Under Pressure…to Get to New Horizons…

Peter worked on constructing bed 1.0 and v-berth 1.0 while I worked on learning how to cook a few meals in my new pressure pot.

We slept on Gratitude for the first time a few weeks ago. When my mom came to visit, we offered up our Über
comfy bed in exchange for the v-berth. We made it through the first night, but by the second night, we kept waking up—cushion seams in the back and jumbled feet at the V of the bow—and we decided against the v-berth as a main cabin. Comments abound about how and why Russ made the quarter berth his sleeping quarters of choice. We tried it. We both fit, but again, are we really going to be comfortable sleeping there for 365 days in a row? We were determined to start construction…but where? Wait…we’ve done this before…

When Peter and I first met, he had a tiny 28.5 foot boat named Montserrat. After our first sail together, he took weeks to work on what he called the “somewhat Spartan interior” to make it more comfortable for our sailing excursions. Who knew she would become our first home together and the boat for my first ocean trip! I loved that boat, loved her more because I learned how to sail on her and because I’d scrubbed every nook and cranny while Peter reconstructed shelves and closets and galley space—and beds—we were up to “Bed 5.0” (a head nod to his IT background) by the time we were ready to get a bigger boat. What we learned about the living space in that boat is helping us now to construct a livable space for our yearlong travels.

We finally settled on having our bed in the salon area as it was on Montserrat. We won’t have that many overnight guests and if we do, we’ll have the v-berth and quarter berth to house guests. We’ll also have the v-berth for storage. One thing our new boat has is lots of space, one thing she does not have is lots of storage in that space, so we’ll have to construct and repurpose in order to have what we need. Well, really Peter would go on this trip in the clothes on his back, but I’m a little more discerning. (My Dad would say “high maintenance” but really I live on a boat how much high maintenance can I be, huh?)

While Peter works on these modifications, I’m making modifications to my cooking style. I bought a 6 quart Fagor Pressure Cooker mostly because it comes highly recommended by the sailing gurus due to the decreased use of fuel to produce something edible. Rice in 3 minutes? Are you serious? Sailors say that pressure cookers are good for some of the tougher meats we might meet along the way. So I’m practicing: so far I’ve made basmati rice, brown rice, tortilla soup, chicken cacciatore, homemade hummus, and pulled pork. All I can say is we’re probably eating more than we normally do. Pressure cooking is a new skill so I’m learning even a new way to shop for those ingredients. I’ll learn how to master it. Using it makes sense, but I think as long as we are here in Philly, I’ll continue to barbeque and broil and cook the way I’m used to until I can’t do that. Although, I did turn a can of pizza sauce, a few Martin’s chicken sausages and onions into something that tasted like I’m from South Philly, stewing big pots of gravy all day long.

I’ll be going from this…

To this….

Together we are trying out new ways of getting ready for our new life. Looking forward, yet all the while entrenched in the daily details.


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