The clams of Santa Domingo

Oh, the clams of Santa Domingo...
are renowned as the best in this lingo...
"Alemeja Chocolate" (it is said with a wink),
All you need is some fins and a mask and a Dink...
Hold your breath to the sand and grab with your hand...

I give up. I'm hopeless. I can't write limericks. 
I leave that to my absurdly clever father-in-law.

In the shallows of Santo Domingo...
There be clams by the tonnes don'tcha know
with a mask and some fins 
you can get yourself dins
but with Suki aboard es muy bueno.

Ah. Okay. I guess my husband has inherited the knack.  Jon just jumped in and laid that one down as fast as he could type it.
Clearly, there is a gene in the Scarfe DNA that allows instant and immediate formulation of the jocular rhyme.


After Pulpito we jumped North another 38 miles to Dominigo, a small bight at the head of the Bay of Conception.
Our friend Ethan had marked on our chart, CLAMS!!!!, so Jon and Kai were eager to hunt them down.
On their last dive Kai had gotten a rather large lobster ( a monster by our standards) from Terry and we had a few scallops left so they were eager for me to make a seafood pasta out of the bounty.
As soon as our ground tackle hit the sand (by the way our new anchor package and chain is OUTSTANDING) they were in the water with fins and masks, looking for the world's most delicious clams.

Hunter and I headed to the long, white beach to explore and look for shells.
She has the eagle eye and is pretty good now at spotting treasure.
The last beach it was a paper nautilus( or octopus purse) and this round it was a Boobie skull.
We also brought Barbie ( sigh) but we had fun making her be the foreman on a very large construction project which included making a very large and complicated maze for blind sand crabs- but being blind, they totally sucked at  getting through the mazes. They just dug themselves a new hole and escaped.

Back in the Galley on Pura Vida we roasted cumin seeds and ancho chills and made a sauce of cream and Mirin and some homemade fish stock (from all the lovely lobster shells) and sautéed garlic and celery and carrots and I taught Jon how to make a proper sauce base because he taught me how to check the engine fluids-just in case one of us falls overboard we should have a few of the basics down, i guess.

Speaking of the 'Blue" and the "Pink" of boat life...
I know, I always write about how devastatingly romantic it is, our life aboard and it is, absolutely.... but we do have our moments.

While looking at the weather GRIBS and discussing our Northward passages the subject of our up coming night passage came up.

For those of you who traveled ( by Blog) down the long and lonely coast of California last February, you will remember that night passage was a rather trying time for us.
All the aspects of the new and unfamiliar were coupled with the sheer terror of being 50 miles offshore for the first time in this boat - oh yeah, with a newish skipper and two kids.
We managed all that pretty well but one thing that has lingered from that trip that gives me the occasional heebie-jeebies is that it was a dark moon for lots of those long, lonely stretches of sea.
Me, being me and somewhat poetically spooked in nature, does much better with a little moonlight. The howling and the darkness and the blackness of the sea is not ENTIRELY offset by the twinkling of those cold and alien stars overhead.

When the moon is around, she sets the stars all in their familiar places and gazing at them is a lovely and noble pastime you share with the entire history of our species.

When the moon is around the sea is aglow and you see the waves and the outlines of ships and sometimes you can see your fellow creatures as they snort and blow past.

Moon dark is when the ghosts come out.
Strange shapes flutter past and the ocean cries and moans and the world whirls around and things become upside down and backwards and you fall into the black pit of your own perceptions-or lack of.


When the subject of a night crossing- into new and unfamiliar territory -came up I looked outside at the waning moon and thought...
Hmmmm. How many days until moon dark?
Well. I did not exactly THINK that thought. 
I must have mumbled something or other. 
Something that might of sounded...Hesitant? 
The truth is or was, that I hurt my stupid shoulder awhile back and it has been a bit of a bummer. I have what's called an "unstable" shoulder and it falls out of it's socket now and again. It did so recently, twice, and I finally got to experience this Oxycontin thing everyone has been raving about-I downed one while Jon gamely stuck my shoulder back in it's socket.
I passed out -from exhaustion or pain or the drugs- apparently singing Edith Pilaf and laughing the whole time. 

