10 November 2006

77. Yoties food

During my years of sailing across the Pacific between 1995 and 1999 as a crew member on other people's yachts, and being French as well as being a woman, I was often asked to help and even take charge of the food on board.

Feeding strategy is very varied among yoties. Actually it would be more accurate to say there isn't a strategy.

On an 8 day crossing from New Caledonia to Australia with an American guy who simply opened a tin when he was hungry I decided that it was not the way to do it. On another boat with an American couple sailing from Vanuatu to New Caledonia the policy had been to eat cold all the way, except for the odd cup of coffee, in order to avoid opening the gas bottle, for safety reasons. I decided that this was not the ideal way either.

Captain James Cook had figured out, a couple of centuries earlier, that if you wanted a reliable crew you had to give them reliable food. It seems obvious enough. You have to have a food strategy as well as a 'proper course', i.e. a detailed plan for meals, what, when, and how.

By the time I got to crew on board Aureo I had my own idea of what should be done.
1) Have a hot meal once a day no matter what
2) Have a decent 2 course meal once a day no matter what
3) Eat meat or fish once a day no matter what.

That way it is easier to keep your energy and your spirit high... no matter what.


'No matter what' means a variety of happenings. Bad weather of course. Very good weather as well because that's when people find themselves idle and useless, that is if the boat runs on sails only. Some tend to start their engine as soon as the wind drops. Purists don't. A slowly drifing yacht with flappy sails on an oily sea for days on end can be nerves racking to some. 'No matter what' also means arguments or accidents of all kinds.

Just keep feeding them a hot meal a day...

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