Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Well for those of you who havn't seen a superyacht in the flesh here is a little video of one! It should give you a bit of an idea of the scale and just how big they actually are!

I am still in Antigua and am off today so am getting scooter to tour the island and play golf.Watch out for tomorrow's video of me sinking a 40 foot put on the golf course!

Myself and one of the deckhands took some time out of our busy shopping day today to check out a cricket stadium, one of the most famous in the world, where Brian Lara made his world record 400, the recriation ground in Antigua!The tour guide told us the west Indians are the best fans as they are always drunk and stoned!

I hope you are starting to enjoy the videos and they are giving you some insight into yachting. If you go to Youtube you can subscribe to my very own channel and see all the yacht videos!

Please do remember to donate as this is all for a good cause and i need all the help with this i can get!Donations are really starting to pick up but it's never enough, children are dying as i write this!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Video posts

I was lying in bed last night thinking about ways to improve the blog when it dawned on me....why not have a video blog! Words and pictures are all well and good but i think people struggle to realise what superyachts are actually like and some of the places we go are so nice that only seeing them in film will do them justice. I will continue to write every day but will now add videos aswell as often as possible! They will also be available on Youtube so watch out for them there aswell. Here is the first one....Let me know what you think with a comment!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stepping aboard the Maltese Falcon

Remarkably all the sales are controlled by touch screen in the bridge and even though 88m it is designed to be sailed single handed.

I've been in Antigua for a couple of days now and am lucky enough to have a coulple of friends working on the brand new 88m sailing boat "Maltese Falcon". Its one of the biggest sailing yachts in the world, has stunning design, amazing interior and causes a stir wherever it goes. I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour and can report that it is the most stunning and remarkable boat i have ever been on.

The design is highly unusual from the outside but as soon as you step inside it starts to make a lot of sense with fantastic views, amazing skylights and truly remarkable features! The lush dining room is complete with an electronic wall that pulls back to reveal a fine collection of wines and the boat has some of the most tasteful artwork i have ever seen. I was told the boat is meant to have cost 150 million dollars and i can well believe it!

The dining room is as big as some shore side restaurants would be!

The owner Tom perkins is the founder of HP printers and an avid sailor who was heavily involved in the design. The crew told me they are fully booked for charters until 2008 and havn't had a day off in 4 months! I really am not surprised as this really is a remarkable and truly unique boat!!

Seared Tuna with passion fruit coulis and pineapple

Fresh, vibrant and so so healthy

we spend a lot of time in the caribbean and with constant warn weather it's always nice to have something light to eat at lunch time. This dish is perfect and if you spend a bit of time looking for some excellent tuna it'll be a sure fire lunchtime winner for you and your friends! Go to your local fish munger and ask him for some sushi grade tuna and don't be afraid to spend quite a bit! I promise you when it melts in your mouth you'll realise it was worth every penny!!

Makes for 4 people

4 tuna loin steaks at about 200 grams each
2 limes
2 passion fruits
50 grams sugar
Half a pineapple
100grams sugar snap peas or mange touts
Coriander leaves

start by making the sauce. Scrape out the centre of both the passion fruits and place in a small pot along with the sugar and 50 ml water. Bring it to the boil and then place in a food processor. Blend for 5 minutes until very smooth and then strain through a fine strainer.Set aside and allow to cool.
Cut 12 thin slices of pineapple and sear them in a frying pan over a high heat for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
Now on a grill pan sear the seasoned tuna on both sides over a very hot heat for 1 minute each side. At the same time cook the sugar snap peas in boiling salted water for not more than 2 minutes.Arrange the sugar snaps and the pineapple in a line at the top of the plate. Place the tuna in the middle and spoon some of the sauce around the tuna. GGarnish with some of the coriander leaves.

This lunch is meant to be very light so either eat as it is or serve with a very light side salad of rocket leaves dressed simply with olive oil and good sea salt.
This is as healthy as it gets so treat yourself to a nice glass of white and enjoy!

