5 Tips For Cooking on a Boat

By Jay Vilar, Founder & Practicioner, Nourish

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Preparing to cook on your boat can be a lot of work, especially if you never done it before.  Here are some quick tips to prepare for the experience if you find yourself being the chef of the high seas.

SAMPLE MENU FROM CROATIA SAIL

SAMPLE MENU FROM CROATIA SAIL

Tip # 1 – A month prior to your departure date, survey your crew on any dietary restrictions, requests, preferences; and build your menu accordingly.  Remember these are requests so don’t get let your crew get crazy.  

Knowing the meals you’ll be preparing ahead of time will help you plan out your provision list, acquire necessary ingredients, and minimize on food waste.  Make sure to take into account the days you’ll be eating on-shore and plan accordingly.  

 

Tip # 2 – You can save of money and get more variety if you buy your provisions at the local grocery store. Depending on your access to transportation, shopping at the local grocery store will give you lots more options and save money versus buying the majority of your provision from the moorings.

 

 

 

Tip # 3- Use heat wisely. Boiling water can take forever. However if you boil water in a kettle first then add it to the pot you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

 

 

 

 

 

Tip # 4 – Work closely with your kitty master to ensure you are working within the budget for your food and booze costs. Communicate with your boat members to ensure everyone has an understanding of what is kitty related and not kitty related. On our boat anything on the boat was kitty related and anything off boat was on your own. We agreed to the number of meals that will be provided and which meals would be off the boat. Of course this was flexible but it set the guidelines. We were under budget and the crew received a $50 return.  


Note: If you are considering bringing on a private chef ($200/pp), it is cost effective considering they know how to save money on provisioning, meal quantities, sourcing, etc.

Tip # 5 – Source locally whenever you can to get the most flavor. Any chef will tell you that the quality of the meal comes from the quality of the ingredients.  The best ingredients will come from local sources. When looking to source local ingredients remember that every port is different.  Some ports of call will have great options, other will have no options. Be sure to do your research or ask a member of the Trekr leadership about where the provision shopping on your ports of call.

About the Author: Jay Vilar is the Founder & Practitioner of Nourish, LLC, a nutritional therapy company in Washington, DC. The mission is to educate how to heal & optimize the body using food. Jay uses his cooking and culinary skills to teach his clients how to prepare nutrient-dense meals. Being close friends with the Trekr leadership team he was asked to be the private chef for a boat requesting that service. Guests had such a positive experience with Jay that he has been requested to return to chef for future Trekr trips.  If you’d like to reserve Jay as your chef, contact your Trekr organizer to request availability and pricing.

Off the Beaten Path: Finding Adventure in the Thai Spirit

Adventures can happen in unexpected moments. It can awake senses that have gone dormant for too long. The adventure of  jumping out of an airplane can be equally as powerful as the adventure found in quiet mindful moments. Thailand is full of all shades of adventure, allowing us to feel more alive and connected to the world.

In a quiet moment a fellow Trekr veteran and I went searching for the much exalted street food in Patong, Thailand. Patong is a medium sized city north of Phuket where our sailing adventure concluded and the Trekr team was celebrating our first night back on land.

Street food is a staple of Thai culture. In every town, there are food stalls on the street that can put the best Thai restaurants back home to shame. In larger cities, there is often an entire alley dedicated to regional Thai cuisine. Finding the food stalls can be an adventure in and of itself. It requires doing advanced research or communicating with people on the streets.

We set out to peruse the main strip in Patong and were surprised to easily find the alley lined with food stalls. The stalls were filled with simmering cauldrons of curries, noodle dishes, and fish. The air was packed with the aromas of the fresh food that had been cooking since sunrise. As we sat down, people from all walks came in for dinner: people in suits, strippers, students and moms carrying their kids.  Among the crowd, we noticed a small elderly westerner enter into the alley. We was warmly welcomed by the Thai food vendors, kissing him on his forehead and hugging him.

He sat down across from us and we greeted him with smile. “Good morning,” he said to us. We nodded and smiled. Then the gentleman started to speak in in a language we didn’t understand. His eyes weren’t really focusing and it was clear he was not well. One of the street food vendors brought him a bowl filled with noodles, shrimp and broccoli. It was off the menu and not from any of the large pots of Thai delights.

