Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting ready for the Bahamas

Kristen here - While we are in the land of relatively cheap grocery stores, I've decided to provision for the Bahamas. Since I am the master of lists and organization, I have planned everything out to a tee. First came the list. It is a thing of beauty. I listed each type of meat, then the food categories such as grains, vegetables, drinks, baking items, condiments, cheeses, spices, and toiletries. The I listed meal types such as Chinese, Indian, Italian, and Japanese. Have you ever gone to the grocery store and come home forgetting an item or two? Now imagine not being able to go back to the grocery store for two months! Hopefully my list will be complete and comprehensive. It includes 50 pounds of meat that hopefully will fit into our freezer. There may be complex volume calculations involved in this!

The next step was to make room for the food. So far the list includes about 80 canned items (not including soda), 5 bags of flour, 20 boxes of mac and cheese, 10 sleeves of coke, and as much beer as humanly possible. Did I mention that beer runs upwards of $40 a case in the Bahamas! The good news is that rum is cheaper than water, so I may have to switch my drink of choice.

So I looked around the boat to find places to store food. Casey and I were sitting up a couple of nights ago and pondering food storage areas. I told him that we needed someplace forward and on the starboard side in order to balance the weight of our generator on the aft port side. He immediately suggested the linen closet. Genius! We currently have comforters, blankets, and extra pillows there, which can be compressed and stored elsewhere or mailed back home. I don't think we'll need blankets in the Bahamas. Of course Casey also suggested that we could store everything in his chubs too.

Ok, now as a sidebar, I have to explain chubs. Chubs is our boat word. It can mean pretty much anything. The most common use of chubs is, "Why's you bein' so chubby?". To which the reply can be " I'm feeling too chubby to answer that". You can also say, "Man, that was a really chubby dinner Mom!", or "How are your chubs feeling today?". When my Dad came to visit, he got the hang of chubs right away. He coined the phrases "left chubs", and "right chubs". He would say, "Man, my right chubs aren't feeling too good today, but my left chubs are feeling all perked up!". One night Casey told Poppi that he hoped his chubs had a good night sleep. Poppi replied, "My chubs never sleep, they are always watching you." I'm sure you get the idea by now. So feel free to incorporate chubs into your every day conversations and spread the chubs!

Back to provisioning. Yesterday I emptied most of our linnen closet. I now have space beyond my wildest dreams! We're talking six whole square feet or so! Amazing. We will never go hungry again. Now the next step is to actually purchase the groceries. This is when I realized my mistake. How in the world am I going to get all these heavy and bulky groceries to our boat? Wal Mart is two bus rides away, and each of us can carry 5-6 bags. This is my quandry for the day. I'm thinking of begging someone to use their car. Otherwise we'll have to make several trips to purchase the whole list. We'll see how that goes.

Another thing we did to get ready was purchase a food sealer. This thing is so cool! It sucks the air out of the bag and seals it. This ensures freshness and dryness, and things will take up less space when sealed this way. Everything we purchase will be portioned out and sealed. For example flour will be sealed in 5 cup amounts for making bread, and two cup amounts for cookies. Sugar will be sealed in 1 cup portions, and rice will be sealed in 2 cup portions. I looked up many recipies to see what the most common usage amounts will be. When you put the bags into the sealer, it sounds like a race car leaving the starting line...vrrrrrrr, mmmrrrrrrr. When it shifts from vacuming to sealing it sounds like a car shifting down.

Casey has taken contol of the sealer, and as soon as school is done he races to start sealing. So far he's done all of the mac and cheese, and one container of bran. Just wait till he sees the mountain of groceries he'll need to do after the shopping is done!

Oh, I've also started running and exercising again. Yesterday I ran about three miles. I met a couple of gentlemen on the run and we chatted for a while. It made the run much more pleasant. On the way I found a coconut tree that had shedded a ton of coconuts. FREE COCONUTS!!! I've been looking for more ever since we found the first one. So on my way back to the boat, I scooped up three of them. We peeled the hull off and found that one coconut was rotten, but the other two were just fine. When I have some free time, I will peel, shred, and freeze them. Fresh coconut milk is simply amazing. This morning I was pleased to have no pain from yesterdays run. I would have thought that with the past 2 months of no running, I would have lost much more muscle. This morning I did some stretching and weight lifting (I use industrial rubber bands as weights) and found that other muscles did loose mass. Oh well, it was nice to take a break for a little while.

Now I must get to the chores. So much to do and so little time!

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