Saturday, October 4, 2014

A few things not to cruise without...

We recently heard from our friends Tracie and Steve that they are ready to cast off their dock lines and set off on their dream. Its really great to know people whom we met; as they, like us, trudged through a never ending list of boat jobs. Now they've finished counting down the weeks. Lets face it, for all those that do; there are a greater number that start to plan, then don't!

Looking forward to following you both on your blog; Sailing Saga Sea......

Anyhow, it got me wondering about which items we are really glad to have on our boat. The things that we feel have made cruising that much more enjoyable. Not big items, just a few little things we bought before we left. The first was actually a present from Tracie...

  • 1   A Sprouter... We're big bean and lentil users as it is, but the further dimension of sprouting them means there is always something fresh to accompany our meals. Mung beans are by far the easiest, of course; the butterfly that flutters from this bean like caterpillar is the most commonly seen beansprout. Sometimes they're found flacid in cans, slowly rusting in the bilge, but not on our boat; they're always fresh and in the toilet sink! Everything in it place, no matter how unusual.

  • 2 Fishing lines, lures and ever bigger hooks... For that matter everything in our fishing bag is being up sized. Only a few days ago a great fish jumped in to the air snapping our 120lb test line (1.2mm nylon) and taking with it our wire leader and only decent no 9 hook. The yellowfin tuna that followed the next day did not get away. But neither was it as big. We do use surgical elastic to absorb the initial shock force but bigger line is on our shopping list. Here's a photo of a dorado we caught on the way to the Tuamotus. He was a beauty; fed us well for over two weeks and made many gallons of delicious soup to boot!

  • 3 Our Blender... or as we refer to it the whizz whizz. Banana smoothies are the current favourite. Two bananas one teaspoon of coconut milk powder some ice, water and whizz whizz. Margaritas were how this little blender found its way into our hearts but it also helps with humous, soups and sauces and all manner of drinks. It helps if your fridge can keep you in ice.

  • 4 Windscoop... Do not go anywhere hot in a boat without one. I was heading off to the Mediterranean over a decade ago when my parents passed their surplus to me. Its kept me cool ever since. After a decade of use its now in tatters and was on our list of things to sew anew. Fortunately my parents joined us in Tahiti for a holiday. Their first question was, 'have you a windscoop?' learning of its state they brought us a new one together with an excellent extra fan.

  • 5 Pestle and mortar complete with spices... Though powdered spices don’t keep on boats, or for that matter anywhere, whole spices do. If you ever want to make curry or almost any meal tasty, whole spices and condiments are what you need. To give you an idea of how often we use our pestle and mortar, it lives on top of the washing up soap. Some of the Spices we use most: Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and seeds, pepper, methi (fenugreek) seeds and leaves, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, nutmeg, saffron, vanilla and asafoetida, though admittedly that’s already crushed. .

  • 6 Pressure cookers. Yes plural; we do have two. One small that on passage is rarely off the cooker top and one large. The small one is particular useful for beans, rice, potatoes etc. We recently met some guys who had worked out exact quantities of seawater, seconds and pasta one needed for al dente pasta that came out ready to serve; that's commitment! though for us, we'd rather use fresh water.

We met another couple who had mastered canning using ball / kilner jars. they showed us a locker full of various meats beans and fish they had canned. We picked their brains on the technique they used. Will let you know how we get on once we've found some jars to use. Dispel the idea that pressure cookers are only good for sloppy stew (though they are too). On a boat where cooking fuel is at a premium and a further barrier between pan of scolding water and skin is often desired, they are indispensable.

So that's our little list. All items costing little but in our opinion worth a lot. No doubt some of you were fearing a boring blog about all our electronic gadgets and gizmo's; but depth sounder, AIS, broken VHF and a cluster of GPS's isn’t really worth talking about.


Dan said...

Looks like a good list. haven't thought of crushing my own spices. Might give it a try. I've only thought of getting a bunch of small packs so it doesn't all go bad. My boat came with a pressure cooker but I think it's too big so looking for a smaller one for the boat and the big one will stay at the house for now. I've seen other bloggers talk about mung brean sprouts. I have mung beans that I'll cook up once in a while but I have no idea what to do with them as sprouts. I'd have to look into it a little more but it's intersting what people come up with.

By the way, that was a beautiful fish. ;-)

Anonymous said...

You've given me some new ideas here. The pressure cooker is a must. I've written about my own first adventures in pressure cooking here, and now we use it every day on Carina

We left our pestle and mortar on dry land. Instead, we pound our spices with the end of the wooden rolling pin! It works a treat, and the curries taste as good as ever.

Mike Wagoner said...

Another very interesting post by Impetuous Too but so far I have not seen one post by Ruth and Duncan that has not been like getting my once a quarter Rodder's Journal - Like a Christmas present you wanted but never dreamed you would get it!!!

Tracie said...

Cool We had all of those. Though I havent started using the sprouter again.