Top Ten Provisioning Tips from Audrey Adamson who was a chef on Oyster 885-01 during the Oyster World Rally 2013-2014.
I cannot emphasise this enough. The more you can do prior to departure the better. There are three areas to this:
Cook up wet meals in advance of ocean crossings and vac pack and store in the freezer (such things as Chilli, Curry, Stews etc). It is the easiest way to store a lot of food without all the packaging taking up space. All you then need to do is to cook up the carbohydrate (pasta, rice, potato etc..) to go with it as and when you need to. I did a lot of preparation in advance as I ran a watch on the offshore passages, so by doing this, it was straight forward for other crew to get into the galley and be self-sufficient, when I was on deck sailing.
In the beginning you will have a lot to do to prepare the yacht and yourself for this amazing voyage. Get someone else to help cook some of the vac pack meals.
You don't need to bring big containers of oil, flour etc with you. Along with whatever you calculate you need for the ocean crossings bring two of everything you normally cook with, so you have one in the boat stores and one in the galley. If there is something you tend to use more in your cooking, then obviously bring more of that.
If you don't know much already, find some nice recipes and learn how to prepare and fillet a fish properly. We caught lots of fish on our circumnavigation and I would fillet the fish into portions, vac pack and then freeze. If you are keeping fish in the fridge keep it at about 2 degrees Celsius (ideally in a container with an ice pack or similar as your fridge will probably be at 4 degrees Celsius).
A portable gas one ideally.
One of the best things about being a chef on a circumnavigation is that you get to meet the real locals at the markets. You will be left in awe of some of the amazing produce available and you will connect with food at source, like you never have before. Try to learn a bit of each language when you arrive at each new destination and prepare to barter, especially in Indonesia.
Have a half-way party on each ocean crossing. We were a dry boat on our crossings but would have a little tipple on this day and also have a really special meal along with a fancy-dress party. It keeps up crew morale and gives everyone something to look forward to.
Things will not always turn out how you expect. You will buy a lemon and when you cut into it, you'll realise it's actually a lime! You will think you are eating ashore only for the plan to change and you're eating onboard with very little left in your stores. This is all part of the adventure so you must embrace it.
This is the most fun job on the boat. It is forever changing so you've got to be imaginative, practical and flexible and then you’ll absolutely love it!!
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