Day 6: Top Tips For Cooking On A Rowboat

I thought you might find this interesting. It gives some insight into the challenges of cooking and eating on board, and as living on a rowboat is a bit like camping-on-the-sea, keen campers might find it useful.

1. Jetboil stoves are brilliant. In the past I’ve used camping stoves, electric kettles and gimballed Seacook stoves, but the Jetboil is far and away the best system I’ve used. Fast, compact and efficient. But I’m glad I brought a number of spare lighters, because the ignition unit is a major weak point in the system. (Thanks, Rob at Sea To Summit, for the Jetboil, and for the warning about the ignition!)

2. Make your freeze-dried meal in a thermos mug, not the bag that it comes in. If you make it in the bag, you have smelly rubbish to carry around with you. The mug is washable, and also means you can allow the meal longer to rehydrate fully without it going cold.

3. Latte spoons are really good for making sure you stir the water into the freeze-dried food properly, getting all the bits out of the corners. It’s so horrible getting to the end of your dinner and finding a corner of the meal that didn’t get mixed in and is all dry and hard.

4. Waterproof containers for everything. I’d have lost a lot more food in the Great Flood of the Galley Locker if not for Tupperware and Aquapacs.

5. For eating in high winds (like today), so far the best tactic I’ve found is to wear a wide-brimmed sunhat (Sea To Summit makes a good one) and face away from the wind as you attempt to transfer food from mug to mouth. The brim provides a windbreak, so I end up eating more and wearing less of my dinner.

The next time you’re eating your meal outside your tent while gazing contentedly into your campfire, just imagine trying to prepare your meal on a pitching boat, juggling stove and spoon and mug and trying not to lose anything overboard. It definitely adds a certain liveliness to the cooking experience!

Other Stuff:

If the ocean is like a box of chocolates, then today was the chocolate that nobody wants. This is where I realise I really don’t know American chocolates, so I may require a cultural interpreter for my US readers. What is the most popular American box of chocolates, and which is the dud flavour that gets left behind in the tray?

The chocs we got at Christmas in our house in Britain were generally Quality Street. Everyone wanted the one in the purple wrapper (hazelnut in caramel). I think nougat was probably the least popular. Today was definitely a nougat kind of a day.

There was a thunderstorm crashing and flashing for most of last night, and it rumbled on well into today, with heavy grey skies and constant rain. This makes life on board very wet and uncomfortable. Skin chafes, cabins moulder, spirits are low.

Add to that the fact that I finish today 11 miles further away from my destination than I was this time last night, and all in all, I’m glad today is over. Let’s hope tomorrow has a purple wrapper on it!

Photos:
At least I had some company today. This bird bobbed around near my boat for a few minutes. Sorry it’s not a better photo. Any ID possible?

Enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers, as the saying goes. Can anyone tell me the origin of the saying? And/or suggest why Dutchmen’s trousers are different from anybody else’s?!

Sponsored Miles:

Wolfgang Stehr, Eugene Capeder, Larry Grandt, Laurie McGillivray, Kathleen Donigan, Jo Fothergill, Niland Mortimer, Marian Payne (Mimi), Sam Mauri, Tanya Babalow, Gail Brownell, Margarita Frias, Curtis Zingg, Shannon Fogg, James Borleis, David Quinlan, John Newsom, Chris Young – thank you for helping Roz to row these miles.

