We have tankage for ~ 170+ gallons of water and 200 gallons of fuel, and that’s the easy part. We have stowage for ~five months of food. That’s the hard part. The grocery list was five+ pages, two columns each of a standard writing tablet — with marginalia.
It starts with menus. Ours tend to be very variable. We like many cuisines. Next is shelf life. For the non (less) perishables, it’s about “best by” dates, and for perishables, it’s about not buying too much, too soon.
Next comes availability and price. We start at the cheapest place first. What we can’t get there, we find at places with progressively higher prices. When shore transport isn’t a problem, this isn’t all that tough. Yesterday it took three places and five hours to reach the 90% mark. Tomorrow it will take a couple more. And that’s just the non-perishables.
It was about to rain when we got back, so we are listing to port and down by the bow. We just put it where it fit while swatting mozzies. Today is a rainy “stow day.”
Then there is spacing your store visits so Mastercard’s all-knowing software doesn’t decide you are on a wild spree with a stolen card. [It’s done this to us four times in a year now at groceries. Why they don’t just ask for a zip code, we have no idea. Calling and discussing it is useless — we’ve tried three times.]
We never had our house tilt because of the way we loaded the pantry (at least not so as we could measure). Plus, we generally shopped a couple of times a week (in search of specials). The boat has to be loaded for five months as follows:
- Put lightest items (relatively speaking) fore and aft and farthest outboard — heavy stuff inboard in main cabin.
- Use oldest first — this means stowing the new under the old!
- Don’t stow anything needed frequently or underway under the main berth forward.
- Put the chips where they don’t crush — the aft head has become the snack and fresh veggie pantry.
- Use the toilet tissue and paper towels to stabilize other stuff.
- Invest in many, many zip bags from Lilliputian to Brobdingnagian
- Remove contents from cardboard boxes, and recycle the boxes. (Keep nutritional panels*, preparation instructions and use buy dates) *In case of allergic reactions.
- Keep the paper products above the (heeled) waterline
- Keep the cans and bottles separate
- Use grocery store reusable wine bottle tote bags to keep bottles quiet.
- Try to think in terms of (canned) fruits with fruits, veggies with veggies, meats with meats, etc
- Keep the snacks handy.
- Overstock the stuff that is really expensive in the Bahamas — wine and chips (big bag of Tostado chips = $11 on Treasure Cay, table wine is $2.90 a liter in US, $3.80 in Marsh Harbour).
Then there is the don’t drop the canned ham in the water while loading ahead of the oncoming rain. The very expensive super duper special magnet did not return the pig to the poke.
Tomorrow, more non-perishables, more immunizations, oil change for the car, Sushi while we wait…feels like California.