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Hot Sauces ~ Spice up your life!!!

Is your local weather getting you down? Have things been a bit boring around your kitchen lately? Or perhaps your life just needs a dash of something Hott, Spicy & Flavorful!!!

We have 3 quick solutions to offer you today to add that dash of flavor & spice into your life…

One of my personal favorites is “Barons West Indian” hot sauce:

Made from yellow scotch bonnet peppers, it starts out very flavorful, slowly heats up, then cools back down leaving a great after taste! I use it for a variety of applications in the galley, such as: a sauce for eggs, or a great dip for kettle corn, and of course it goes great with all caribbean dishes!!!

Our next favorite will have you dancing like the frog on the label! It’s fruity, spicy & Flavorful… tastes fantastic on Chicken or fish dishes, or simply served on eggs…

and the last sauce I have to share with you today is not Hot or Spicy at all, but it makes a great addition to any caribbean food loving kitchen! “Pickapepper Sauce” is, well the best way for me to describe it is as a caribbean version of Worcestershire sauce, but better:

hint: it too makes a great dip for kettle corn! or throw some dashes in a bowl of rice with some carmalized onions for a quick & simple side dish!

Well those are our favorite hot sauces. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do here in the sunny Virgin Islands.

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Annaberg Plantation, St. John

One of our favorite days while on charter is when we walk/hike to the Annaberg Plantaion. Set up on a small hill that over looks the surrounding beautiful turquoise bays is the remains of this old plantation. Here is some of it’s history:

The Annaberg Sugar MIll:

The diverse backgrounds of the inhabitants of the Danish West Indies are clearly evident in a list of Annaberg’s owners. The first deeded land holding in the area was taken up in 1721 by a French Huguenot refugee, Isaac Constantin; upon Constaantin’s death, ownership of the plantation passed to his son-in-law, a Dane, Mads Larsen; and in 1758 the property was purchased by Salomon Zeeger, a Dutch immigrant from the island of St. Eustatius. It was Zeeger who named the property Annaberg (meaning Anna’s Mountain) to honor his wife, Anna deWindt Zeeger.
In 1796, James Murphy, an Irish-born merchant and slave trader based on St. Thomas, purchased Annaberg along with a number of neighboring properties and combined them to form a single, vast sugar estate. Upon his acquisition of the property, Murphy set out to construct a new, state-of-the-art ‘sugar works’ and tower windmill on the site of the former Zeeger plantation, and a grand, estate house on a hilltop east of Water Lemon Bay. By his death in November 1808, James Murphy had become the single largest producer of sugar on St. John. His combined land holdings totaled nearly 1,300 acres, and 662 enslaved workers toiled on his properties.
Although some modifications associated with production downsizing were made to the Annaberg factory in the mid nineteenth century, it is the ruins of the sugar works built during James Murphy’s ownership that are encoutered on the site today.
~ National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

There are many ruins there that show how the plantaion was run back in it’s day. Some of the sites you’ll see are:

– the Windmill tower; that processed the sugar cane on windy days:

– Oven; Where bread was baked for the enslaved workers:

– Boiling house; where the cane juice was boiled down into a thick syrup:

There is also:
– the curing House & overseers’ quarters.
– water cistern; where water was collected off the roof of the factory. It holds about 20,000 gallons.
– dungeon; Because desertions and worker resistance was common among other rebellions such as poisioning the overseer.
– Still House; Where the rum was made!
– Rum Still & Worm Cistern; used in the process of making rum
– Firing trench & furnace; where wood was fed to heat the coppers in the boiling house.
– the horse mill; on days that were not windy, the sugar cane was processed, crushed & juiced here.
– ox pound; where the work animals were kept

Also on the premises there is a garden filled with all kinds of local plants, fruits & herbs. Over all it’s a “Must See” when you visit the US Virgin Islands. It is steeped in history & surrounded by natural beauty!

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Tea Time!

Tea is something we are never without! I drink at least one cup every morning, where as Captain Jeff always perks a pot of coffee every morning. So you have your choice when you visit.

But today I’m talking about tea. Because as a tea drinker I don’t have too much to say about coffee *laughs*. Besides, we’re pretty straight up about our coffee around here.

There are some teas that I have discovered locally here that I thought I’d share. I am excited to have found them not only locally but also online… so You and I can order them in the states!!! Happy Days are here again (I love my tea!)

