Alright, I survived the long puddle jump passage and am lounging in the tropics. So far the one universal is - rot
happens. It just does. Toss the rotten stuff out and don't angst on it.

Memories of my first big passage
We are about to embark on our longest passage ever, 3,000 miles from Mazatlan to the Marquesas Islands in the
South Pacific. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Excuse me, I just needed a brief moment of hysteria. For this voyage
Richard and I will be joined by Doris, the Wonder Crew! Hi Doris! Now we need food and water for the voyage.
Right - ha. haha.     HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, darn that pesky hysteria.


I've read ALL the books, analyzed web logs from other cruisers, and generally have been overwhelmed. After a
deep breathe I decided to start at the beginning.

Step 1- Answer some basic questions:

1) How long is the passage?
2) How weight tolerant is the boat?
3) How many crew members?
4) What is the provisioning like in your final destination?
5) What does the crew like to eat?
6) What is the provisioning like in your departure port?

1)  How long is the passage?

Method:
I enlisted the captain's help. We reviewed other cruiser's websites, routing software, and the pilot chart
wind speed estimates in relationship to our boat speeds. We discovered, generally, a predicted time of between 17
to 24 days.

Our Answer In our case we believe the trip should take about 21 days. I then added 9 days (or about 40%
because I'm paranoid) in case of a slower passage, emergency, etc. So, I need food for a 30 day passage.

2) How weight tolerant is the boat?

Method:
Experience with your boat. Monohulls tolerate being overloaded better than catamarans.

Our Answer Mystic Rhythms is a catamaran, so, sails like a pig if weighted down too much. This means that I want
to avoid provisioning for the end of the world since I don't want to unnecessarily prolong the voyage.

3) How many crew members?

Method:
Counting will do nicely here

Our Answer There will be 3 crew. ooo, unless I made a toe adding error....


4) What is the provisioning like in your final destination?

Method:
Search for other cruiser's web logs and read their accounts of what they found at the end of the rainbow.
Email any cruiser you may know who might already be there and ask them about the availability of particular items.
Once you know what is or is not available you can add to your basic passage list  (passage length x number of
crew) all the difficult to buy items for the length of time you will be in your destination.

Our Answer The final destination is French Polynesia where prices are high and some things hard to find. In
particular I understand eggs, chicken, wine, brown sugar, and vegetables are expensive or difficult to buy. On the
other hand, flour, butter, cheese, rice, couscous and pasta are reasonably priced and available.
So, I will plan another 30 days worth of the provisions that are expensive or hard to get in my final destination. In my
case I plan on extra chicken, eggs and vegetables (canned, long-life or frozen).

5) What does the crew like to eat?

Method:
Interview the crew. Find out what allergies or bizarre preferences you are up against. If someone will eat
nothing with bee pollen on it, you need to know upfront. (By the way, are you SURE they'd be good crew?)
If the crew are already living with you, pay attention to what you buy now, what they eat now and what is left in the
back of the fridge to rot.
Pay attention to what people want to eat when ill. You will probably need some food that is as good coming up as it
is going down.
Try, with the entire crew, potential food products before you buy a lot.

Our Answer You don't want to know the answer. The captain wants brightly colored cereal, Pop-tarts, Mountain
Dew and pizza. Crew wants German chocolate, soup and bread. I'm siding with the crew.

6) What is the provisioning like in your departure port?

Method:
A couple of weeks (or days if time is short) visit the stores and markets where you might shop. Take a
look at what they carry, try a few products and think of recipes that you can cook using the locally available
ingredients.

Our Answer We are leaving from Mazatlan, Mexico. I will be cooking lots of enchiladas and fajitas not so much on
the Indian food.

Step 2- Create a Basics Food List expressed in Servings

I need meals and snacks for 3 people for 30 days plus hard to acquire in French Polynesia items for another 30
days. If food is expressed in terms of servings needed it seems to be easier to shop.

Per day after observing our eating habits and research each we will need:

Water - 1 gal per person
Starch (1/2 cup dry rice or couscous, 6 oz dry pasta, etc.)- 1 serving per person
Fruit- 1 lb per person (4 servings of 4 oz.)
Vegetables- 1 lb per person (4 servings of 4 oz.)
Meat- 4 oz. per person (none of us are big meat eaters)
Flour- 3 cups (one loaf of bread a day- my recipe takes 3 cups)
Snacks- 1 per person
Eggs- 1 per person
Drinks (juice, mixes) - 1 qt per person
Milk- 1/2 pint per person

So the minimum list for 30 days is:

Water - 90 gal
Starch (1/2 cup dry rice or couscous, 6 oz dry pasta, etc.)- 90 servings
Fruit- 90 lb
Vegetables- 90 lb
Meat- 23 lbs.
Flour-  90 cups (about 26 lbs.)
Snacks- 90 servings
Eggs- 90
Drinks (juice, mixes) - 90 qt.
Milk- 22.5 qts.


