Shopping frenzy

We’ve spent the past few days in a provisioning frenzy: a tour to a cheap supermarket, another one to a hardwarestore (who has ever spent 5 hours in a hardwarestore??), yet another one to a more sophisticated supermarket–each trip took us a full day, first searching for the right bus, then waiting endlessly for a taxi and in the end shipping all the bags half a mile through splashy seas by dinghy.

We’ve already managed to pack the content of 6(!) big shopping carts into Pitufa’s belly (which wasn’t empty before…) and still have to go booze shopping. Friends have packed 100 litres of wine on their boat and we’ll try to manage the same ;-)

All this provisioning must seem ridiculous to people who have the next supermarket 5 minutes by car away, but were we sail next there won’t be lots of (affordable) food available. After the Galapagos (minimarkets on Isabela) we’ll head out to the Gambier islands (small shops, hopefully lots of fruit and veggies in private gardens), next to the Tuamotus (tiny islands that get basic food from supply ships) and then in autumn to the Marquesas (small shops and lots of veggies). We won’t see another supermarket until we reach Tahiti in spring next year–and as Pitufa’s a gourmet boat we’ll fill her up completely.

Not only food is hard to get by and expensive, there won’t be big hardware stores either so we have to be prepared to fix everything that might break on the way ourselves with our own gear.

On the bright side: all the provisioning stress keeps us from being nervous about sailing out on the Pacific. A few weeks of constant sailing, nightwatches etc. seem like desireable holidays after Panama City. Initially we liked the city but by now we’re quite fed up: sales personnel is as unmotivated as it gets, moving in slow motion, trying to send customers to another shop just to get rid of their annoying questions. Another problem is the pollution: it hasn’t rained since mid-December, the air is filled with dust and smoke and we regularly have big ashflakes snowing gently down on Pitufa.

It’ll be nice to get to a cleaner, more quiet place. Hopefully sometime next week.


  1. Roswitha Feldbauer says:

    Fingers cross that everything will going well as you have planned …

  2. Attila says:

    That’s exactly what we are doing right now! We made it through the Canal last week and heard your name on the radio two days ago. We were so surprised, thinking for sure that you guys would have left a while ago.

    I totally agree with your opinion on PC. It’s a great city but not my favorite place on a boat – rolly anchorage, expensive transportation costs and just not a ton of fun.

    I hope we run in to you before you head out into the Pacific!

  3. Jim Siemens says:

    Would enjoy seeing more photos before you head out, as you do a nice job with them! Realize you must be quite busy. I have been to PC and agree with your take on the place. Best of luck with your travels!

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