Boat Provisioning and Sailing to Norman Island

Saturday, March 4, 2017

After a great night's sleep and breakfast at the Marina, it was time to provision the boat.  Moorings does offer provisioning services, but it is expensive and this part for me is fun.  Checking out the local grocery stores, seeing what kind of produce, meats and groceries they have on offer.  I love to explore and see what kinds of things are available versus what is available at home (and the pricing).

The boys got up early for the boat briefing meeting with Moorings and after conferring with Captain Rob, we planned on getting enough stuff for two days' worth of sailing.  Even though we would be stopping every night, the places we stopped would not always have provisions.    We checked out the store at the Marina - which had a great selection of alcohol with reasonable prices, but not very much food (grocery-wise).  We decided to leave the marina for our shopping.  Everyone made their donations to the boat kitty ($100 USD per person to start) and we made inquiries at the front desk about where to get groceries.  Lori, Rob and Christine stayed behind to wait to get the boat and the rest of us were to go shopping.  We found out there was a large grocery store nearby which had a free shuttle!  Excellent.

Our driver, a very nice Filipino gentleman whisked Dale, Meghan, Scott and myself to the One Mart grocery store.  It was only 5 minutes from the marina - may have seemed longer for me from the back seat not realizing why were stopped and waiting (couldn't see the traffic light we were stopped at the marina entrance...ahem).

The store was crowded - expected for a Saturday morning.  We got a cart and set out.  One of us with the cart, others making various scouting trips for ingredients.  90% of the food is familiar, albeit sometimes with a twist.  For example, hot dogs (a boating staple, trust me).  Lots of different brands, but mostly you find chicken (or chicken and beef) hot dogs.  Got some cans of tuna and some crackers (snacks are VERY important...which we were reminded of later).  I always find the tuna here has a higher water content.  Not the tightly packed cans I'm used to.   Condiments, rice, produce, snacks and paper products (napkins and paper towels).  Protein is always a challenge.  We decided on 7 skinless boneless chicken breasts, which were surprisingly inexpensive - at about $1 each. Most likely because boneless skinless meat is not a large part of most ethnic diets.  I was going to get some beautiful snapper filets, but at $7 a piece, decided on the chicken.  We also got a large bag of chicken wings for $8 (about 35 whole wings).  Yes, if you are willing to pay, there were huge scallops, steak, pork filets and other delights.  When trying to stock the boat, it's best not to blow your whole wad the first day.  Plus, even though we like to eat, we don't want to spend that much money on food.  We enjoy cooking and try to take advantage of it often.  It is an interesting dilemma.  One one hand, you spend thousands of dollars chartering a boat and getting to your destination, but we don't want to spend too much money on food and eating out.  Savings wherever we can.  It's like looking for a free parking space downtown, to go shopping and spend money...hmmm.

Scott unloading our precious cargo
We checked out and packed our haul ($378US for one very full cart) into the shuttle and headed back to the marina.  By this time, the others had gotten the boat and had started to get organized.  We grabbed a hand cart and got ourselves to our home for the next 7 days - 'Surprise'.  A 46' catamaran with 4 berths (each with it's own washroom).   I couldn't have taken a better video than this one which Moorings put together.  In my excitement I did manage to get a shot of our bed before it became a disarray of tangled sheets, clothes and luggage.

We pulled out of the marina at 14h30 and sailed to Norman Island in about an hour, mostly under sail.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon unpacking, organizing the food, snorkeling, swimming and listening to music.   For dinner we enjoyed a spectacular ginger risotto (prepared by Meghan and Scott) along with some grilled basil and garlic chicken and a salad.  Great first day.  Hot (28C, mild winds).

A rain shower in the distance.

Captain Rob and First Mate Dale

Leaving the Marina

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Basil is all set for some snorkeling!

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