The Voyage


Andy and Melissa are sailing around the world on their 48-foot sailboat, Spectacle.

The Position

Bali, Indonesia

The Pictures

The Voyage of Spectacle

Archive for the ‘Love/Loathe’ Category

Great Guana Cay

Posted by: andy

On Sunday, December 17, the three of us ventured out to Great Guana Cay for a visit to the infamous Nippers and its weekly Sunday pig roast. 

The Rainbow Bulldozer Marks the Path to NippersAs beach bars go, it’s pretty tough to top Nippers, and getting there is half the fun.  After the ferry (about 30 minutes), one follows the signs on a Candyland-like adventure — turn left at the fence, right at the graveyard (complete with picture of the grim reaper on the gate), left at the rainbow-colored bulldozer, steer clear of the poisonwood tree, up and over the hill and you are there (we managed to avoid Molasses Swamp).Nippers Beach Bar at Great Guana 

Nippers itself is a multicolored, multi-tiered, cacophony of wood planking and American tourist jackassery.  It appeared to be South Carolina day at Nippers, as evidenced by the number of sun-burned necks protruding from Clemson and University of South Carolina tanktops. 

The pig roast was pretty good (alas, the pork was already carved and in trays, so there were no porcine rotisserie displays), the “Nipper” (a frozen rum punch concoction) proved excellent, the weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.  We took a long walk along the beautiful beach, returned for a final round, and got ready to head home.

Just as we were closing out, Erik attracted … well, let’s just call it what was … a gay stalker.  This guy tried everything – herd separation tactics, inviting the three of us to dinner, etc.  He even invited us to stay at his apartment.  This dude was PERSISTENT.  He was accompanied by one of his co-workers (reasonably intoxicated, not particularly annoying) and a fall-down, Stacey Toran-drunk Australian (there’s always at least one wherever you go) who was some sort of boat captain/crewman.

The six of us sauntered back to the ferry dock (past the graveyard, the rainbow bulldozer…) to await the last ferry of the day.  Shortly thereafter, a very distraught woman holding a very small plastic bag arrived at the dock.  As we came to learn, she was holding her friend’s fingers.  We were told that the friend was building her own house on Great Guana and was the victim of a table-saw accident. Apparently, the owner of the fingers had already been transported to Marsh Harbour, en route to Nassau, inexplicably sans digits. 

Fall-down drunk Australian sprang into action.  Apparently, he’d come over to Great Guana in some sort of small powerboat that was affiliated with the bigger boat of which he was captain/crewman.  He dashed (ok, staggered) off to retrieve his powerboat so that the fingers could be sped to Marsh Harbour. Gay Stalker, apparently in a hurry to get home, suggested that we all hop on the boat.  Needless to say, we declined – we’re not getting on a speedboat, at night, in a very tricky harbor, with a fall-down drunk Aussie driver and the gay stalker co-pilot.  Equally needless to say, the gay stalker then changed his mind and decided to wait with us, and off roared the speedboat at triple the recommended speed. Yikes.  All I could think is that it takes a true friend to hop on drunken Aussie’s speedboat to make a nighttime delivery of your severed fingers.  More Pictures 

Introduction to the Spectacle Guide to Dining Around the World

Posted by: andy

I’ve had at least 10 people ask me if I plan on reviewing restaurants during our trip. 

Of course I am. 

You will notice a new link under “Basics” called “The Spectacle Guide to Dining Around the World” which will contain our continually updated restaurant ratings as well as detailed rating criteria. 

