|Painted calabash bowl Laura bought in Grenada and one of our calabash - ideas are brewing|
So now we had two calabash, what to do with them? Cut them in half and carve them of course. Just like the locals do. Ah-ha but how specifically? Hum?
|Inside the calabash - texture is porious like a sponge|
Okay.... "How should we do this?" "I don't have a clue." "Hum?" Some calabash seem to have a natural line around the center. "Let's try to follow that." "Okay." I held the calabash between my hand using my legs/knees as backup. Laura sawed. What could go wrong with that! ha! Don't tell OHSA.
|The purple turns black and stains BADLY under your fingernails|
|After the inside as dried|
|007 James Bond|
Did I mention the "skin" is thick and HARD? Very hard! It was not easy going. We soon gained a big appreciation for the local craftsmen that carve these on a daily basis to sell to tourist. I am sure they have tools and techniques but still.......it is tough. Wow! And one little slip up still gouges the skin and makes a mark. We decided our little mistakes were proof ours were handmade by us......at least that what we told ourselves! You will be happy to know we did NOT cut ourselves.
We saved two halves for Tom and Jason to carve. Jason did a bold Blue Blaze design. Tom did his own Honey Ryder theme with a nice border. Then we left them to dry/cure. They slowly turned a light brown color over the weeks. I sanded the inside vigirously to make it smooth. Laura painted the inside of hers. Don and Heather on sv Asseance suggested I not paint the inside. "If you don't paint it, you can use it for food." Like the Rastas do. They went to a beach picnic once. A friend had severval calabash bowls and they ate out of them. When the meal was over, Don said they simply went down to the water and washed out the bowls using sand and sea water. How kewl is that! Of course the woman took them home and washed them with soap and water as well, but still kewl!
Update - Further Calabash Scrumping
So now we are on a calabash kick. While in on a walk with Laura in Carriacou, we spotted a calabash tree. It was on a fence line, the other side. However, there were two calabash that were hanging on our side.....nearly. Okay....true scrumping went on. But it wasn't in someone yard. It was in the field with their cows and everyone knows cows prefer plastic pails to carved calabash bowls!
|Don't tell OHSA|
Tom expertly got them down. It may or may not have involved climbing on the fence and tree. They were both small but that is ok.
|See the natural dividing line|
We got busy with boat and cruiser stuff and didn't get them cut open right away. Sv Blue Blaze sailed over the horizon for Union Island. When Tom and I finally did cut them open, the stuff inside had turned black and stinky. Yuck! However, this time we were smart enough to wear gloves so our hands would not get stained. Some black juice did drop on the fiberglass in the cockpit and stained it. However, rubbing compound wax should get it out but the magical boat cleaning fairies have not yet arrived this year so that stain is still there. Lazy magical boat fairies!
Tom used the Garmin logo (triangle) as inspiration to carve a pattern around the top of his. I copied Laura's idea and did my own starfish.
|Cute right? OMG - did I just say cute? Ugh!|
|Tom's Garmin inspired pattern|
Carving the small ones wasn't any easier. It has really given us an appreciate for the locals that carve these. Tom purchased the below carved calabash from a local guy on Martinique when we were visiting Riviere Alma.
|Professionally sanded inside|
Below is Tom's first calabash after 6 weeks or so.
|Can you hear the James Bond theme in your head?|
|Pattern around the side of Tom's|
Update - Did I mentioned that
|Dried, whole calabash from Diane|
Update Feb 14th - While driving around Martinique last week with sv Inishnee, I spotted one calabash tree perfect for scrumping in St Pierre. As that anchorage is on the NW of the island and we are currently anchored on the SE, it will have to wait. However, I have high hopes for finding a tree or two here in le Marin or out in St Anne. I will keep you posted.