Posted by: adventuressetravels | January 25, 2013

The Cure for Shopaholics

Do you want to cure a woman of ever wanting to go shopping again?  Put her in charge of provisioning a boat for an off-shore adventure.  That will cure the most die-hard shopaholic of her habit.

When I flew into Jacksonville, Florida, I couldn’t understand Lindsey’s, my crewmate, aversion to supermarkets, Walmarts, and Home Depots.  I had joined the crew of the Leeway at the tail end of provisioning for our adventure.  Lindsey, on the other hand had been shopping for weeks straight.  Now I understand everything.

For some reason the lone-wolf cowboys of the ocean, at least the ones I have encountered, are certain they will be going places without any type of amenities.  No groceries, toilet paper, toiletries, or other provisions available.  Whether this is merely a romantic notion or from prior experience, I’m still not certain.  All I am certain of is that buying enough food and planning for diverse meals for four to five months is enough to put anyone off shopping.

wet Bowen harbor

wet Bowen harbor

When I arrived in Bowen, Australia, a tiny fishing town whose claim to fame is having part of the film Australia filmed there, I couldn’t believe I had flown all the way to Australia to be anchored in the harbor of a tiny town.  Still, Mareva was setting sail as soon as all the provisioning was finished.  It couldn’t be all that bad.  And provisioning would be fun.  After all, Captain Nemo, Mareva’s skipper gave me carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted.  We didn’t have unlimited refrigeration and there wasn’t a freezer on board, but aside from that it was carte blanche for the groceries.

I set out for the supermarket excited.  After all, I adored going to groceries and markets, especially in foreign countries to see what different types of foods they sold and sample the flavors of the country.  I filled one cart to overflowing, then a second.  The receipt was well over six-feet long.

The cupboards were far from empty even before I went to the store.  This was certainly enough food to last two people a few months, I thought.

Captain Nemo laughed, not even close.  I wasn’t even half-way done.  And when we made it to Cairns, he said, I would need to buy at least that many groceries again.

After trip upon trip to the grocery store the provisioning never seemed to be finished.  And the longer we stayed delayed by rain, the more things we needed.  How on earth could two people consume all of this food?

Well, a lot of ended up going bad, he told me.  But he always wanted to keep a diverse supply of food.  A little of everything one could possibly want.  And so I shopped till I dropped.

When provisioning was finally finished the skies opened up.  During Australia’s “dry” winter Bowen got day after day of rain.  It was the wettest year on record which meant that we were stuck.  Now when a boat is waiting to leave the list of things to provision never fails to lengthen.  There is always something more that one could potentially use when sailing away from civilization.

I used to enjoy creating menus and inventing dishes.  I used to enjoy grocery shopping in new countries.  Weeks of spirit-crushing provisioning in the one-horse town of Bowen, Australia broke me of that.


  1. Oh Sally, I can see you and your grocery’s…………again, and AGAIN. Certainly did put a smile on my face this morning as I opened to read your cure…….
    Thank you,for the next installment.
    to be continued~~~

  2. I really enjoy your blogs! informative & entertaining, I look forward to more.

  3. Graphic account. Did you stock up on Australian specialties, such as “Tea Tree Oil”? If so, how can you tell how much is needed for a year?

  4. Haha! Poor you-I can’t imagine that-I already hate grocery shopping. As a mother of 3… Toddlers are another sure way to put you off grocery runs!

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