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Old 10-03-2004, 16:12   #1
sjs
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wisdom from the ice ages

This is one of those questions that can be misconstrued as a political statement and I sincerely mean no offense to anyone who treads a different path. However, as I narrow my choices of boats to buy I am getting to some rather ancillary factors and would be interested in opinions, or better yet, knowledge, in an area that might be considered outdated.

I tend toward simplicity, and based on years as a soldier, backpacker, mountaineer and sailor, still find nothing wrong with cedar buckets instead of MSD (where legal of course), a manual pump or even plastic container instead of pressure water, a sunshower (when spoiling myself) instead of separate shower compartment, a compass, sextant, charts, lead line and hand instruments in lieu of electronics, . . . well, you get my drift. Anyway, I am not at all interested in a refrigerator after finally experiencing cruising with one. I will go with an ice box.

This used to be an easy issue when I was on the low fat, high carb diet as many delicious meals could be prepared with dried and canned foods. Alas, I am now on the low carb high protein approach and need a different provision plan. Of course, there are canned meats, fish, fowl, etc., but they are not the most tasty and not always inexpensive. I have found it interesting to read older cruising books, like Hissock's "Cruising Under Sail" and others and how they dealt with lack of refrigeration or even ice. In fact, my 55 years includes some time also living without such conveniences, and I note how some today think even touching an uncooked egg or chicken will ineluctably lead to food poisoning in contrast to how older folks routinely let such products age to a certain extent. Obviously, food processing and public awareness have changed since then.

Well, I realize I have rambled on here, so to get to the point. If I want protein (sorry vegans) and will only have ice and not refreshed ice every day, does anyone know which flesh (meats, fish, fowl) have a longer shelf life than others. I am thinking bacon and other smoked/salted meats, jerky and the like are examples but wonder if there any any old sailors (or young ones with relevant experience ) who might have some info or reference materials, books or websites, that might afford me more current knowledge on this issue.

Again, no disrespect intended to those who cruise with modern conveniences or those who are vegetarian.
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Old 10-03-2004, 18:16   #2
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Protein

Protein is available to Vegans and others through Legumes (beans). I suggest you also research alternative (to meat) forms of protein.

However, as a carnivore, I crave flesh - lots of it !!!
You could add dried meats & fish to your previous list of salted/smoked/cured meats.

It is not difficult to sun-dry fresh meat & fish in the tropics; although it does require meticulous care to maintain the continuity of the drying process (uninterrupted by rain, dew, or high humidity). Sorry, I cannot provide references.

Obviously, fresh-caught seafood can (at least) supplement your diet. Barracuda smaller than 18" (my forearm), for instance, are usually safe from ciguraterra (sp?), and are easily caught and excellent eating! I love lobster and conch.

Good luck,
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:01   #3
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Don't forget cheese!

We cruised for years without refrigeration and cheese was one of our staples. Even in the tropics, it lasts for weeks. If it gets a "growth" just shave it off. It can be stored indefinately in a jar of vegetable oil (gets a little more oily).

Also eggs last for weeks, even in the tropics, if they are rotated every day or so. Waxing, etc is not neccessary. A word of caution, break eggs into a container to check before placing over heat - a bad egg hitting a frying pan will keep you away from eggs for a long time!

Many countries have better canned meats than the US - Mexico has canned pork that is great.

We've found drying meat problematic - either too much moisture or bugs. Fish might be easier.

Also TVP can be flavored to taste great, and beans last forever.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:41   #4
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Food

Tenknots, is there a book that you would recommend that covers this subject. It is one area that I am a bit week on knowledge having been land based away from the ocean for too long.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:10   #5
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While I don't know much about the subject, I'll bet this book contains some solid information. The Pardeys cruise without refrigeration.

The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew
by Lin Pardey, Larry Pardey (Editor), Lin Pardey

"Since its original publication nearly 20 years ago, The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew has remained the favored resource for cruising sailors. This new edition amasses the Pardeys decades-worth of offshore-living experience to show you how to take care of all aspects of cre comfort. A narrative of a passage from Japan to Canada runs throughout the book so you can see how the Pardeys care and feed themselves and their crew. "

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

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Old 11-03-2004, 15:10   #6
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Thanks for the info guys. I did not know Gord May that you could avoid ciguatera by sticking to the small barracudas. Do you know if the same rule (i.e., small & young) applies to the other usual suspects (grouper, snapper and jacks)?

Tenknots, sorry but I don't know what TVP is. Can you clarify?

exposure, I will be getting that book. Thanks for the reference.
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Old 12-03-2004, 13:15   #7
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TVP

Textured Vegetable Protein. You can buy it in flakes at a health food store for cheap. Mix it with taco seasoning, stirfry with it, mix it with beans for burritos, lots of other stuff. The store might have pre-spiced TVP also. If it's kept dry, it lasts a long time. The stuff basically has no taste - it tastes like what you spice it with, but it really grows on you. Low fat, mostly protein.

Health food stores also have dried pinto bean flakes - just add hot water. They're quite good and make a quick meal.

