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!
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!
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?
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.