  • Richard in DFW

    Hey Roz, I think your chocolates comparison, “The chocs we got at Christmas in our house in Britain were generally
    Quality Street. Everyone wanted the one in the purple wrapper (hazelnut
    in caramel). I think nougat was probably the least popular. Today was
    definitely a nougat kind of a day” is accurate here in the states too… Sorry for the nougat day…

    Lets see if I can cheer you up with two related stories. First, From Mr. Grundy – owner of my favorite B&B in the English Countryside… “The difference between Heaven an Hell! HEAVEN: English Police, French Chefs, Swiss Chocolates, German Management and Italian Lovers! HELL: German Police, English Chefs (His words, Not mine ), French Chocolates, Italian Management and Swiss Lovers!” Now from a dictionary of humorous “Sailing” definitions. “Alcohol Stove: (1) A device used for bringing chilled foods to room temperature over extended periods of time; (2) Its fuel may be used to make afternoon cocktails in a pinch; (3) Used incorrectly it may convert your boat into a liquid asset.” So the JetBoil sounds infinitely better even with its shortcomings…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532019852 Joan Sherwood

    Perhaps it’s more like the Dutchman is more likely to patch his trousers than to get new ones. Frugal Dutchman.

    I think Russell Stover is probably the most recognized, non-fancy box of assorted chocolates over here. The prime chocolate in my book was the chewy caramel, usually determined by a flattish shape in square or rectangle. Nougats and chocolate covered cherries were the dud flavors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532019852 Joan Sherwood

    Oh, and I wish I could find a link to that great utilitarian thermos you use for everything, Roz. I’ve looked on the Thermos site, but it may be a discontinued model. I think they classify it in the “food jar” category.

  • http://twitter.com/beverlywu Beverly Wu

    Here in Canada, “Pot of Gold” seems to be the cheap chocolate gift box of choice at Christmas etc. Not much of a fan…too many caramels for my liking!

  • Anonymous

    Sees Candies owned by Warren Buffet are local San Francisco chocolates. Many US chocolates lack a key so you don’t know if you’re getting strawberry mush or crystalized ginger. Maybe a box of chocolate gingers for your next voyage to complement ginger tea.

  • Rick in Colorado

    Joan,
    chocolate covered cherries are duds? Oh my, no! I think the problem in the US is the chocolate; too much wax and cheap fillers. A few months ago, I was given some chocolate from Oslo, and the difference is significant.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532019852 Joan Sherwood

    It wasn’t the chocolate so much (though it’s definitely low-grade); it’s the awful thing they call a cherry inside, swimming in syrupy goo.

  • Richard in DFW

    Kron in DC makes great chocolate covered/dipped fruits – Strawberries, Mandarin Oranges, Cherries, Ginger too… Then if you want to truly “Gilt The Lilly” make some fresh whipped cream to dip the chocolate dipped fruits in – Yum, Yum!

  • OutsideJay

    Slightly off topic, I apologize to the sensitive:
    Chocolate in its current form has a fascinating history most notably: the advent of the m and m. Chocolate factories shut down in the summer time until the son of Hershey, Milton (after a trip to Europe, paired with Mars (bars) to make … The M&M. Adopting the slogan “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” for the first year round chocolate prior to refrigeration.

    Sees and Ghirardelli are popular here. They have a “code” written in chocolate on top of each piece that clues you to what’s inside. The one least favorite and left last has two teeth imprints on top from a younger sibling or older brother…

    There are links to jetboil and aquapac, as well as sea to summit on her “sponsors” portion of this page.

    This is quote I found: (already on your facebook fan site)

    “I couldn’t be thinking positive and negative thoughts ast the same time. I praise myself to the skies for being tenacious, determined and disciplined, for carrying on rowing when any sensible person might have retreated…The best thing about this technique was that the worse the conditions, the more effective it became. Instead of getting more miserable I actually got more positive, because the rougher the weather the more I could praise myself for my courage and perseverance.” Chapter 9, Life is easier in the storms. Rowing the Atlantic. @RozSavage

    Row Roz Row!

