Zhuhai’s Floating Restaurant
Being honest I am a fussy eater on land and know what I like, and I thought I knew what I didn’t - so I felt more concerned about how I would survive 30 odd days at sea without being able to decide a single meal than how to deal with a temporary bout of seasickness. For me quinoa was most likely a type of sail not something you actually ate!
Image: Michael Wheeldon
My original strategy was to put on weight in the weeks preceding Leg 1 and then take comfort in having food I liked and simply depleting my fat reserves. On Zhuhai this strategy was never going to work; our daily calorie burn is too substantial for that, and a healthy nutritionally balanced diet is essential. Even so, I wish I had brought a smaller belt. I have eaten almost every meal with relish except tinned salmon which is just a step too far for me. I think I have eaten quinoa too!
More than 23 days in, I can report that the food we are having is wholesome, substantial and above all - tasty. Meal preparation takes time and is probably a couple of hours plus clearing up for our two-rotating daily ‘mothers.’ The evening meal might typically be anything from sausage and mash to risotto or even gammon steaks. Earlier on our quest to Punta del Este we were treated to roasted belly pork courtesy of a restaurant group.
After spending many hours on the coffee grinder or hoisting sails you would probably eat anything edible but on Zhuhai, we don’t have to survive on anything like a traditional mariner's ship biscuit. Thanks to Andrew Berisford, our victualler extraordinaire, we have really good daily meals starting with varied breakfasts that may include cereals, toast, pancakes or porridge; lunch might be salmon cream bagels and then a hearty evening meal complimented with a decent supply of fruit and snacks.
Special treats have been included if you celebrate your birthday on board Zhuhai; in addition to flying sunrise to sunset a birthday pennant, you also get a special cake decorated with icing and candles.