Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beef Island (Isola di Carni)

It was a mild evening on the yacht moored in Trellis Bay, Tortola, considering the 3 meter North Atlantic swells we all had to beat back through earlier in the day to get back from Virgin Gorda.

A crescent moon lit up Bellamy Key (as in the namesake pirate 'Sam Bellamy') and the Last Resort a few hundred feet away where the night before we'd all seen Tony Snell's comedy and music extravaganza. And there had been tequila, which by many accounts, made the comedy better.

It was the third evening of the live aboard sailing training (ASA-103 certification) and the turn to cook for everyone fell on my brother and me. So into the icebox we went, bringing out six large steaks provisioned days earlier, delivered at the Road Town harbor in Tortola.

Up on deck, I had to figure out where the grill propane supply was to start up the gas. The aft grill was easy enough to find even though it was just a 12" diameter circle of grilling space. In Texas, a grill that is smaller than 24" is just a joke.

The wind started to gust just a bit, which made the tiny grill damned near impossible to light. But, we kept trying with various permutations of standing windward to the grill, holding up lifejackets and eventually with preserverence the Char-Master sprung to life. With the steaks on the grill with absolutely no room to spare, everyone top side watched a plane land over at the Beef Island airstrip and we all cracked open a bottle of beverage of choice.

We all continued with the evening limin' until it was time to flip the steaks. As I turned over a steak closest to me, with no apparent force (as witnessed and testified as true by my brother), the steak on the far side of the grill *jumped* off the grill and into the bay towards the airstrip. Wide eyed, we both wondered what the hell had just occurred. I'd heard stories of Ouiji boards and goofy things like that with unexplained motion, but this was a completely random freak occurrence of physics.

The captain climbed up from the galley and had a good laugh.
My brother said he thought it was trying to make its way back to 'Beef Island'. But with it only halfway cooked, I'll bet it didn't make it that far.


  1. Twelve inches of grilling space should be a joke anywhere...

  2. Beef Island sounds like a porno I saw once. No wait, it sounds like a porno my uh...friend...saw once. Because I wouldn't watch a porno. I am G rated and love Jesus.

  3. Is everything bigger in Texas?

  4. It certainly didn't. I spotted it floating by my dingy and plucked it right out of the water. I love my steak rare and salty.

  5. How did it get the name Beef Island, do you know?

    We have about 12" of grilling space, actually. Our excuse is that we live in a city (albeit in a small house with a long narrow backyard) and one of us is British, so a small hibachi is a cultural concession (my in-laws do not, and never will, grill!)

  6. *wistful sigh* saaaailing! no fairs! i wanna sail things! sailing is my favorite! and i am the best at sitting in the wind.

  7. Aww, the steak was returning to its ancestral home on Beef Island (where I would totally live if I wasn't married to a vego!)

  8. Your poor steak was eaten by sharks...they are mean mo-fo's!

    I, too, liked the name Beef Island.

  9. MJenks,
    My grill outside is 48" x 16" I believe.

    Vegetable Assassin,
    Why are you always bringing up porn?
    I think you are protesting a bit too much, Senorita Freaky 149...

    Whoa, there's a minefield of a loaded question if I ever heard one...
    I like that about you. I'll just say that vehicles, barbeque grills, and belt buckles are generally bigger.

    Well I'm glad someone enjoyed it. Now send me a fiver, because that's the going rate for that steak according to the 'Ample Hamper' in Road Town. Unless of course, you want to claim it under marine salvage laws...


    I have no idea, the captain could have called it Corn Dog island, and I would have just filed that away instead.
    Why do the Brits not grill??? Are you in laws from Northern or Southern England?

    My Little Becky,
    I'll take you guys sailing on my next trip then.
    You guys like Northern Scotland?

    That's what we all thought. It was just so weird.

    Those sharks can be mean mofos. They have a one track mind, much like myself sometimes.

  10. Hubby's bbq pit is homemade from a tank and is attached to a trailer. He still says it's not big enough! That steak jumping ship, is crazy!!

  11. Unfortunately, brothers are impartial witnesses. I demand a lie detector test!
    Sorry, your steak ran off, though.