  • Rico

    Joan hits the nail on the head today, when she brings up the issue of quality. Some of these packaged chocolates don’t deserve the name, especially when they fill up the package with caramel and nougat and other sugar-based goo’s of uncertain lineage. Quality chocolate is usually simple and sweet, three or four pure ingredients, preferably organic and free-trade. Something we love down here is usually sold around Valentine’s Day, although sometimes also at Christmas. Fresh strawberries (really fresh) dipped in pure dark chocolate, and sold in boxes of twelve. Chill these things in the refrigerator for half an hour, and the taste is sublime. And because they’re so fresh, they’re also perishable and
    have
    to be eaten quickly
    .
    I’m getting hungry thinking about them. Plus, you’re getting two kinds of superfoods, with all the antioxidants.
    :)

  • Eric

    Hi Roz,

    Sorry today wasn’t the best. As far as bad chocolates go, American See’s candies are pretty much the standard up scale domestic brand. And they’re pretty good. But if there’s a code for avoiding the duds it’s lost on me. They deserve some credit though. The worst of the pack are the coconut chocolates. I’m convinced they’ve been recycling plastic bags for years by shredding it and calling it coconut for those nasty bits.

  • Hans Verwey

    Dear Roz, please read Tom Lewis’ poem. As a Dutchman I dont know every side of the feelings of the English. But I love our common heritage. See:
    http://www.tomlewis.net/lyrics/dutchman.htm

  • Hans Verwey

    Seas of blue feelings cant be enough to patch a ‘Broken Heart’ as we call this ‘Dutchmens trousers’, a flower in red.

  • Anonymous

    One of my clients is a transplanted Englishman here in California that manages a chocolate factory. I just told him about your adventure and he is very impressed and will be following your progress. Perhaps he would be the authority that can relate ocean moods to types of chocolate.

  • OutsideJay

    http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=20000712
    July 12, 2000

    “The clouds will clear when there is enough blue sky to make
    a Dutchman a pair of pants.” My mother (born in 1913 in northern New
    Hampshire) has been saying this all my life, and she learned it from her
    mother (from Nova Scotia by way of Lowell, Massachusetts). Recently an
    aunt by marriage (from Waterbury, Vermont) mentioned the same expression
    (with the variation of “britches”) and said that she had learned it
    from her mother. Yesterday I was with some friends (about 60 years old)
    from Liverpool, England, who know the same expression, but the
    variations are that it is an “Irishman” and his “trousers.” Where did
    this expression come from?

    I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and my grandmother (born 1888)
    used to say it was going to clear “when there’s enough blue sky to make a
    pair of pants.” I had never heard anyone else say that and always
    assumed it was a Pennsylvania Dutch expression though it puzzled me as a
    child — how big did these pants have to be? And then a few weeks ago, I
    heard an announcer on WQXR say something about “enough blue sky to make
    a Dutchman’s breeches (or britches).”

    A search yielded examples of this piece of weather lore from all
    over the country and from Scotland although none of the other Mavens has
    ever heard of it. I found a recent citation in the London IndependentRandom House Historical Dictionary of American Slang says
    “Dutchman’s breeches” is nautical slang meaning ‘a patch of blue sky
    visible through clouds’. The phrase is listed in several dictionaries
    and on a Web site of sailors’ slang.

    The first citation for “Dutchmans’ breeches” in the Dictionary of American Regional English is from the late 1920s, but the phrase seems to have originated in Britain. The OED quotes Admiral William Henry Smyth’s A Sailor’s Wordbook
    But why “Dutchman”? One dictionary of sea slang that I found
    suggests that the blue patches in a stormy sky are “rather like a
    generously patched pair of trousers as worn by music-hall Dutchmen.” The
    derogatory references to the Dutch in a number of English expressions
    go back to the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century, so we can imagine
    that the 19th-century music-hall Dutchman was a figure of fun in his
    baggy patched pants.

    Nowhere did I find anything about an “Irishman’s trousers,” but
    it is probably a derogatory reference paralleling that to the Dutch.
    “Dutch pennants” and “Irish pennants” are both ‘untidy ropes hanging
    from aloft’, according to Granville’s Dictionary of Sailor’s Slang.
    I just wonder how my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother picked up this piece of nautical slang!

    Georgia

    …end of cut and paste…

    one search turned out: The popular plant ‘Dicentra cucullaria’ the flowers resembling baggy breeches.

    sorry a bit long, but wasn’t sure what parts you would find interesting and what parts were not.

