Bermuda Picnic Salad

This easy-to-make, hearty mix is the perfect concoction for cruisers¿ shoreside potlucks

We’d had a raucous ride to Bermuda. High winds and rough seas had marked the last three days of the trip from Fort Pierce, Florida, to Convict Bay in front of the town of St. Georges. We arrived feeling beat up and tired, and when my husband, Dave, and I tied our Tartan 37, Tigger, alongside the Customs dock and got off the boat to check into the country, we found we couldn’t stand steadily on land -- our balance was still out at sea. We toddled to the office like drunken sailors, and when we stood still to hand over our papers, we had to hang onto the counter -- the floor was rocking and rolling. I held on and tried to keep my vision steady so my inner ear had some clue as to what was going on.

Gill, our Bermudan friend who lives right in front of the anchorage, had seen us arrive and walked over to Customs to greet us. There were big hugs all around, with me hanging on extra tight so I didn’t tip over. I was longing to get back to the boat at anchor, where I could count on a gentle rocking motion to put me right. This adjustment to land life was going to take a little time.

But Gill had other plans. There was a concert in the park in Hamilton that evening and we were invited to a pre-concert picnic, along with our friends Fred and Kitty on Mariah, just up from the Virgin Islands. When I told Gill that I’d have to get to a store for our contribution to the picnic (no cruiser goes to a party empty-handed) she said no way, the picnic was her show. She smiled and said, “Just rest, then dinghy over to my dock at six this evening. And bring your land legs!”

The concert was wonderful — jazz in the warm twilight, good wine, and laughter among friends. Gill’s delicious rice and chicken salad was just perfect for a picnic in the park.

2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1 green onion, chopped
1/3 cup prepared Caesar salad dressing

Combine all ingredients and toss to coat with dressing. Chill thoroughly. Serves four to six.