Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oysters in Desolation Sound

It was a collision between opportunity and tradition.

In the summer of 2004 we took Eolian on a 515-mile, 4 week long trip to Desolation Sound. I will not attempt to detail that trip here - that would take much, much too long. There were some stories out of that trip, however, that beg to be told. This is one...

We had just anchored in a rocky pool behind Jean Island, just outside of Grace Harbor. The anchorage was tight - just large enough for one boat. Following our normal anchor drill, to be certain that the anchor was securely hooked we watched as Eolian swung on the anchor, and discussed our position. Unfortunately, it became clear that when the tide changed and we swung from the anchor in the opposite direction, we would likely not fit in the pool.

As I have mentioned before, on Eolian we focus entirely on getting securely anchored before we allow our attention to go elsewhere. In this case, that meant putting the dinghy down, carefully lowering the stern anchor into it, and offloading enough rode to cover the distance to... well, somewhere where I could hook the anchor securely. There was a small rocky islet about the right distance away - it seemed perfect. So I rowed the dinghy over there, paying out rode as I went. I tied off to a lump of rock and proceeded to hook the anchor manually in the rocks in a way that it wouldn't come loose (but ensuring another dinghy trip, at low tide, when we wanted to leave).

And then I looked down and really saw what I was looking at. I was standing on oysters! By this I do not mean that there was one under my foot, I mean that the little islet was completely blanketed in oysters! Opportunity! I bent over and picked them up, stuffing my pockets, and then finally I made a basket out of the front of my tee shirt and filled that too. I suppose I picked up 12-18 of the delightful lumps.

Back onboard Eolian, I could see Jane, waiting, *NOT* patiently. She was the perfect picture of impatience, standing with crossed arms and tapping foot. She was convinced that I had become side-tracked, thoughtlessly picking up rocks, and was unnecessarily delaying. Delaying what? Well it is a tradition on Eolian that after the boat is made secure, we open the liquor locker and prepare ourselves an adult beverage. As this had been an especially long, hard day, the sundowner was especially anticipated. Frivolous delay was just unacceptable!

But when I shoveled the oysters onto the deck after tying up the dinghy to Eolian, the scowl turned to laughter, and all was well. The sundowners were especially delightful when enjoyed with grilled fresh oysters!

Grilled Oysters
  1. Heat up the grill
  2. Open the oysters, retaining the meat and liquids in the deepest shell half
  3. Place the half-shells on the hot grill
  4. Add a little pat of butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese
  5. Remove when the meat is just firm and the cheese has started to melt.
  6. Some folks like to add a splash of Tabasco


1 comment:

Ken said...

Actually I recommend letting the heat from the BBQ open the oysters, that way they get to cook in their own juice (and you can probably omit the butter). Once they open on the grill I pull off the top shell and add the goodies. I also add a drop of Tabasco for heat.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...