This is the real reason I was scared to sail at moon dark. 
The idea of dealing with my night watches, under sail, at night, in the pitch black, brought to mind a number of ways I might manage to slip that shoulder again.

This is not what I said to Jon, though.

I said something more like...
"Where's the moon? Why don't we like, swim and hang around and wait a few days for the moon so at least we have some light, okay, honey? "
I did not say...
"Jon, listen to me. My shoulder still hurts and I'm scared to sail if its dark until its better"
What happened instead, was where pink and blue meet and things go... I don't know, purple?

Jon laughed and said, something to the effect of:
"what do you mean you want to wait for the moon? We have instruments, we did it before on the outside, where it was way more intense, this is just a little overnight passage, in calm weather."
And then I think he might of snorted. 
A tad derisively in my recollection.
Then there was something about wishing I would just be stoked sometimes and not always such a chicken.

Excuse me? 
Was I not letting my 10 year old scuba dive to 100 feet yesterday? Was I not with him?!

It was at that moment, I heard for the first time,  a clarion horn trumpeting from the minaret of my female mind. 

The call of my peri-menupausal-hormonal-Jihaad had begun.

I turned to Jon and laid down the war blade.
"You're not being very nice." I said.

Poor Jon. 
Little did he realize a verbal IED had been laid in the road.

"Your not making any sense." he said.


There were bone fragments everywhere.

Well, you know how the rest of this story goes.
Only on a boat you don't slam doors, you just stomp to the foredeck and feel completely uninspired because your alternative is either to throw a fit and jump overboard and go for a swim- it was night so that was out.
Jump in the dingy and go for a joy-ride but the idea of not being able to start our finicky outboard took all the drama out of that move.
It was back to the cabin to crawl back into the berth-six inches from the face of the person you are arguing with.

As I crawled into the bunk, Jon was staring at me with a confused look on his face-I think he might of been internally bleeding from the barrage of bullets i let loose.

The kids poked their heads in and told us to stop fighting we were interrupting their reading time.

Jon and I sat and stone-walled for a moment or two.

" I don't know what I said..." He started and I burst into tears.

I told him what I was scared of and that my arm still hurt and sometimes this whole adventure just plain scared the shit out of me.

I should probably start eating more oatmeal or something-It wasn't my most brave or Scottish moment.

"Baby..." said Jon. "I would never make you sail the boat at night by yourself if you're hurt."

I looked at him, my glasses were so fogged from the crying and the heat i couldn't see anything.

He took them off and dried them for me and explained his side and I explained my side and gradually, the little black-sashed insurgents in my mind, crept back to their hidey holes.

I looked up and saw my sweet husband smiling at me.

"And we can wait for the moon to come up before we go.." he said.

This is boat-love. 

He finds the clams and plots the charts and pushes the envelope and I make the best thing I can out of whatever we have, knowing that I am always being protected and cared for.

And if I cry, he will always find a way to make it better.

It's not a bad deal :).

Good readers

How big is this kid gonna get?

All dressed up and no where to go- we threw down a lunch hook and made our way through a deserted town to this fancy hotel over looking the bay-only to find it was totally empty-but online they said they were fully booked?Hmmmm. Anyone smell a laundry around here?

Sunrise and moonset

Whuss-up, fish?

Hunter as we enter the port of Santa Rosalia-Sheis excited to explore it because in the cruising guide, they are famous for lots of things. Once a booming mine town and now...a bacon wrapped hotdog stand and a famous ice cream joint!


  1. twenty seconds or lessOctober 8, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    A old master of rhythm and rhyme
    Once thought he'd climbed out of the slime
    But he slipped and he fell
    And went straight back to hell
    That's what happens yes time after time

  2. I love your guys love! Inspiring! And I love ice cream