So, let me tell you a little story. I don’t get much time alone. Like ever. I’m with Josh or Fozel every hour of the day. So when I realized that I got to go to the grocery store to do provisioning by myself I was ecstatic.
That’s when reality set it. I had to find, count, purchase, load and haul 2 months worth of food from the store to the lockers and cabinets of our boat. Yep. Overestimated how glamorous this project was going to be. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t have Fozel with me. It was stressful as it was, let alone with a toddler.
I normally abhor Wal-mart, but for these purposes, it worked for us. I needed various sundries and a one stop shop made life slightly less complicated. I eased in and gathered all the odds and ends not on the food side of the Super Wal-mart first. Moisturizer, new toothbrushes, bug spray, sunscreen, Ziploc baggies, etc. Then I dug in. I decided to assault the canned and dried goods first. I literally had a cart full of cans, boxes, jars and bottles full all the way to the top. The cart itself probably weighed 100 lbs easily. By the end, you should have seen my trying to get enough leverage to move that thing around each corner.
I checked out, loaded it all in the back of my cousin’s SUV and went back in for round two: produce and some perishables. I looked at my list and thought it seemed much shorter, but turns out it wasn’t. I had another very full cart that again had to be pushed out to the parking lot and unloaded into an already very full trunk.
I drove back to the marina, pulled out my reusable bags and condensed them as much as possible before picking up about 60 pounds worth of food and miscellaneous stuff onto my shoulders and around my wrists before dragging myself into the dinghy. Several of the bags were so heavy I couldn’t even get enough leverage to pick them up and put them into the boat where I was already sitting. I had to get out of the boat, lower them in, then get back into it myself.
I began emptying the grocery bags of their contents and started sorting on every surface on the boat--table, counter, companionway steps, navigation station, and mostly the floor. All the canned goods were stacked under the table with help from Fozel while I tackled the meats, produce, and other items needing refrigeration. The chicken and ground turkey were measured out into 1 pound increments, bagged and placed into the freezer. Then I condensed the onions, sweet potatoes and peppers I had purchased and hung them in bags under the sink (hoping the fact that they're in a cool place and not sitting will help them wear better).
After that it was time for the dry goods--oats, flour, pasta, quinoa, lentils, polenta, and sugar--to be divided and stowed. I poured anything into a paper package (flour, sugar, oats and noodles) into baggies and cut off the preparation instructions and placed them in the bags as well. Then anything that was already in plastic bag I simply put the whole package into a baggie. I should have probably emptied those as well but at that point, my energy was beginning to wane. The only dry good left to deal with was the rice. Guys, I bought 10. pounds. of. rice. There was no way that baby was fitting in any of my cabinets so I divided it. What I ended up doing was storing a month's worth of dry goods in an accessible place and then stowing the others in a more out of the way place (I did the same for the canned goods).
Finally it was time for the most fun part of the whole process: canned goods! Josh had made me space for 60+ cans under the port settee near the centerline of the boat (so they're easier to get to). Before I started putting them away, we labeled the tops with the can contents and expiration date. This makes grabbing exactly what you need less of a wild goose chase! Fozel and I quickly filled that space as well as a drawer in the kitchen with the ingredients I'll need for the first two weeks. I also made some space under the sink for some of the more common ingredients and the rest were stacked on their sides in a cubby behind the port settee.
When it was all said and done, I was pretty spent. I left the boat at 7:15 am and returned at 12:45 pm. When I was finally done stowing every item, it was 5:30 pm. Talk about an all day affair!