Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Seminar Worth Waiting For!

Alright, already!  Enough of these Safety at Sea, All About Rigging, How to Survive a Sinking seminars!  Let’s get down to the real basics of cruising or What To Have For Dinner!  And since our passage to the Marquesas will be about three weeks, the question is: What to Have For Dinner for the next Three Weeks!  And quite possibly because typical provisions in the south pacific are not necessarily what we call comfort food OR because we don’t want to empty out the stores of the supply boats that visit south pacific islands once a month, the question becomes: What to Have For Dinner between Banderas Bay and New Zealand (about seven months worth of meals)!  Provisioning Seminar?  Count me in!  FYI- I sat front and center!

There are as many approaches to provisioning for blue water passages as there are people that provision!  The seminar panel ranged from people who precook and freeze meals (that would be twenty meals!) for the passage from Mexico to the Marquesas to people who take bulk beans and rice and count on catching fish along the way!  They would be the people that don’t even have refrigeration. However, all panelists agreed that if you wrap limes in foil, they will last three times longer than if not wrapped.  Common wisdom here is that any item that you buy un-refrigerated can remain un-refrigerated after opening if you don’t contaminate it (like mayo, relish and other condiments).  Eggs that have not been refrigerated can be kept in the pantry and turned once a week (just make sure they are in breathable containers so they don’t mold).  Whatever you do, do not take any cardboard on board the boat because it holds cockroach eggs, dip all stocks of bananas in sea water before loading (to flush out any roaches) and check behind all labels on cans for cockroach eggs as you are loading them ONE AT A TIME on to the boat…..

As well as provisioning for the voyage, each boat also (according to maritime law) must have a waste management plan for dealing with food scraps and regular trash.  I trust you have heard about the floating island of plastic in the Pacific which is the size of the state of Texas.  Well we don’t want to contribute to making it the size of Texas and Alaska so  we get rid of as much packaging at the dock as possible.  This means decanting all products possible into reusable containers or ziplock bags.  We also want to make everything as small as possible since storage is… well…limited!  Once out at sea (in very deep water) compost may be thrown overboard after being cut up in very tiny pieces, glass may be thrown overboard after cutting off the bottom and cans may also go overboard with both ends open.  Plastic can never go overboard so it has to be washed and cut up very small so it can be stored until it can be properly disposed.  I can’t imagine that many south Pacific islands have good ways of dealing with plastic….. so we will see.  It’s kind of interesting to think about keeping your trash as clean as possible while living in this small space!

Anyway, this is the part of cruising and planning for a voyage that I love!  Making lists, organizing… checking things off of the list!  In the meantime, we continue to enjoy the wonderful markets and cuisine of Mexico from tacos on the street corner to wonderful stews in rich sauces and of course, a wonderful, never ending supply of pan dulce!

Buen Provecho
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle


  1. All this planning! And thinking about cockroaches! And waste disposal! I thought you were just relaxing in the sun with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. ! Saw your delightful daughter today and she seems very well.

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  3. I'm still trying to think of something witty to say about roaches. Stuck. But I'm pretty sure I ruined Meg's day relating your roach avoidance trials to her :( Tell us more!