OCTOBER | NOVEMBER 2015 BoatU.S. Magazine | 67
end of Current Cut when Teresa and I
whooped and screamed in happiness. It
was during this natural high that I had a
“Hey, how about some langouste?” I
called to Teresa.
“With grits! And a cold beer!” called
my Georgia wife. I smiled. That woman
knows me. Already, our minds had made
that almost instantaneous transition that
all experienced boaters know so well,
when we go from white-knuckle fear to
thinking about – yup, what’s for dinner!
REALLY, ISN’T IT ALL
An hour later, Grace was anchored, and
I’d zoomed ashore to the settlement of
Current, found a fisherman with local
lobster, and had two medium-sized langouste tails shucked out of their coverings. You’re probably imagining a big
chunk of succulent lobster meat dripping with butter that you’ll scarf down
in three minutes flat, right? Well, this
Southern boy tries to do even mundane
jobs with style, and now that the Lord
had delivered us through Current Cut
and cleansed our iniquitous souls, we
were going to have langouste – with grits!
I fired up Grace’s two-burner stove and
started cooking with the pure happiness
that comes at the end of another great
hair-raising day on the water. Humming
a tune, I melted a stick of butter, sautéed
as much chopped garlic as we could stand
– a lot! – then added a beer, a few dashes
of Tabasco, and some Lea & Perrins. In
a separate pot I cooked the coarse grits
in seasoned stock for 30 minutes while
Teresa swooned over the galley aromas.
The grits are done when they look like
mashed potatoes and can’t run out of the
stirring spoon. Near serving time, I added
to the reduced sauce the bite-sized pieces
of lobster I’d chunked up, careful not to
overcook the meat, then spooned the
mixture over a tasty bowl of grits. I added
chopped green onions for color, sprinkled
it with a good, sharp grated cheese, and
let it melt. That’s it. We use fish if we
don’t have lobster or shrimp for another
poor man’s Low Country staple: fish and
cheese grits. I like to play around with the
ingredients for variety.
Grace tugged on her big hook buried
in sand. We were in a lee around the
corner from Current Cut, while overhead
in the pink-tinted evening sky, mares’
tails and mackerel skies forecast heavy
weather within the next 24 hours. But for
that moment, there was time to savor the
small victory over the adversity that can
be the constant companion of the boater.
As Teresa and I relaxed and enjoyed a
glass of good Nicaraguan rum, I couldn’t
help but remember back to those early
days of my life when I worked on a
shrimp boat, a time when life was also
lived day by day and nothing was a given.
The linkage was grits, certainly, but more
than that, it was the triggered memories
of friends gone by and the feeling of
great adventure. Our food is our heritage,
providing touch points with family and
friends, past and present.
GOOD FOOD, COMMON GROUND
These days, Teresa and I are back home
in Georgia, and a big photo book, sitting
on the coffee table in our living room, is
filled with great memories of our time
aboard Grace. Whenever I flip through
the album, I’m struck by how many
pictures show us beaming in the cockpit
toasting a sunset or in some spectacular
out-of-the-way hole in the wall savoring
the local fare. Boating is a solitary busi-
ness, but often the most enduring memo-
ries we take from our days on the water
are of good friends – and connecting with
them over food. So at the end of the day,
while swinging on the hook somewhere
that only your boat could have taken you,
gaze out at that pink sky, rub your tummy,
and think about how lucky you are.
Al Jacobs, a retired lieutenant colonel
and U.S. Army ranger, is a history teacher.
He and his wife, Teresa, live in
Grace at anchor
the narrow cut.
has a 6-knot
current at max
requires a sharp
turn to port in
order to stay in
deeper water and
sandbars to the
west, and rocks
to the east.
BoatU.S. Marine Insurance
offers riders for boaters
traveling to the Bahamas.