When we left San Diego, we almost sank our boat with our food and ‘stuff’ provisions.
Can you believe we actually found a place to stow all of this stuff?!
And how we chose to stow some of our items was less than ideal….
What?… doesn’t everyone strap in their beer? Totally safe, right?! It is also beyond me why we bought Mexican beer when we were leaving California to go to Mexico!
But we made it down here, realized that they have plenty of food and provisions in Mexico and we did not in fact sail over the edge of the earth when we crossed the US/Mexico border.
The big grocery stores in every major town are Soriana, La Mega, Costco, and Walmart.
Yes, Walmart IS taking over the world.
Walmart is a lower end discount store in California. In Mexico, it is the same as going to any of the other main stores. Walmart and La Mega are most likely to have a greater variety of imported food in case you need a taste of home.
This past week we have been provisioning for the Sea of Cortez, where it will be more challenging to get anything but a handful of fresh fruits and veggies at most of the places we want to visit. So we have planned out meals for 60 days with lots of canned and dried items. It will last longer if we are lucky fisherpeople. We also added lots of Gatorade powder in case we get dehydrated. We should be able to restock when we go in to a marina wher we will refill on water, diesel, and gasoline. After a trip to the Jerretaderas Market (local outdoor market near Nuevo Vallarta), Soriana (Mexican grocery store chain), La Mega (gringo land), and Walmart 2x (locals and expats alike are here) we are ALMOST done!
Certain items are definitely a luxury item but worth it. For example, this penut butter is almost $8.00!!!
Curry paste is amazingly delicious and only found at Walmart and Cheez-Its (yes, we admit that we have an obsession with this craker) are most affordable at the typically overpriced Paradise Village Shopping Center. All the chips we are accustomed to- Doritos, etc, have a spicy taste to them so we usually skip them except for the totopos which are tortilla chips. We bought one package of tortillas to start us out and will otherwise make tortillas and bread on the boat.
Our latest trip- fruits and veggies!
Our latest trip was for fuits and veggies along with some odds and ends. It was too heavy for the bus so I had to splurge on a taxi. Worth it!
We do have a refrigerator and although it is an average size for a boat, it is still very small. We have to become creative when packing our fruits and veggies so that they last as long as possible. A couple tips I have learned:
- Do not store bananas near anything else- they will speed up the ripening process for any fruit/veggie they are next to.
- Store potatoes in a cool, dark spot with plenty of ventilation.
- The same goes for onions.
- Avocados can be stored with onions OR potatoes. But onions and potatoes can never be stored together. Onions also cannot be stored by fruit.
- Eggs don’t need to be refrigerated and are not stored cold in the markets. Turn the eggs over a couple of times a week and they will last longer than if you kept them in the refrigerator. Note that you must store them either chilled or at room temperature. Once you have chilled them, they will spoil if left on the counter for too long.
The next step is to wash everything that doesn’t have a peel with Microbiocide, an antibacterial solution (click here to learn why), let dry completely, wrap the veggies in blue shop towels and fruit in tin foil, and hope for the best.
We used the shop towels for the veggies before and it definitely assisted with the longevity of our greens.
These are great sites that explain how long fruits and veggies last without refrigeration:
What about the non-food items?
- Vinegar. Boat ownership introduces any sailor to the Battle with Mold! Vinegar is a great cleaning agent. It also helps clean the calcium deposits out of the head (toilet plumbing). Be warned that it makes the boat smell for a couple days- maybe I should have diluted the vinegar with water! Click here to see 1001 Vinegar Tips
- Plunger- this item is supposed to aid me in agitating our clothes in a bucket while doing laundry on the boat. I know, I can’t believe I’m going to do that either.
- Scotch-Brite Pads- gone are the days where we will pay a diver to clean the bottom of our boat. It is all us now! Good news- the water will be clean and warm with excellent visibility and in the afternoon it is too hot to get out of the water anyway!
- Blue tape- someday we will get to that varnishing job!
- Windshield Sun Shade- we will put this along the hull next to the refrigeration compressor to keep it cool. Without shore power to rely on, the refrigerator will take a lot of battery power to keep our refrigerator cool. The sun shade will hopefully help keep things cooler so the refrigerator won’t have to work so hard.
The water temperature is already warming up in the Sea of Cortez
- LOTS of sunblock
- Basic meds for pain, allergies, upset stomach, etc.
We hope to head north (possibly via La Cruz, Punta Mita, Mantachen Bay, Isla Isabella, and Mazatlan) this week but our route will largely depend on weather.