A local plant grown here is Lemongrass. It’s not only great to cook with but it also happens to make an amazing tea! What I do is I take one bag of the tea & put it in my cup with a bag of Green tea & a shot of stevia… Heaven! It’s so refreshing and what I reach for most days:

Cinnamon is definetely a caribbean flavor. Every local market has a woman selling her locally grown produce and always among her wares are bundles of this tasty bark. I’ve even read that cinnamon is a great blood sugar stabilizer! I love this tea paired with “vanilla creme” stevia, it’s well rounded & smooth…

And last but certainly not least is Sorrel. Sorrel is a fruit/flower, that comes the Roselle plant, which is a type of Hibiscus. The “calyces” from the fruit/flower are boiled to make a dark red syrup that is used to make a delicious iced drink. They are typically only in season in December & January, making it a popular drink durring the holiday season. Dried Sorrel is paired up with Ginger making this particular tea a real treat any time of year…

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Under the Sea


One of my most relaxing snorkels was right after breakfast one morning, in one of our favorite harbors, Honeymoon bay, Water Island. Yeah, there are snorkel spots with more coral & more color & bigger fish… we love those & frequent them often with our charters. But something about this day, in the early morning I saw this little harbor in a new light. When I stopped & just looked around I noticed that it was just teaming with life & fish… Beautiful colors & shapes:


Not a bad way to wake up & start the day that’s for sure!!! To give you a better taste of what it’s like to snorkel (for those of you who haven’t) Here are two videos from our snorkel that morning. Part 1:

Part 2 of our snorkel:

Honeymoon bay has so much to offer… Turtles are a regular sighting here, so are groupers! If you sit long enough & enjoy the sunset your always bound to see fish jumping out of the water putting on a show! And the water is warm!!!

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Food Allergies, Sensitivities & general dislikes – No problem!

Hello there! It’s first mate Kristi here today, reporting from the Galley =)

I thought I’d share with you some goodies that I’ve been cooking up here the past couple days. But first, let me get personal here for a minuet before i continue.

As many of you may know already I have some food sensitivities. I do not eat Dairy at all… My sinuses rebel at the first taste. Not good. So I steer clear. I also recently gave up Wheat & Gluten. I’m already feeling the positive effects of that decision! I am also getting rid of sugar in my diet, I’m only having fruit, coconut sugar, honey or stevia.

*Laughs* Now I know there are some of you at home reading this wondering: “OMG, what’s left!?!?” Yeah, Captain Jeff wondered that too, ha ha! But not to worry, oh do I eat!!! Sweet, glorious, wonderful, delicious food!!!

You may also wonder how that works when I’m cooking for guests? It’s no problem, I make what ever is on the charters menu and then make a separate dish for myself. Example: If it’s pasta/Italian night then I just make a separate bowl of brown rice pasta for myself, and serve up dinner as usual.

So what I am getting at is that I totally understand & can cater to any dietary needs that you may have.

Such as:

• Dairy/Casin free
• Wheat/gluten free
• Nut free
• vegan
• vegetarian
• soy free
• sugar free
• Etc…

It’s up to you tho to tell me ahead of time so I’m ready for you! I’ve had multiple charters not tell me that someone didn’t eat wheat & guess what: I had a boat full of bread, flour & pasta based dishes. Even something that may seem small to you, like “pickles don’t agree with you”, tell me ahead of time! Or if you don’t like spicy (I use a lot of hot stuff).

But I can’t stress that enough: tell me everything ahead of time!!!

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So not to worry, I have all your dietary needs covered! I am pleased to keep you happy, healthy, satisfied & full while you throughly enjoy your vacation here in the sunny Caribbean. No problem mon!

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Special Events Aboard

There’s nothing like a good party!!! That is one thing Jeff & I love doing is hosting a special event aboard.

There are variety of events we can host for you, such as an Anniversary celebration:

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A wedding aboard is lovely! We have a sheet painted with “Just Married” that we hoist up on the main sail for a special touch.

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Why…this one time, we even had a pool party! LOL!!!
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From anniversaries, to weddings, to family reunions, to corporate events, to filming music videos (oh yes we did), to dance parties, Friends Charters is here to make your event truly unique, special & a good time had by all.

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Sea Fever

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Sea Fever:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

~ John Masefield

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Part 2 of 2: 10 Things you didn’t know about…

10 Things you didn’t know about First Mate Kristi:

1. She has always dreamed of being a Disney voice over in one of their animated movies.

2. Kristi once had a private backstage tour of Radio City Music Hall in NYC and had a mock audition with one of the rockets & 2 other professional dancers, and passed the audition.

3. If she can’t live on a sailboat she wants to live on a working, self-sustained, organic farm.

4. Kristi was once loaded into one of the cannons at Edinburg Castle in Scotland.

5. She would rather go to the dentist & have her teeth worked on than sit in her office & do paperwork!

6. In fourth grade for “career day” she showed up dressed as an “Artist”, complete with paint pallet, brush, apron and tam.

