Monday, 14 July 2008


I took enough food to last six days and emergency rations consisting of four dried pasta dishes, a tin of meatballs and some iso drinks. Though the pasta meals are unpalatable except in extremes, they are very light and the packaging is waterproof. I thought that six days worth of food would be too heavy but actually there wasn’t an enormous amount.

My larder contained: one fresh Catalan pork sausage long enough for three meals (here you can buy sausage by length, like rope.) 200 grams of bacon, six eggs, 400 grams of pasta, 400 grams of cooked brown rice, one rather dubious dried Catalan sausage, robust enough to take a soaking, a loaf of sliced brown bread, ten muesli bars, one bar of chocolate, four apples and four bananas. I also had a small bottle of olive oil, two onions, one head of garlic, dried chillies, tea, coffee and sugar as well as nuts, dried apricots and prunes. The heaviest items were six beers and two bottles of wine, though the wine I decanted into a litre and a half plastic bottle, and finally 15 litres of water in five-litre containers, which I could unload on landing to lighten the boat. Oh, and there’s always a bottle of whiskey onboard in case I have to entertain.

My family is vegetarian, which practically makes me one, so I usually have a latent carnivorous lust to satisfy, hence the quantity of meat. However, having consuming a yard of sausage in the first two days as well as bacon for breakfast I was again happy to go without flesh. I usually have a craving for spicy food too but, having learned from experience, I managed to avoid the typical, first night gut searing, krakatoan curry.

I took no salt. I love salt and keep a box of Maldon by the cooker, extravagant though it may be, but on a small boat for days at a stretch on a salty sea like the Med there is inevitably enough of the stuff encrusted under the decks, about one’s person or on one’s lips to make even a bar of chocolate a tolerably savoury snack. I didn’t need to resort to scraping salt crystals off the mast, where they built up nicely and was more than happy to season my victuals with garlic and chilli.

Outside the family dynamic I eat a lot less. On solitary excursions I know that two meals a day are sufficient. I wake to tea or coffee but am rarely hungry first thing, preferring to start the day and then have a meal around 10 or 11 o’clock. If hunger arrives before that I might eat fruit to tide me over. Then I can go on until the evening before having another meal. I took all this into account when buying my food and aimed to get by with a minimum.

I knew that I’d probably have the opportunity to restock or that I could call a friend and have them bring me supplies if I got the raving munchies and gnawed through my provisions in a couple of days. In the event, I bought some fresh prawns, six more beers and another bottle of wine. Pep left me a bag of fresh fruit and Irene gave me a packet of biscuits and a Mars bar. On the penultimate day I filled up two empty water containers from a garden hose.

I also supposed that I might eat out one evening and at Riumar I did ravenously wolf half a shared pizza though it hardly conformed to my idea of ‘a meal out’.

In practice my two meals a day were often just one, and sometimes the time between waking and eating a proper meal was excessively large. Though at times, in a lurching boat, it’s just not practical to eat there was always fruit to hand and this was often a godsend. Occasionally sharp set I was never so hungry as to be uncomfortable.

I brought back one unopened bottle of wine, four muesli bars, a quarter of a bar of chocolate, one egg, 200 grams of pasta, half Irene’s packet of biscuits, nuts, apricots and prunes and half a bottle of whiskey; as well as the four pasta meals, the can of meatballs and the iso drinks.

I kept my food in a motley assortment of plastic containers, which I hoped would be more or less water resistant. At all events I felt secure that if I was called upon to hold an impromptu Tupperware party then OB might distinguish herself.

No comments: