14 December 2018 | St. Augustine, FL
Before we head out on a trip, and in order to ease transition to life on board without the added burden of meal preparation while trying to get the boat organized and us used to living afloat, we prepare soups, stews, chilis, and the like and freeze them at home. We take them aboard in their frozen state and place them in the top of the freezer on Gratitude so they are readily available for the first few days. As well, Lauren is excellent at meal planning, provisioning, and organizing foodstuffs on board. There is limited space on a boat to store anything, much less fresh food, so order and planning are key considerations, and Lauren has those attributes in spades!
This year was no exception. We headed out with some containers of a delicious beef/vegetable soup and chili that we had made a few weeks prior to departure. The soup was left in the freezer while the chili was placed in the refrigerator to begin to thaw (and to help cool the fresh food and produce placed in the fridge). The first night out, we had chili with shredded cheddar cheese, homemade bread, and a salad for dinner. The next night, it was the turn of the beef/vegetable soup; and so on.
Now that we are back into the shipboard routine, we are back to cooking. As I write this, the turkey (which also thawed and helped the refrigerator along) is roasting in the oven, stuffed with onions, garlic, fennel, lemon, and thyme. We eat well aboard Gratitude, as any of our guests can attest. Lauren truly loves to entertain and serving friends meals is a great way to do it.
Of course, edible soups are not the only kind. Today, we departed our anchorage just north of St. John’s River (access to Jacksonville, FL) and headed down the ICW in the rain. At first, the rain was gentle, and it stayed that way most of the day, but soon, the fog rolled in and we had to slow down to be able to see the channel markers. So, for a time, we motored along in “pea soup” until that lifted, but the rain continued. We arrived in St. Augustine, FL at just before 1:30, transited the Bridge of Lions, and took on fuel during a gap in the rain. Just as we picked up a mooring here in the Municipal Marina, it started to rain again, and now we are experiencing a steady, heavy rain and it is foggy inside our cockpit enclosure. Time for a nap.