    You are an amazing inspiration Roz! Row Girl Row!

  • Richard in DFW

    There is a rower named Roz

    Who worries about some things without cause

    We love her in spite of this

    Hoping no whale gives her a kiss

    Being a violation of Maritime Laws

  • Richard in DFW

    “At least I had some company today. This bird bobbed around near my boat
    for a few minutes. Sorry it’s not a better photo. Any ID possible?” Got me thinking…

    Roz bobbed the oceans blue

    Some unknown bird bobbed there too

    Before relaxing with High Tea

    S
    he asked her Rozlings for I.D.

    “Mock Birdie Stew” just would not do

  • Richard in DFW

    Don’t know what happened there…

    Roz bobbed the oceans blue

    Some unknown bird bobbed there too

    Before relaxing with High Tea

    She asked her Rozlings for I.D.

    “Mock Birdie Stew” just would not do

  • http://twitter.com/amhey Angela Hey

    I like the round gold ones (toffee) and nougat is a favorite too!

  • http://twitter.com/amhey Angela Hey

    Licorice was the poor man’s alternative to chocolate

  • http://profiles.google.com/muffelkopf Tumbleweed Truckers

    I’m pretty that’s the Loch Ness Monster’s seafaring cousin!
    ;0)

  • Heymissk

    Russell Stover was also going to be my answer of the chocolate that made you sad when you found it in your stocking instead of See’s.

  • California Rower

    Hi Roz! Here is one more chocolate item. In California growing up it has always been See’s Candy for sure. They have their own stores and really are wonderful. At our house the ones left in the box always had a thumb print on the bottom because someone had already determined that it was some soft-centered undersireable. Everyone wanted a nut or a chew. Nowadays they make a nut and chew box…who knew?? There also was something called a Whitman Sampler. They were not very fresh and did in fact have a legend inside the box top to tell you what each was, unless someone started moving things around! Keep up the awesome work and how about this…someday there should be a candy named after you, wouldn’t that be sweet!

  • Mike in FL

    Complete rundown on chocolates and Dutchman’s pants but I’m more interested in what you do in a serious thunderstorm – retreat to the cubby? Is that boat got any Lightning protection? T’storms r a serious problem on FL waters. I’ve nearly gotten fried myself a few times I guess you’ll see more of this Wx towards the Equator – great info onboard cooking, thanks

  • Anonymous

    Roz, I simply love the pix of the waves and the clouds. Along with your eloquent descriptions, they give me a sense being there. Happy to sponsor an abundance of miles just for those visuals.

    big gray rolling waves
    colorful towering clouds
    fear and joy conspire

    A bit off today’s topic, but totally on the topic of the iMatter Marches — which you mentioned on Day 4 — taking place this week in support of Alec Loorz’s law suit against the U.S. Government: LiveScience.com published an article about “The Case for Young People and Nature: A Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future” published by Dr. James Hansen et al making the case for the law suits. http://bit.ly/HansenMay5Case

    The article is rather long, but, as the title “NASA Scientist Helps Teens Sue Government over Climate Change” suggests, it summarizes why Alec and friends are filing the suits in every state. The opening paragraph states: “By failing to take action against global warming, the federal government has violated its legal obligation to protect the atmosphere as a resource that belongs to everyone, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court last week.

    It goes on to say that the suit “names a number of federal officials — from Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to Robert Gates of the Defense Department — as defendants.”

    Very similar to Polly Higgins’ work, “the suit is based on the Public Trust Doctrine, a long-standing legal doctrine that states it is the government’s duty to protect the resources that are essential for our collective survival and prosperity, such as rivers, groundwater, or in this case, atmosphere, according to Our Children’s Trust….”

