Day 8: Goodbye fresh food, hello cans!

We’ve now entered day 8 of our crossing. This is the longest we’ve ever been at sea and the longest we’ve sailed without engine! We’re quite proud of it! To be honest, if there wasn’t that long to go to the other side (or if we had enough fuel aboard), I would have turned on the engine a few times already. Times like now! I’m desperate to get the sails to stop flapping. But it’s just not possible considering the wind and sea.. tonight I might lose it and just switch on the engine. But then again, good winds are only coming in by Wednesday. For sure I can’t just motor for that long! …I’ll let you know what happens. Anyway, day 8! This means a lot of our fresh food is going bad. I had to throw out a few onions, oranges and bananas, and trim a bunch of the aubergine and courgette. Yesterday and today was all about cooking as much as possible of the fresh stuff before they go bad. We started with breakfast. Fried bread and orange juice. That finished the quickly-increasing-mouldy-and-dry bread, and the good looking oranges. We still have some oranges that look half green. I tried one and it was disgusting. Let’s see if a few days on the net will make it better. Then there were bananas. We bought a few different kind of green ones. The idea was they would get ripe at different times so we could enjoy them for longer. That didn’t happen! They all went at once. Out of the initial 2kg we had 1.5kg of very ripe food. Solution: banana bread! We exchanged a few message with a boat that’s crossing to Martinique, SV Manawa. They gave us a recipe that we thought about trying, but we didn’t have all the ingredients. Backup plan was to use a variation of a recipe shared by Helena from SV Freedom. The original recipe called for eggs, which we don’t have. But we have very ripe bananas. Sounds as good as a replacement as we’ll get. So we threw in an extra ripe banana for good measure. As for all the other measures, the scale didn’t like the rolling of the boat, so we had to eyeball it. The result was amazing, and surpassed our expectations for it! Finally the onions, aubergine and courgette. I thought about making soup but ended up being a risotto. It tasted fine; not cuisine, but it tasted good and it was warm! On and all, we’re still learning how to provision for ourselves. We buy like we’re going to cook everyday, and a proper dish for every meal. That just doesn’t happen! Sometimes we’re too tired to cook, or still getting used to being at sea, or whatever. And on top of that, we don’t eat as much as we think we do. This we can try to improve so not to have so much waste. But often we don’t know what we get when we buy food. Some items are obviously not local, therefore they had to have been refrigerated and will go bad quicker. So buying at the local market is an idea. But in our case it didn’t seem to work for the best. A lot of the veggies from the local market just went to crap soon after purchase. Knowing how to evaluate veggies would be an advantage since we clearly made a few mistakes. But I’m sure we’re partly to be blamed for food going bad. For example, how and where we store them. We place them in our food nets. The nets are quite wide so there isn’t much support on th e items, which means they get bruised easily. Not to mention when we overfill the nets; that’s just adding insult to injury! The nets are suspended in the saloon, and we’ve closed the blinds so that sunlight doesn’t melt them away, but of course the heat still gets to it. We still have some longer lasting items like cabbage and apples, and a ridiculous amount of canned food. And thanks to Carolyne (Economad on Instagram) we have a brilliant way to store carrots. If you peel them and place them in a container full of water, they last weeks!! I couldn’t believe it! Sounds so counterintuitive, but it absolutely works! One thing is for sure, wherever we get food from, we usually drown it in sea water to take most of the dirt, and then wash it in a bucket with fresh water and bleach. This will kill any eggs (for example from fruit fly) or bugs that would otherwise smuggle in. Saskia is working on a longer blog post about provisioning but she wants us to get to the other side before sharing her thoughts with all. Too bad sargasso (floating seaweed) isn’t that good. It’s everywhere out here!! I think I’ll leave you here. Going to get dinner going. Thanks for reading and giving me a distraction from the sails! If you want to check where we are, head to Sailing Saetta Saskia & Miguel