One Hundred & 33 Degrees

When working aboard a classic during a busy season time to turn your attention elsewhere is always a tough ask, whether it be to family or to other ventures. Although not always available to those at sea, the internet provides not only communication to those afar but also the possibility to pursue other enterprises. In this way was created and remains, providing a comprehensive database of over 1500 classic yachts, that the author fights continually to up-date with the flood of e-mails received each month from enthusiasts’ valuable input.

I digress!

Pesa – 100 years old

2011 brings a number of centenarians. Included are the 6-Metre yachts Audifax, Houri, Rita and Gefion III, the 12’s Danseuse and Erna Signe and the beautiful Max Oertz gaff cutter, Pesa. But by far the largest and most impressive of all is the spectacular William Fife III 19-Metre gaff cutter, Mariquita. After a meticulous 3-year rebuild at Fairlie Restorations on the Hamble, Mariquita graced the Mediterranean with her presence in 2004 and has since been a regular on the regatta circuit. To mark her 100th birthday she is attending 8 regattas this year; 2 have already been (Ajaccio and Antibes), 1 is in progress (Barcelona) and the rest are to come (Palma, Mahon, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez).

Mariquita storms to windward in June's Les Voiles D'Antibes
Mariquita storms to windward in June’s Les Voiles D’Antibes

If your holiday plans are already made and visiting one of these wonderful events is unlikely, then there is another way to monitor Mariquita’s progress. Suzy Denning is the Chef on board and has taken the initiative to spend the little spare time she has to find that internet connection and write a blog. Named ‘Life at 33 Degrees’ (, it is primarily about the delicious dishes she cooks in the comfort of her fine mahogany galley. With 6-12 crew to feed, up to 18 during regatta time, her passion for the job and for the local cuisine in whichever land they sail, oozes out of the script.

Suzy down to lee, sailing fast, taking chances!
Suzy down to lee, sailing fast, taking chances!
Anchor Biryani
Anchor Biryani

Dishes include the ‘Mariquita Mackeral Meal’ and ‘Salt ‘n’ Pepper Squid’, a ‘pretty good’ ‘Anchor Biryani’(shown above) using whatever spices are available in the back of the locker, a bit of Basmati rice and some lentils, not to mention the Signature Dish, ‘Chicken Cacciatore’(shown below). For each a delightful account is given of its preparation including the where and when and a story or two about the Mariquita season. Other articles include ‘Make Your Own Kitchen Knife! I Did.’ and a number of heartfelt accounts about ‘Life On Board’.

The Signature Dish - Chicken Cacciatore
The Signature Dish – Chicken Cacciatore

‘Life at 33 Degrees’ is definitely worth a look and you may just find some Mariquita magic to add to a feast of your own. I, for one, look forward to seeing Mariquita again this year, always an inspiring sight to behold, and may just find myself lingering around the back of their passerelle as the sun sets over a dazzling fleet of varnished spars, and the table is being laid!

Mariquita in all her glory
Mariquita in all her glory

Photos courtesy of Patrick Hanez and James Robinson Taylor.


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