|Milly, ready for her stay at dock.|
|The clan. Only missing our boy, Tom.|
As I mentioned, Peter and I had a week long visit to Toronto. It was a whirlwind of greetings with family and friends - lovely - banking business - a relief - and taxes - a bore. A week was not long enough to see everyone or to complete all business but we were happy and ready to come home to Milly.
Milly was docked at a large marina in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. We had spent three days cleaning and readying her for her stay without us. The bilge pump and a leaking hot water pipe were fixed so she wouldn’t sink and the salt that had not been thoroughly rinsed during five months of sailing was washed away. All surfaces were wiped inside to cut down on the moisture related to salt to only that of the 99% humidity weather. We left her in great shape and returned to find her stinking hot but healthy.
Two loads of laundry. Jeans, socks and deck shoes cleaned and put away until next trip north. We are back in shorts, t-shirts and flipflops. When that is too hot, bathing suits.
Outdoor checks of lockers. Another freshwater rinse - when we get to a marina, we rinse every day just for the fun of it and because we can. Dinghy back in action.
Restocking the cupboards. Before we left, I tried to use up a bit of our stores. With two guests arriving in a few days, upon our return it was time to restock.
Here’s how grocery shopping works:
Here’s how grocery shopping works:
- Take an inventory of what’s missing or what’s needed. Basically, the same as home only the places to look are a bit different. I have six plastic bins, one wine crate, one bag, three cupboards, one fridge, one freezer and several spaces beside the bins where I keep food. Most is catalogued but some is not and requires a look.
- Dinghy to dock closest to grocery store. The dock here is very handy to the store. In some places, there is no dock and we have to beach the dinghy. In others, the store is a long trudge a way from the dock which is okay when bags are empty but a slog when bags are laden.
So laden that it looks like a big wave could send the produce floating away.
- Shop, keeping in mind that all items must be packed into two backpacks, one cooler bag and four hand grocery bags all of which we try to remember to take with us. On this trip, I forgot $$ which, of course, was unacceptable. Peter had to dinghy back to boat while I shopped.
- Return to boat. This requires each person lugging one backpack and carrying two shopping bags. One of us also carries a large cooler bag across shoulder and chest.
- Unpack. All frozen items immediately put in our freezer which is about a meter deep with three baskets, one on top of another. I try to keep my written inventory up to date so I know which basket to go to for what item. The freezer is a power sucker so it is key to open it for as little time as possible. Knowing where items are prior to opening is essential so the initial packing has to be organized and recorded.
- Any cardboard packaging is discarded before entering the saloon. This may be cruiser-lore but rumour has it the cockroaches lay their eggs in the glue of cardboard packaging. Lore or not, we do not want any varmints on Milly and so out goes the cardboard.
We'll be eating a lot of fruit! Washed, rinsed and ready for drying.
- All produce is dunked in salt water. As we are now in a marina lagoon, I do not dunk in the sea. It is probably dirtier than the fruit. Today, I washed in soap and water and rinsed with fresh. A drop or two of bleach probably would have been a good idea. At the vast majority of anchorages, I swish in salt water so that any lurking infestations will explode from osmosis. I then rinse and thoroughly dry. Finally, I put away - most produce can go in our baskets. Some is refrigerated. There is a science of what veg can be stored with which fruit. Apples, for example, go bad if stored with onions.
A big provisioning will have many more cans.
Each bin has it's own tally of what goes in and what comes out.
- All cans are washed and dried in soapy water, labelled and then stored either in the pantry or under the settee where they are catalogued.
|Done! One basket from Uruguay, one from Dominica and one from Gregory.|