Supra’s Mackerel Poached in Sea Water

August 26, 2014 at 9:40 am

Had a lively afternoon in the Sound on Saturday… It was quite blustery, and I was headed out to The Eddystone, but by about 7 miles off the wind had built and was consistantly over 20 knots,and the swell was now fairly ‘significant’ (to me).

So I turned back to meet up with some friends in their rib who had been fishing while they waited for me and had a decent haul of mackerel to divvy up.  (They also brought their GoPro with them and took some film of me – can’t wait to see the results!)

Mackerel cooked in seawater

We headed back to Cawsand for a cup of tea, but by the time I got there they were rafted up with more friends of theirs on the yacht Supra who said they were going to cook theirs in sea water.  I was intrigued, and tried it… and it was pretty good.  The salt makes them really sweet, and surprisingly delicate tasting.

It’s really simple, just clean the fish and put them in a saucepan.  Cover them with (clean/open) seawater, bring them to the boil and let stand for 5 minutes.

Mackerel cooked in seawater

I had mine with tinned peas, carrots and new potatoes. Simple (old school). Nom nom…

Mackerel cooked in seawater

By the way, one of the mackerel catchers was my friend Debby Mason who is an artist and illustrator, working with mezzotints and etching.  I actually have one of her mackerel pictures (and love it).  Her lovely website is at

Also, Mrs Supra was one of the owners of the Forge 2 Gallery in Oxfordshire, specialising in British Art and Craft. Their website is here

Fitting a new depth sounder

August 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

11 hours yesterday, from Salcombe to Plymouth against a NW f4-6 and a 2m swell.

Pretty tiring… I could have saved a bit of time going into the Yealm, except the depth sounder packed up a few weeks ago.

(A working depth sounder is kind of a navigational/safety basic… I know, I know…. I’ve got away with it though by only following bigger boats ;o)

Fingers crossed this time – this is the only bit left that hasn’t been replaced:

One Pan Fry

August 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

So you’ve been sailing all day and are moored safely somewhere relatively peaceful now.  The cockpit has been tidied up, and the sail cover may even be on.  You can still hear the wind in the rigging, but you’re well sheltered and on a buoy (so no need to worry about the anchor setting)

…But you’re tired, a bit cold, and hungry. Yes, definitely hungry. First things first; get a brew on. Then what to have for dinner?  Clearly nothing too adventurous on a one-burner stove (and we’ve had enough adventure for today anyway…)

Well, this really hit the spot one day last week:

One Pan Fry

Serves 1.

Slosh of olive oil
1/2 courgette
1/2 onion
handful mushrooms thickly sliced
1 tin ham cut into chunks
handful cherry tomatoes sliced in half
Salt and pepper
1 tin baked beans 
(Clearly you can substitute the veg for what you have, and if you’re veggie leave out the ham or substitute it with another protein.)


Slice all veg and the tin of ham so they’re about the same sort of size.

Heat the oil and add the courgette, onion and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and fry on a medium heat until til they are nicely browned (a little salt at the beginning helps draw the moisture, which then cooks off and they brown better)

Add the ham and let that warm through and start to brown too.

Add the tomatoes last and just let them soften.  Too much and they will disintegrate…

Season really well with lots of pepper.

Empty the pan onto your plate and re-use it to heat the beans (who likes washing up anyway?)

Serve with bread and butter if you are that way inclined (the beans are carby enough for me…), and of course a big mug of tea.

Harbour Fry

Eat with a spoon, wearing pyjamas…


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