Provisioning for the cast off

Tomorrow is the big day!  After six months in Charleston we are casting off lines and migrating south for the winter.  We have many stops mapped out on the way to the Bahamas but as Jack always says, “Sailors have intentions, not plans.”  We love to go with the flow and see where we end up.

Our intentions are to be gone for about the next nine months. That means a whole lot of work must be done before we cast off to make sure we have all the provisions we will need. For weeks I’ve been making iPod lists of the lists I need to make.

Having small children complicates the provisioning process because I have to think ahead to what they will be eating and drinking and what sizes they will be wearing for the next nine months until we arrive back in the States.  Jack Benjamin will be eating pureed foods and Marietta will be eating enough to count her into the food consumption plan.  JB will probably be wearing size 24 months at the rate he is growing and Marietta size 3.  So thankful for the wonderful thrift stores here in Charleston that provide our whole family with clothes.

Being that we are trying to stock the boat with everything we need to live for a year, I have to divide and conquer and buy one category of things at a time.  Two weeks ago was non-perishables.

Part of SAM’s provisioning stacked in cockpit.

Last week I filled the 3.5 cubic foot freezer with cheese, beef and chicken.  Jack’s job is to fill the remaining freezer space with fish, he is quite the spear fisherman!

Jack goes on the offensive when we are out of fresh fish, he becomes the ultimate predator. Check out this Jack-fish he shot with his spear gun and swam back to the boat with a few months ago. I had to search for creative ways to serve fish!

And when we are in places that Jack can’t spear the perfect fish, we trail 2 lines behind our boat for surprise dinners.

We had our hands full when these 2 guys struck at the same time!

Yesterday was declared “Trader Joe’s Day.”  Jack and I threw the kids in the car and headed out to try and finish our provisioning process.  The Trader Joe’s store is only 10 minutes away but during the drive both kids fell asleep.  We decided the divide-and-conquer plan would work out best, so Jack stayed in the car with the sleeping angels and I worked on the mile-long list.  Being that I was buying in such bulk and didn’t want to empty their shelves, a sales associate followed me around with a cart and made frequent trips to the stockroom to bring out cases of various products.  Apologies to anyone living in the Charleston, SC area who likes their French Roast Coffee, they won’t have any more until Thursday.

Two super-packed shopping carts, one hour and $774 later, the very helpful sales associate assisted me to the car with the provisions:  35 pounds of coffee, 30 packages of “almost” homemade pasta, 30 bottles of pasta sauce, 80 handy squeeze packets of kid’s applesauce to use on passages, 50 fruit roll-ups (100% fruit, no sugar), enough garbanzo beans to make hummus for a year, a little wine for the bilge, chips, five jars of organic mayo, a bunch of yummy dried fruit and nuts to make granola, etc. etc. etc.

Last winter, after three months in the Bahamas, we ran out of canned vegetables.  Imagine that!  Who runs out of canned veggies?  We always eat fresh veggies when we can and I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to find fresh food outside of Nassau in the Bahamas.  Good thing one of my many iPod lists was “things to do differently next time.”   Now if I can just remember where I put everything …

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About Oh, the Places We've Been!

In 2008 I married Jack, the love of my life and the only man that could ever keep up with me. Instead of the nice little French Colonial with a white picket fence, we opted to make our home on the 46-foot catamaran "Let it Be". Since living on a sailboat we've had two kids and sailed thousands of miles along the coast of Central America, the United States, the Bahamas and currently Baja California. Our family of four is always ready for the next adventure and we’re never quite sure where it will take us next. Oh, the places we still have yet to go!
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7 Responses to Provisioning for the cast off

  1. unclelawwy says:

    OK. I’m absolutely exhausted and going back to bed but before I do let me say I love Jack’s motto that “sailor have intentions.” Reminds me of one of my favorites – “If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.”

  2. Keith Kibler says:

    You guys are quite the adventurers!
    Questions come to mind:
    What will you do with your car for 9 months?
    What will you do for 9 months in Nausau?
    Will you be able to communicate with your friends while you are there?

    Keith Kibler

    • Oh, the Places We've Been! says:

      Hey Keith! Good questions. We are storing our car and motorcycle here in Charleston at a friend’s storage building. Jack did some boat work for them in return for storing our car and moto.

      We won’t be in Nassau for the whole 9 months, we go there only for provisions (fresh vegetables & diesel). We like to spend most of our time anchored off outer islands, snorkeling and hiking on the islands. Last season my goal was to learn to bake good bread. I made a sourdough starter and baked bread nearly every day.

      We have a Ham Radio email address where we can receive email when we don’t have internet. Last season in Bahamas we found WIFI every few days so we checked our email that way as well.

      Email away! It’s always great hearing from friends when at sea.

  3. sandy simpson says:

    Keep us informed, love you much

  4. Allison (Nielsen) Fowlie says:

    I am ever amazed at your adventures. I could never imagine being that relaxed and free (as I am a self professed control freak and way too type A). Planning for NINE months with 2 little ones?!? Makes my head spin-very impressive. I would love to think I could let go enough to be that adventurous … but I know better. Godspeed and have a blast!

  5. MB says:

    I think Jack Benjamin and Griffin are in a dead heat to see who can grow the fastest! I will miss the daily words with friends move, but the sporadic plays will keep me guessing. I hope you guys have a wonderful voyage. Safe travels and tell Marietta to keep up the good “potty” work!

  6. Katie Smith says:

    Good tip to stock up before our 4 month stint in The Bahamas! Hope we can meet up and do some snorkeling off some remote island this winter! 🙂

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