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A Necessary Galley Upgrade

A very LONG overdue galley project finally got completed this week! Though it cost us nearly $2000 it was a necessary purchase. Our stove/oven had slowly become unusable over the last several years and we finally bit the bullet and replaced it!

Our old stove was a Seward Princess – a brand that is not manufactured anymore. While I liked the setup, it was just plain dangerous to use anymore.  For starters, the oven door busted on one side so it would not close all the way. It never really got very hot to begin with but when a good portion of the heat began to escape right out the front it was hardly helpful and took forever to bake anything.

Next, the front right burner was completely seized up. I guess the valves on these units eventually get all gummed up inside and its nearly impossible to clean or service them. The knob just wouldn’t turn at all.

The middle burner in the back would not stay lit unless I stood there and held in the knob for a minimum of 10 minutes after lighting it. At which time, the temperature could not be reduced to low heat, meaning I had to carefully decide what I was going to cook on that burner knowing it could only be done at high heat and I might not have an extra hand to stir anything else. Most likely, the thermo-coupler was shot, preventing it from getting hot enough to stay lit on its own. Total pain in the a$$ so I just didn’t use that burner anymore either.

The right front burner was the only one I had been able to use but it was most definitely on it’s way out too. The flame would ALWAYS blow out the first two times, requiring me to stand there and light it a total of three times. It wasn’t bad propane or a lack of oxygen, it just wouldn’t stay lit unless I did it three times. Weird. But that’s not all.  If I was using the oven at the same time, the knobs on the front of the stove would get so warm that they would stick (just like the first burner). This was particularly scary when cooking if I couldn’t shut off the frickin flame. It’s a small space to begin with and if I’m cooking up a storm then there is definitely not room to have an open flame just burning away! Shut off then required me to be done using the oven because I’d have to turn off the propane solenoid on the wall, which stopped the flow of propane, but then I had to wait for the whole unit to cool off before I could turn the stove knob back to “off” position. Yep total P.I.T.A.  And so very unsafe.

R.I.P. old girl…

It was probably meant to be… I had Peter verify my measurements of the space allowance we had compared to the new stoves available in the Budget Marine catalog.  We decided on the American version of the 3-burner Force 10 – a very popular brand and model. It was a product that the chandlery here on Tortola at Nanny Cay either carried or could order in with their regular shipments.  On our next trip past Nanny Cay we stopped in to replace our leaking BBQ propane tank (yep, more money spent on necessary upgrades). While locating the new tank we inquired about the specific part number we wanted to order since we didn’t see any three-burners on the floor.  Turns out, the very model number we wanted WAS right there in the store, on the display floor, packed nicely in it’original box!! I was sold. It was right there all along, concealed from everyone else, we just had to ask and their system told us it was right there. Perfect.

We were disappointed that the pricing had gone up since the chandlery there was no longer operating as Budget Marine but it didn’t matter. It was not economically feasible for us to try to sail our boat all the way to St. Thomas on the off chance that Peter may get a consecutive three days in a row off work. Maybe if I wasn’t 8 months pregnant, but we agreed it was just better to spend a little extra and get one that was already imported into BVI. All we had to do was load it in the car, into the dinghy and into our boat.

Luckily, our friend Mike from Three Sheets was available to help Peter with the awkward lifting. It was only about 85 lbs but still rather large and definitely a two-man job for getting it into our boat. Even our friend Branson came to help lift the new one up and through our companionway.  Such sweet guys to help a pregnant lady out ;) The old one was much easier to get it out.

It took quite a bit of cleaning once the old unit was out. Messes are nearly impossible to avoid once these suckers are installed.

While the guys hauled the old one out, I started unpacking the new one :) It’s so SHINY!! Probably the shiniest thing we have on our boat now!

Now what do I want to bake first? :)


Tiny House Blog: Favorite Things

New on Tiny House Blog!

favorite things-2

My article “FAVORITE THINGS” was published on Tiny House Blog last week while we were out in the middle of the Caribbean Sea making our way North from Grenada to USVI. Please check it out, click the link below, and leave a comment! I appreciate your support!




Provisioning in George Town

In preparation to continue traveling south from the Bahamas, our fridge, freezer and pantry needed some restocking. Everything is expensive in the Bahamas, but there’s no way around it. We need food! Shopping smart and watching for substitutes can really make a difference.

