Sunday, September 21, 2003

Booze Cruise 

Some friends decided to do what lots of people have been doing, re-mortgage and buy a toy. In this case, a 8 birth speed boat. Top speed a little over 30 knots if it’s calm. So last Saturday, it was down to Brighton to do a booze cruise to France - a total distance of 70 miles.
Ok it was a little rough, but the first surprise was fishing. We stopped 3 times. twice going and once coming back. Each time, we were into mackerel within seconds. On the last stop, I hauled in 10 in 3 minutes, all on feathers. There was nothing special about where we stopped either. There must be a lot of them down there. I would point out not all were big.
The second, we ended up at a port called Fecamp. What was interesting was first thing in the mornings. They had a small row of tile tables. From what I can tell, there were only 3 working fishing boats and it looked like all the fish went to these stalls. There was a considerable queue of people waiting. Skate wings, plaice, soul, Dover soul, gurnard, squid and others. Fish was filleted and skinned in front of you.
The other titbit was the restaurant the first night. Open fire and the beef was roasted in front of you, French style.
And the icing on the cake so to speak was the aperitif. There is a vin doux called Beaume de Venise. It comes from Drome in the south of France on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. Only reason I know that is an old girlfriend has a place near by. Its a wine where the grapes are left on the vine until shrivelled and covered in fungus. Harvested in December it makes a delicious sweet wine. An amber coloured wine that tastes of sultanas and much better than your usual Sauterne. Anyway, it was served the best way possible - very cold. Personally, I like it on the rocks in a whisky glass. You get the same rivulets running up and down the side of the glass.