There were some practical lessons
plus some psychological lessons for me. I found that being at anchor at uninhabited
foreign islands feels much different to me than being at solitary anchorages in
the US - in the wilderness of the North Carolina ICW, for example. Both situations
have a sense of peaceful isolation. But away from the US, I realized just how
crucial it is for us to be as completely self-sufficient as possible. While the
Bahamas has BASRA - equivalent to the US Coast Guard, my lack of familiarity with
the Bahamian infrastructure had me feeling more alone and on my own than I feel
within the familiar safety net of the US. It brought home the reality of the necessity
for adequate spares and tools on board; something I'd always understood but not
at such a gut level.
Internet access was something we both missed - me more than Neal. Internet using
our satellite phone is possible but somewhat iffy and very very slow when connected.
The sat phone data connection is very useful for getting weather info, but is
very limited for anything else.
learned a lot about provisioning. When we moved aboard, we acquired a lot of food.
I initially tried to provision for 6 months. But we shopped with mostly just ideas
of what we like to eat and no in-depth meal planning. While we were just going
up and down the east coast of the US, this wasn't a problem because we were always
within easy reach of supermarkets. It's a different story being away from first-rate
supermarkets - or even third-rate markets. Relying on just our grocery inventory
taught us a lot about what's practical and what's not.
need to learn to make bread!!!
kind of cooking I'm doing now is not what I like to do. I've always disliked having
to get an adequate dinner on the table every evening. Left to my own devices,
I simply eat mostly junk or canned soup, etc. Neal is also been learning that
my meal planning is often conditional on the amount of clean-up required. I hate
dishwashing. So it's an ongoing challenge to satisfy both of us. That being said,
I have come up with a couple of interesting new creations, one
of which is found here..
is definitely an evolutionary exercise for us.
social side of the cruising life has its own demands on provisions. There are
invitations to pot luck dinners and other gatherings that require food. We were
not well prepared to come up with contributions, but we managed and we learned
a lot seeing what other cruisers brought. I'm accustomed to being able to get
fresh ingredients for these occasions but it's a challenge out in the middle of
nowhere. So I've scoured the cookbooks and have a growing grocery list that should
have us better prepared to contribute something tasty when we socialize.
have too much stuff on board. But how long do we carry this stuff around before
we're reasonably certain that we won't need it? And will we be needing an item
within a few days of when we finally discard it? Of course.
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