Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Living off the land

We returned to Frazier's Hog Cay and again tried to get some of the best conch in the Bahamas. However, when we got there it was closed. Foiled again (a few days later we did get some and it was amazing). But we hit a conch bonanza and found a ton on our own.

Berry Islands Club. Howard makes a mean cracked conch. It looks
like someone's house when you're walking up to it.
We took the six biggest ones and then Matt battled mightily with the conch to separate them from their shells. Generally, you hit the spiral with the claw side of the hammer and then cut the foot away from the shell and pull the conch meat out. Specifically, there are conch guts everywhere and you break your favorite paring knife. It is definitely an art and a boatload of work. It makes $12 a plate at a restaurant seem like a real bargain.

My friend Karen asked what we eat on the boat when we are not eating fish. Well, we pretty much eat the same things we ate at home. In preparing to go to the Bahamas, we stocked up on everything because food (and everything else) is so much more expensive than in the States. To give you a taste, each piece of fruit that we purchased was a dollar (including small oranges). Bananas and limes are cheaper. Meat and other food is even pricier. We bought one loaf of bread for $6, which prompted us to start making our own bread. When we're somewhere with cheaper food, we will probably eat more of the local food.

In our costs page, you can see that we spent a small fortune on groceries before departing. Here is our provisioning spreadsheet, which lets you see pretty much what we took and what we used in March. Not everything is in here--notably liquor, spices, and produce. You will notice that the spreadsheet is silent on the amount of beer consumed. All I'll say about that is we are living in a confined space with two small boys.

In March, we caught a good amount of fish to supplement our meat supply. We made granola, yogurt, and bread. Yogurt freezes into a nice approximation of ice-cream and canned mandarin oranges make refreshing Popsicles.

Oh, and we finally got to use our machete. So we have a source of fresh coconut. And we still have all our fingers.


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