Monday, June 07, 2010

Mojito Man

It is believed the Mojito was born in Cuba many years ago. Some believe Sir Francis Drake and his pirate buddies invented it for medicinal purposes (go ahead and laugh). Others believe the slaves working in the sugar cane fields were the original Mojito Makers. The word Mojo means "cast a little spell" in African and after a few Mojitos you can definitely feel the spell.

There is this little shop in Curacao in the town of Willemstad. Willemstad is divided into two parts by a busy shipping channel. One side of the channel is called Otrobanda and the other side is known as Punda. If you wind your way around the narrow shopping district of Punda you will find the Mojito man.

We call him the Mojito Man but his real name is Milton.

Milton used to be an English teacher in Venezuela. He speaks English so well we were certain he hailed from a Southern California beach town. But he doesn't.

Milton makes a great Mojito.

Making a Mojito requires fresh limes, fresh mint and of course rum. Milton is not shy about sharing his recipe.
Milton is a connoisseur of rum. He has rum from all over Latin America. He lets the Captain sample some of his wares while we wait for the Mojito Man to cast his spell. Ah,the smell of the fresh limes and mint is heavenly and the taste is exquisite.
Lots of people know about the Mojito Man. Friends Jack and Zdenka are also Mojito fans.

Zdenka gives her Mojito a 5 star rating.

Just so you don't think life is all fun and games. Here is what drives us to visit the Mojito Man once in awhile.

Our boat has been in a dirt boat yard for over 6 months. Can you imagine how dirty it is?

Besides a good cleaning it needs new bottom paint.

First you have to sand and prep the bottom. It is 90 degrees plus in the boat yard with at least 70 % humidity......HOT!

Steve looks for anyway to keep cool. Stylish, eh?

After a week of work she is almost ready to go back into the water. Whew, what next?

At the end of each day we return to our beautiful hotel room. The Kura Hulanda Hotel is located in Willemstad on the Otrobanda side. The hotel is part of a World Heritage Site. Here, in years gone by, slaves were housed and traded. Care has been taken during restoration to maintain the beauty of the original buildings and architecture. We enjoy the elegance of the old style but are thankful it is air conditioned, has a TV and is within walking distance of the Mojito Man.

Up the creaky old varnished stairway

The bedroom

And outside the room is the Bolivar pool.

Around town there is plenty to see. The US Coast Guard training vessel, Eagle, spent a few days in port.

She is 296 feet long overall, has a crew of 56 and 200 cadets on board.

The Eagle is a 3 masted square rigged Barque style cutter. She was built in 1936 in Germany. She was used by Nazi Germany during World War II. The US became her new owner as part war reparations in the 1940's.

Tours are offered daily by the cadets and they are a wealth of information.

One of the more interesting items on board are the tattered old lines covering much of the rigging (furry stuff in the right hand bottom corner).

Left center is more baggywrinkle

There are nice people everywhere
The nights are beautiful in Willemstad

Fine Line is now back in the water. Tied to a dock. Fixing stuff. Such is the life of boaters.

from Curacao

Anne and Steve

S/V Fine Line