What do you eat while sailing to paradise?
How many cans does it take to sail to paradise? How about 168 packets of M&Ms, 18 bottles of vegetable oil, 120 popcorn packets and 24 cans of spinach.
That’s what I need to take when we go on our seven-month sailing adventure, according to a sailing provisioning website.
It’s an Excel spreadsheet. You input how long you’ll be away and how many people are going, and it does all the calculations for you.
But 24 jars of peanut butter, 48 boxes of wine and 840 tea bags – that just sounds absurd.
We have ideas ( probably romantic) of eating natural and buying local.
We’ll catch fish, eat sprouts from my new seed sprouter and embrace local eating. I really hope that works out, because we don’t usually eat much canned food.
And I’ve heard that after a few weeks at sea, anything from a can just tastes like over-salted metal.
A few years ago we had great intentions of eating whatever the locals ate when we had a holiday in Vietnam.
I ended up eating vegetable noodle soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner because ‘‘ meat’’ dishes looked way too scary.
My partner, Dean, ate bucketloads of unidentified barbecue meat from backstreet food stalls, and survived.
Throughout my childhood my gran and grandpa took us fishing in their launch Seamew.
Ever since I can remember, I’d send them little salt sachets from takeaway places, Marmite and jam packets from staying in motels, and anything else I thought looked like boat food.
They died not long before I bought the boat. I really wished they’d seen me in my new home.
Grandpa, especially, would have loved it. I bought two teeny jam jars when we moved aboard in memory of him. They’re still unopened.
I really have no idea how to plan for our trip when it comes to food.
I’ve started buying specials of spaghetti and canned tomatoes from the supermarket, though.
We have to take any plastic labels off because they can get wet and clog the bilge (the bit under the floorboards).
We also have to buy food rations and a fishing kit for our grab bag, a bag you keep handy and ‘‘grab’’ when you have to abandon ship.
The liferaft comes with a fishing kit already, but as a deadpan guy in a fishing shop in Kapiti said, ‘‘You aren’t going to catch a thing with that’’.
There are just a few weeks to go before we sail to the Pacific Islands from Opua. We’re obsessed with getting the boat ready. It seems to be one step forward and two steps back.
The mast came off to get the rigging done – yay. The mast is back and the radar and wind instruments no longer work – yay.
What next. Oh yes, 24 cans of canned chicken, 12 aluminium foil rolls, 60 bags of pasta and 72 tins of canned tomatoes.
If I start dreaming of 1000 cans of baked beans piled high then crashing on top of me, I’ll know I’m in real trouble.
Wish me luck.
Important planning: Provisions for the trip.