Shopping for a 4,000mile trip

Our 5 crew members get to grips with menu planning for their adventure followed by an epic trip to the supermarket

Andrew Cowen
by Andrew Cowen ·

How many biscuits can 7 people eat on a 3 week voyage?

How much Biltong is just 'enough'?

Menu planning for a long voyage is complicated. Not only because you have to imagine what you'd like to have for dinner in 3 weeks time, but also because you've got to account for different tastes, food for different weather conditions as well as the practicalities of storage in a very small space and conditions where 'fresh' doesn't stay fresh for very long.

However, our crew always seem to enjoy this part of the preparation - it starts with a menu plan. We typically set a 7 day rolling menu so each day of the week will have a different food - nobody wants to eat pasta every day for 3 weeks. We also need to know of any allergies or food intolerances. We're going to be in the middle of the Ocean so this is an important safety consideration.

On Wavysail trips, everyone takes turns to cook, so we need to have simple 'one-pot' cooking recipes that anyone can make and then we will have sauces, herbs and spices which can make even the most basic dish a little more exciting.

When it comes to breakfast, nothing beats toast and jam - however, new crew often forget that shop purchased bread will only keep for a few days on board - the answer of course is to bake bread each day. That always seems to cause stress as most people have never baked fresh bread and it seems like it will be complicated, especially on a boat at sea. However, bread baking is actually quite straight-forward and it always ends up being very competitive once people get the hang of it - After 3 weeks at sea, all crew will be expert at bread baking and the 'crown' for baker of the trip will be hotly contested....

The shopping list for a long trip will be surprisingly lengthy - it's not just the food of course - we also need to shop for all the cleaning products, paper, foil and a host of other items. The list will be checked carefully by our Skipper because we can't afford to forget something - we also build in a healthy margin to allow for delays so that even if we had to extend the trip due to weather conditions, we will never be at risk of going hungry.

The epic shopping trip is fun - there is the list of course, but also plenty of opportunity to sneak in those comfort snacks which will be so welcome on the long night watches. Checking out always turns heads - normally by shopping trolley 3 or 4, the check-out assistant will ask what on earth we are doing...ah, we say ... "just a little sailing trip" which doesn't really answer the question properly. 

All the provisions just about squeeze into a series of cars and we make our way back to the boat .... Then comes the realization. Where are we going to put all this stuff...?

Oh yes...until now, there seemed to be a lot of storage space on Aurora - but the crew are about to find out that by the time we sail, there will barely be space to move for all the provisions on board … better get eating guys!