I know yours will look this good!!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another day off in paradise

Beautiful St Kitts where i am today

well i must say the reaction has been fantastic since yesterday when i asked people to start donating! Just look at the total and how it is rising! For those of you who havn't done so yet please please put your hand in your pocket and start now! For those of you who have thank you and please make it a monthly occurence!

I'm in St Kitts now which is a beautiful island, lots of rolling hills which reminded me of Ireland but maybe a bit warmer here!

Life is pretty good at the moment and having a day off in a place like this always helps! We spent the day out around sightseeing and exploring. Lunch was in a plantation where they harvest sugar and we have just come back from sipping some nice local rum cocktails!
Having dinner and drinks by the pool with the crew

I'm also adding plent of recipes by the day and you will be able to find them by looking on the right hand side of the blog under labels. I will no longer include them in the daily post but there should be at least one new recipe per day. I would also love to hear any comments that any of you might have about attempts you have had of making the recipes! Just leave a comment after this post!

I am off to bed now as have an early start, we are heading to Antigua in the morning! It's well known as a place for crew to let their hair down so better get my beauty sleep!
If you were unsure about donating watch this and please give the 10 euros that could save a child like these lives

Thanks once again for the donations and keep it up!!!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Give up a beer save a life

Well the time has come to speed things up and start giving donations to speed the project up. What i am asking you guys to do is to give up one small thing like a beer, coffee or magazine and save an African life. Basically by cutting out one small thing like that a week you should be able to donate 10 euros a month. Just think about that amount, 10 euros, that means nothing to most of us but will go so far to helping in Africa.

Its so easy for all of you to read something like this and think thats great and do nothing and leave it to others. Now is the time to act, people are dying now, this second. In the orphange i want to help now there are children lying on the floor with no clean water, little food, no hope and HIV. If we start donating those very kids will have clean water, basic regular food, HIV retro viral drugs and with a bit of luck some hope for the future. EVERY SINGLE PENNY you donate will make it to the cause. Instead of having a large operation like a charity that costs money to run we will take the money directly to Africa, with volunters and build a lasting place for children to prosper and have a viable future.

So many people go about their business from day to day so ignorant of the problem going on right on our doorstep. You jump on a plane from London and in 6 hours you are there in the middle of all these people dying. We all have out little goals in life like the new flat screen TV, the holiday, the new car etc but what about the children lying there in Zimbabwe wishing and praying as hard as you do for what they want. They are pretty reasonable, their needs are not huge, all they want is water, food and basic medication. I'm not asking you to give up all you possesions or even any of your time, just a simple little donation. Together we can make a difference, don't leave it to others like we always do, don't think you can't afford it beacuse you can easily. Just give up one little luxury a week and we will start to make a difference.

All donations can be made in the top right hand corner of the screen. The method uses PayPal which is 100% safe and secure. I am starting the ball rolling by donating 100 dollars per month and hope that you will all start to contribute yourselves very soon. Thank you and lets get this going as soon as we can to help those kids!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Weekend in St Barts

The beautiful exclusive St Barts

Well its been another tough weekend hanging out in st barts. We have been here for 4 days now and have spent most of the time checking out the beaches by day and the clubs by night. Its a beautiful little island only 6 miles wide but populated by some of the best clubs and resturants in the world along with enough glamourous people and hollywood A listers and models to keep your head turning from one side to the other all day long!

It's also a great place for surfing and it was great to get over the hangovers by jumping into the surf!

We also got the chance to eat in some of the best restaurants as the guests were kind enough to take me out to sample some of thr local food. One bill came to 1800 euros for 6 of us so you can see that st barts is not for the faint hearted!

Refrshed and back at work with lots of new ideas on the boat! We are off to St Kitts tomorrow for a couple of days. Golf is booked for the four seasons hotel there so i need to go and get my beauty sleep as i'll need to be on top of my game there!
The girls dancing at nikki beach st barts

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Reason i write this....

