Victualler, it’s not my fridge

As the result of general apathy for this role I volunteered to stand in and take the course. If the crew knew my relationship with food almost all would gleefully step up to avert disaster. They don’t know that I would happily eat the same meal of ostrich steak and frozen veg for months on end with no variation at all. My experience of cooking for and catering for others is almost non-existent. My ability for budgeting doesn’t exist as I’ve always bought what I want for fuel when hungry and no meal has ever taken longer than 5 mins to prepare, cook and eat from the very moment the first hunger pang hits me.

I also would rather clean the heads than go shopping, my worst nightmare. Of all the roles on offer being Victualler definitely heads the bottom of the list. I’m more suited to practical roles such as Bosun, Engineer, Sailmaker and the primary role I’ve been selected for, is my passion.

Having worried about the course, anxiety for something unavoidable led to me to not sleeping the day before. The car’s reliability is in question and I was hoping she would break down giving me a valid excuse not to attend the training. It was not to be, as apart from a squealing power-steering belt protesting it’s age and filling my nostrils with the vapourised components of it’s manufacture, it stubbornly held onto it’s integrity and reliably ferried me back and forth to the training venue. (A new belt is on order, it is old, cracked and slack and when first starting the car the steering is really heavy, my memory is poor and I don’t know whether that was always the case and that a more sinister reason exists for the slipping belt)

My biggest issue with this role is not knowing how to cook, how to makes things agreeably tasty and not having a single recipe suitable for the conditions. I know sweet nothing about nutrition and dietary requirements. I have nothing tried and tested to bring to the party and apart from not wanting margarine and palm oil on the boat, have no preferences. Oh why, oh why can’t we just have freeze-dried meals where we just add boiling water.

If we as a boat and crew need to maintain morale and have a chance of success. We have to find someone far more competent to perform this vital role. Either that or get someone else to deal with the recipes, menus and quantities leading to an inventory of food to be bought and stowed. If I’m to remain in charge all I forsee is an early meeting with Davy Jones as I’m made to walk the plank.



  1. Hi Dave – thanks for an entertaining blog. I was RTW in 2017-18 and I agree with you 100% – you are not the right person to be the victualler. It’s a demanding job that you will probably end up hating more and more, and the “skills” you develop will be of negligible value to you after the race. Your team needs to figure out as a group, how to resolve this problem. Good luck.


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