Provisioning – Updated September 2011

I am obsessed with any food I can buy which doesn’t need to be frozen or refrigerated! I have lately found chocolate sauce, soup and chocolate creme patisserie (think thats how you spell it).

The list of easy to cook, long shelf life items is one I keep adding to but I’m hoping we will catch plenty of fish on the Atlantic crossing. We have enough books about fishing – will that help I wonder?

One book I have has recipes based on wind strength and predictably virtually all you get in a hurricane is sandwiches. I would love to find a list of what people do take and use on a 3 week crossing for 5 people but it looks like I’ll have to guess at that myself.

At the ARC seminar they recommended a pump action flask so you can fill it up with boiling water and the crew can safely make coffee and tea during the night. We have also ordered a freezer, so if we manage to catch a tuna on the crossing we can have several meals from it.

Update Feb 2011
Only 4 months until we leave on the first leg of our journey, so have tried to compile a more comprehensive list of the food and household items we need using a spreadsheet. One tab has all the codes for the lockers and bilges and each item has a location. I’m trying to spread out the weight and have one locker which is ‘current’ whilst the spares are in the bilges and more difficult to access lockers.

Lakeland, the kitchen shop, has been a useful source of collapsible equipment, silicon bakeware and ‘Lock & Lock’ boxes which are all essentials on the boat. I am relying on the freezer working as it should be stacked with chilli con carne, bolognaise sauces, casseroles and shepherd’s pie by the time we leave the UK, supposedly keeping frozen until December. Fingers crossed!

The shop chain Oil & Vinegar sell their products in plastic bottles with screw tops, so I’ll be stocking up on date vinegar and chilli oil etc there. We have friends who live half the year in the Canaries and they have provided us with insider knowledge on products and prices, so the list is categorized now into where is best to buy. Our menu is done for 20 days and includes desserts but it is easy to plan on eating panna cotta when you are sat on a sofa – might be a different matter on the passage!

Update June 2011
Not long until we leave now but been far too busy to do much cooking and freezing yet. Hopefully after the farewell party next weekend I will have a bit more free time!

I have a list of items I should get in the UK which has been kindly compiled by my friend Caroline following a check of my provisioning list whilst she was in Las Palmas. The list below details items which are either unavailable in Las Palmas or much more expensive:

cooking apples
bacon (smoked)
baking soda
bread mix
coconut milk
cream (fresh)
croissant mix
curry paste
fresh dip
fish sauce (Thai)
garlic paste
garlic bread
goose fat
halloumi cheese
hollandaise (in sachets)
jelly cubes (powder instead)
fresh milk
nan bread
pastry shells/cases
peanut butter
pitta bread
tampons (expensive)
teabags (expensive)
Thai green or red curry paste
tinned soup (packets available)
veggie burgers and sausages
wine boxes (not great!)

Update September 2011
Having been sailing for 3 months now, we are only finding a few items we struggle to get in Spain or Portugal. Fresh milk was the most difficult in Spain but Portugal is much better. Not so necessary items like poppy seeds, black treacle and curry paste were unavailable so I have brought some back during 2 visits back to the UK. The freezer has been brilliant and we always have milk, butter, bread and items for special occasions stored.

The bread mix was a great success, as was the pizza base mix. Fresh produce is cheap and of good quality locally and the seafood of course has been wonderful.

We have only eaten out 4 times (Rob has been out more with the social group in Povoa de Varzim!) as we are on a budget and also have time and inclination to cook instead. There have been many meals with new friends but usually onboard.

Once we get to Las Palmas we understand El Corte Ingles has ‘everything’ so I will update this page when we find out if this is true! I know the Caribbean islands except for the french ones will have much less in the way of provisions but it is impossible to carry food for years ahead so we will need to adapt our diet to suit.

3 Responses to Provisioning – Updated September 2011

  1. Nigel says:

    You may already k now this but a really bright light at night attracts the tuna. I work at sea, and we could reguarly fill the boat freezers in an hour with tuna, using just silver foil as bait.
    Tip, a drop of gin in the gills of the fish seems to work in controlling then once in the cockpit (get some cheap supermarket gin for this), the fish dont mind not having the tonic.

  2. Rhian says:

    Beyzano did the ARC in 2007 and we found a cheap bottle of gin and a big steel rod with the fishing gear! We have a lemon juice bottle primed so we can get the gin into the gills (we are assuming we will be catching big fish). I’ll keep the lemon for the grilled tuna then 🙂

    Thanks for the tip on the light – I have a couple of books on fishing but was saving perusing them for the 4 month trip to the Canaries when I hope to have more time than at present.

  3. Grant Morris says:

    Just took a look at your web page and it really does look good!

    I need to set up something similar for myself and I wondered whether you could divulge any ‘trade secrets’ of how you did it.

    Have some good and safe sailing.


    Grant Morris

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