altChester Race Week. What more can a Galley Guy say? Lots of boats. Top notch race committee work. Full on competitive racing. Fantastic people. Too much wind. Not enough wind. Mega rain. Hot and steamy weather. Spectacular scenery. Fun parties. Lots of handshakes. Big-time hugs. And a non-stop supply of Goslings dark rum in a concoction called Dark & Stormies (note the use the plural form). Old friends. New friends. First-time stories. Stories that you may have heard once or twice before.

altThe Galley Guys have an idea, take out a sharpie and draw a big large circle on your calendar around October 10th, 2011, Thanksgiving Day. Consider this circle a waypoint for your boating season. Maybe even draw an arrow pointing to the circle as a statement that you are taking full measure of both the joy and beauty of your boat and the aboard companionship of friends and family.

Many of our friends consider the passing of Labour Day as the hard stop of the season and resign themselves to shutting down for the winter.

altWhat is the etiquette for a potluck dinner? Should you bring a pot roast? Would fortune cookies bring luck? How about something more exotic? For example, a harpooned Canadian swordfish? Why not?

Under glorious sunny skies, led by club Commodore Peter Rourke and his wife, along with Cruising Commanders Eva Robinson and her partner Trevor McAlpine, 31 boats set out from the Port Credit Yacht Club for an enjoyable, but short cruise east to the islands of Toronto Harbour on a recent Friday afternoon.

altOn a really clear day, from my homeport of the Port Credit Yacht Club, you can just see Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of the most popular cruising destinations in Canada. The trip to Niagara takes about an hour by car or about five hours under sail, most of the time.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, the site of the first meeting of the leaders of Upper Canada beckons boaters of all stripes to cruise and enjoy the best that Lake Ontario has to offer as a cruising destination. The Galleys Guys began their voyage optimistically wanting to do a story on the Niagara Peninsula but came to a quick realization that their eyes were bigger than their stomachs.

altWe Shop And Stow, You Board And Go

It was a sunny mid-March Saturday in Vancouver.

Granville Island was crawling with locals provisioning their home galleys. The boatyard is crammed with boaters drawn by the breaking weather to remove the tarps, hit the hard and refresh the bottom paint in anticipation of the 8 months of boating to come. (Don’t forget, by March on the West Coast we have already cut our lawns 3 times and been to the beach twice!)

altFebruary in Vancouver is frustrating for this Toronto-based Galley Guy. There are boats bobbing in the water, but no place to go. At home, shrinkwrap removes any temptation to sneak out for a cruise even although it looks so easy to cast off the lines, hoist a chute and take a run down English Bay.

Bob Stevenson from Desolation Yacht Charters is planning to get his boats ready for action by late February and Marla from Cooper Boating is busily filling their charter schedule.

altIt has long been the goal of the Galley Guys to eat well and drink elegantly while onboard. Our recipe this issue is “Bouride à la Provençal” prepared for us with style by Dwayne Kearney, Sous Chef at the Port Credit Yacht Club.

Bouride à la Provençal is a Provençal fish stew consisting of, grouper, salmon, shrimps, scallops and mussels cooked in a fennel and saffron broth, garnished by a roasted red pepper aioli, spread on a crostini. It is both hearty and filled with interesting and distinct flavours that all come together beautifully in a single bowl.

altThe Galley Guys hit the Vancouver International Boat Show running. All day long, we were checking out new boats, looking into ice lockers, peeking into storage compartments, seeing what’s new for gourmet cooking onboard and being forced to live on “show food” by day. By night, however, we could be found researching Vancouver restaurants that cater to hungry boaters. Our mission was straightforward; find great dining establishments that are easily accessible, with incredible views of the water, kitchens that serve great food and sommeliers that specialize in award-winning BC wines. Some of my colleagues from the boating community might see this as an overwhelming challenge, but for the Galley Guys this is a mission from heaven.

altToday, many yacht clubs and marinas are discouraging the use of propane BBQs at the dock. The pain of running your entrées down to the communal BBQ, then having to either wait in line for your turn, or placing your delicately marinated lobster on right after someone else had smothered the grill with Pappy’s Moonshine Madness Barbecue Sauce, becomes even more upsetting when you have to leave your guests on board instead of having them witness the artistry of your culinary magic.

Experimenting with Kuuma’s New Dual-Fuel BBQ

altYou’ll never hear the Galley Guys complain as they go about the important task of meeting interesting new people, traveling to the world’s great yachting destinations and sampling the local beverages and cuisine. Although, I want you to know that I had to go it alone recently when an invitation to visit Canada's East Coast arrived.

Founding Galley Guy Greg Nicoll was already off to New York while John Armstrong, the newest addition to the team, was somewhere in South America – whatever!

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