Gauging from the questions and comments we’ve been getting, I’ve realized that many of our friends have been visualizing the Sea Change crew subsisting on a meager diet of saltines and canned beans for the next 18 months. Never fear! Although we don’t actually have a refrigeration system, there are many fresh and delicious things we can eat on the boat.
This voyage will be, for the most part, a long coastal cruise. What that means is that we will sail from port to port, all the way out of the Great Lakes, down the East Coast of the USA, and then to the Bahamas for a several week rest before continuing on through Panama, Ecuador/Galapagos, to the Islands South Pacific. There’s only one long passage in the whole trip. This proximity to land and frequent visits to port towns, means access to grocery shopping all along the way. Granted, we’ll have to walk into town and carry our food back in backpacks (or buses where available, taxis if needed). We’ll probably re-provision nearly every week for most of this trip. Hopefully, we’ll also be catching some fish!
But how can we eat fresh food without refrigeration? Well, you might be surprised at how many foods don’t really need it. For example, citrus fruits, apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbage, squash, coconut and many other provisions, if stored properly, will actually last for weeks without refrigeration. So will some cheeses – aged cheddar, for example, or Parmesan. Other fresh foods will be the things we eat the first couple of days after shopping. For dairy, we’ll be using evaporated milk, which so far has proven to be creamy and plenty delicious for our tastes. Dry foods like oatmeal, rice, lentils, split peas and other beans will be staples, for sure. We plan to make fresh bread aboard, although so far we’ve been using store bought. We do have a sizeable icebox, so at times when we want to keep something cold, such as fresh meat, we’ll have to pick up a block or two of ice.
One of the coolest bon voyage gifts that we received is The Cruising Chef Cookbook (thanks again Michaela!). Although we’ve been eating well so far, this book promises to raise our cuisine to the next level!
This is a cookbook for people who love good food and like to cook. It is intended to show you how to produce sumptuous, nourishing meals that satisfy the apetite and delight the soul – meals made predominantly from fresh ingredients, no matter how long the voyage. The great majority of recipes in this book are simple, one-pot affairs that can easily be made underway. Most require common ingredients, found in every port, that store well and last a long time. Every recipe has either been created by me during a lifetime of ocean cruising or is a simplification of classic recipes which are too complex for a boat. The Cruising Chef, Preface vii, by Michael Greenwald