You sailed 3000 nautical miles from… well… almost anywhere, really… and now you are in the place you always dreamed of… French Polynesia!
You will probably learn very soon that this is a very expensive place. If you have a limited budget, like us, you will soon have to forget stuff like breakfast cereals, peanut butter and any other American product (and you will have to start making your own wine, but this needs a post of its own…).
The things that you will live on in FP are:
1. freshly baked baguettes
2. brie and camember
3. tuna and other local fish
You just cannot be a proper tropical boat without that big bunch of bananas hanging off your bimini/boom/shroud. Bananas are the food from heaven and in the tropics they are dirt cheap. For a bunch (once I counted 107 of them!) you will pay 6 USD. Sometimes you will even get them for free or in exchange for a lipstick…
The first problem will be – how to get them to your dinghy.
Solution number one:
Solution number two:
Another thing you will learn very soon is that these bananas will ripen all at once. One evening you will say: “Hmmm… they are still too green…” and the next morning you will panic: “Oh, s**t, we have to eat them NOW!!”
Now, how do you eat 107 bananas in one day? You probably can’t, but you can USE all of them, eat some now and save some for later.
Here are some ideas that I developed in those “bananapanic” days:
And of course, the good old…
Then you make some banana bread, a banana cake, you bake a few of them on the BBQ (very good!) and if you have a freezer, you even make banana ice cream (simply smash very ripe bananas and put them in the freezer overnight. You can also add milk/cream/cinnamon/cocoa/coconut milk… be creative!)
At the end of the day you will be exhausted – AND YOU WILL STILL HAVE 62 BANANAS TO GO!!!!
At that point, there is only one thing that can save you:
I seldom recommend any gear, but this is definitely something you should buy if you are leaving for the tropics! We love to dry apples, tomatoes, mangoes and papayas too, and it is also possible to make jerky, dry fish or use it for sprouting…
You may be wondering if you will get bored of eating bananas all the time… the answer is NO. They will become your favorite food, especially on passage, when you can have ready-to-eat snacks on deck. It certainly cuts down the amount of time the crew has to spend in the galley – which for me is reason enough to NEVER leave port without them.
SEE YOU IN THE TROPICS!
p.s. ….did I mention I love bananas? 😉