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Reid Stowe & Soanya Ahmad Headshot

Survivalists on the Water

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Today we organized and shifted our inventory of food under the floor in the cargo hold. It made us wonder about people the world over who practice survivalist food strategies. I first heard about this as a kid during the Cold War. We were told that if atom bombs went off we would have to survive closed up in the basement for a long time. People are still buying food and stocking up for a potential disaster they believe is impending.

Being a lifelong voyager across the seas, I have been packing up for longer and longer voyages until I stocked up for our recently completed "1000 Days Non-Stop at Sea" expedition. Over the many years I worked on this expedition, I learned about what healthy food consists of, which ones will remain good over time and how to store them. One of the interesting aspects of how I learned this was the fact that we never had any money to buy the food. We had to reach out and find companies, pitch the project hoping that they would find it a worthy enough cause and donate food. One must be prepared to be ignored and rejected, but it can lead to rewarding relationships. Luckily, we succeeded. So all the companies that did help us got advertised and received satisfaction knowing that they helped make the longest non-stop sea voyage in history happen.

We started packing food for years before we left and keeping track of everything that gets shifted around on a boat which is preparing for a sea voyage was time consuming work that we couldn't keep up with. We wrapped everything with three layers of plastic and sealed it with tape. It was an effective way of protecting the food and keeping it fresh for years. The only thing that really suffered after four years, as far as we could tell, was our highly valued sprouting seeds and beans no longer sprouted very well.

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Today we opened boxes of powdered goat's milk, tomato sauce, coffee, peanut butter, cashews, olive oil, oats and toilet paper. Perhaps we will organize all of our notes and write a book about how to stock up for four years. After going into our stores and moving things back into the galley, we put the floors back in place, pulled the carpet over and swept up. In the meantime, the schooner is getting lighter and lighter as we eat and eat.