Introduction to the Spectacle Book Club

Posted by: melissa

People have also been asking us about what we’re reading while we’re out here.  We thought we’d share the list with you, as well as our thoughts.  You’ll notice a new link to the right under Basics called Spectacle Book Club for our reviews.  Feel free to email your rebuttals, agreements, suggestions, and even downright outrage (i.e. Andy’s only moderate enthusiasm for the classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude) to our Spectacle email address located on the Contact Us page.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — The 5 Part Series

Posted by: melissa

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part I

When it comes to money being lost by legitimate “stakeholders” (i.e. not including betting) based upon a game’s outcome, this likely made this particular preliminary-round cricket match The Most Expensive Sporting Event In The History Of The World.  As we headed off to the airport, we were quite happy to know that the stakes had been ramped up from merely big to Incredibly Massive.  We were expecting a good match and a good time.  Little did we know just how fantastic it would be.

As many of you might know, we are big fans of the Sri Lanka team playing in the Cricket World Cup this year in the West Indies.  This series, called “The Most Expensive Game Ever Played,” chronicles our journey to Trinidad to see history-making match between India and Sri Lanka.  I hope you enjoy the Background story of Part I.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part II

The big game in Trinidad was India v. Sri Lanka.  Not only is this a huge game and historic rivalry, but India’s cultural influence in Trinidad is apparent in every part of life.  We briefly read about this alleged East Indian influence and thought:  Huh?  What?  How prevalent could it actually be?  Maybe some Tandoori chicken here and there?

Trinidad is a unique and culturally diverse place with a great vibe … and as it turns out, it is also the perfect place to watch India v. Sri Lanka play World Cup Cricket.  The second installment of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played is Melissa’s take on Trinidad.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part III

“You have to understand that it’s an island mentality.  These Indian guys are all very hard-working, pious, anal-retentive, high-strung guys.  Not us.  We’re islanders, man.  Give a Sri Lankan five dollars and you’ve fed him for a day, but he’d probably rather spend it on beer.”

Part III of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played describes the pre-game antics and excitement.

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part IV

I stood up and started trying to lead the crowd in chants of “Vaas is boss.”  This proved fruitless, as 90% of the fans in our section were supporting India.  Shortly thereafter, the Indian team got to Vaas, hitting consecutive fours over the boundary.  “Vaas is fired!” came back the cheer.  This time, people joined in.

Click here for Part IV of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played called “The Match.”

The Most Expensive Game Ever Played — Part V

“The scene with you guys dancing around by the side of the road was spectacular,” said Moody.  “You should have seen the guys on the bus – they were going crazy – I’ve never seen them that pumped up.  Thank you for that.  Seriously … thank you.”

The final episode of The Most Expensive Game Ever Played describes the post-game euphoria.

“The” Sandwich

Posted by: melissa

If you do nothing else in Saigon, you must have “the” sandwich. 

I can’t take credit for finding this, as it has already been well-discussed and well described by several foodie blogs including eGullet (which I use alot), and Noodlepie (fantastic archives on Vietnamese food).

This sandwich is absolutely transcendent — a certifiable “Holy Cow!” moment.  I cannot recall ever having a better commercially available sandwich — anywhere, anytime.  Of course, your mileage may vary, but it’s hard to imagine any person who doesn’t despise pork, cilantro or BBQ sauce not loving it.

The chef operates a stand, outside of residential alley, with a small charcoal grill on the curb.  The sandwich comes wrapped in a piece of paper (oftentimes an old phone bill or receipt) secured with a rubber band.  Pull up a plastic step stool as a seat in the alley, watch that the passing motos don’t run over your feet, buy a water next door (for the same price as the sandwich itself), and dig in.

They are not large – I had 2, Andy had 3, and it wasn’t a disgusting pig-out.

There’s nothing to “order” — it’s the only item for sale.

A couple of notes at variance with the Noodlepie blog post:
(1) The price is now 10,000 dong (approximately 55 cents).
(2) She sets up well before 5:30 p.m. — we went at 2:00 and she wasn’t there and came back at 3:45 and she was in full swing.
(3) By 8:00 p.m., she was done for the day (our first attempt was unsuccessful).

Finally, be sure you are at 37 Nguyen Trai in District One — there’s at least one other 37 Nguyen Trai (we didn’t make that mistake but easily could have).

All I can say is, “You’re welcome.”