November’s 3 “ings” – Thanksgiving, Feasting, and Provisioning

It’s November 30th already, and time to bring the month to a close. Our second week in Vero was a busy one – Thanksgiving, assorted feasting, and a lot of provisioning.

Vero Beach is also known as “Velcro Beach” because so many cruisers stop here and then never leave, or at least spend an extended time here, like the entire winter. Those who do stay forever or return after cruising to settle here in a land home, are known as CLODS – “Cruisers Living On Dirt.” We spent 15 days in Vero Beach this time, and it is now time to rip free of the Velcro.

Vero is known for its “Cruisers’ Thanksgiving”, a really nice way to spend Thanksgiving if you are away from family. (See the Thanksgiving blog post from 2013, Cruisers’ Thanksgiving in Vero Beach.) Two of us Shinnies had made plans to spend the holiday with family that live in Florida and would miss it this time. So, we planned our own early mini-Thanksgiving get-together for 10 people on Kindred Spirit. As a trawler among sailboats, we can comfortably fit more people. We can fit the people, but what about the turkey???? Boat ovens are usually quite small, so no turkey was going to fit in there and heat up the entire boat during hours of roasting. Marcia (Cutting Class) had a brilliant idea for the “turkey” – get the grocery store roaster chickens. She sliced them and heated them with gravy on the side, and made the stuffing (not StoveTop, either.) Sue (san cles) made yummy yams with crunch pecan topping. Annette (Magnolia) brought her homemade fantastic cranberry relish. I made shrimp cocktail and a broccoli salad. We were delighted to learn that Sam and Kayda (Solstice) would be driving past Vero Beach, and we convinced them to join us for our dinner – they brought the pies!  Our first Thanksgiving feast on Kindred Spirit ~~~

Ahoy, Sam and Kayda! Our friends who live in Maine and spend the winter on their boat in the Abacos. It was so exciting to have them visit us in Vero.

Ahoy, Sam and Kayda! Our friends who live in Maine and spend the winter on their boat in the Abacos. It was so exciting to have them visit us in Vero.

Our buffet table spread with foods fit for a Thanksgiving feast!

Our buffet table spread with foods fit for a Thanksgiving feast! Appetizers of shrimp and fig covered cheese, Thanksgiving dinner, and pies.

The buffet line begins in the salon.

The buffet line begins in the salon. Please note Sue’s charming wine bottle cover in the form of a turkey. How many cruisers do you know that actually carry something like that???? 😉

The flybridge became our dining room on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

The flybridge became our dining room on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

Al enjoying his dinner.

 

Since Al took the group photo above, here is a little picture of him, enjoying his Thanksgiving dinner.

 

What a special and absolutely fun day this was! It will become one of my favorite memories of this trip.

 

 

 

 

We rented a car so that we could drive across Florida and spend Thanksgiving with Al’s mother.

Our rental car, one of those "new-fangled" contraptions with no key, no gearshift - all push button and dials. Weird for us older folks!

Our rental car, one of those”new-fangled” contraptions with no key, no gearshift – all push button and dials. Weird for us older folks!

We enjoyed another delicious Thanksgiving dinner, this time with family,

Bill and Dot, Al's mother, Bill's Uncle Bill (who is now over 100) and us.

Top photo: Bill and Dot, Al’s mother, Bill’s Uncle Bill (who is now over 100) and us. Bottom photo: The dining room was decorated very nicely for Thanksgiving.

While staying in a hotel, we enjoyed every moment of unlimited hot water, television, and free wifi! A cruiser’s delight! Believe it or not, but we stayed awake until 11:00 pm one night, watching televisions and surfing the internet.

WE took full advantage of having a car for a few days and drove to Jensen Beach to have dinner with Al's brother, Bill and his wife, Barbara, at Conchy Joe’s. Yup - more feasting!

We took full advantage of having a car for a few days and drove to Jensen Beach to have dinner with Al’s brother, Bill and his wife, Barbara, at Conchy Joe’s. You bet – more feasting!

The final “ing” of November is provisioning. Provisoning is related to the feasting “ing” because the provisions are what allow you to feast once you depart the US and head to the Bahamas. Like most cruisers, we try to purchase all of the non-perishables we may need here in the states because it is cheaper and easier to find particular things that we want or need, such as that special coffee or cereal, or crackers and snacks, paper goods, and……..beer, which is very expensive in the Bahamas. Vero Beach was our final opportunity to do the provisioning for three months (about 16 weeks) in the Bahamas.

First, there has to be an inventory of what is left.

One of the rare times I will go down into the aft cockpit.

One of the rare times I will go down into the aft cockpit, that bottomless pit that we call the “basement.” We keep two plastic bins of food provisions down there. You might consider it to be our own personal grocery store.

