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Mr. McKercher’s

One subject that is best for any sailing coach to avoid writing about is food.

If you’re wondering why, it’s that most guys in my game will eat almost anything.

Some time ago, we spent long periods of time looking for large cabbages while ashore in the inner or outer Hebrides.

Considering how beautiful these islands are, it was a strange thing to do! One crew member insisted at the end of our Hebridean trips this was necessary… Victualing on any small boat can be interesting.

This is particularly true for a charter, sailing school, or excessively big yacht.

Years of experience coaching has made me realise that you can never get it completely right.

Although, the school or charter company has the benefi t of being told if some of the customers are vegetarian or vegan.

Normally, if they’re any good, they’ll try their best to have the right provisions on board for those with particular diets.

A group I called the Bumbling Geriatrics (BGs) cruised with me for many years.

Our annual trips on the west coast of Scotland were brilliant.

Mr. McKercher’s What made them so special? Well, they all were mature, worldly people.

They actually knew enough to think then understand just what might work for everyone by being unselfi sh.

If there was a fi ne restaurant or pub ashore with great Scottish seafood, or we fancied something else foodwise rather than what was on the boat, we’d eat ashore.

 If using a secluded anchorage maybe after a long passage, planned good meals (plus good beverage) would have been all accounted for by them, well beforehand.

There’s still some debate today about what the actual recipe was for Lobscouse during “the days of sail.”

 Possibly just salt beef (or pork), onions, pepper, and ground hardtack (ship’s biscuit) made into a gruel.

John’s version was a simple, slow-cooked, layered, one-pot meal using either lamb or beef,

Mr. McKercher’s onions, potatoes, cabbage, or whatever other vegetables, etc., we’d had left.

Eventually, we persuaded him to believe that it might be improved with a good splash of white or red wine!

Mr. McK knew we needed to use up tins of corned beef, peas, and other gash food, etc. during our last days.

 Mr. McK hasn’t become a self-made man, employing large numbers in Scotland and China without having something inside his head

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