Kids are starving and dying right this second

I've put a lot of thought into what to do with the money raised form this site and have finally found a worthy cause. My uncle lives in Zimbabwe has found an excellent cause that we can be sure will receive the money first hand, use it properly and use every single cent we raise. So many charities have huge administrative costs or plainly lie about what they are doing with the money. My aim is to start something that will get 100% of the money to the children.

The following is a passage from an e mail my uncle sent me this week..

Shungu Dzevana Trust = Passionate concern for children " in Shona a
private voluntary organisation giving support to orphaned children in the
form of child fostering .It is catering for 400+ children including dumped
babies . When we were there , 5 weeks ago , there was a 3 week old baby left
at the gate in a plastic shopping bag . The children are all Aids orphans
and they probably have it as well . But when you go there and see them
running around as happy as can be it would do your heart good .

The unit we support is run by an African nun , Sr Mercy Mutyambizi , and is
in a 3 bedroom bungalow with about 10 in each room , bunk beds etc . She is
trying to build extra rooms but the cost of day to day running the show uses
any money she gets .

She gets no support from the government ..most of her funding comes from the
Irish Carmelite priests and it was them that introduced her to us .

Zimbabwe was once a prosperous country with thriving crops but has recently suffered huge droughts and oppressive rule from Robert Mugabe. The people suffering the most are the children.

I thought i was having a hard day today and then i read that and it makes you think again.

My idea is to start sending money as soon as we get to 1000 dollars raised. Withing the next week there will be a facility to accept donations on the site as well so that will speed things up significantly. I want to fly out there myself soon to look into it further and report back on the blog so as we all have something to read and work towards. I find that the biggest problem with giving is that you never see who it helps and you always wonder what is happening with your cash. At least this way we will have a direct link to what we are doing and weekly reports with pictures etc.
I want to give the kids a future

So at least we now ave a project to start with and something to work towards. I will be trying everything in my power to move this along over the coming weeks and hope that you will also and help by passing the link on and reading as regularly as possible.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Havin a beer with the boys after work

Well it's another day in paradise and i started it off with a little spin in the kayak before breakfast, it's all part of the new year's keep fit regime which is going well so far! Lets see how long it lasts! I spent the rest of the day cooking and getting some things ready for my day off tomorrow which is being spent on the golf course followed by my favourite burgers and beers on the beach! You can cook all the fancy food in the world but nothing compares to the burgers this little man cooks on his dirty barbecue and beers from his ice box after walking 6 miles around a Caribbean golf course!Heaven!!!

After my kayaking i came back and made this salad for the owners. I always think it is nice to have something light and health at lunch time and this fits the bill perfectly...

Seared swordfish with fresh summer salad

1 piece of swordfish
1 lime
1 bunch coriander
salt and pepper

For the salad

3 different types of leaves like frise, mache and rocket or whatever you can find
1 punnit of raspberries
12 asparagus
1 red pepper
12 asparagus
10 cherry tomatoes

For the dressing

30ml olive oil
30g whole grain mustard
20ml white wine vinegar

Marinate the fish with the lime juice and zest and chopped coriander preferably an hour before hand. Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar and mustard together and then slowly pouring the oil in whilst continuing to whisk. Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl(halving the cherry tomatoes and thinly slicing the peppers).
Next place the asparagus in the oven with a dash of olive oil and some salt and pepper for 5 minutes on 180. While they are in the oven sear the fish in a frying pan in a small amount of olive oil. Sear it for 3 minutes on each side until it feels slightly firm to the touch on each side. Toss the asparagus with the salad ingredients and dressing and place on the centre of plate. Add the fish and drizzle a bit of the dressing around the edge! Done, fresh and lovely!!

Your salad will look like this I'm sure!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Little small tasty things

I guess most of you are just about to start thinking about large amounts of food now after all the festivities but i thought i would ease you back in with some nice small canapes. In my opinion if you are entertaining, especially if you are out to impress these are a great idea. They do take a bit of work but the reaction when you bring them out before the meal with some drinks is well worth it.

