Provisioning


The goal:  To stock up on basic food and drink boat stores to last the next 6 months or more, until spring.  An interesting thought experiment, yes?  … what would you bring??  Of course, they have food in other countries, yet we often are faced with this need when in a remote area with no markets to speak of, or key products are unavailable (think gin & tonic). 





It is a fun challenge to shop to aim for self-sufficiency, and an even bigger puzzle to store items in and around the boat.  



We took advantage of our family’s Costco cards to build up the basics.  






Bulk ingredients are perfect for making staples like oats, raisins & honey (granola), UHT milk (yogurt) and bread flour (bread & pizza).  Canned meats (tuna, chicken) plus quality mayonnaise are good to have as lunch supplements when the deli meat is long gone.  Tortillas both flour and corn are an excellent staple that you can get unrefrigerated that last for months.  And let’s not forget the TP...





Meats, cheeses and butter, plus cream cheese & sour cream, are always on the top of the list.  Our fridge and freezer hold an amazing amount of food and every last inch is utilized.  Meats are individually packed for meal-size and frozen that make up our staples of chicken breast/thighs (stir-fry, curry), pork tenderloin and ribs (roast, bbq), ground beef and Jimmy Dean sausages (pastas, burritos), the occasional steak (USA sources only)… oh & bacon of course!!






Then there are cocktails.  We love good beer and were pleasantly surprised to find that LOTS of IPA makers are offering their beers in cans now.  This is great for storage purposes and although we won’t be able to bring a 6 month supply, it will cut down on our costs for the infamously expensive Bahamian beers!  Cans are also supposed to be better for quality, now that they're made with plastic coated cans and thus no metal taste and no sunlight.  We’re excited to test it and see for ourselves!!





Our biggest challenge was storing enough supplies for our daily G&T habit.  Tonic and gin are usually rare outside of the US, so we can't rely on finding any this winter.  The other difference is that canned tonic is nowhere to be found inside the states ~ go figure?!  So, I did my handy calculations and determined that for gin in the big bottles we only need about a case & a half; however, we’d need 120L of 1L tonic bottles for 6 months (1 can each/day equiv.)… laughable, I know.




Newly motivated to find a solution, we turned to the SodaStream soda maker that used syrup concentrates and CO2 cartridges for carbonation.  


One canister makes 60L so it was easy to get two extras to meet our calculation. 



 


We know that cruisers’ use these all the time, yet we had never tried it due to availability of all of the above in the southern Caribbean.  


Now that we are in the land of plenty, it was time to try this out.







One downside for us is that we can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners, which all of the small syrup bottles at a 23:1 dilution ratio seem to use.  So we searched out restaurant syrup sources and found some that used sugar and the standard tonic ingredients.  Those syrups are a 5:1 dilution ratio so we’ll need to store ~5 gallons of this, but that still beats 120L by a large factor.


It takes years to master provisioning and I have learned from some of the best… and from the rest, I’ve been teased.  There is even room for more beer!  No extra bags lying about guys ~ it all fits onboard… so far!!!


© M&M 2016