Back to reality….I think this post must be dedicated to refrigeration…or the adventures thereof. The challenge of keeping food in a warm climate is an obvious one. On the boat, we have a tiny fidge (like a small bar fridge) with an even tinier freezer. We also have a cooler that sits right under our (tiny) counter (making cooking a challenge when you need something underneath your only work space!). It has a small coolant system with a small fan, but without the addition of ice, it really doesn’t keep things cold enough. While in Antigua, our cooler fan broke and the coolant piping froze into a solid block of ice. Okay, throw out that pile of foodstuffs. We replaced the fan (a computer cooler fan, no less), thawed the ice and then Paul had the task of resealing the entire system…using plastic and exercise bands as added insulation (it really was a bit McGuiver-ish). Back in action, right? Then, sourcing the internet, we decided that in order to keep the system from refreezing again, we would try without the added ice…only to conclude that this was insufficient to keep food fresh. (This conclusion was reached after opening the chicken I had purchased fresh the day before…need I say more?) Hmmm. Another pile of food wasted. I think the system is currently working. Having said that, food wastage continues…after buying the fourth litre of fresh milk (at $6/L) only to find it sour upon opening, I temporarily gave up on fresh milk (sorry, Ethan). Fortunately (for all except Ethan who dislikes the stuff), there is UHT milk, which is essentially milk that has been treated to allow storage on the shelf for months until opened: a godsend to the Caribbean climate. Fruits and vegetables are the other challenge…if you buy in bulk when it is available, there is the constant challenge of eating it before it goes bad. If you buy as you go, there is never any guarantee of what you might find or when you might have easy access to a store. I bought a special treat of strawberries (which I inspected at the store…at $8+/pack) last week, only to find that a number of them were white by the time I made it back to the boat. Go figure. It makes the cooking adventuresome (and yes, a tad expensive!) Nonetheless, I no longer take for granted my big fridge and freezer at home.
We have just finished a delightful visit with Paul’s brother and family. The boys were SO excited to have them down for the week. Needless to say, much fun was had by all, and they are greatly missed already. School has started again in full force…there is a lot to accomplish in the next week before our next adventurers arrive. We have had some fun with geography using our inflatable globe, and I am amazed at the kids’ knowledge. What sponges (oh, to be able to learn like that again!)
More “life on the boat” stories to come…!