Monday, June 21, 2010

Purging, Provisioning and Organizing...

...the oh-so-fun and familiar "PPO" routine before a cruise has begun! We are finally looking beyond the upgrades, repairs and continuing diagnostics on the ship's systems and focusing at last on the fun part to prepare for our next little cruise. We've taken the opportunity while Equinox is in our home port to go through all the storage spaces and purge the non-essential flotsam and jetsam that has accumulated over the past months aboard.  It's really amazing how you expand to fill the available space on a boat, and unfortunately, usually a day at a time, filling it with minutia and unnecessary items. UGH!! 

We spent the past couple of days doing a harsh inventory of the foodstuffs aboard: what we have and where, what we need, and what we don't need aboard. Every time we provision we get better at it, but it's no less of a time-consuming chore when faced with it before each cruise! We discovered that we totally overstocked on frozen vegetables during our last cruise, as we always found fresh vegetables en route that were more appetizing than what we could find if we went freezer diving. Yet getting the storage spaces emptied, cleaned, restocked, inventoried and organized is an accomplishment, and it's a relief to be actually be doing it! You feel very productive for yourself, as it reinforces that departure isn't that far off, adding to the thrill of anticipation. The hard work is behind us for the most part, with the majority of repairs and upgrades accomplished, and now we're gearing up for the fun part: cruise planning and itinerary ideas, routes and waypoints, plans A and B for various weather scenarios, and so on. 

During the past two days, we've gone over our wish list for menus and dinner ideas, then pared that down to practical portions before we hit the stores to buy what we'll need for our short journey. Frankly, provisioning for a month is easy stuff compared to provisioning for six months, but the concept remains the same: figuring type, diversity and actual portion numbers of meals needed. Ron and Ally did a major provision run for wine and liquor one afternoon, then Ron and I hit  Sam's Club's for dry goods, paper products and meats the following day. It's always overwhelming going into Sam's, as the sheer volume of items is astounding! A list is imperative, or you end up getting way more than you can possibly use, or -- even worse -- stocking up on impulse items that aren't needed at all! Oh yes, what did I say about expanding to fill the available space?

Ron during the (supposedly) dry goods run, if you 
ignore the Listerine bottles and case of beer in the cart 

Today was a more mundane day aboard, as I sorted, organized and stocked the last few items into the pantry closet, galley step storage and saloon bench storage areas. Ron focused on purging his closet and drawer space to get rid of the winter/cold weather clothing that we needed in the northern latitudes. I still have to do that, unfortunately....but there's always tomorrow!

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