Chilled gazpacho shots

6 juicy plum tomatoes
1 small white onion
1 small carrot
1 cucumber
1 small red chili
1 can tomato juice
1 cup of fresh chopped mixed herbs including basil, parsley and chives

Very simple this one, place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until very smooth, about 5 minutes. when finished Pass it through a small strainer and pour into shot lasses and allow to cool for 2 hours minimum in the fridge.

Smoked salmon croutes with lemon and dill creme fraiche

200 grams Irish smoked salmon
6 slices brown or wholegrain bread
50 grams creme fraiche
1 lemon
1 small bunch of dill

Cut about 24 small discs of bread using a cutter or mould and drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until nice and crispy. In a small bowl mix the lemon and the creme fraiche and most of the dill. When the croutes have cooled smear a small amount of creme fraiche on each one. Next split the salmon between all the croutes evenly. Twist each little piece around your finger to make the shape of a flower. Now place a little sprig of dill on each one.

Seared prawn with roasted red pepper and sweet chili

200 grams frozen peeled prawns(fresh are better but to keep it easy use frozen)
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
1 lime
1 bunch coriander
100 ml sweet chili sauce from a bottle

First roast the pepper in the oven with some olive oil and salt until the skin is literally black. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl and cover with cling film until cool. When it cools peel off the burnt skin and cut into very fine strips. In a hot pan sear the prawns with the chopped up garlic and add the juice of the lime and the chopped coriander at the end. Place the prawn in a little ceramic spoon and place a couple of red peppers on each one. Finally pour a small amount of sweet chili sauce on each one.

Now the recipes are simple here but the key id in the presentation, that is what will blow your guests away! Find a nice tray and place a folded crisp white napkin on it. For the corner of the tray find a nice flower like a lily or rose. Make sure your canapes are all nicely lined up and straight. for a final touch just before serving place a bread stick in each gazpacho shot. Just watch people's faces light up when you carry this tray out before dinner!!

They should look something like this when finished!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lots of work, golf and beer

On the golf course enjoying some well earned time off

Well firstly i need to apologise for the lack of posts lately and welcome you all back. There are several, golf, beer and more work. I finished the 2 week charter after Xmas and had four days off to prepare for the arrival of our owners yesterday. They have joined us for 4 months on a trip that will take us from places like barbados to Panama and venezuela to Belize with lots of stops along the way! It should be fun and i'll be giving you a daily recipe that i cook for them as we go along. I'll try and use ingredients from the local countries and keep it as entertaining for you all as possible!
5th January, our new years eve as we missed the real one!

With a new year brings the challenge of following up on what we started last year regarding the African project. I have found a cause and will be writing about it extensively in tomorrow's post. It's an orphanage in Zimbabuwe that looks after kids with HIV and no future, hopefully with this blog we can start saving lives and giving these kids a future, anyway more about that tomorrow.

I guess the highlight of the last few weeks was being in the celebrity haunt st Barts for new years. Everybody who was anybody was there including, Roman Abramovich, Penelope Cruiz, Tara Reid etc etc. I am in st Maarten at the moment but heading back to St Barts on Tuesday, and with a day off there this time am hoping to get a bit of surfing in! Half of it has to do with the sport of surfing but mostly to do with the fact that Cameron Diaz and penolpe are often to be found catching waves there!! I'll keep ya posted.
Will i be surfing with cameron on Wednesday?

So sorry about the break in posts but i hope you all continue reading and supporting the cause in the new year!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy new year!

Antigua, where i am writing this from

Well the first thing that i have to do is apologise for the lack of posts over the festive period!! While you have all been stuffing your faces with food and drink i have been busy preparing it for the guests on our charter! They got on on the 22nd are are still here so it means that i've been working on both Xmass day and New year's eve! I am totally exhausted as have been working 16 hour days cooking for 9 guests, 3 kids and 9 crew! In the last 10 days i have been in Grenada, Trinadad, Guadaloupe, Martinique and am now in Antigua before setting sail to St Barts tomorrow. Well i hope you had a great festive period and are ready to support the blog in the new year!