Birds, Blankets and a Question Regarding Favorite Foods

June 23, 2018

Day 177/5

Noon Position: 32 21N 158 35W
Course/Speed: N7+
Wind: ENE 17-20
Bar: 1028, steady
Sea: Lumpy and steep to 8 feet
Sky: Overcast
Cabin Temperature: 76
Water Temperature: 74
Sail: double reefed working jib; one reef in main, close reaching to close hauled

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 143
Miles this leg: 659
Avg. Miles this leg: 132


Herman, my friend the blackfooted albatross, swung near the boat just after dawn to say goodbye. He didn’t have to, of course. I knew the many visits of yesterday were a diversion while the wind was down. All night wind built slowly, and by the orange of sunup Mo was beating hard into a lumpy sea. Wind, real wind, meant Herman must get back on the job, back on the hunt, a hunt that will take him far and wide and at speeds Mo can only dream of. We’ve not seen another bird all day.

Now that we’re in the 30s of north latitude, it is beginning to cool. Temps are below 80 (76 as I type at 5pm). I must wear sleeves on deck and a light blanket over me at night. When was the last I did that? I can’t recall. For months getting into bed has simply required lying down. And to make the bed, I simply rise. Sleeping without cover of any kind seems uncivilized, primal–until you’ve done it for months. Then its the blanket that is cloying, heavy, unnaturally restraining.

My friend Kelton has asked to interview me on my blog. I can only suppose he thinks the Figure 8 story must be flagging, because he has submitted a list of twelve burning questions that I am to answer one at a time as the situation allows.
Today the situation allows.

Question #1
Which three foods brought you the most joy to eat on the voyage and which three foods do you crave that you cannot stock?



Starting back to front: It should be no shock that I miss fresh vegetables most. Without a fridge or freezer, the fresh foods I do stock on Mo don’t last long–a week or two for the highly perishable–a month or more for root vegetables and cabbages. One challenge is that the Figure 8 launches south and right into the tropics. I’d have better luck if I headed north first.¬†Specifically, what I miss is the crunch of a good salad, say, a Ceasar or Kale salad; simple, steamed asparagus or green beans; roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and a balsamic glaze; barbecued corn; roasted summer squash.

And then contemplate this: barbecued peaches with clotted cream.

I’m not sure that “joy” is the right word for any of my foods, though they are all good, hearty eating. The no-kneed bread, fresh-baked aboard, has been wholesome and heartwarming, and my entrees–curried beef with rice; salmon and polenta; shepherd’s pie, chicken pasta, have really hit the spot.
More intersting to me is what has not worked. Two cases of canned Devon Cream (sweet cream in rice, an English specialty and quintessential comfort food). I’ve eaten one can. Canned hummus should be a winner, but I didn’t groove on the flavors of the brand I bought. Canned tuna. Not a fan. Why did I buy three cases?

And then there are the foods I like that still have gone unmade. Dishes calling for rice, for example. I brought upwards of 30 pounds of delicious, whole brown rice. Rice requires the pressure cooker. Not difficult to do, but just incrementally more difficult than polenta or dried mashed potatoes. So rice suffered.

Several of the cupboards that were chockablock when I departed are noticeably depleted. Soon it will be time to think through the provisioning plan again.

Devon Cream anyone?


3 Comments on “Birds, Blankets and a Question Regarding Favorite Foods

  1. Interesting. Backpackers have similar foods they pack and don’t eat because they just don’t “work” for one reason or another. Have read that appetites change while undergoing a sojourn, and that foods you like back home are not necessarily the ones you desire while traveling. Mysterious.

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