Beverages In The Bilge?

They make great beer here at Lagoonies, in Dutch SXM.

Adult beverages, that is. We left Newburyport with a bilge full-o-booze. That’s where the bottles and cans live because it’s a stable temperature in that dark space below. Of course we keep some chilled in the fridge too. Here’s the generic list of libations taken aboard before leaving Newburyport:

  • 4.5 cases wine: mix of Pinot noir, cab, Chardonnay, tawny port, other blends
  • 5 cases of beer. Mix, mostly of local (Newburyport-area) IPA, mix of others, including Guinness, but mainly domestic favorites
  • 6 liters of various rum, 2 of which: Mt Gay, a staple item.
  • 5 liters of various: scotch, bourbon, etc

I understand that our quantity may seem burdensome, or illustrating alcoholism tendencies. But consider we didn’t know when and where we’d find favorites along our watery path. We couldn’t run out!

Beverages in the bilge are wrapped with shelf liner, to help them absorb bouncing around at sea.

Six months later… what’s our tally? First, consider these bits:

  • Cruising friends show up, or are invited over for a game and a snack. We call this event a sundowner. Proper etiquette demands bringing a bottle of something to drink and/or eat. But somehow more is consumed when conversations linger into the evening. Often a tasty sipping rum surfaces as well.
  • Or we are invited to another boat. Of course it would be a faux pas to show up empty handed! Ditto as above. So we’ll call this an even swap in terms of using up our stocks.
  • We often eat out, or stop to socialize with cruising friends met frequently at the local bar. Bars, especially island bars, are well-lit, airy and open, perfect for socializing. We enjoy the live music here at Lagoonies. Guessing this happens 3 to 4 days per week. More in popular places like St Maarten and Antigua, less in places like Montserrat.
  • We’ve purchased local beer, here and there. Let’s say about 2 cases. We brought home cans of Heineken and Carib Light. (hey, “when in Rome…”, and it’s difficult to find real beer here!) Regardless, it adds to our stock of beverages. We offer these to the less-discriminating guests.
  • Sadly, we’ve made a few sacrifices to the bilge. Yup, all that rock and roll (and salt) takes its toll on thin aluminum cans. They don’t make cans like they used to! Imagine the horror of finding empty cans, after hauling favorite beverages for thousands of miles!

Our Present Tally:

  • 6 tall (16oz) cans of decent beer. Saved for special occasions! A mix of Heady Topper, Whole Lot Of Lupulin, Guinness Draft, etc. These sit safely in the deepest depths of our fridge, remaining as cold as possible.
  • 8 cans Heineken
  • 6 cans Carib Light
  • 14 bottles of wine. Including 4 Chardonnay, 4 Cabs, 6 Pinot, 1 tawny port.
  • Rum, scotch, etc: Surprisingly, we really haven’t made much dent here. Not to disappoint certain readers, we did finish off one bottle of Mt Gay, mostly mixed in a well-known juice-drink called painkiller. But hold your gasps – this empty was refilled promptly before any panic set in.

To further summarize, over the period of four+ months since leaving Newburyport, this breaks down to an average of one bottle of wine every six days, and one beer per day. Add a bit more when eating out or meeting friends. We only occasionally drink rum, and even less of other liquors.

Lagers to the left of me, IPAs to the right, here I am stuck in the middle 🙂

Finding decent beer? A report so far: Dutch Sint Maarten, the Mecca for Heineken, seems to offer the broadest selection of worldly beer available, of any of the islands visited so far. However a delicious bottle of Lagunitas will set you back $10. The only draft beer is often Heineken or local beer, and we’ve found that the local beer is very good. What’s your favorite? Cheers!

When the fridge works, we have some pretty decent meals, often with a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir.

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