Stress, stress, stress! That’s what provisioning gives me! Although I love to organize, to plan and to make lists, provisioning is never easy for me. I have read a lot about how others provision, but the end advise is always the same: you need to do it your way, because you know what you like to eat and drink. I really think we should cross an ocean twice: at least the second time we might have a better clue about what we are doing. But knowing how much we do not like long passages, I really think this will be a one time experience, so I’ll have to get it right the first time!
Before we left the Netherlands, we stocked up massively. We had food on board for about four months. We kept on going for groceries to get fresh food, so we still had quite a lot of food. But since we at the time thought we would cross with 4 people instead of 2, we needed quite a bit of groceries.
I started by making an inventory list of what was already on board. After that, we sat together with the crew and talked about what we like to eat for the different meals of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks. This gave a good idea what to buy. Our first ideas looked like this:
Yoghurt with muesli
Cereals with milk
Bread with butter
Banana with Nutella
(Instant) noodles with veggies
Pasta with soya
Chili sin carne
Rice with veggies
Nothing too fancy, but it gave a good idea. As always, our storage space is limited, so we need to realize that we can not bring fresh food for 4 weeks. Or yoghurt for 3 people for 4 weeks (in the amounts we eat it..).
I made a rough calculation, based on the information above, added a few extra cans of this and that, and with that list, we went for groceries. Our before and after photo wasn’t as impressive as others, since we already had a lot of food on board! We where worried about where to put everything, but we managed to find a place.
Just before leaving, we went again for shopping, this time for fresh vegetables and bread. We got lettuce, cucumber and bell peppers for our lunch wraps. Cauliflower, kale, potatoes, zucchini for dinners. Apples, tangerines and banana’s for a fruit snack. And some extra’s to add on: avocado’s and lemons. With all this food we should be good to go!
I prepared a curry and a lentil stew for the first days at sea. This way we can get our sealegs and we don’t have to worry about cooking in the first days.
And then, as you know already, we did not leave. Not yet. So the last step of our provisioning repeated itself.
I have made a list of what food is on board and where it is stored. Every time we take something out of the cabinet, we write this down on the list. This way, we know exactly what we have on board and where we can find it. I found this particularly helpful when there was crew on board: this way they don’t have to ask where food is stored, they can check in on the list. And since our departure was delayed, we knew exactly what items we had used, so we could buy more of this the next times we went for groceries.
After all this provisioning stress the tricky part was to not eat all the cookies, crackers and crisps we had on board before departure. That wasn’t an easy challenge for 2 people who like to eat when feeling stressed, overwhelmed or other strong feelings!
How did it really go?
And in the end.. we didn’t do much with the list I made. As I said, that was mostly useful when we still had crew on board. Our provisioning in Cape Verde didn’t go as well as provisioning in Las Palmas: the fruit and vegetables went bad much quicker then before. But we had cabbage, apples, bananas, courgettes, aubergines and they lasted a while. The first week we ate from the curry and pasta I had prepared before leaving. After that Miguel went to the kitchen to cook, and he did this very well! He also liked the challenge of making a good meal with only canned food.
Cans, dried fruit, biscuits and crackers we had (and still have) plenty! The only thing I have missed was juice. We usually don’t drink a lot of juice, so we didn’t take much on our trip, but I did miss it. So next time I’ll make sure to have more juice on board.
Looking back I think I have spent way too much time preparing and making plans. It didn’t have to be as organized as I did it, and with the amount of cans and dried food on board I knew I didn’t have to worry. Ah well, lessons learned!