Food for thought

14 November 2017

Week two of the popular ARC seminar programme took place at the Hotel Santa Catalina again today and participants were eager to attend a variety of topics such as rigging, management of emergencies at sea, tips for downwind sailing, communications and the ever-popular provisioning talk given by Claire Pengelly.

For most crews taking part in the rally, this will be the first time they have had to plan, provision and cook for so many people for such a long period of time, all away from home with no mid-Atlantic supermarkets! Each crew needs to consider dietary requirements; likes and dislikes, or allergies are accommodated, plus planning a few special treats for marking milestones in the journey. Provisioning is an ideal opportunity to explore a port, to meet the local people in the market and shops, and to have a go with the local language. Provisioning away from home should be fun after all, but it can seem like a mammoth and daunting task. There’s also the small matter of trying to work out quantities per person, menu planning for three meals a day, budgeting and then stowing it all on board, for what for some could be up to 21 days at sea.

One crew member who will be sailing with friends on Andreas Gottschling’s X-Yachts X50, NorXL will be taking on the task of provisioning for the crossing; not a mean task when there’s nine crew and several different nationalities on board; all with their own special requests and two vegans! Luckily Kai Jordan, a German banker is also a good cook and even enjoys preparing meals when the weather is rough, or when nobody else can face going down to the galley to cook. Something the rest of the team will no doubt appreciate in the first few days at sea!

“This responsibility has developed over the years since we’ve all been sailing together. I love it and have fun with it,” says Kai. “With all the different nationalities on board there’s requests for different types of favourite foods and snacks for the crossing. Spaghetti Amatriciana is the one thing on the wish list from the crew, as we always have it. I hope we can catch some fish too as our skipper is a big sushi chef. So, 20 mins after it comes on board, he’ll be making delicious sushi out of it. If it’s a bigger fish, we will cook the rest Thai-style,” explains Kai who has a book entitled ‘Galley Slave’ at his side and who went along to the seminar today to gather tips and information before the big shop.

Werner Buhtz’s Hallberg-Rassy 37, Thyra will be sailing across with three crew on board, but his wife Heinke was in Las Palmas to help with pre-departure preparations. Shopping, planning and provisioning is one of them! The crew of two men and one woman will share all the galley duties: “It was really good to come to the seminar and to hear that we are on the right track with our planning and ideas for provisioning. One of the things that was interesting to hear was what to eat when you cannot, or don’t feel like cooking during the crossing, so that you have things available and an idea of what to buy as snacks or cold foods, just in case. Very useful.”

The crew of X86, a Seawind 1160 catamaran were also keen to gather as much information as they could at the seminar, this being the first time they’ve had to provision for such a long crossing: “We have done some shopping and provisioning already, but we’ve learnt some great tips so now we have to go back to the boat and pack it all differently,” said one crew member. “It’s been really worthwhile coming to the seminar. I’ve learnt some good things about how to stow everything and what kind of fresh fruit and vegetables to buy. It’s really helped a lot. We are all sharing the cooking and I am sure we will have a big variety of meals as we have three nationalities on board: Norwegian, Italian and English/Australian. Claire was able to put our minds at rest so it’s been really worthwhile coming along and a great benefit of being part of the ARC.”