7. Kristi is bi-lingual. She speaks fluent “Whale” & “Pigeon”.

8. Kristi has trained not only in Classical Ballet, but also, lyrical ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, modern & gymnastics. She was on a completion team for 5+ years and has the gold, silver & bronze awards to show for it.

9.Her favorite polka song is: “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin pie”

10. Even tho Kristi grew up on boats & the ocean; her first time stepping foot on a sailboat was the day she met Jeff.

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Part 1 of 2: 10 Things you didn’t know about…

“10 things you didn’t know about Captain Jeff”

1. He is quite the inventive & creative chef in the kitchen. One of his culinary master pieces is a “Toasted PB&J w/a layer of chips”, yes you heard right, it’s a toasted peanut butter & jelly sandwich with a layer of chips INSIDE (because he likes “crunchy”). Another master piece is a “saltine omlet”, oh yes! Just add broken up saltines to your eggs as they fry and then fold over to form an omelet! Serve with hot sauce! Yeah, we know: he’s a genius! **first mate Kristi rolls eyes** Not to worry folks, these items are not on the charter breakfast menu, but if your a brave soul, you are welcome to request one of his “creations”.

2. He can create a song from anything you say! (it may not be a good song, but a song none the less)

3. For those of you who haven’t known him for over 20 years: The salty captain you see now used to be a fashionista! An deep down he still is, but in a more subtle & centered way.

4. Our sun & warm weather loving captain used to be a ski instructor!!!

5. He’s addicted to YouTube… It’s a good thing he has unlimited data on his cellphone.

6. He once went on a ski lift ride with Clint Eastwood.

7. After some dancing at “The last resort” in the BVI, Walter Cronkite complimented Jeff on his great dancing!

8. He once had over 3000 beer cans, making his collection one of the biggest in New England. Today he has a humble few hundred in his collection.

9. His family had a horse & pony, he enjoyed horse back riding while growing up. (but preferred his mini bike)

10. When singing Karaoke he always sings either an Elvis song, or Barry Manillow!

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Farkel!!!

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You’re seeing right! Farkel!!!

No it’s nothing dirty. Nor is it a reference to a bodily function, as some of our charters have already joked, lol! It’s a dice game we love to play!!! Ha ha!

We’re always game to play a game here aboard “As you wish”. We have a small assortment of some of our favorites, one of which is this wacky dice game. So your probably wondering “how do you play?”. Well that’s what I’m here to share with you today… So you can brush up on the rules before you get here…

Overview of the Game:
It’s a high-score game in which players roll dice for points. You roll 6 dice, remove only the dice you want to use for points, then either re-roll the remaining dice for more points or pass the dice to the next player. Highest score over 10,000 wins.

Playing the Game

Determine the order of play by rolling one die. High number starts, low number keeps score for each player.

1. Each player must achieve 500 points in one turn to get into the game. First player rolls six dice and decides which dice they want to remove for score. Some scoring dice MUST be removed after each roll. See SCORING below. If they don’t roll any One’s or Fives, or some combination on any roll, their turn is over and they must pass the dice and try again later.

2. Only Ones and Fives count by themselves. All other dice will count ONLY in combinations.

3. Dice can only count for score once. After dice are removed for score they are out of play and cannot be re-rolled or added to previously-rolled dice to make a bigger score. However, if you can eventually make all six dice count for score in any number of rolls, you may pick them all up and keep rolling, adding to your score!

4. Some dice must be removed after every roll. You don’t have to remove every scoring die but some score must come out every time you roll.

5. Once you are in a game, you may continue rolling as long as you can roll points, or stop at any time, take your score and pass the dice. However, if you roll no scoring dice, your turn is over, you must pass the dice and you lose any points rolled on that turn.

6. Rolling any dice off the table means you must re-roll all eligible dice again.

7. When one player reached 10,000 or more points, all other players get one more turn to try to beat them. Highest score over 10,000 WINS the game.

SCORING COMBINATIONS

Ones = 100 pts ea.
Fives = 50 pts ea.
3 Ones = 300 pts
3 Twos = 200 pts
3 Threes = 300 pts
3 Fours = 400 pts
3 Fives = 500 pts
3 Sixes = 600 pts
4 of a kind = 1000 pts
5 of a kind = 2000 pts
6 of a kind = 3000 pts
3 Pairs = 1500 pts
2 Triplets = 2500 pts
1-6 Straight 1500 pts
*Scoring note: Four-of-a-kind & pair = Three pairs

I grew up on this game, and this is how I have played my whole life. There are other variations. I’ve heard of some versions having two special colored dice that when thrown will either add or subtract from your score. There is also a “high stakes” version where the next person can roll your unused die. It’s really a fun, simple, yet versatile game!

There’s even a pirate version!!! Arggg…

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We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we do!

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