Adventurous cruisers are always willing to try local delicacies. Pig testicles in Spain? Delicioso! Fried tarantulas in Cambodia? Chi-ang! Dog ‘du-du’ in Panama? Wait, what?! Baja Ha-Ha vet and long-time cruiser Bill Nokes of the Chetco Cove, OR-based Gulfstar 41 Someday says that one dish on Isla Taboga in Panama didn’t tempt him. "Barbara and I were pleased with the variety of food there, but we decided against one particular item on the menu," Bill reported. "It may be nutritious, but it didn’t have a lot of menu appeal. We went with the empanadas!"
This, of course, got us wondering about some of the strange — strange to Westerners, that is — things world cruisers have eaten during the course of their travels. If you’ve done a bit of cruising to foreign lands, tell us about the weirdest food you’ve ever tried (photos are always appreciated). Be sure to include your name, your boat name and type, and your hailing port.
We’ve gotten a couple of letters from folks signed up for the Baja Ha-Ha asking if it was still possible to buy Mexican liability insurance before getting to Mexico. We even had a broker report that the companies that used to write such coverage for him no longer offer it.
All we can say is that the first marine insurance broker we happened to find in the most recent Latitude, which just happened to be Mariners General, said sure, they offer it. In fact, you can sign up for it and pay for it with your credit card on their webpage. We don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that they also have an office in Mexico, just that they have it. In fact, there are a number of insurance brokers in the magazine who likely have what you need in the way of coverage. Give them a call — they do this every day.
We’d venture to guess that for most Fleet Week devotees, the main draw to this special end-of-summer event is the air show. After all, nothing can jiggle your molars or send a shiver down your spine like a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet bolting across the skies overhead. It’s enough to give even the pacifists among us that ‘John Wayne’ feeling. But since its inception many years ago, there’s always been more to Fleet Week — slated for October 7-13 this year — than just the air show.
After many local bases closed here, the number of ships available for Fleet Week viewing diminished sharply, but this year there’s been a multi-agency effort to put the ‘fleet’ back into Fleet Week. As a result, at least a half dozen ships will be on hand for public viewing and demonstrations. This year’s Parade of Ships will take place off the Cityfront from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday. See the website for full details.
The Blue Angels will, of course, be back again this year to wow a crowd of thousands, both on and off the water. You can catch their practice sessions between 1 and 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday this week, or join the masses for the big Sunday show: stunt planes will perform aerial acrobatics from 1-3 p.m., followed by the Angels, from 3-4 p.m.
It’s great fun to catch all the excitement from the comfort of your own boat, but if you’ve never done so before, be warned that the impromptu anchorages both north and south of Alcatraz can be a zoo. Lots of not-so-accomplished mariners turn out, so ‘defensive driving’ is the phrase of the day — and when you’re underway, don’t presume that the folks around you have the foggiest idea what Rules of the Road are. We’d also recommend that you don’t get too crazy with the cool beverages. It’s a day when every skipper needs to stay alert — and besides, every law enforcement agency within spittin’ distance of the Bay will be out in force patroling the no-go zone, while keeping an eye out for boaters under the influence.
So be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you out there!