7 days chartering in Greece: Day 1 – Planning and Paperwork

A “last minute” birthday invite from a friend led us on an adventure chartering a 42ft Fountaine Pajot Cat in Greece this fall. Last minute for me is only have three months to plan provisions, anchorages, and our sail plans.

We stressed over the plans for the entire three months, but in the end picked a fairly well-traveled path around the Saronic Gulf just west of Athens.

I used the same method as my last trip to plan the provisions. You can read those details here. The only difference this time was that everything was in KG and G and so it took a bit more math on my part. We sent the list off to a provisioning company this time instead of doing the shopping ourselves, and had the supplies delivered to the boat.

We got in early to the marina Saturday, but the food arrived late. The charter manager sat us down to sign paperwork and pay all of the remaining money owed. He explained to us that there would be a $3600 deposit paid, and if there was any damage at all to the boat that we would be out the cost of repairs or all of that money if the repair was higher than their insurance deductible. We could however pay $300 up front to have the insurance put into our name, and we would then be covered for damages. After much debate we decided to go ahead and pay for the insurance money. It was worth it to not have to worry throughout the week.

The marina was a busy place. The docks were just big enough for cars to drive down, and they did. They drove full speed, forwards and in reverse.

After loading the provisions and signing paperwork it was too late to head out. We opened up a few cans of Mythos and headed over to a local place that our captain recommended. He helped us to order a hearty Greek style group meal that ended up being enough food for three days.

We all went to bed excited to start our adventure on the open ocean in the morning.

How to use a French Press to make coffee

Most of you are probably thinking, what kind of idiot doesn’t know how to use a French Press to make coffee. However, many of us grew up in homes with an electric coffee maker. Some of us even invested in an espresso maker with a milk frother when we were in college. However, I had never even heard of a French Press and had no idea how they worked until I went looking for a way to make coffee on the boat without electricity.

Therefore, we decided to shoot a little video during our regular Sunday morning brewing session to help spread the joy of the French Press to anyone else who may need their daily caffeine fix.

Three easy boat meals under $5

So thanks to a request from a gentleman on reddit, I am going to give you three meal ideas for a day on the boat.  Using ingredients that will all fit into a small cooler, and can be cooked with only a grill. Also I tried to use things that are in season (summer), and are inexpensive.  The cost is estimated for 2 people, and for the percent of the item you would use.  For example the pancake mix listed below is $5, but it makes two meals, so therefore $2.50 per meal. Obviously, cut all costs in half if you are by yourself.

Meal 1: Pancakes with strawberries on top. (cost per 2 people) $3.95

1/2 package of strawberries: $1.25

Bisquick shake and pour pancake mix: its a little more per pancake, but its sooo easy.  Makes enough pancakes for 4 portions this size.  Stores for a week.  $2.50

Syrup: maybe .20 worth of syrup?  That’s hard to estimate…

foodunder5-01

Lunch: Toasted Turkey, bacon and cheese sandwich with side salad. $3.65

Turkey: 1.00

Cheese: .40

1/2 bag salad: $1.25

Bacon: $1 (on salad and sandwhich)

food

Dinner: Grilled Chicken thighs, corn, and a side salad (Cost $5.00)

Chicken Thighs: .88/lb..so at the most $2

Corn: 6/$1  so .40

Other half of the salad from lunch: $1.25

Raspberry vinagarette: .10

Other half of Strawberries: $1.25

foodunder5-02

Provisioning for a 7 day charter

Ok, so my method of provisioning has three steps.

1. Create a menu and get it approved by everyone onboard

2. Create a spreadsheet with every ingredient and everything you will need to make each dish, and then sort by ingredient

3. Add up how much you will need of each item, and make a shopping list

Step One.  On my menu I included our activities for that day so that everyone could see and relate it to the meals.  For instance if we were going to be sailing all day I would include a cold lunch like Turkey sandwiches.  Here is an example:

Tuesday – Make our way around the southern end of Vieques and pick-up a
mooring at Esperanza.  For those wanting to do Biobay, this is the night
as it is the new moon.  We should be able to get dinner on shore this
night.

B- Bagel halves with butter and jam, Hard boiled eggs, Bananas

L- Turkey Sandwhiches, Pasta Salad

D- Restaurant

I also added a group snack for each day as I assumed with all the physical activity we would be needing it.  We also hae 4 teenagers aboard who require extra food. At the end I also included a very open list of possible drinks.  Without knowing exactly what everyone likes to drink though, its a hard thing to add.  I will be leaving that largely up to them at the store, with only the beer counted out at 5 beers per person per day.

Step two.  After everyone had made their changes to the menu I went through and put them on my spreadsheet.  My sheet has three columns, Dish, ingredient, and quantity.  I went through and looked up recipes for all of the meals.  On Allrecipes.com you can change the quantity of servings to avoid a lot of in your head math.  I did 2 servings per person, and for lighter dishes I did 2.5 servings. If seeing helps here it is  Provisioning List  After that I just sort by ingredient and add up all of the amounts.  I wouldn’t stress to much on what unit you’re using ie pound vs package vs can.  You are the one adding it up anyway.

Step three.  I just type it all up into an easy to read list for whomever will be doing the buying.  Here is mine Shopping List

As  side note I think it would be helpful to use your original spreadsheet (before sorting) and your menu to portion off foods on the boat for each day.  That way for example if you have rationed pasta salad for two meals, it won’t all get served at the first meal.  I would expect that whatever is served will be gone.  Also for each meal you could mark what extra food you had left over.  That way you know the difference between your leftovers and your provisions for future meals.  So if people are hungry you can offer them food without ruining your meal plan.