Sailing Trip Grenadines - Pre-Sail

Barbados - Beach at Mistle Cove Apartments

Last month we embarked upon an excellent adventure - a 10-day sail through the Grenadines.  Four of us (myself, my husband and another couple) rented a 43.3' Beneteau mono hull sailboat from Moorings for the journey. (Moorings promotional YouTube video link here).  The next few posts will be tales from that adventure - hope you enjoy.

We left Ottawa on the evening of February 19th, spent the night in Toronto, then flew out to Barbados on the 20th.  Due to an oversight on my part (planning too many trips at once probably), I miscalculated the day we were arriving, so we spent the first night at the Dover Beach Hotel, then moved to a rented condo at Mistle Cove Apartments for the next four nights.

Dover Beach Hotel is a great location - especially if you do not plan on renting a car.  It is located at the south end of the St. Lawrence Gap.  The property is right on the beach and has a lovely pool.  There is a restaurant on-site, however, there are so many places within walking distance, I wouldn't suggest limiting yourself to that one place.  The rooms are simple, but clean.  Our room had a king bed, table and two chairs, small refrigerator and a cook top including some basic cookware and dishes.  We also had a small balcony with a table and two chairs.

The next day we moved to the Mistle Cove Apartment condos.  Each unit is individually owned/managed.  Our unit was a lovely surprise, as I had not seen any photos of the unit.  Risky?  Perhaps, but the reviews that I read were all positive, so I rolled the dice and scored.  Our unit had two-bedrooms, two-bathrooms, with secure parking.  There were comfortable furnishings, a stocked kitchen (sharp knives - always a bonus), Internet and a spacious balcony.  We were in a first floor unit which overlooked a small communal pool and the ocean just past this.  There was also a small beach with stairs leading down to it for easy access.

While in Barbados for these few days, I had to get my fill of fresh fish. We rented a car for a couple of days, which made the trek up to Bridgetown Fish Market a little easier.  We bought some very fresh yellow fin tuna and some fresh produce (1 lb green beans, 1/2 pound tomatoes, 2 cooking onions, a bunch of parsley, a head of garlic, 4 limes, a bunch fresh thyme - all for about $5 CDN) from the vendors in the parking lot at the fish market, then were on our way to a truly delicious lunch.

Green bean salad, grilled tuna and grilled tuna belly
The preparation for the tuna was simple.  A sprinkle of salt and pepper, lightly rubbed with vegetable oil, and  a light sear on the grill.  To accompany the tuna, I made a relish of fresh tomato, onion, garlic, parsley and lime juice.  The fish monger added a bonus piece of tuna belly to our package.  I have never seen a piece, nor ever had the pleasure of eating it.  Similar preparation for this piece of tuna as well.  I also made a green bean salad with the beans we bought from the vendor at the fish market.  Preparation for the salad was simple.  I blanched the trimmed beans for three minutes in salted, boiling water; shocked them in ice water, and drained them on a towel.  The chilled and dried beans were then tossed with olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste, fresh thyme and a light squeeze of fresh lime juice.  If you are in Barbados and see these individuals selling produce by the side of the road or at a parking lot stand, support them.  The produce is local, fresh and delicious.  For me it is one stop shopping at its best.

I must dedicate a special paragraph to that piece of tuna belly.  The texture was very delicate - if not handled properly, it could easily have fallen apart in its raw state - it was that tender.  I seared it only 45 seconds each side, then topped with the relish.  As there was only one piece, it was carefully divided amongst the four of us - nothing worse than friends brawling over food.   The texture when cooked, resembled skate wing.  Each layer flaked easily from each other with only gentle coaxing with a fork.  The texture was moist, yet not oily - rich, yet not fatty.  The acid from the lime and tomato in the relish worked really well with the tuna belly.  The harmony in my mouth will stay with me forever.  I will say for the record, that it is one of my top five favourite bites.  Sigh...

Next stop - Canouan to pick up the sailboat.

Beach behind Mistle Cove Apartments, St. Lawrence Gap, Christchurch

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