This is the story of the man who inspired one of Britican’s most loved and enjoyed meals of all time – and the special woman that cooked the meal for us (over and over again). The recipe is included so read on!
Introducing Skipper Mike and my lovely cousin, Loryn Bennett
Let me start first with Skipper Mike…Back in 2011 when we purchased our first sailboat, a 35’ Moody, my husband, Simon, flew from London to Oban, Scotland to take possession of the boat.
His intention was to sail the boat down to the south coast of England and moor it at Port Solent Marina
Not knowing the local waters or feeling comfortable sailing a boat for such a long passage, he asked around for a skipper to help him. The first name that came up was Mike Murray. After a few phone calls everything was set and the duo took two trips to get the boat to the south coast.
Unfortunately due to bad weather the Moody was moored in Northern Ireland for a couple weeks to wait out a storm
Both Simon and Mike flew to their respective homes to wait for good weather to come back. Eventually, a break in the weather arrived and the duo left North Ireland and made it to Salcombe, England, when the engine broke down. Salcombe is right down near the bottom western corner of England.
After a few repairs and a three-day ‘vacation’ Simon and Mike finished the journey arriving to Port Solent on the 16th of November, 2011 – three years ago.
During the journey, Simon and Skipper Mike became good friends
Mike stayed with us on the Moody a year later. And when we sold the Moody, purchased our Oyster and needed a skipper to help us move the boat from Gibraltar to Malta (850+ miles), Mike was the man we called.
In April 2014, our Oyster named Britican (BRITish and amerICAN together) set sail for what became an epic journey
On board, we had hubby, Simon, Mike, my 3-year-old daughter, Sienna, my cousin, Loryn and my dear friend Eneka (Loryn, Eneka and Mike pictured below – notice that there’s nothing left on the plates!)
Through the course of the journey we saw several pods of dolphins, were visited by various birds in-transit, saw one whale, experience a Force 10 storm, had our front sail rip, got our mainsail jammed up, broke our generator and became stormbound in Algiers, Algeria and then again in Tunisia – both in Northern Africa, a continent that we didn’t intend to stop on. To read the full story to to: Our First Sailing Adventure
In the end, we arrived in Malta – all of us gaining an enormous amount of experience
During the journey Skipper Mike and my cousin Loryn were paired up for night watches and Simon and Eneka doubled up too. Every three hours one pair would take charge of navigating the sailboat.
During a particular stormy evening Loryn asked Mike about his favorite meal
Mike explained his most loved meal consisted of a baked potato covered with butter, bacon, onions, peppers and a poached egg…and Loryn’s taste buds became activated. A few days later, we were graced with what is now deemed as ‘Skipper Mike’s Potatoes’ – see the recipe below.
When Skipper Mike tasted Loryn’s version of his most loved meal his response was, ‘The potato’s I made never tasted nearly as nice!’
From that moment on we had Skipper Mikes potatoes at least every two weeks.
As show above, my daughter ate all the good stuff off the top and left only a bit of the potato! Loryn even made them for six Italians during a dinner party that we hosted. Not knowing what they would make of the dish, Loryn served up the meal and we all watched for a reaction.
The Italians loved Skipper Mikes potatoes!
Perhaps it gave them a bit of respite from all the pasta and pizza they’re accustom to? Anyway, it was great to see friends and family united over an amazingly wonderful meal.
Let me leave you with one last picture. The below photo was taken after finally arriving in Malta after a week long adventure. As you can see, we were all still in good spirits – perhaps thanks to the amazing food suggestions from the crew and my cousins ability to turn all our meals into a serious taste sensation.
Email me for the recipe: Kim@SailingBritican.com