I have known people that cruised the Caribbean and caught probably 80% of their protein - fish, lobster, conch, etc. It's a lot of work, unless you don't consider diving in crystal clear water work.

Most places I've been to had fisherman who would sell you their catch. In parts of the Caribbean, they'll come by everyday and you can trade or buy their stuff. I traded a can of green beans and a bag of m&ms for 4 lobsters. I've been given all the pacific Salmon I wanted and bought shrimp right from the boats.

I'm glad you tend toward simplicity. In my opinion, there is nothing that will make your trip more enjoyable. Read Don Casey's book, Sensible Cruising, the Thoreau Approach.
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Old 12-03-2004, 15:41   #8
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Thankyou tenknots, I'll give TVP a try; and, I have and very much like "Sensible Cruising". Seems my nautical library is a little aged though, I have to check out a good deal of new material. However, like diving in clear waters, I do not consider reading to be a form of work.
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Old 13-03-2004, 03:58   #9
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ciguatera ?

Though I have often and safely eaten many smaller Barracuda over the years, I am not expert on Ciguatera poisoning, nor it’s avoidance. Perhaps I’m just lucky?

There are many excellent on-line references to Ciguatera, including:
http://www.rehablink.com/ciguatera/

Ciguatera poisoning is caused by consuming tropical marine fish which have accumulated a toxin which originates from certain species of algae (dinoflagellate). This algae is consumed by small fish, which in turn are eaten by larger fish, and so on up the food chain. The toxin generally accumulates in larger predator reef fish (fish under 5 Lbs are less likely to be contaminated, or at least less so) such as grouper, amberjack, sea bass, barracuda, snappers and Spanish mackerel. The toxin is tasteless, and is heat stable, so cooking does not destroy it.

The occurrence of toxic fish is sporadic, generally considered to occur between 35 degress N & S, and not all fish of a given species or from a given locality will be toxic. When cases are reported, or certain types of algae 'blooms' have occurred, warnings are sometimes issued to avoid eating large fish of the implicated species until testing shows the toxin no longer present. You cannot rely upon “warnings” in remote areas, but “local knowledge” may offer some insight into which reefs, at which times of year, are likely to remain uncontaminated.

Avoiding consumption of tropical reef fish is the only true method of prevention. Although this method is not practical in all circumstances, the following can decrease the incidence of ciguatoxin poisoning:

~ Avoid ingestion of fish larger than 5 Pounds (2-3 kg) that are at the top of the food chain (grouper, amberjack, sea bass, barracuda, snappers and Spanish mackerel, etc)

~ Avoid all visceral organ and gonad meat (head, roe & guts - where ciguatoxin is concentrated)

~ Clean the fish as soon as possible after they are caught or purchased.

~ Avoid eating fish caught at sites known to have a ciguatoxic algae problem.

~ Remember that the ciguatoxin is not destroyed by cooking, drying, salting, or freezing the fish.

Symptoms generally appear within 6 hours of eating the toxic fish, and include numbness and tingling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Sensory reversal, feeling hot for cold and cold for hot may occur. There is no treatment, but symptoms generally subside in a few days. There have been some severe cases where the neurological symptoms have lasted for weeks and months. There have been some isolated cases which have persisted for years, and other cases where symptoms have recurred months or even years later. There is a low fatality rate.

The treatment is mainly supportive care. Certain medications have been reported to be helpful when started in the early phases of the illness. It is also recommended that a person suffering from ciguatera fish poisoning avoid eating fish, fish sauces, shellfish, alcohol, and nuts for several months after the incident.

I understand that there is a Ciguatera Test Kit, now available. I have no information on it’s efficacy. http://ulua-fishing.com/ciguatera.html

Hope this helps,
Gord
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Old 13-03-2004, 16:43   #10
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That sir, is a most impressive package of useful information. Thank you Gord May.
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Old 13-03-2004, 18:55   #11
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Hi SJS,
One for the road, a great method of preserving dead stuff especially fish, is to store in jars of fresh pure lemon juice. Buy or steal them by the case, juice them then keep in large plastic jars for use.
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Old 14-03-2004, 08:49   #12
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Hi Setia,

How much time do you get with that method of preservation, a few days, a few weeks, a few months? I imagine it is dependent on the temperature and the nature of the food being preserved.

Also, does the lemon juice not impart a strong lemon taste?
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Old 14-03-2004, 17:08   #13
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G'day SJS
Fish cooked/ marinated in lemon juice with chilli, tomato, coconut raw/ shredded is a common dish in SE Asia & can keep a couple of days stored in a cool place. I have kept fish in jars of LJ for up to 2 weeks then eaten straight from the jar or fried, fried is better as is lessens the taste of lemon, lime is even better but harder to get in quantities (cheaply) here everyone has a lemon tree in the back yard. Have also tried turtle steaks this way, delicious. Note, taking of turtles in Aust. is illegal but one must protect oneself in attacked by an angry turtle.
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Old 07-05-2004, 18:43   #14
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Wink ASQ

Does having heaps of tinned food on board
make you more visible on radar?
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Old 21-06-2004, 21:05   #15
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tinned food

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