The amazing swinging stove that lets sailors cook food and make tea even when the boat is at a 45 DEGREE ANGLE
- MailOnline Travel’s Sadie Whitelocks took part in Leg 2 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
- She said she was surprised at the food her team managed to rustle up during the 16-day voyage
- All of the 70ft racing yachts are kitted out with swinging ovens, which sway to the motion of the boats
Cooking can be challenging at the best of times. Now try doing it at a 45-degree angle and with 23 hungry mouths to feed…
That’s precisely the task I faced while taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, sailing from Punta del Este in Uruguay to Cape Town across the inhospitable South Atlantic.
We took it in turns to be cooks in the minuscule kitchen, rustling up meals with the ingredients we’d stockpiled on land and keeping the mood lifted with endless cups of tea.
To aid our culinary endeavours, the kitchens aboard the 70ft Clipper Round the World Yacht Race boats are kitted out with swinging stoves, which sway to the rhythm of the boat to prevent pots and pans from tumbling.
Throughout our 16-day voyage, an impressive mix of meals were concocted.
I’d expected pretty basic bites, but David Watkins, who was in charge of creating a menu booklet, had included some fairly intricate recipes.
Sadie said she’d expected pretty basic culinary dishes at sea but David Watkins, who was in charge of creating a menu booklet, had included some pretty delicious recipes. Above, a meal is served in the galley
An example of some of the conditions Sadie and her crewmates faced, with meals being prepared in the galley below
For lunch, there was everything from couscous with chorizo, mushrooms peas and asparagus to macaroni cheese with bacon and sweet potato and carrot soup, which required us to ‘peel and dice’ the vegetables by carefully wielding a knife as we balanced at an angle.
The hard chunks were then roasted, boiled and strained through a sieve to make a smooth liquid.
Tea breaks with moist cake made from packet mix, meanwhile, kept us entertained in the afternoons.
And for dinner, people got rather inventive with the assortment of things they found lurking in the netted cupboards.
Antonio Palacio from Uruguay proved to be quite a whizz in the galley and everyone fell silent with bowls of his hearty stew to hand.
Sadie (left) with crewmate Kati Kaskeala (right) in the tiny galley area during their day of cheffing
Sadie’s crewmates Alejandra Alvira (left) and Mary Vaughan-Jones (right), showcase their Halloween-themed cakes
Improvising: Sadie uses her hat as a tea cosy on the incredible swinging stove
‘What’s in here?’ I asked one day, trying to work out how his meal tasted so good.
‘Vegetarian sausages,’ he replied, adding that he’d found a few jars of faux meat.
Some people were less adept in the galley and I remember one morning, a crewmate attempting to make scrambled eggs in a frying pan and the runny liquid promptly slurping over the edge as we crashed through some large waves.
On another occasion, the porridge was overcooked and semi-cemented our teeth together, but it was deliciously warming all the same.
Another struggle was making the right amount of food for such a large group and one time I cooked with my crewmate, we were pushed to fill everyone’s dishes.
A shot of the Punta del Este racing yacht Sadie journeyed on with 23 people from Uruguay to South Africa
Having enough for seconds is an essential part of racing life, especially when you are burning up to 5,000 calories a day at sea!
By the end of the South Atlantic stint we’d run out of fresh fruit and our chocolate rations were depleted. Muesli, biscuits and maple syrup were other popular picks.
On docking in Cape Town many people immediately ventured out to find a juicy steak.
After bidding the Clipper boat goodbye I realised I missed the inventiveness of my galley mates.
Although the ability to cook on a stable stovetop will be something I will now be forever grateful for.
Sadie’s place on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was supported by musto.com, the technical clothing partner for the 2019-20 and 2021-22 editions of the event.