Getting ready for the Pacific crossing

We arrived back to the boat after a month away. All was well. Everything still worked. That is always a good thing.

We set about taking stock of everything on board and trying to decide what was still needed. Food, filters, and other spares. Frank set about ordering parts, and I made lists of what we needed to provision. We had a rental car and so were able to easily get to the shops, near and far. One of the things we needed was propane. We had to drive to Aguadulce, just over an hour North of Buenaventura. It was quite a scenic drive through farming country. There were a number of fruit vendors on the roadside, and a few dairy farms were offering milk, yogurt, artisanal cheese and related products. Once we arrived at the Panagas station, it took less than 10 minutes to get filled, pay and be on our way.

After numerous trips to the grocery shops, I figured we had enough dry goods to last a good few months. I started cooking meals to freeze.

I chopped up pineapples, paw paws, watermelon and froze them to be used in smoothies.

I decanted 2l milk into smaller 500ml bottles and froze them.

I made egg bites and froze them.

I cooked Irish stew, boboti, chicken with spaghetti, savory mince.

I made rusks. Rusks are a South African dry (cake, cookie, biscuit) packed with All Bran Flakes, raisins, sunflower seeds and then dehydrated. The recipe I have is for a double sized batch so it uses 2 bricks of butter, a whole bag of flour, 2 cups of sunflower seeds so it is not cheap and takes a lot of effort. Imagine my horror when I realized I had forgotten to add baking powder to make the All Purpose flour into Self Raising. The rusks are like little bricks but we have to eat them so into the coffee they go! I subsequently made another batch but made extra sure I had remembered everything. I can’t wait to finish the bricks so we can start eating the pukker rusks.

I made ginger biscuits. My recipe is nice and gingery but I always add an extra teaspoon of ginger.

I cooked beetroot.

I made picked red onion and beetroot.

Amongst all the cooking, I also took time to remove the labels from all the tins, and write the contents on the top and side of each tin. A big job, we have a LOT of tins.

I also removed everything that was in a box, from the box, wrote baking/cooking instructions on the plastic bag, and packed them into baskets.

And I consolidated jars or other containers. I don’t know how but we had 2 open jars of mustard, 2 open jars of Mayonnaise and a couple of other things.

We changed engine oil and filters on all the engines. Checked coolant, fan belts, fastenings, hydraulics, switches, connectors.

We rushed out at the last minute to get a spare alternator. And one last visit to the supermarket.

Frank installed the new navigation computer which packed up just before we went to South Africa, he spent a good couple of days trying to get the system up and running, with latest software charts. His perseverance paid off because within days of our departure, he got the system up and running. Well done Captain. Oh, and of course the touch screen on the Microsoft computer packed up at the last minute. Frank managed to get a new one sent out and installed on time. I think tech is his A game.

The day before departure, he discovered a problem with the hydraulic switches in the pilot house. After a bit of to and fro with Yachttech, we found a blown 5amp fuse, Easy fix… not so fast. The next morning the switches were again not working. It didn’t take long to sort it out, it was related to the fuse box.

Also on the day before departure while doing our last minute mad dash to the shops, Frank discovered a South African Butchers shop in Coronado. Fancy that. Unfortunately they were sold out of biltong and boerewors, but he bought their entire stock of droewors. Droewors is a thin sausage made from dried meat. It lasts long and is a great protein snack.

It is Sunday morning and we are ready. The marina held a little farewell for one of the long term boats but we declined to party with them on Saturday night. We hope they understand.

All that is left, is to get over to the fuel dock and load up 1800 gallons of diesel and then head out.