We have finally started clearing out the crew cabins, which is quite a task as we have already been through the items and there is nothing we can dispose of. So it is a matter of re-locating things around the boat, noting where they are and making sure nothing is likely to move and break during any heavy weather.
The cabin for guests and then our crew, Paul and Jamie, is done and they have room for clothes and personal items in a couple of newly empty cupboards. I also cut up ‘sticky mat’ to line all the shelving so things stay put better.
The cupboard/cabin which James will be using hasn’t been touched yet, a good example of before and after though! The leeboards stay in place so it is easier to sleep, give some privacy in the port cabin and divide the starboard cabin into sleeping and storage areas.
The larger lockers under the sofas are getting full, one with savouries and the other with sweet foods, including M&S Christmas cake and puddings. We took off all the labels from tins and marked them with indelible ink instead and are trying to get rid of cardboard by taking out the contents and writing cooking instructions on the inner sachets, or decanting loose food such as rice into ‘Lock n Lock’ boxes.
Talking to other people, there are some good suggestions of how to organise the meals. One boat uses a labelled carrier bag per day with measured ingredients for the daily menu contained within it, so in theory they won’t have to search for anything and will have exactly enough food. We found, however, that some days it was easier to cook than others, so will just have a list of meals we can make, plenty of frozen meals for rough weather and make sure we use up fresh food first to avoid waste.
We will cook in large pans so nothing spills and keep them in place with pot retainers fixed to the hob. A heavy-duty strap has been fitted so if the boat is leaning away from the galley, it is still possible to stand at the oven and have 2 hands free. I am a little concerned about being fixed to the front of the hob in case something does spill and burn the cook as they won’t be able to move out of the way but we will have to see how it works out. They are very common on boats.
Mr D’s Thermal Cooker is being used to cook up casseroles to freeze. As it only requires 5 minutes of simmering before you turn the gas off, we can leave it all day to thermal cook the meals in the outer casing and just freeze them 8 hours later.
Once the boat is stocked up with fresh provisions and drink I will take further photos as it isn’t going to look pretty!