Explosive experiments

As some of you might remember we left Panama with 120 litres of wine distributed in the bilge, under mattresses and basically wherever we could find some space, because we knew that alcohol would be very dear in French Polynesia (just to give you an idea: a box of ok Chilean wine cost about 2 Euros in Panama, 10 in the Galapagos, but 15 Euros in the Gambier…). Other boats didn’t stock up quite that well, so many of our friends are already running low on booze and have started experimenting with different recipes for homemade lemon cider. Of course we were curious too and so every boat had some bottles filled with a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, yeast and water standing in the sun. According to the recipe we screwed the top tight wondering about pressure building up as we did so, but not worrying too much. Last night we heard a crashing sound and come the morning we found the shards of the bottle on the aft deck covered in happy fruit flies. During breakfast a loud POFF qui ckly followed by another explosion like a gunshot announced yet another bubbly experiment gone ballistic on our neighbours. Poor Giorgio had left the bottles in the cockpit and spent the morning getting sharp splinters out of the lines and scrubbing sticky remains from the seats… Yesterday a new boat arrived with an English skippers and an Australian and a Canadian girl as crew. Ivy (the Canadian) just sniggered at our amateurish attempts and enlightened us on complicated recipes and fermentation techniques and suggested (due to the lack of proper gear) closing up the bottles with condoms, so that the pressure can be released without the fruit flies getting in. Fortunately Liesbet bought a packet of balloons in Panama (meant as presents for local kids), so now the boats will soon be decorated with brightly coloured balloons–we’ll report on further developments. Yesterday we finished servicing another two winches and one today (4 done, 5 to go!)

1 comment

  1. Josef says:


    danke für Eure Berichte. Aber Kondom? Die verwendet doch besser für was anderes :-)

    Fürs Vergären denke ich, Ihr braucht einen Gärspund? (sowas wie ein Sifongeruchsverschluss)

    Dachte, Ihr seid aus Oberösterreich? Wurdet Ihr nicht mittn Most nach der Milch aufgezogen??? :-)


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