Day 124 – One for Livio
Sat 16 Apr 2022 07:32
Course: NNW Speed: 6 knots
Wind: ESE F4 Sea: slight
Swell: SE 2m
Weather: sunny, warm, humid
Day’s Run: 156nm
It has been another 24 hours of peaceful sailing, so not much to write about, which is good for now.
One thing that one of my readers asked me about was what I eat on such a long voyage, particularly without any refrigeration (apart from baked beans). So I will take this quiet time to try to provide a reasonably succinct answer.
Clearly, the first month of the voyage is pretty much like many other voyages I have done and I have found that some staple vegetable keep very well, especially if you are remaining in cooler climes. These include potatoes, cabbages, and onions. The trick with cabbages is to peel the leaves off and not to cut them. Potatoes tend to go off a bit quicker and one needs to sort through them on a regular basis to get rid of any that are starting to rot as soon as possible. Onions will keep for maybe as long as three months or more and in hind sight I could have brought more. Once past the first month then one’s diet is mostly dried and tinned food.
At sea, and in harbour for that matter, my diet is relatively simple, revolving around three meals that are really variations around some basic ingredients. Breakfast is generally a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal using powdered milk which I make up at the beginning of each day. Lunch is generally Vegemite sandwiches if I have baked some bread or rice/corn thins if I haven’t. (Being a coeliac adds a bit of a complication to my dietary needs.) I vary the contents of the sandwich with peanut paste or a small tin of flavoured tuna depending on my mood. Also I occasionally have pancakes for brunch in the way of a change, especially in cooler weather.
Dinner, the main meal, revolves around three dishes; a pasta, a stir-fry, and a vegetable curry. The pasta consists of pasta, obviously, boiled in some brackish water to save drinking water, with a sauce made of tinned mushrooms, olives, tinned capsicum, small can of flavoured tuna, and a sachet of tomato paste topped with some Parmesan cheese from a packet. The stir-fry consists of boiled rice, mushrooms, capsicum, and either some Spam or corned beef fried with some chilli flakes, all flavoured with a generous splash of soya sauce. (The chilli flakes I have discovered to be the essential ‘secret’ ingredient that turns Spam into something quite tasty.) Then, the piece de resistance is the vegetable curry. This consists of dried mushrooms, lentils, a can of carrots or mixed vegetables, a can of potatoes, a can of four bean mix, a cup of textured vegetable protein, some coconut milk powder, water, some spices and of course a generous amount of curry powder. The pressure cooker does a great job of infusing all the flavours, is quite economical on fuel (sort of the boat version of the microwave oven), and given that you can keep the contents hermetically sealed after cooking, keeps for several days, again depending on climate.
Then, I also have a few back-ups for heavy weather, tiredness or just plain laziness; such as can of chilli beans with corn chips. A cold compote of gherkins, olives, stuffed vine leaves, and Spam with tomato sauce makes for a good hot weather meal. And a can of mixed fruit and UHT cream makes for a good desert, or a meal for that matter.
In the way of snacks I have mixed nuts and dried fruit, dried apricots, food bars, biscuits and chocolate.
Beverages consist mainly of water, regular tea or coffee (beans freshly ground and drip filtered – no instant rubbish on board Sylph), herbal tea of various sorts, and hot chocolate, though I have only had one cup of this last beverage so far.
And that’s about it. I hope my little culinary wrap-up has left you feeling appropriately peckish.
The winds are forecast to be light and variable tomorrow and for several days thereafter. We are perhaps getting into the dreaded doldrums. Hopefully we will not be cursed by them to drift for endless days and nights.
All is well.