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22 January 2003, 05:17 pm
Geronimo - Food, Glorious Food
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Jules Verne Trophy
Round the World

Olivier de Kersauson and his crew have done a great deal of work to provision their boat in a way that strikes the right balance between weight and the need to provide precisely what the crew needs to function at maximum performance.
One crewmember from each watch (one of which is led by Yves Pouillaude and the other by Didier Ragot) is responsible for provisioning. On Geronimo, Marc Lefur (who did the same job in 1997) and Pierre Corriveau will be managing food stocks and monitoring what each crewmember eats.

Food, gas and utensils… all must be very carefully considered before embarking on a high-speed circumnavigation of the globe. There's no hope of salted belly pork with lentils or a nice chicken breast with mushrooms on a round-the-world trip like this. The same goes for cooking utensils: a large pressure cooker, a saucepan, a frying pan and a drainer in each of the two galleys. That's all there is. There are no knives, because every crewmember has his own; not only for eating, but also as a vital safety precaution. As far as plates are concerned, Tupperware is much more practical!

"It's important to maintain discipline on board. Nothing is to be left in the sink, even when the fatigue of the southern ocean weighs heavy and there's a real temptation to let things slide. It's important that the galleys are clean and tidy for the next watch", explains Marc Lefur.

Some 700 kilos of food are taken aboard Geronimo, including five days' worth of fresh produce. Weekly menus are carefully prepared in advance to ensure the right balance between carbohydrates, fats and proteins and to suit the area of the world where they are likely to be eaten - the crew will need more in the Southern Ocean than when crossing the Equator, for example. A total of 10 bags, each containing meals for 6 days, are stored at ambient temperature in the bilges, where they stay cool even at the Equator. Food is stored in light-tight bags so that it can be moved around during the voyage to change the boat's weight distribution. In 1997, the crew's meals were mostly made up of freeze-dried dishes and tinned foods with little real flavour, but the 2003 attempt will seem luxurious in comparison, with no less than 26 different cooked meals specially developed by Olivier de Kersauson and "Fleury Michon". As well as being of excellent quality, these products are also easy to cook in a frying pan or bain marie. The real novelties for life at sea are vegetables and fish, with cod, salted cod, salmon and even pikeperch on the menu. The irony of eating river fish in the middle of the ocean is not lost on the crew! To keep morale high, every crewmember will also receive a small bag of sweets. Highly sugared milk, for example, delivers a valuable dose of carbohydrates and fast-release sugars.

Desserts, also very high in calories and vitamins, will only be on the menu every other day, partly because of the limited volume of food carried, but also because it gives the crew something to look forward to.

Geronimo's position this morning was 29°51S, 30°41W, reflecting an average speed of close to 22 knots. The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric crew have also managed to point Geronimo's bows a little further east whilst continuing to make rapid progress south.

On Day 11, Geronimo covered 495 nautical miles at an average speed of 20.61 knots. News Editor
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