There were 5 of us onboard for 20 days and I have noted down our main findings and storage methods.
All we had left at the end, other than snacks, was half a lemon, a few frozen meals and tins plus some long life bread. There were still plenty of dried foods, such as rice, bread mixes and pasta but we hadn’t needed to resort to the pot noodles!
Although I had written up a menu plan earlier in the year, it was changed to suit the fresh fruit and vegetables and how soon they needed to be eaten. We also had with us 1 vegetarian, so we ended up eating a lot less meat than originally planned.
We ordered the fruit and veg from the central market in Las Palmas and it was delivered the same day. It was all washed in a mild Milton solution on the pontoon, dried and either stored in an open crate or wrapped in paper towel.
I used the freezer to store 11 ready-made meals, chilli, spaghetti bolognaise sauces, chicken casseroles, cottage pies and lentil stews. We ate all of those, just leaving a couple for 2 people for Rob and I in the Caribbean. The freezer also had raw mince, chicken, pork slices, ice cream, fruit, peas, stock, prawns, smoked salmon, butter, milk, sausages, burgers and kebabs.
The fridge was full on departure with fresh milk, yoghurts, cheeses and hams. In the end we under-estimated how much cheese we would use as it ran out before the 15th day. It was used for toasties, cauliflower cheese, cabbage bake, lasagne and other pasta dishes plus in salads. We had about 3 pounds of cheeses, including cheddar, mozzarella, feta and parmesan.
Once the fridge emptied we kept it full with water, iced tea, beer, soft drinks and fruit juice as it runs more efficiently when full. To supplement the fridge space we filled a coolbag with ice blocks and kept salads in it, changing the blocks daily. I also used the green fridge bags, which keep food a lot longer. Our green and red peppers lasted over 10 days.
In 2 of the huge lockers under the saloon sofas I stored the dried goods and tins. The goody locker contained sweets, cakes and biscuits but we had a lot of crisps, nuts and popcorn, which were kept on the saloon shelf behind a net. 2 net hammocks held more snacks and almost all of them got eaten. We seemed to consume biscuits and crisps by the ton!
The flour, pasta and rice was all decanted into plastic lock n lock boxes to protect it from weevils or other invaders. Nothing was contaminated or lost.
In the cockpit lockers we stored vegetables and in crates and hammocks we kept fruit. Apples lasted really well and each item of fruit was wrapped in paper towel.
In addition we rigged up retaining straps for 4 plastic collapsible crates and these held the boxes of cereals, rice and flour plus items for ‘Week 1’ so we didn’t have to spend time with our heads in the sofa lockers in the first few days when we were a bit queasy.
I kept 4 dozen eggs in their trays in a well padded locker on top of a flat box and none were broken. We didn’t coat them, wash them or turn them and they lasted to the end.
For breakfast everyone helped themselves to cereals, or someone made omelettes and scrambled eggs. Toast was available when the generator was running.
We each cooked lunch every 5th day and dinner on another 5th day and washed up as we went along. We baked flapjacks but had so many ginger cakes and biscuits we didn’t need to bake anything else.
Lunches tended to be pasta, salads, fresh fish, cauliflower cheese, hot chicken wraps, burgers, pizzas made from mix, sausages and fresh bread sandwiches. Dinners were casseroles and curries with rice, mash or roast potatoes. We spiced up vegetables for a stew and kept using anything which looked like it might be nearing its sell by date. We had eton mess, tinned fruit and ice cream and banoffee pie for desserts or cake and biscuits. The spray cream was very useful as it had a long expiry date and was easy to use.
We thought about having a ziplock bag for each person to keep goodies for the night watches but in the end just let everyone help themselves. Some people ate a lot more chocolate and biscuits than others so it may have been better to keep the supplies allocated in advance.
What Worked & What Didn’t
The fresh peppers lasted well when I had read that they didn’t so that was a surprise. Potatoes, onions, cabbages, eggs, long life bread, apples and citrus fruits also lasted well.
Iceberg lettuce was OK into the second week but the outer leaves needed to be discarded. Cucumbers lasted into the second week too. Bananas also lasted as we had very green ones but once they started to ripen we did have a few to get through at a time. The avocados were the most disappointing item as they remained hard for ages and then went rotten from the top. Inside there was a hard extra layer so we just made 1 bowl of guacamole from what we could salvage from the 5 we had.
On 1 or 2 days it was difficult to prepare food and the galley straps were needed just to stay at the worktop. We were glad of the pre-cooked cottage pie on those days. The rest of the time we were lucky and had calm weather to stay in the galley. The fans were a godsend too, as it became very warm as we neared St Lucia.
We are now just a couple of weeks from Christmas and have a cake, Christmas puddings, stuffing, cranberry jelly and goose fat ready for a traditional British turkey dinner! Perhaps a BBQ would be better but we will no doubt eat up the food at some point.
Quantities of Fruit and Vegetables
1 kg sweet potatoes
.5 kg mushrooms
4 iceberg lettuces
1 kg green beans
2 red & 2 green peppers
2 kg carrots
10 white onions
4 red onions
25 kg potatoes
If anyone would like any further information please email me with your questions and I’ll reply as soon as I can.