Exuma Markets:

Exuma Markets is the main grocery store in George Town. This is the last place (that we know of) to reprovision before leaving the country heading south. From what we gather, they have a much better selection now than they did in the past. There are frozen goods, fresh fruits and vegetables (when the truck comes in from Nassau) and staples as well.  If you’re as lucky as we were, you might be able to grab the last jar of Nutella! It’s close to $13 for the larger one but SOOO worth it! For all the times we went in that store, we never saw them restock it.

The frozen meat section has gotten much better now that they are in competition with Prime Island Meats. It’s convenient to grab a couple of New York steaks at Exuma Markets for dinner and head back to the boat on your dinghy. They are actually really good steaks.

Sticker shock:

Really??? Someone please tell me what these are doing in the grocery store!!
Good stuff. Completely sealed and safe from bugs. I bought a few bags and haven’t had any trouble yet with weevils. I wish they packaged oatmeal like this in more places!!
Yes, $7 for crackers.
There were only tiny tiny tiny bottles of generic local brand bleach. Bring enough from the states if you think you’ll run out while in the Bahamas!
Good thing we stocked up at Costco in Florida!
Good thing we stocked up at Costco in Florida
Peter LOVES papertowels! We didn't buy enough at Costco. The quality here sucks.
Peter LOVES paper towels! We didn’t buy enough at Costco. The quality here sucks.
Is it worth it? Bar rags work great but sometimes its just nice wiping up spills with throw away material.
Is it worth it? Bar rags work great but sometimes its just nice wiping up spills with throw away material.


For those of you that need "good" coffee... I had to give up my requirement for good coffee until we reached the DR :)
For those of you that need “good” coffee… I had to give up my requirement for good coffee until we reached the DR :)
Not many options for buying in bulk
Good thing Gunner isn’t picky! If we put some fresh fish on top then Betsy will eat anything too :)

 A note about dog food:

We were terrified that switching dog food often would be hard on Betsy and Gunner’s tummies. Gunner has had a sensitive stomach his whole life. We’ve had to change brands twice in the last three months and both dogs are doing surprisingly well. We supplement with fresh fish and table scraps of fatty steak or other meat often. Although the brand selection of dry dog food in bulk isn’t great in other countries, we try to at least stick with the same ingredients. Gunner does better on Chicken than he does Lamb lately.  If your dog has a hard time switching food, try mixing in other brands before you leave the dock so they have a chance to get used to the change in diet. We did this only once on land and it seemed to be all the time we needed. It was a GOOD thing we were on land for that initial switch ;)

Getting everything back to the boat:

We shopped at Exuma Markets several times to stock up on some of the staple items as well as groceries during our time in George Town. One of the employees helped us take two shopping carts outside the store and down to the dinghy dock. Apparently this is common here. Exuma Markets owns the dock so it’s no problem. There are a couple of concrete stairs before getting to the floating dock. We carefully lifted the carts over the gaps in the dock at each new section. We loaded everything into the dinghy and made sure everything was double bagged to prevent from chaffing and tied shut. It’s usually a wet ride across the harbor.

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Buying in bulk:

If you are ready to buy in bulk, consider checking out Prime Island Meats. They offer free shuttles several times a week. They pick you up at the corner of the Exuma Yacht Club and the main road. You can ride in the back of the white pick up (at your own risk) and they drive you north up to their store.

If you want to be really smart about your provisioning, take a ride up there to check it out at least a few days before you need your food. See what they have, talk to the owners and put in your order. They are SO helpful!

Here’s a link to what they carry.

Mon. 10am-3pm, Tues.- Fri. 1-6 pm

Sat 10am-3pm (Closed Sun.)

Their phone number is on the website and you can contact them by email as well. The morning cruiser’s net will sometimes mention special pickup days or messages about hours or the shuttle.

Prime Island Meats will cut your selections to any size you like and package them in ziplocks with freezer paper in between each piece and they will even PRE-FREEZE everything for you!! This is extremely helpful so we don’t spend a whole week trying to get everything frozen in our little freezer on the boat. They put everything in their giant SubZero freezer and they will have it ready for you when you want to pick it up. We brought a cooler with us to pick everything up on the second shuttle trip but I think they will even deliver everything to you in both George Town or Emerald Bay Marina.

Peter is the kind of guy that likes meat with every meal so we were lucky to find this place. We of course plan on always having fresh fish aboard with reserves in the freezer but it sure is nice to have a Filet Minon or choice deli meat with pre-sliced pepperjack! You can get any kind of meat, cheese or deli item you want. Just let them know in advance and they can get just about anything in.

The prices compare to the States but the quality is well worth the price. Prime Island Meats and Deli has a great service here, definitely worth checking out if you’re in George Town.

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