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Scottish anchorages

Food and drink on board

I am not a Fray Bentos pie person, they are for emergencies only, dire emergencies. In my view one should be able to, and can, eat on a small yacht just as well as at home. Even better sometimes because there may well be more time to prepare food, being on holiday usually, or sheltering from a gale. If CC Lynam managed it on his very small yawl in 1892 so can you: "The skipper cooked a magnificent stew of hare soup, curried fowl, rice and onions, which with strawberry jam to taste, was highly appreciated". Mind you, Hilaire Belloc did not believe in cooking anything at sea, especially meat, according to Dermod MacCarthy, one of his young crew (Sailing with Mr Belloc, 1986). The main problem I find is how to look after a basil plant — which needs light, warmth and fresh water — without it tipping out all over the galley. As for drink, there is always room somewhere for bottles of wine, beer, gin, tonic and the crucial lemon —  or lime (the addition of ice from a freezer is a bit over the top). And the whisky of course.

 

The best places to stock up around these parts are in Oban, Tobermory, Mallaig, Fort William, Scaranish, Strontian, Tarbert and Bowmore. You are unlikely to find things like coconut milk in an island shop, but you never know. Many of the village shops are excellent for the basics, and more, for example in Ardfern. How different it was before World War Two when Capt Harvey wrote "It is not easy on the West Coast to get any vegetable except tomatoes, and sometimes lettuce and cucumber".

 

 

 

 

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Boeuf stroganoff The chef at work

"For a schoolmaster, a parson, a writer of books, an undergraduate, or a businessman to have to get the grease off a plate covered with the cold gravy of a mutton chop; to compound to the satisfaction of his friends the porridge or the soup; to keep the cabin decently tidy and clean - each of these humble employments is excellent for the understanding and the temper". CC Lynam, Voyage of the Blue Dragon, 1907

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Do shop locally where you can, a message here outside the shop on Coll