The Galapagos. Ever since reading the Kurt Vonnegut book I had wanted to sail there. Almost every cruiser heading through the Panama Canal to the Marquesas stops off at the Galapagos. It’s the logical stopping-point to break up the prodiigeous 4,000 nautical mile passage. Sure, it’s a lot closer to Panama, about 845 nautical miles away. But still, it’s a nice break to help you remember what land feels like.
Toshi San and I both really wanted to go. Mori San wouldn’t have minded either (provided there was a post office there, Mori San’s one requirement for visiting even the remotest of locations). Unfortunately Sato San was dead set against it. It was costly, there was a lot of paperwork, we might use up too much fuel, and he was in a bit of a hurry to reach Darwin for the start of the Sail Indonesia Rally in July. Then there were the sea lions. He’d heard horror stories from our friends in the previous WARC about sea lions climbing up on boats and making their noisy, stinky, aggressive selves at home.
Still, we were sailing within 10 nautical miles of the islands, near enough to smell them, without stopping. Sadder still our friends on Spirit of Alcides were taking the time to stop and explore the islands. But as much as Toshi San, Mori San, and I wanted to go, it wasn’t up to us. Though crew may offer suggestions, a boat is not a democracy. The captain always has the final say.
Though it can be frustrating, the captain really does have to have complete control of what goes on on a boat (this control does not extend to the galley. I am captain of my galley. It helps the boat run smoothly and keeps things together in rough seas or trying times. Not that the captain has to be a Bligh or anything. He can listen, but bottom line is that, the captain always has the final say. Alas this meant I didn’t get to visit the Galapagos this time around.
I was on watch with Toshi San at 3:30 am when we sailed by. Oh there was joking about “accidently” going off course and ending up there but no. No giant turtles or blue footed boobies for us. Not this time. I guess I have to save something for next time around.
That morning we had left-over rice from the night before. Rice is integral in Japanese cooking. From the start Sato San made it clear that at least one meal of the day should be accompanied by rice. I usually cook just the right amount. But what happens when you make too much rice?
Growing up one of my favorite left over breakfasts was rice cakes. Now “rice cake” can mean so many different things. Of course there are the Styrofoam-like “healthy” rice cakes. You know, the ones that taste like nothing unless they are flavored with some salt or seasoning? Then there are Korean rice cakes which are similar to Japanese mochi. These dense cylinders of rice flour pressed into a chewy pasta are used in one of my favorite dishes, dduk boki.
These rice cakes are completely different. They are more like rice pancakes. They make an easy and tasty breakfast not to mention being a wonderful way of using up left-over rice from the night before.
Captain’s Call Rice Cakes
- 3 c cooked rice
- ¼ c spring onions, finely chopped
- ½ c canned corn
- ½ c fake crab meat, chopped (optional)
- 2 T Vegeta seasoning
- 4 eggs
- Oil for frying
- Okonomayaki sauce (optional)
- Put rice in large bowl
- Mix in eggs, corn, fake crab meat, and vegeta
- Scoop onto oiled skillet with ladle
- Cook in oiled skillet over medium heat until golden, 2-3 minutes on each side
- Serve hot