A friend writes that Jupiter’s mariners remind him of characters portrayed in the book, On the Beach – survivors roaming to avoid contamination in a post-apocalyptic world.
Wandering restlessly aboard our little ship, aspirations for this venture are quite the opposite. An improvised progression along Washington waters exposes places, events and behaviors, obscured like shoreline pools, until low tide.
The natural world endures, Jupiter detours.
Seaside populations of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands construct mansions and salty shacks, cabins and fishing huts close on to storm swept beaches and sloughing bluffs. Full frontal real-estate that has served since ancient times.
Jupiter, our homey float-house, perfectly weathers an unintended summer without complaint, unfixed from any shore.
In Our Wake: Eighty-Six Days
During the summer of 2020 Jupiter and her seafarers:
Navigated 675 nautical miles underway within Washington waters.
Hiked 179 miles on mountainsides and woodland trails.
Swung 58 nights on anchor, berthed 28 nights on 10 docks.
Enjoyed 68 sunny days, 12 with rain, and 6 of smoke and fog.
Explored 15 enchanting Washington marine parks.
Permeated 5,700 gallons of fresh water from salt.
Gutted 21 dozen local oysters, clams and mussels.
Trapped and boiled crabs a plenty.
Launched 7 new friendships.
To revisit our summer tracks click Find Jupiter on the website and zoom in to any time and place.
Knitting the Weather
The season’s project of registering the state of sea, sky and precipitation in fibre grows inexorably longer and warmer as the days shorten and cool.
The purpose is yet undecided, other than to spin a yarn of a summer well spent.
Ash and Fog
Smoke from western wildfires creates opportunities to practice radar skills.
The achromatic miasma of mid-September makes red skies of warning while smoky aerosols un-define the land, sea and sky.
South winds carry a clapperclaw offshore.
The Throne of Jupiter
Provocative stories of a mysterious Throne of Jupiter are heard throughout summer, but these are neither explained, sought, nor found round Jupiter’s routings.
Now, on the antepenultimate shore day, friends reveal the arcanum: an architectural niche hidden in plain site, stoped into a limestone hillside and overgrown with climbing vines.
This rupellary folly incorporates a narrow bench, like a curved Medieval misericord set into musing masonry, meaningful to someone, noticed by few except those whose whispered secrets it remembers.
During seasons afloat we become fluent in littoral languages, making decisions based on moods of weather and winds, enabling daylight and dark to guide sleeping or leaping.
Natural forces shape time and place, and rule actions. We are content in relative isolation and complicit with the sea.
Returning now to land where man-managed constructs and contexts govern, we anticipate choices coerced by unnatural forces.
Smoked Chicken Liver Paté
with Fogged Fig Compote
Source fresh chicken livers from pasture raised chickens. A well smoked bacon adds great flavor to this preparation.
Dice smoked bacon and fry until crisp. Drain bacon, set aside, and save dripping.
In the same skillet, soften sweet onion in butter without browning. Season generously with smoked salt. Add more butter and fresh chicken livers, and poach gently in onion butter until brown outside, rosy in the centers. Scrape into a blender.
Deglaze the pan with sherry and pour into the mixer. Process until smooth and decant into ramekins. Seal tops with a thin layer of melted bacon fat, then refrigerate.
Return a little bacon dripping to the skillet and sauté chopped onion until golden. Add chopped fresh figs, a little honey, water, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally until soft and amalgamated. Mash together with a fork and stir in the crisp smoked bacon. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
Scrape fat-top off paté and serve with compote on toast, crackers or croutons.