We have the luxury to eat for pleasure as much as for sustenance. So yeah, we could have filled the boat with nothing but rice and beans- as it seems I may have attempted to do- and survived just fine (and quite cheaply) for our seven and a half months of Pacific island hopping. It wouldn’t have been much fun, though. Here are some things we chose to bring on board for the Pacific voyage that worked really well for us:
* Cured meats. As mentioned… we make lousy vegetarians. But we don’t have a freezer, just a works-fine-most-of-the-time refrigerator; we simply can’t keep fresh meat very long. To feed our protein cravings, and avoid cracking into the, ew, canned stuff- we ended up with a considerable volume of cured meat on board. We broke into the last of our Mexican smoked ham in Vanuatu, so as far as I’m concerned, we nailed the quantity on this on perfectly. It was worth every penny of the markup at Carnes del Mundo in Bucerias for quality, vacuum sealed stuff.
* Dried eggs. I know- sounds nasty, right? And frankly, for eating straight up- scrambled eggs or whatever- they are nasty. But I love to bake, and a lot baked goods have eggs in them. Fresh eggs were often hard to find, and expensive when we could find them. This canister worked out to pennies per egg, and helped keep us in scones and cinnamon rolls. It was perfectly acceptable for french toast or pancakes as well. One canister, equivalent to about 96 eggs, was the perfect amount.
* Specialty foods. Things we love that we might not find (or once again, might have found in Tahiti and paid a small ransom to acquire). Grains besides long grain white rice (I love quinoa, bulghur, and wheat berries; brown rice is a basic staple). Treats to go with a sundowner: good green olives, baby corn (Diane, you were SO RIGHT about those!), and smoked oysters. Favorite sauces or condiments that could be hard to find, from pesto to hot chile sauce or a good curry paste.
In some cases, we didn’t realize how much we would miss certain items until they were gone or unavailable. We were lucky enough to have friends and family visiting on several occasions, in both Mexico and Bora Bora; they all came well equipped with both wish list items and other things they thought we’d like! Jocelyn and Willie made sure we had some key spices and grains that I couldn’t find in Mexico… Claire and Elliot kept us in chocolate chips (Jamie is eternally grateful) and quinoa (quinoa porridge… breakfast of cruising champions!).
Next…looking sample costs and, availability