Sol Mates Charter recap with pics and recipes!
Our end of July guests loved their time onboard Sol Mates.
This 50′ Catamaran Is based in the Virgin Islands year-round for 6 guests.
The Charter Rate is $16,000 – $17,500 for 2-6 guests.
We had such an amazing charter with Catamaran Sol Mates. Xander and I are still reminiscing on what was one of our favorite ever charter trips. Here is a nice little recap of y’alls week with us followed by some recipes and photos!
USVI Charter Itineraty Sol Mates
Day 1 – 7/23
Y’all arrived late so we welcomed you aboard with a light snack and cookies. Had a short briefing and then settled into cabins for the night.
Day 2 – 7/24
We started the day on the dock with breakfast tacos filled with potatoes, chorizo, mango salsa, scrambled eggs, and lots of yummy toppings. Then after a brief pit stop to refuel we headed underway towards St John. We grabbed a mooring ball in Maho Bay and swam with turtles in the crystal clear blue water.
For lunch, I made chicken salad croissant sandwiches with cranberries, candied pecans, grapes, and served with a side salad dressed with a creamy lemon vinaigrette. After some more swimming and sunning I served up a big charcuterie board for a snack and the fig orange jam was the crowd favorite.
Everyone chilled the rest of the afternoon sleeping off the food coma before dinner which was roasted butternut squash risotto with bacon, shiitake mushrooms, balsamic pearls and drizzled with balsamic glaze.
Dessert was cinnamon chai poached pears and vanilla whipped mascarpone. Post dinner we played a few very competitive rounds of Rummikub with Xander and Vicky taking home the wins.
Day 3 – 7/25
For brekkie today I served a build your own bagel platter with lots of fresh fruit and bagel toppings. Afterward, Xander dropped us all off at Francis Bay Beach and I took us on a hike on the Leinster Bay Trail towards Waterlemon Bay where Xander met us with Sol Mates and picked us up from the beach in the dinghy.
Hike highlights included Madalyn picked out a giant piece of coral in her sneaker, a pit stop for a beach cool down near the Annaberg ruins where Patrick spotted a reef “fish,” exploring the Francis ruins, and walking off all the meals I’d served so far.
Back on the boat and sufficiently worn out I whipped up an Asian chicken salad with crispy slaw, mandarin slices, and topped with sprouts, fried wonton crisps, and dressed in Chinese hot mustard and honey vinaigrette.
After lunch (and a brief moment to digest) we swam around water lemon then headed underway to the east side of St John and anchored for the night in Hansen bay where we briefly spotted dolphins! For dinner, I made Tuscan chicken linguine followed by lemon curd tarts topped with whipped cream and passion fruit. We ate inside and played a Disney character guessing game while waiting out a crazy lighting storm.
Day 4 – 7/26
Today’s “light” breakfast was a sweet platter with maple and chocolate waffles, cinnamon rolls, berries, cream, and Nutella accompanied by a fruit platter and crispy bacon. We then departed to Coral Bay Harbor just around the corner and Xander dropped me off with a corona and a noodle to fight off day boat tourists and hold down a lily pad float at Lime Out. After a tense 30min of tourists giving me the stink eye, you guys dinghied over and we enjoyed a fun lunch of tacos and fruity drinks.
Back on charter yacht Sol Mates
I whipped up some emergency mac and cheese, and off we went to the next bay. After an hour underway, we were lucky to snag a coveted and rare mooring ball in Salt Pond and spent the afternoon swimming together. Xander taught the girls how to free dive and then took them to the beach for some time on land.
Dinner that night was sous vide steak with chimichurri, mash potatoes, and asparagus and beyond meatballs for Madalyn. Dessert was a cast iron brownie which we ate while playing losing at Mexican train to Gabi.
Day 5 – 7/27
This morning I served up croissant breakfast sandwiches and then we headed west to Caneel Bay and grabbed a mooring ball right in front of Honeymoon beach. After some swimming and chilling, I made pulled pork brioche burgers with tangy coleslaw, mac and cheese, and sriracha dijon potato salad. We headed into Cruz Bay for the afternoon so you could explore the shops and cool down with ice cream and bevo.
Back on the boat, the girls paddle-boarded to Honeymoon beach. Dinner was Korean Braised short ribs over candied sweet potato and Sichuan chili crisp grits followed by apple pie galettes and vanilla bean ice cream.
Day 6 – 7/28
Today started off with loaded avocado toast, fried eggs, bacon, and fruit which we enjoyed over a leisure morning. A last-minute and exciting change to the itinerary meant a full day in a cabana on Honeymoon beach so we packed up and headed over to the beach. It was a full and very fun day of playing games, chicken fights on the floating mat, kicking random small children off said floating mat, playing catch with the football, beach photoshoots, hot dogs, painkillers, Gabi’s island fling, and ending with a monsoon while we raced back to the boat to play even more games.
Dinner that night was a massive seafood boil with crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, kielbasa, and potatoes and key lime pie parfaits.
Day 7 – 7/29
For brekkie, I made cornflake french toast with fruit, bacon, and lots of maple syrup. We left St John and sailed back to St Thomas to the north side and anchored in Magen’s Bay which legend has it, was where Sir Francis Drake used to anchor while awaiting ships to plunder, the perfect location for relaxing at the beach bar or paddleboarding. Lunch was sesame-crusted seared ahi tuna over a ginger soba noodle salad with wakame and mango. The afternoon was spent hanging in the water and at the beach.
Dinner was a Greek family-style spread with chicken shawarma, meatballs, plant-based “chicken,” lemon butter orzo, whipped feta fries, lemon beet hummus, pine nut hummus, and greek salad served with pita and followed by a chocolate charcuterie board which we enjoyed while playing the Rummikub finals.
Day 8 – 7/30
The last morning of charter I served eggs benedict and we relaxed in the bay while everyone packed and got organized before sailing back to Crown Bay Marina. At noon a taxi picked you up to take you to Emerald Beach Resort for lunch before your flight home. Xander and I played one on one Rummikub with our new set and reminisced over the absolute stellar week of charter while stuffing our faces with Norman Love chocolates.
Spicy Korean Braised Short Ribs and Sweet Potato Grits
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 pounds short ribs, boneless
1 Asian pear, cored and cut into thin slices
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into rounds
One 3-inch piece of ginger, cut into rounds
7 scallions, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup gochujang
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Sweet Potato Grits
2 pounds sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
1 1/2 cups yellow grits
3 tablespoons butter
Pinch grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the grapeseed oil in Instant Pot.
Sear the short ribs until brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Reserve on a sheet tray.
Include the Asian pear, lemongrass, ginger, and scallions to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes.
Add the gochujang and tomato paste and cook another minute or two to caramelize.
Add the red wine, beef stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange zest and juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and 2 cups water and bring to a simmer.
Add the short ribs back, nestling them in so they are covered with liquid. Pressure cook on high for 45 min
Transfer the short ribs to a sheet tray and cover them with foil to rest. Strain the cooking liquid, return to the Instant Pot and reduce on saute mode until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
Serve the short ribs over the Sweet Potato Grits with the sauce.
Sweet Potato Grits:
cook grits to package instructions. I use half water, half milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the sweet potatoes: DO NOT Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork (don’t even take off stickers) just place them on a baking pan and cook until skins are squishy and you see brown syrup erupting from the sides of the yams.
cut open with a knife and use a fort to mash insides then scoop out and fold into grits. add nutmeg and butter.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such wonderful guests and welcoming us into your family, we are so grateful we had you aboard as our final charter of the season! We loved reading your guest book comments and the sweet card you gave us! Hopefully, we see y’all again on charter xx
All the best,
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