    If you want to read more on this, I will send the complete article. Rozlings can read it at http://bit.ly/HansenHelpsTeensSue

    Row knowing itMatters, Roz!

    http://iMatterMarch.org/

  • Rita

    Mike in FL asked about video of Roz rowing. Have you explored her videos on YouTube? You can see Roz rowing in this one for example:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rozsavage#p/a/u/0/CY4zS8cc0Lg
    Look in the “Connect” box on the website page for other videos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743974487 Roger Dale Finch

    Roz, have you heard of this, “World Centric” cutlery? Non GMO, produce 2 forks with same energy to produce 1 plastic. Made fom corn and breaks down during commercial composting. they give 25% to grassroots social and enviromental organizations. While on the road and camping, I have used this product and it is much stronger than plastic and resists heat to 200 degrees F. 0 carbon footprint! http://www.worldcentric.org/biocompostables/plates/

    http://www.worldcentric.org/biocompostables/utensils

  • Outsidejay
  • Outsidejay

    Jetboil: http://www.jetboil.com/ Aquapac:http://www.aquapac.net/Sea to Summit- Adventures: http://www.seatosummit.com/Row Roz Row!

  • Richard in DFW

    Hey Doug and Roz, You just gave me an idea… Lots of artists do paintings and the like of waves when they see them… A well known artist by the name of Waugh did nothing but them… Maybe this will be Roz’ next calling – for herself and her causes, do photos and paintings (herself or working with her favorite painter based on her photos) of her most amazing wave images? Could generate LOTS of income and monies for her causes TOO?

  • Richard in DFW

    Quick re-write/edit…

    Roz bobbed the oceans blue

    Some unknown bird bobbed there too

    Before relaxing with High Tea

    She asked her Rozlings for I.D.

    Because Roz Sobbed, “Mock Birdie Stew” just would not do

  • Richard in DFW

    Hey Angela: All this talk of Ginger and Licorice just reminded me of a wonderful spicy cocktail for cold damp nights… A “Meek Greek”: In a highball glass full of ice, Pour one good shot of Ouzo over the ice, fill it with good Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer, Served with a Lemon Wedge… “Warms and Dries you from the inside out” as they used to say about good Scotch too…

  • KennyB

    HI Roz, I haven’t written much but have been following you every step of the way.
    Least favorite chocolate around our house, Maple Cream, YUK!
    We really are enjoying your tidbits about life on board Sedna and makes us feel more like part of your adventure.
    I’ll write every now and then just to let you know that we’re watching your every move and pulling for you every step (stroke) of the way.
    Ken and Marilyn

  • Gordon from Scotland

    Dutchman’s Trousers
    Words & Music by Tom Lewis (Recorded by Tom Lewis on 360° All Points of the Compass)In the times when I was nothing but a lad, I never did see much of m’Dad, Oft’times that was reason to be sad, For him and m’Granddad too were deep-sea sailors, But m’Grandmother took me for walks by the sea, To teach me the ways that the weather can be. She’d study the sky and say to me: “There’s just enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers.””In the wintertime when the North winds blow, And the sky takes on a silvery glow, That’s a certain sign that it’s going to snow. You must be ready to chip the ice from the rigging, But if the wind is from the Southwest, And the spray’s being blow back from the wave’s crest, Batten down the hatches and hope for the best, If you’re lucky you’ll see the blue of the Dutchman’s trousers.”Chorus: The Pilot gives us a “farewell” hail, Haul on the halyards of the mainsail, The wind is steady, there’s a following gale, With just enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers.So when I became an Able Hand, I remembered the lessons that I learned from m’Gran The mates would call me: “the weather-man,” On each ship I was the one with the reputation, Who knew if a breeze or a gale would blow, When I came on deck from down below The Skipper would always want to know: “Will there be enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers?”Where the saying came from I really don’t know, The Hollanders used to be our foe, That was a very long time ago. For centuries now we’ve sailed the seas together. From the great Southern Ocean to the Mediterranean, On a sailing ship or a submarine, The days are few and far between When there’s not enough blue to patch a Dutchman’s trousers.