Friday, June 28, 2013

Galley Disasters

Cooking in someone else’s kitchen is always different and harder than it is cooking in your own kitchen. You don’t know where anything is, the implements and dishes are different and even the slight variation in the ingredients present can be interesting. I cope in those situations and even enjoy the chance to discover some new ingredients, techniques or toys. But now, my kitchen galley is the foreign kitchen and I don’t just have to cope with it for one meal or one day. It’s mine to keep for the unforeseeable future.

To boil the kettle, I don’t just turn it on. First I have to go outside and open the gas tank, then I open the valve behind the stove and then I can turn on the stove (after filling the kettle from the hand-pump tap). To get something from the top-loading fridge, depending on where it is, I have to take everything else out first. To get something from the cupboards, I need to get a headlamp so that I can see anything. And until our stuff arrives, we are running a bare bones kitchen with what was on the boat when we bought it. I am also learning how to cook with stainless steel pans which I have never done successfully before!

Please do not be mistaken – I am not complaining. My kitchen is a galley. I can live with that and I think I can eventually learn to love that. It’s an adventure! Things are just very different to what I'm used to and that will take some time to adjust. The biggest adjustment will be that I will actually need to learn how to cook again - in my own kitchen.

Up until last weekend, the only cooking I/we had done on board the boat involved boiling water or soup. For our first attempt at actual cooking we chose something really easy… poached eggs and toast! Our three-burner stove was full: one burner had the kettle for tea, another the ‘toaster’ and the last had the pot for the eggs.
I am normally a champ at poaching eggs (with few exceptions – do not poach eggs in brine or salt water! It does not work!) so this should’ve been very straightforward. We don’t yet have a slotted spoon on board and I wanted to try save the water so I could use it for dishes later so I poached the eggs in silicone cupcake holders instead of putting them straight into the water as I normally do. In theory it worked. The cups floated initially before sinking and submerging themselves in water but this meant there was no real way of telling when they were done. While the eggs were in, the toast started burning, so Bryce took over the toast. He decided that the bread would toast better with some olive oil on it and was pumping up the spray bottle when the bottom blew out and covered us in oil. The beautiful hardwood floors that we have were now covered in olive oil as well and slippery. We were polishing the floors/spreading the mess as we moved (and there was no oil on the toast because the extra oil was unreachable in the back of a cupboard somewhere). You get the picture. It was a comedy of errors that only continued to get worse as I tried and failed to rescue the underdone eggs! Needless to say, it was a memorable first attempt.

Today, for the first time, I cooked two “real” meals in the galley and they both turned out well and it can only go up from here!

Bryce was gone for five days which made me Captain by default. While he was gone we were lifted out of the water and are back on the hard. Thankfully, I had lots of help maneuvering Aquabat into the lifting bay as it was made harder without an engine. It's amazing how fouled the boat's bottom has gotten in two months since we were last out of the water. 
The gear box, which was the problem, has been removed and we are waiting for the results of an oil sample to come back. It had been a very frustrating at times but we are trying to make the most of it by getting jobs done. We may go back in the water on Monday for a test run but that is still not 100%. Hopefully we will be on our way soon!


  1. I expected a little bit different when you talked about oil and gas stove and explosions! The kind of thing you couldn't script if you tried.

    1. We had our issue/scare with the gas and fire yesterday! :) It's neverending!

  2. Glad you are both okay and able to laugh :)