As part of my “Less is More” ethos for this year I recently did a major clean out on board. Our wee closet and drawers were thinned out yet again, the cupboard in the head was decluttered and all the holds in the galley were sorted through. What I ended up with was pretty impressive rag pile, several tubes expired of sunscreen, some make-up that is embarrassingly old and enough to canned goods to survive the apocalypse, (zombie or otherwise).
I usually keep a healthy stock of canned goods on board (I write on the tops for easy indentification in my vertical storage compartment). Food in cans come in very handy when you’re sailing in more remote destinations like the Solomon’s and Papua New Guinea, where refrigeration is non-existent outside urban centres and the general population are subsistence farmers and fisherman. And to be honest there is nothing wrong with beans, lentils, tomatoes, corn, soup, mussels, pate, dolmas and tuna out of tin, just to name a few of my regularly stocked items.
When we left San Diego our destination was all points south and west. We had given ourselves a time line of about 18 months to reach Australia (we obviously didn’t quite make it as it is almost 8 years later and we’ve yet to touch Aussie waters) and knew our jump off point into the South Pacific would probably be Panama, but other than that we were leaving things open.
It had originally been our plan to depart in November but an accident that resulted in Steve breaking his leg meant we didn’t push off the dock until February. This gave me ample opportunity to obsess about things, especially all things food related; what would we find outside the USA? What should we buy now? How long will things last? What new exciting food stuffs would we encounter? Is the meat going to be any good? How much will things cost?
Although I had experience with provisioning (that’s boat talk for grocery shopping) for a long trip before, I had never sailed the Pacific so I had no idea what to expect. So I did what almost every rookie sailor does but few will admit. I provisioned like the zombie apocalypse was coming. Continue reading
In no particular order, here are the Top Ten misconceptions I would like to break about cooking and eating on a small sailboat.
1.“Boat” food is different than “land” food.
It doesn’t have to be. Sure you have to think ahead, the grocery store is not just around the corner, and you may not be able to find all the ingredients you are used to. But with good planning and a little creativity we eat pretty much the same as we would on land. Food is food; please stop calling it “boat” food.