Provisioning: Can’t Just Run to the Store

When we left the boat in Anacortes, Washington in October, I left a few food items on board that could make the long trip (by truck) to Mobile—nothing that would interest a cockroach or an ant.

Checking those food items, I found instant coffee, tea bags, tight-lidded glass containers of flour and sugar, basic spices, and some odds and ends like cans of soup, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, and a jar of capers. I guess I have a bit of shopping to do.

When cruising, we carry ten gallons of bottled water for drinking and cooking. The 100 gallons of fresh water in the tank is for cleaning, bathing, and toilet flushing. Soft drinks and beer are kept in an outdoor ice chest. Wine (important to a Sonoma resident) goes wherever I can store it.

The rest of the food? Menus are done for a full ten days. Because I can’t “run to the store” I have to be very careful that I have all the ingredients I need for each meal. Two tiny cupboards hold coffee, tea, breakfast bars, and anything that comes in a small box. One tall cupboard holds oils, vinegar, syrup…things that come in a plastic bottle because that cupboard flies open in a heavy chop.

Cans, boxes, soy milk, and jars are stored under the bench seat which is reached by raising a long cushion, holding it in place with my head, while I reach down and lift the wooden lid over the storage area to pull out what I need. It’s like dumpster diving, only for good stuff.

And the fresh food? I have a small refrigerator under the galley counter and a small freezer next to it. The freezer generally has room only for ice and a few packaged meats. So the rest is crammed into the refrigerator—condiments, eggs, butter, veges, cheese, fruits—whatever I can get in there. Am I complaining? Heck no. Our first boat had an ice box.

Oh, I forgot to tell you…I have a two burner propane stove top, a microwave, and a barbecue. Beef Wellington? I don’t think so.

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