
2 oz. medium rum
2-3 tsp. sweetened condensed milk (to taste)
Mix ingredients together, stirring long enough to
dissolve the milk. Pour over ice (if you have it)
and top with fresh ground nutmeg.