|Remote Salamon Atoll, Chagos, Crystal Blues In The Foreground. Photo / Mark, SV Merkava|
We provisioned extensively in Phuket, stocking up on bread flour, pork, bacon, sausages and ham. Then we continued in Langkawi, stocking up on tinned and dry food, steak, salmon, toiletries, tinned butter, and duty free wine. Over the previous months Ley had taken careful note of our consumption per month of all these items. Then we multiplied all this by six, hoping that our supplies would last around six months.
With those stores on board, the real provisioning challenge was fresh food - principally fruits and vegetables. What we can buy in Sri Lanka or the Maldives ? Will it last us for the 6-7 weeks after we depart Gan Atoll for Chagos and then Rodrigues ?
Fortunately the cruising community share information quite freely and efficiently, so we already knew that it was wiser to purchase fresh eggs, pumpkins and fruit in Sri Lanka, as nearly all produce in the Maldives is imported from there (plus India and Pakistan).
The Maldive Islands have very little fertile soil, with most of the new villages being built on reclaimed land. Very little produce is grown locally. It is not a great provisioning place.....
So the challenge was buying ten to twelve weeks of fresh provisions and doing our best to keep this produce fresh and edible in the tropical heat.