Tuesday 31 July 2012

Day 11: Basic Navigation Revision and Mince Curry

Today, life brought home another lesson in navigation, not soon to be forgotten. The lesson actually started about three to four days ago with a niggling thought in the back of my head about the accuracy of my navigation. That little voice in the back of your head that speaks to you, sometimes incessantly. This time around I was worried about my calculations. But it stayed a worried little thought in the back of my head.

Until today, when I happened to browse through some of the books on my Kindle e-reader. In a book on emergency navigation (Emergency Navigation, Second edition, by David Burch) I found some pointers to general navigation. Pointers to basic navigation principles that everybody learns, but soon forget, especially when circumstances change. Most of our training happens in a coastal environment, but the real sailing happens on a wide ocean with no land in sight. It behoves one to make the academic material and the practical training your own, to live by it.

I went back to my navigation work of a few days ago and revised my calculations, complete with some updates to the notes accompanying the calculations. The magic word is leeway. Every sailboat has it and you need to take cognisance of it, measure it under varying conditions and account for it in your navigation calculations. Just like in your training.

The updated plots put us right there by the GPS position.

Today was another cloudy day, no sextant sights possible, so I stuck to reading. Like everyone else on board. The wind was steady, as trade winds should be, and the sea relatively calm with a two meter swell. Idyllic sailing weather.

It was also my turn at the galley. Dinner was beef mince curry and rice.

Beef Mince Curry


400g beef mince

1 can tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

½ sweet pepper, chopped

½ hot chili, chopped

1 dessert spoon green masala (Recipe here)

1 dessert spoon powder masala. I used some that I bought from a store on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast, which is in the South Indian style.

1 star aniseed

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon whole cumin (jeera) seeds

5 black peppercorns

1 small stick of cinnamon, broken

¾ cup of frozen fresh peas

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

some salt

Some vegetable oil

1 dessert spoon garum masala


Fry the whole spices in a dry pan until the flavour comes out, then add the oil, onion and sweet pepper. Fry these until the onion goes transparent, then add the chopped chili and wet masala. Fry until the flavour comes out, then add all the dry powder spices except the garum masala. Add some water lest the dish goes completely dry. The powdered spices must not burn, otherwise you start over because everything will be very bitter. Fry for a minute, then add the beef mince. Fry until the meat is nice and brown, then add the tomatoes and potatoes. Simmer the dish until the potatoes are done. Take one or two of the potato cubes, mash them and put the mash back in the pan to thicken the sauce. Add the frozen peas and the garum masala as garnish and cook through. Add some salt to taste.

Then dish this lot up on a bed of rice.

This is enough to feed three to four people. Enjoy the dinner!

Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2012-12-12

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