Curious, we investigated further. The gentleman had been coming to the ally for years. People in the community got to know him and began treating him like a family member. As his health began to deteriorate, this community resolved to care for him. It was a touching display of spirit of the Thai people.

Moments of adventure can be swimming with sharks, racing the yachts or enjoying the people around you. It can also be watching how people care for each other in a foreign land. All of it can be a great and unexpected. It is those constant moments of adventure and surprise that make Thailand so special.

Trekr is heading to Cambodia and Vietnam!

Trekr is and always will be a champion of the sailing experience. However, since there are adventures to be had in landlocked destinations, we are thrilled to announce our first land-based excursion to Vietnam and Cambodia December 23-30 of 2017!

Asia is an amazing place with so much history, a vibrant culture, delicious food centuries of architecture influenced by different religions and nations, friendly people and plenty of adventure. Cambodia and Vietnam offer a chance for Trekrs who will join us on our December 2017 Thailand sail to extend their Trek an extra week or it will allow friends who do not enjoy water travel to join on their first Trek.

Over the course of the week, we will go from Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia and Hanoi, Vietnam. We will see the temples of Siem Reap at sunrise, tour a fishing village and take a traditional cooking class. In Hanoi, we will tour the most sacred temple for the Vietnamese new year, shop in the Old Quarter and visit the major landmarks of Hanoi, including the prison that once held US Senator John McCain.

The space is limited for the trip. If it interests you, do not hesitate to reserve your spot now. Trekr will handle all arrangements for you, including *flights, luxury accommodations, transportation, excursions, guides and breakfasts. Read in more detail here and do not hesitate to contact us with any questions! 

A Day in the Life

A typical day is hard to describe, but there are things you can count on: the sun will rise, the sun will set and, in between, everything will be an adventure.

Imagine waking up with the sunrise with the only sound being that of the water lapping against the side of the yacht. You sit up and take in the beauty of the scene around you, a two thousand year old town in the Southern Dalmatian Islands of Croatia, mountains off the coast of Thailand or the deserted beaches in the Abacos Islands of the Northern Bahamas.

That’s how your day can begin on a Trekr Adventure. Though the cabins are roomy, air conditioned and luxurious, you can choose to sleep on the deck of the yacht gazing at the stars in clear skies while you drift off and are met by dreams of sandy beaches and strong winds.

Every day on a Trekr Adventure brings new experiences and fun stories. A typical is hard to describe, but there are things you can count on: the sun will rise, the sun will set and, in between, everything will be an adventure.

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Getting ready for the day includes taking a shower or diving off the back of the yacht to bathe. Before setting off for the day, breakfast will be set in the saloon to provide nourishment for the sail ahead.

After getting underway, we will sail for a few hours while enjoying snacks and cocktails. This is when folks can get as involved in sailing as they want. The skipper will always need help untying from the dock, unhooking from a mooring ball, taking up the anchor, putting up the sails, tacking, bring down the sails and docking, mooring or anchoring.

Sailing is a wonderful experience and inevitably turns all crew into a team. Everyone finds some way to be a part of the team. That can include assisting the skipper, keeping keep the yacht tidy, preparing snacks and cocktails, surveying the saloon prior to sails going up and another few hundred tiny little things that happen in a typical day of sailing.

The morning sail always ends at an exciting new destination. After securing the yacht, adventure awaits. Whether you take advantage of one of the exciting excursions planned or venture out on your own, every day holds great promise. There is local cuisine, neighborhood coffee houses, hiking, scuba diving, bars, and more. Each destination is picked for what it has to offer the Trekrs and you’ll get a briefing on the top things to look out for as you explore the island of the day.

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Each evening is one to remember. Sailing provides a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the cycle of the day. Often, a group of Trekrs will meet for a sunset cocktail or early dinner to enjoy the amazing views.  We tend to be a very social group and encourage inclusive activities in the evening. It is common for one yacht to invite another yacht to join for dinner on board. Other yachts take turns hosting cocktail parties each evening.

At the end of the night, Trekrs can retire to their spacious cabin or end their evening gazing up at the beautiful stars, imagining what adventures the next day holds. The only bad thing about a Trekr adventure is that it comes to an end. The silver lining is that there is always another adventure on the horizon.