Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nautical Hoarders*

Ever seen that show Hoarders on A&E?  I've only been able to stomach it two or three times, but it chronicles the lives (and homes) of hoarders.  The website describes the show as this, "...a fascinating look inside the lives of two different people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis." I'll say.

I'll bet if we sent them this photo, they'd snatch us right up.

Hi! We can't seem to part with our things! Or can we....?
Let me be the first to tell you that provisioning a boat is not a pretty job.  In fact, when we talk about this trip - it's not the storms or the seas or monsters from the deep that get me worked up - it's provisioning. Two things to note: 1) I have not been blessed with the gift of culinary prowess (yes, I know, I know...I can learn...) and 2) I have been blessed with a very bland palate (British roots?) and have been known to be able to eat the exact same food, day in and day out, for months at a time (I mean, who else here has gotten a Christmas gift from their local Subway chain? Seriously).  What these two equal is a big fat "zero" in the creativity department.  I have gotten a little better for fear that Scott will mutiny, but it's definitely nothing to write home about.

Provisioning the boat for the Bahamas is a big deal as we have to stock up on as much as we can, lest we need to purchase it there for an astronomical price.  The only two things I have read they have at good prices is butter and rum.  Unless you can sustain yourself on hot, buttered rum...well, you need to make other arrangements.

The fact that we don't have refrigeration and are pescatarian (fish eating veggies) makes provisioning a little easier as we have less choices.  So we work with what we've got.  We made a grocery list based on items we currently eat and based on recipes in some simple cruising cookbooks like, Can-to-Pan Cookery and the Galley Guru.  We went shopping and loaded our cart.   The best part was when we were checking out, the lovely lady at the counter told the bagger, "make sure to double-bag because they need to walk down the dock to their boat".  When we asked her how she knew we were on a boat she simply replied with a smirk, "Honey, nobody shops like this for their home".

A large part of our problem cooking on the boat is that we can't just open a door and see what we have available - our food is under seats, settees, floorboards, beds...etc.  Unfortunately for us, we never made a master list of what we have and where it is, so we were sort of cooking blind.  We determined we needed to take stock.  So we did.

Scott sat at his computer while I unloaded all of our stores and read off each. and. every. item.  While this process took us four hours, it was WELL worth it.  Now, we'll be able to pull up a spreadsheet and see not only what we have, but where it is.  This will grant us a lot more flexibility in the galley.  Well, that's the idea anyway.  We can check items off as we use them and we'll have a better idea of what worked and what didn't for the next time around.

Groceries for 3 months on boat: $468.71* 
Time spent putting said groceries away: 5.5 hours 
Managing to get 60 beers 44 bottles of wine aboard: Priceless.
*Not including wine & beer, which is embarrassing to write

Brittany & Scott

*Big thanks to our very good friend Julie for inspiring this post (via Facebook), HUGE thanks to our good friends, Brian and Lara of Forest and Fin, for sharing their rental mini-van with us (would not have been possible on the bike!) and a shout-out to s/v Kaleo for sharing their provisioning list with us.


Catherine said...

Great blog! On the food note, being veggie and all, you guys are packin the sprouting seeds too, right?!

Windtraveler said...

Catharine - yes! We do have a sprouting kit...haven't used it yet, but thank you for reminding me to get more sprouting seeds! :)

Neophyte Cruiser said...

While your gastronomic choices may leave something to be desired, GOOD ON YA for 60 bottles of beer and 44 bottles wine!!! I couldn't help but chuckle while reading this post!

Lisa Hanneman said...

Please post your spreadsheet. PLEASE! I find this to be fascinating and hilarious and inspiring and stressful.

SailFarLiveFree said...

Who needs ballast when you're packing vino to the tune of 44 bottles! You should just install a 58 gallon Vetus felixble "water" tank under one of the settees and be done with it! At least then you wouldn't have to deal with all the glass bottles. Or are you planning to drop a few overboard with a message inside?

Laura and Hans said...

44 bottles of wine! Wow! But now that I think of it, we buy six cases of beer at a time.
Here's a super easy salmon cake recipe.
10 oz salmon (well drained)
1 egg
1/2 to 1 tsp onion powder
Mix together and fry in olive oil (or Pam spray).
That's it! I served this with a package of rice (I think it was Rice Creations or something like that), and it was really good.

Junaid said...

Wow, that is a lot of food. Do you use a pressure cooker ? Any bulk dry beans, lentils etc. or is it all canned stuff ?

Uncle Al said...

Wow - $468 for three months of food and $xxx for 44 days of wine!

wandoo1 said...

why do you buy boxed hummus? would it not be more economical to use dried chickpeas, etc none of which require refridgeration plus i'm guessing it'll taste much beter being fresh.

Windtraveler said...

I buy boxed hummus because it's easy and good. Just add water.

Joe said...

44 Bottles of Wine? I love it. :) (And without refrigerated cheese to go with it) Now I will have to look up how to make cheese from dried milk just to see if it can be done. :) (http://www.allotment.org.uk/allotment_foods/cheese-making/making-cheddar-cheese-home.php ) I hope you were able to at least get some triscuits packed in somewhere.

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