Day 34
Noon Position: 26 17S 125 10W

Course/Speed: 0

Wind: S 3

Sail: Dowsed

Bar: 1025

Sea: E 2

Sky: Squalls

Cabin Temp: 86

Water Temp: 77 
Miles last 24-hours: 97

Miles since departure: 4429

“Damn wind!” I muttered to Monte this morning. We both sat on the rail staring at the horizon to weather from which came nothing but one rain column after the other, slowly, over a glassy sea.

“Senior, do not hate the wind; the wind is all that we have. But OK, you can hate these squalls that are like elephants, you know the elephant, Senior?, that suck the wind up into the sky. Damn elephants!”

“This…and the westerlies are still 600 miles south!”
“It is because you are impatient. You are eager for the challenge, but Cape Horn, it will be there when you arrive; it does not matter the day.”

“No, Monte, I am eager for the challenge *to commence.* Such a long way to the starting line.”

Thus to explain that were are going nowhere, again.

So, provisioning…

By the time I got to the Figure 8, I’d provisioned for several month-long passages, and in 2016, I provisioned Mo for an entire summer of sailing. But a year? That was a real mind bender.

Here was my approach:

1. The goal was to have 365 days of food aboard. That would leave me no cushion if the voyage did take that long, but as I intended a stop in the northeast, I could supplement the supply there as needed in or around month ten.

2. The organization plan was built on recipes for foods I eat on land. I’ve learned the hard way that, when stressed, the familiar is far more precious than variety. So, anchovies in fifteen flavors? No. Curried beef and rice twice every week? OK.

3. Meals needed to be simple to prepare. For example, most breakfasts are easy oats–oatmeal (hot) or muesli (cold). I struck gold in finding Kodiak pancake mix (one part mix to one part water) which now serves as my toast substitute for the beloved PB+J. Lunches are cold; cheese and crackers, peanut butter and cheese, various spreads. All dinners are batched to be two meals in one pot, and most are made in the pressure cooker. 

4. Foods needed to last without access to freezer or refrigeration as Mo has neither. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the lovely tin can, this is just not that difficult. Some items like Kodiak Cake Mix, NIDO Milk, etc., will push up against their “best by” dates by the time I get north, but my experience suggests this will not be a problem for most foods.

5. Supplementation. My caloric requirements will jump when it gets cold and rough, but by how much I do not know. Planned meal portions are already generous, but I wanted an easy way to goose intake. So, months ago I began experimenting with powdered meal replacement “shakes.” Most, I found, are protein bombs or low in calories or high in sugar (or all three) when what I wanted was a balanced meal. Enter SOYLENT, whose goal is exactly that. Each “meal” is 400 calories, i.e. 20% of the RDA of 2000 calories per day, and contains 20% of the RDA of nutrients. A white powder, neutral in flavor; add water, mix, drink. Bingo. Now MO has 400 meals of SOYLENT tucked away in lockers for when it gets cold.
6. Don’t cheat. Trust the math on the spreadsheet and avoid the urge to “shelfgrab” when shopping. In the end I did cheat a little. Extra coffee, milk, cookies, crackers, and fresh cheese found their way aboard (thank you Joanna!). 

7. All foods must be tracked, both where they are aboard and when they are consumed. (One last minute mishap: the printed tracking sheet I use on Mo is NOT alphabetized. It’s random and in a tiny font. Oops.)

I did not account for fresh fruit and veg in the inventory as they don’t last more than a few weeks.

Thinking it would be a big project, I began provisions planning *months* before departure. Good idea, as it turned out. 

I’ve included the tracking and provisioning spreadsheet for those inclined that way.

Wind kicked in a 1pm, so back to work.

7 Comments on “Provisioning 

  1. Cool post re provisioning. I’ve read the writings of other modern adventurers, and there’s a common theme: loads of spreadsheet work before heading out. One adventurer lamented he’d love to get started, if ever he could get finished with his spreadsheets! I suppose crossing off supplies is to help you decide when you’re getting close to the end of your provisions? Hope you don’t actually have to restock in the arctic; food ain’t cheap up there. Unless you like walrus.

  2. If I’m reading that sheet correctly, it looks like all the alcohol has already been consumed??

  3. Any fresh fish? My father frequently fished off the side of his boat on longer journeys (although he was never out of sight of land for more than a week or three).

  4. Enjoy your post every day. Do you have solar panels? What is a typical sleep pattern on a good day or night. Do you have an alarm when there is a ship near by? Thanks

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