Today we did our victualing for the ARC

victualing present participle of vict·ual (Verb)

  1. Provide with food or other stores.
  2. Obtain or lay in food or other stores.
Today we planned out our meals for 30 days. We expect the journey to take around 25 days, and we’ve added an extra 5 days incase of an emergency.
Our meal plan consist for 5-6 days of fresh meat, and 25 days of cured meat, tinned meals and packets of dried soya which. Carlottas has assured us dried soya  is very nice in lasagnes, I’ll have to take her word on this. The supermarkets will vacuum pack all the fresh meat and put them in a deep freeze (-25c).  Because we don’t have a have a fridge, 5 days is as long as frozen meat will last for in the cool box.
We produced a 30 day meal plan in excel,  then grouped the meals on a separate sheet, finally we listed the ingredients per meal. We decided to buy everything apart from meat and vegetables in the local supermarket Hyperdino. With our list in hand we started out shop. A degree of panic ensued and we bought 3 times the amount of whatever was in the meal plan. One things for sure, we won’t go hungry. Off the top of my head, we bought 90 1.5 ltr water bottles ( to add to our existing water plan), 30 litres of fruit juice, 40 litres of milk, 72 cans of coke, 350 tea bags, 15 cans of fabadas ( a scrummy bean stew from Asturias, Carlotta’s home), the list goes on and on. The bulk of our shop appears to consist of Haribo and jelly beans.
We also picked up high density bouncy balls, soldiers with parachutes, and plastic dinosaurs so we can play ‘find the dinosaur on the boat when we’re bored. I also picked up two baby dummies, so if anyone throws a real paddy they will be awarded a baby dummy. I’m not sure what we’ll do if all three off us get the grumps at the same time, I should have bought the baby rattle as well I guess.
We arrived at the till with 4 shopping trollies. The shop came to 620 euro’s, which broke the til. The error message simply said “items exceeded, error”. Similarly we too were broken after the shop.  The till receipt was the longest till receipt I’ve ever seen.
Luckily the supermarkets provide free delivery, so our scheduled delivery was between 4-7pm (same day). Darkness descended and we waited on the boat patiently for our deliver. By the time it got to 10pm, I presumed that it was unlikely we’d get the delivery til the next day, which Oliver denied. At 10.30pm 2 guys came rushing down the long pontoon, trollies blazing. Within 5 minutes the pontoon was covered in our shop.
The real work began at 10.35pm. All cardboard had to be removed, and each item (there were 600) had to be washed in a bucket of sterliser to kill off any cockroach eggs. The labels  on tins would come off in the humid conditions. So to avoid eating fruit salad on pasta for dinner, all the labels had to be removed, and then have their contents written on with permanent marker.
Our chain of operation saw Will mark the tins. I washed and passed them on to Will’s mum (who had only just arrived) who dried the food, and then Oliver and Carlotta had the ardious task of trying to find a place for all the food.
The whole process took from 10.30pm to just before 3am. We were amazed and over the moon that Troskala could consume so much food. All the food found a place in the bilges or the cupboards.
The next day we had seminars, one being a provisioning lecture. I’m glad to say we did everything right, buying 80% of our food first off. The seminar showed what happens when you buy too much, one previous boat went ‘overboard’ and had to give food away after buying too much to store on the boat.
I hope my sterlising skills were suffice, and that we don’t bring any little critters onboard. We learnt from our seminar that even sealed pasta can contain little bugs (weevils). So we have had to cling film the pasta and flour, then store them in separate places on the boat, to avoid the inevitable spread of these bugs, should we take them along for our ride.
Author: Tim Butler

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