Bring It, Mother Nature!

Ah, the joys of the almost-living-aboard life. Yes we are deep into the transition of moving onto the boat. This week I brought half of my clothing down to the boat and got it situated in the aft cabin. I started going through the kitchen at home, choosing the things I use all the time to take with us aboard Galapagos. November will be the month where we just move the rest of our stuff onto the boat, leave our house in the capable hands of 4 young adults, and start living ‘the dream’. Remember how I said, “I never want to live aboard during a Pacific Northwest winter!”? Yeah. I remember that, too. How innocent I was as I threw that gauntlet down in front of the gods. How clueless I was in terms of the timing that would unfold.

It's falling.

It’s falling.

This week the weather gods have a particular treat in mind as the first winter storm of the season hits us early. We expect several inches of rain and possibly high winds. We shall see. As of this writing, there is a one in two chance that a storm will bring winds of a historic level to our area. We are safe on board for this storm, preferring to keep an eye on our boat than spend one of our last weekends at home, safe and dry. Well, hopefully safe, as our home is surrounded by humungous fir trees that tend to sway alarmingly in high wind. I’ve instructed Andrew and Jill to have a ‘plan B’ in terms of getting the hell out of there with the animals and finding safer digs should those winds, indeed, be huge. If a tree falls, I don’t want anyone to be close enough to hear it. This keeps me up at night.

Galapagos welcomed me on board this weekend by springing a new leak in the forward cabin. Actually, it’s an old leak that resurfaced as the metal tape, which I just replaced, somehow got compromised by moisture. There is nothing like coming to the boat during a complete downpour to see a gallon of water on the floor and a big wet spot on the new upholstery. On the other hand, all that time and effort I spent putting that waterproof PUL fabric on the new foam before the upholstery went on has just paid its first dividend. Also the floor in that cabin is now super clean.

Really, Galapagos? Do you hate me?

Really, Galapagos? Do you hate me?

So my first task was to secure that leaky hatch. Trudging up to our storage shed, I found a piece of thick clear plastic sheeting just the right size to lay over the hatch and tuck under the edge, using the weight of the hatch to hold it down. Mission accomplished, this morning proved that this quick fix is holding. When the weather dries out, IF the weather dries out, I’ll replace the tape again and hope it will hold for this season. We will haul out at Swan Town in Olympia next spring and then we will re-bed all of the hatches. Again. This time we hope to do it right. (My secret shame: Can I just pay someone to do this, and also the bottom paint? Our list is so long.)

Apparently the gods thought I needed another lesson in living aboard in the wet and wind, so I think they paid Galapagos to spring leaks in the overhead window in the cockpit. This is even more irritating because that window is bedded with butyl tape and has been leak free for 2 1/2 years. WTF? When we dry out, we’ll fix that one. I love that cockpit, and I especially love how it makes a dandy ‘mud room’ for stripping off wet clothing and shoes before coming below. It. Will. Not. Leak.fullsizeoutput_1e1

On the plus side, I am finally getting the galley organized. This is an exercise in conflict avoidance; as in “Can we please not have our wants and our needs in constant conflict?”. I have determined that I am a spice addict, considering the number of spices I use in my cooking. There is a lot of space given over to spices, vinegars, and oils. These will need winnowing further over the next few months. Maybe.

Also, I think I have a problem with food hoarding. This happens mostly in the fall, where, like a squirrel, I gather the food for my family together and store it, then forget where it is and also never serve it to them. I just like to have it, sort of like some random ‘prepper’ who always waits for Armageddon  and is perennially disappointed; like the homemaker who buys lovely linens but never uses them because they are for the ‘company’ who never comes. I imagine those linens languishing in the closet alongside my canned plums from 2011, complaining that they have no purpose in life other than to wait.  I have home-canned foods from ranging from Mango Chutney to Chocolate Figs to Lemon Ginger Figs to one prized jar of Orange Marmelade. I even have large jars of salsa. Why is this stuff not eaten? That’s a rhetorical question. LALALALALALA….I do not want to hear your answers.

Yes, it all fits. But there is more in the storage shed.

Yes, it all fits. But there is more in the storage shed.

