The Perfect Cruising Day

I woke up this morning to a text from our new friends Megan and Ken.

It’s a big call but I couldn’t have put it better myself.

It started off as an ordinary day (well, ordinary for cruising). Megan and Ken picked me up in their tender and dropped Megan and I off for our hike up Point N’Ga the highest peak on Isle de Pine (Isle of Pines).

It was a beautiful day, and a slight breeze kept us cool as we hiked the 2.5km up in brilliant clear blue skies. The view did not disappoint, and it allowed Megan and I to get to know each other better as we had really only met a few weeks ago, and although we instantly hit it off, this joint trip down to Isle De Pines had been pretty spontaneous.

I’ve started to call it speed dating (for friends). Whenever we meet new people we really only have a short period of time to determine whether or not you are all compatible. This time we had hit the jackpot!!!

So here we are Isle De Pines anchored at Kuto with Ken and Megan. After our walk we had coffee on their boat a beautifully restored 65ft Trawler Yacht (power monohull) called Windward Passage. Reason enough to be friends was that Megan made a killer latte and Ken is pretty close to a chef, (as you can see the planets were all aligning).

Chatter turns to our afternoons’ planned activity. You see a few days ago I had a vision of a semi formal sit down dinner on a deserted beach/island. Ken and Megan embraced the idea enthusiastically and the day before had found the perfect beach. The island of Brosse just south of Kuto was to be our spot.

Logistics however had been proving difficult, as this was not going to be your typical casual beach bbq, I was after entree, main and desert and more. A restaurant quality experience on a remote beach.

Megan and Ken had already bought a grill to go over the fire and had offered to grill a whole coral trout, I had chimed in with a potato salad and Ken with a few tossed salads. Dessert was also not going to be an issue with the discovery of a tiramisu ice-cream which it had been decided would stay on board Windward passage until required. I suggested cold rolls as an entree and green hummus dip as nibbles and the menu was complete.

Our big issue was a table, Jamie decided that he could convert the battery lid into a tressel type table and he could McGyver some legs from his remaining timber. Whilst Megan and I had been hiking he had had relative success although there were some lingering questions about the stability of the table. Ken and Megan had deck chairs that would fit perfectly around the table.

Anchors up after lunch and we motored from Kuto Bay around to Isle Brosse about 50 minutes away, (motored not sailed as there was almost no wind). Anchors down in a pristine bay that had a few day visitors but we were pretty sure would depart as the day went on. Jamie and I went into the beach for a reconnoiter and to select the perfect flat location above the high tide mark. We found a great spot pretty quickly and I marked it with a huge long arrow. Megan would come out at some point and organise the fire (it had been decided that between Jamie and herself she was the bigger pyromaniac).

A quick trip back to Lukim Yu to make cold rolls, potato salad, organise cutlery, crockery, Champagne and other beverages. We then slipped into some nice clothes and tendered back to the beach heavily laden with our contributions and the unassembled table.

The table went together brilliantly and as long as it wasn’t kicked would indeed be stable enough to support us all and the Champagne bucket.

The weather was beyond perfect and as the sun set we sat around talking, joking and nibbling with Champagne and marvelling at the profound beauty of such a place. The Vietnamese cold rolls were a big hit and then Megan went to work on the fire.

The flickering smoke free fire burnt brilliantly and with barely a whisper of a breeze set the scene perfectly. Ken to his credit managed to grill a the whole coral trout to perfection and afterwards we all picked the last of the sweet meat from the bones.

The near full moon lit up the beach and the reef and our Luci lights attached to a length of drift wood gave of a gentle glow to eat by. A quick dash back to the boat got us desert (and jackets) and we moved our chairs around the fire to chat and sip away at some lovely French red.

It is rare that plans like this come off without a hitch, perfect weather, company, food and location rarely coincide. It made The Perfect Day.

It will take us a long time to beat this. However we are up to the challenge.

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