Avatoru, Rangiroa, Tuamotu, French Polynesia
The quest for sustenance is more complex than you might imagine.
First off, you may not recall that Greg is the ship’s only French speaker (and by “speaker” we mean a vocab of about 100 words…and about 7 verbs.) So when he’s not around and often even when he is, obtaining food requires our fellow crewmembers to overcome certain linguistic hurdles. Even on the few occasions where there is some level of reasonable verbal communications, cultural obstacles also seek to derail us. Our attempts to surmount these challenges are met with varying degrees of success:
When repeated communications attempts fail or what happens more often is that our wallets can not bear the strain of eating out more than once a week without mortgaging a first born child (which, oddly enough, no one on this ship actually has) we must instead resort to our own dwindling Mexican shipboard supplies to sustain our appetites. Which, after months of isolation from the necessities of life (like Trader Joe’s) those precious stores are beginning to run “a little thin” by our fellow crewmember’s standards.
Ok, you know, we have no idea how many cartons of rice milk they had onboard when we left Mexico. We also never actually even saw where they stored all of this milk on the 44 foot boat that we have all been living on together for several months now. Think about that for a second, we never saw the rice milk on the boat, and it’s not like it doesn’t take up some space. This ship has more secret storage compartments than the Millennium Falcon.
We do alright though. Mostly based on these meager and vastly depleted supplies we manage to cobble together rudimentary meals that we share with our fellow cruisers:
Alright, in all seriousness, for those of you planning on plying the seas of the South Pacific, cheap Mexican beer (Pacifico mostly) is a viable form of forex currency out here and the exchange rate is through the roof! Those yellow cans are greeted with sighs of satisfaction and envious looks when a captain brings out a drink at dinner. A sign of true friendship between cruisers is to share one’s “Mexican beer stash.” Being as Hinano, the local brew, comes in at least $5 US per can at the grocery store, spending a few pesos on some Mexican beer is one of the smartest investments in ensuring popularity with your fellow cruisers that you can make before departing.
As for us? Suppose we’ll just have to muddle through on Tahitian wine and French baguette pizza.