Deciding I needed more space for my hoards of food, since obviously we always want to be prepared to be at sea for months at a time, I took possession of this large space under the settee. Why should Mike get to store engine parts here? Is food not equally important? Flinging caution to the wind, I whipped out the tube socks that I have also stockpiled and began packing jars and bottles and boxes into the space. It’s likely that should we need to pay a bribe to an official somewhere, they will be getting a jar of canned fig preserves from a backyard in Lakewood, Washington for their trouble. I hope they know they are worth their weight in gold.


No, I didn’t buy those Mountain Home freeze dried meals. So you can stop laughing at me now. Someone gave them to us. Hey, they will be quick and easy passage food without messing up the galley! Win!

After emptying all the galley cabinets and sorting the contents, then adding what I’ve recently brought down to the boat to the stockpile, I have determined that we have enough food to go offshore for several months without starving or getting scurvy. The fact that food is readily available in Mexico is, apparently, lost on me.

Now we sit, waiting for the big winds to come. Galapagos, out.



10 thoughts on “Bring It, Mother Nature!

  1. Hi, my name is Trevor and I too am a food hoarder.
    (Of the 1930s British empire, apparently: Horlicks malted milk! Sailor Boy pilot bread! Powdered eggs!)

  2. Our boat came out of the water today and is “up on the hard”. It’s always a sad day in Michigan when we finally fold and give in. Hubby left the boat in the water one winter, bubbled it and stressed out about it all winter. (That was before my time) He said, “never again”. The weather here is supposed to be beautiful this weekend; of course. The dinghy is still on it’s rented hoist; hmmmm, maybe a little farewell ride on Sunday.

    I try really hard not to be a food hoarder. I always have the best intentions of staying on top of my stockpile. I failed with the home canned tomatoes this year. I have at least twenty-five quarts left from last fall. We just didn’t eat as much spaghetti, soup and chili last year. Why? Who knows?

    Each year when I stock the boat for summer; I tell myself to go easy. I do keep flour, sugar, leavenings, spices, oil and vinegars on board. Not to mention some things in the fridge. But I try, really try, to bring things out each weekend as I make up my menu. Inevitably I take home quite a bit in the fall; that just never got used.

    I can’t even imagine stocking up for a cruise to whenever.

    Love your posts…..

    • Thanks for reading, Marie! I know I am in good company with the food hoarding. I wonder if it is some kind of genetic memory of my ancestors? Grandparents who had to raise kids during the depression, distant ancestors who lived through times of starvation… who knows? Those canned tomatoes sound lovely, though. I’ve never been able to grow tomatoes in our climate, in my yard. Sorry your boat is on the hard for the winter, but with your winters there, I imagine that really IS the best choice. Actually, I’m not sure it’s not the best choice here, too. But still, here we are.

      • I agree about the weather…..

        I don’t grow the tomatoes I can; I wait till it’s almost the end of the season and then head for the Farmer’s Market. I usually can a bushel to a bushel and a half. Some pickled beets and a little raspberry jam and I’m done…..

        Those figs sound interesting.

        • I had to start limiting my canning to the stuff that grows by itself in my yard because it was getting out of hand! I have a fig tree I planted for my father right before he died. It took many years to bear fruit, as I moved it twice. But three years ago we had a freeze that almost took it out. It burst forth with bushels of fruit the following year. And this year, we had more bushels of fruit. We love figs, so I can as many as I can pick. I also do the crab apples, and I freeze the huckleberries. It makes me feel like a farmer, which I’m not!
          The figs are delicious!

  3. Yeah, I’m a food hoarder too. But, the way I see it, we always have our favourite things without going through the added expense (in terms of money and time) of searching for them in a foreign country. Am I simply rationalizing compulsive behaviour? Yes. But I’m okay with that. 😉

    • Me, too! I have to admit, I have 4 boxes of the edamame ‘spaghetti’ because I love it and know I won’t be able to get it when we leave. Not to mention the figs from my backyard. Obviously!

    • I am determined to either eat of gift to people in foreign lands all those jars of food. Sitting now waiting for the wind, which sounds like it has just arrived. Woo hoo, here we go!

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