When Pete and I planned our first long trip for the Rota Race (Guam to Rota and back) in 2011 we were really excited about the planning we had done for food on the way up and back.  “At sundown we’ll have some chips and salsa, at eight or nine cheese and crackers and maybe some wine, at midnight brownies and then we’ll have snacks to hold us over until morning when we’ll have some cereal for breakfast.  Maybe even pancakes? “

Okay, so the pancakes might be an exaggeration.  I don’t think we were quite that inappropriately optimistic about our dining options underway.  But our expectations we way off base, to say the least.  We left the harbor that Friday afternoon and watched a beautiful sunset as we sailed north along the west coast of Guam.  Great wind, great waves.  After the sun went down though, things got crazy.  We had squall after squall coming in over us.  And the moon didn’t come up until after 1am, so it’s not like we could see the clouds coming either.  All of us felt sick and three of the seven of us were throwing up.  One crew member had a seizure. One crew member was pregnant and didn’t even know it!  At one point we almost headed in to Tumon after a sudden shift in the wind and a tangle of the mainsheet around a crew member’s ankle caused heeling beyond our, at that point, narrow comfort zone.  The most we saw of the cuisine we had planned for that trip was within the first hour, when some of the mango blackbean salsa  spilled in the cockpit.  The pungent raw red onion smell lingered into the evening, much to the disappointment of all of our olfactory receptors and stomach reflexes.  We learned a thing about planning sailing food & drink that trip.  Most of our snacks went uneaten and I think Pete was the only one who managed to scarf down a cliff bar or two.

When we went to Saipan Christmas 2011 we were a little smarter.  We ate instant ramen, and chef boyardee and Campbell’s from the can.  Potato chips and fruits.  Canned fruit is the best (the syrup/juice is easy to drink and has lots of sugar and electrolytes).  Plenty of gingerale and crackers.  At one point between Rota & Saipan, I had been feeling sick a while and couldn’t even think about eating anything.  I finally crammed a can of spaghetti-o’s down my throat.  It was like magic medicine for my belly.  I felt great afterwards.  Seasickness? Gone.  (Only under boating or starving circumstances could I ever say that spaghetti-o’s made me feel amazing).  We planned our 30 days emergency rations well and had food that we could actually eat underway, but we still lost out when we tried to take rotisserie chicken and eggnog for a Christmas dinner and our electric cooler started eating our batteries and had to be unplugged.  Cleaning out that cooler in Saipan was not a fun task.

So we’ve learned a few things so far about how to provision for a trip like this.  Like what we can handle eating while underway and that lofty dreams of pleasure cruising with wine and cheese have no place on the open ocean, at least aboard Absolute.  We’re feeling pretty good about our planning this time around.  Just to make sure we got down to business and planned it out right.  Pete must be rubbing off on me because I went ahead and made…

an excel spreadsheet.  For our food.  Oh, yes.

So we have food we can eat when we are sailing…




Food to have in port (or if we are lost at sea, we have more than enough to last us the 30 days it would take us to drift to the Philippines)(MRE’s not listed)



And our (incomplete) grocery list of things to add to what we already have


After we planned it all that, I went grocery shopping and when I got home began to try to find storage for it all…


Me with two of my favorite foods in the mix, coconut oil & canned salmon

Me with two of my least favorite of the canned foods, Dentemore stew and three bean salad

Me with two of my least favorite of the canned foods, Dentemore stew and three bean salad

My mom taught me not to play with my food, but how can you resist building can castles when you have cans filling your living room?

My mom taught me not to play with my food, but how can you resist building castles when you have cans filling your living room?

The food is now packed away underneath the port side cetti (you can see the access to this storage in the last picture), dry storage in the galley, and other nooks and crannies I’ve found to store things!  Almost ready to set sail…