I now add to the minimum list extra counts for those things hard to get in French Polynesia:

Water - 135 gal (filling our tanks plus some extra)
Starch (1/2 cup dry rice or couscous, 6 oz dry pasta, etc.)- 90 servings
Fruit- 100 lb
Vegetables- 120 lb
Meat- 160 servings
Lunch meat or cheese- 120 servings
Flour-  40 lb (adding extra for sweets, I am a pastry chef after all)
Snacks- 90 servings
Eggs- 72 ( none of us eat eggs except for baking)
Drinks (juice, mixes) - 120 qt.
Milk- 35 qts.
Sugar- 15 lb.
Butter- 8 lbs.
Specialty items - salsa, chocolate chips, brown sugar, yeast, cereal, mayo, toilet paper, paper towels, cornmeal,
chilis, spices



Step 3: Assess your specialty needs

Okay - you've got a basic nutrition list.  Add to it all the things your kitchen cannot do without - baking supplies,
coffee, sauces, household cleaners, etc. Then you need to add all those specialty items that you do not care to do
without, maple syrup, fluffer nutter, whatever.
Congratulations you now have a Need list.

Step 4: Inventory Your Boat
I know, I know, ew, but, go through all lockers and storage areas, clean, ditch the out-of-date or icky things and list
everything that is left.

Step 5: Shop
Take the boat's inventory list and use it to "shop" from the Need list. Cross off everything you already have on the
boat.
Now - um- shop. You will soon be pushing carts loaded so high that just your little eyes will be peeking out above
the graham crackers and Oreos. You will also experience mule syndrome. This is when you find yourself toting
large quantities of canned chicken in your back pack. Please, bray quietly. It disturbs the neighbors.

Get used to feeling like a crazed squirrel franticly stuffing food into your overflowing cheeks.

When shopping - bring help! Its a tiring process.

Step 6: Stow

Okay, this part is tedious. Basically, put the food away where you can find it again. I wrote down where everything
was put as I stowed. I also placed lists on each storage area so Mr. Captain, Sir and Doris the Wonder Crew could
find food if I am, ahem, under the weather.

There are many theories about how to prepare your fresh produce for a long passage. I listened to all of them, did
some research on the internet and came up with my own variations.

Some produce I briefly (10 minutes) soaked in a weak bleach solution (1 gallon of water to 1 Tablespoon of
bleach). I then let them dry COMPLETELY in the sun. If you have any dampness on your produce when you store
them you are sending a monogrammed invitation to mold to join the party.

Dipped Produce
melon
tomato
apples
limes
oranges
bananas
pineapple
tomatillos
avocado
peppers
calabacitas (zucchini)

If its not on the list, I packed it away unwashed. Eeeek, how daring...

If I had to buy produce that was already refrigerated, I let it come to room temperature and dried it before I tucked it
away.

Much of the produce I packed away in tissue paper in single layers (tomatoes, tomatillos, apples, cucumbers,
cabbage). The potatoes, onions and garlic were placed in paper bags in a dark room. Citrus was stored all by its
little lonesome, potatoes were kept apart from the onions (although I hear a shallot ran off with a new potato) and
apples were stored in their one basket.

Eggs I packed away in plastic cartons and turned once a day in order to keep them fresh. I used sturdy plastic so I
could just flip the entire carton and not each individual egg. I'm not that bored yet.

Result: Passage and Results
We arrived to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas after 21 placid days and 21 different meals for dinner - yeah!

Unfortunately a leak into our dry storage area ruined much of my spare supplies. Anything that was not in
waterproof containers rotted. The cans all rusted. In addition our freezer failed. We discovered this by the odor
wafting from the freezer area. We had our own primordial soup. Needless to say, all our meat, frozen vegetables
and fruits had to be tossed into the great deep. Thank goodness I had considered all the freezer stuff as luxurious
extras and had plenty of canned goods to feed us.

All my citrus rotted in the aluminum foil, every single piece. Sigh, it appears that during the day the little packages
heat up and then at night cooled down causing condensation inside. I suspect this is worse on our boat being a
catamaran - we have a lot of windows to let heat in.

In the future I will not dip the produce. If there was even the tiniest of blemishes the water stayed in the produce
and rotted it. However, if the produce was blemish free, it seemed to last quite a long time.

I now have an egg aversion. Most of my eggs rotted into fizzy little stink bombs. Next time I will carry fewer and keep
them in the refrigerator.

The pineapples and melons did very well. The green ones were ready to eat the second week. Apples are the rock
stars of the fruit. I still have 5 Mexican apples after 2 months at sea.

I give up on cabbage. No one on our boat likes or eats it. I consider them a waste of space.


Provisioning in  French Polynesia:
There is a big difference in provisioning possibilities depending on where you are. Hiva Oa and Nuka Hiva in the
Marquesas had a fair selection for re-provisioning. The Tuamotus has nothing, bring citrus to them and the locals
will be greatly appreciative. You can get pretty much anything in Tahiti - you will just pay through the nose for most
of it.

If you have specific concerns, try and contact another boat who is already where you are going. Prices and
supplies avenues change constantly so what was once expensive or unavailable may be reasonable.

Reasonable:
fruit, in season - you can trade for fruit but you won't find much in the shops.
baguette - $.40, get it early in the morning or they may run out
rice - Jasmine, sushi
pasta - spaghetti, couscous, rice noodles
sugar
flour
oil

Moderate:
French and Danish cheeses, Brie, Emmanthal, Camambert
vegetables

Expensive:
eggs- $6 a dozen
wine - a box goes for $60, no, not kidding
beer- try $60 a case - ouch
meat
soda
juice

Impossible to Find:
chocolate chips
no sugar peanut butter
Provisioning, Or, How to Make Yourself Crazy
(March 2005)