For more easily accessible food stuff, we have plastic baskets under the salon seats.

For more easily accessible food stuff, we have plastic baskets under the salon seats.

Cutting Class is carrying tools for another boating buddy who will be building a home on land. Since we have more storage space, especially under the floors, we can help out with this. Of course, Dan decided this was a perfect opportunity for a little joke.

A "staged" tool sale with John's new power tools. Dan and Al are goofing around and sent John this photo.

A “staged” tool sale with John’s new power tools. Dan and Al are goofing around and sent John this photo.

Those dear friends, Sam and Kayda drove all the way south from Maine, their home, and will be spending the winter on Solstice, their sailboat. We are helping them out as well, by carrying just a few little things like chairs, coffee, homegrown garlic, and a battery from boat to boat.

Solstice needed a new battery - into the engine room it goes.

Solstice needed a new battery – into the engine room it goes.

And a few more items go into the "basement".

And a few more items go into the “basement”.

Heads of amazing homegrown garlic. One of the perks of being the cargo ship is that you get to try this out.

Heads of amazing homegrown garlic. One of the perks of helping is that you get to try this out.

 

Kindred Spirit, the storage ship – We may need to change our designation on AIS from pleasure craft to barge. Now I know why our sailing friends have not forsaken us – our trawler has a cargo hold and can carry more stuff. Are we loved just for our cargo space??

 

 

Back to our own provisioning. Having a rental car is perfect for the provisioning chores. It makes it so much easier than trying to shop and carry supplies for 16 weeks on foot, by bike, or by bus. Truly. We made at least three major trips with the car. If only the shopping and carting it out to the boat were the end of provisioning. Oh no, not at all. Once everything is on the boat, the fun really begins – Where, oh where is it all going to go??

One trunk load.... Followed by a dinghy ride to get it out to the boat. Multiply by 3.

From car to dinghy to cockpit. One trunk load…. Followed by a dinghy ride to get it out to the boat. Multiply by 3.

I like to lay it out first so I can see what there is and start imagining where it will go.

I like to lay it out first so I can see what there is and start imagining where it will go.

Labeling the tops of the cans makes items easier to find and pull out when you go digging in the baskets and bins.

Labeling the tops of the cans makes items easier to find and pull out when you go digging in the baskets and bins.

If you read this blog on our first voyage, you know that we carried a LOT of Dove mini-chocolates across to the Bahamas. We still have a dark chocolate problem, so here are the first 8 bags to be stored. There were 6 more bags on another shopping trip.

We still have a dark chocolate problem, so here are the first 9 bags of Dove chocolates to be stored. There were 6 more bags on another shopping trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fresh stuff - one of the final trips.

The fresh stuff – one of the final trips.

More fresh items covering the top of the stove.

More fresh items covering the top of the stove.

Meats – forgot to take a pic! I learned a new trick this time. I purchased the meat we needed on one day and asked the butcher (in Publix) to separate it all into single pieces and freeze it for me. Picked it up the next day — frozen rock solid! This way our little freezer won’t have to strain and consume amps just to freeze it all. I surprised myself – it all fit into the freezer. Whew.

What did n't fit under the salon seats, in the basement bins or any other storage area was left to hang from above. The oranges and apples are in the salon and the cereal and crackers are hanging in the guest cabin so that don't get crushed.

What didn’t fit under the salon seats, in the basement bins or any other storage area was left to hang from above in the little hammocks. The oranges and apples are in the salon and the cereal and crackers are hanging in the guest cabin so that don’t get crushed.

Somehow all of the provisions are stowed away, somewhere — under the salon seating, under the guest cabin bunk, under our bed, in the engine room, in plastic bins in the aft cockpit, in hammocks, in the refrigerator and in the freezer. I really , really dislike the provisioning process, I find it to be overwhelming. I know I bought too much of some things and not enough of others. I know it. There will be things we never eat and there will be things we run out of. Oh well. Provisioning decisions are really challenging for me. The only way to stop me from fretting and fussing is to just go!!

There appears to be a weather window on Wednesday, December 2nd. We are planning on crossing over to the Bahamas on that day, so we left Vero Beach this morning.

We waved good by to Sue and Dave on "san cles." We wish them safe travels and exciting adventures. We don't know when we might see them again because they are headed out for a few years.

We waved good by to Sue and Dave on “san cles.” We wish them safe travels and exciting adventures. We don’t know when we might see them again because they are headed out for a few years.

So, here we are, ready to go. One more day to Stuart, and then we are hopefully leaving on early Wednesday morning to cross the Gulf Stream. I’m looking forward to that beautiful, clear, blue Bahamian water.

One thought on “November’s 3 “ings” – Thanksgiving, Feasting, and Provisioning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *