The idea for this post came up when I was desperately looking for a can of beer in the fridge and only found cola, iced tea and lemonade. In between I came across a storage jar with goulash that had been hiding in the fridge for a few days and smelled delicious, but had to be put in the organic waste bin due to its age.
Most of the electricity that we generate with our two power plants goes into this refrigerator. That's fine because we love the convenience the refrigerator gives us. However, an on-board refrigerator is a completely different number than the refrigerator at home in the kitchen.
A movie poster for the film “The fridge - ice cold, bad and mean” hung over my office fridge for years. My colleague Uli brought it with me shortly after I carried the refrigerator into our joint office.
Every sailor knows the problem. At the beginning of the trip, the refrigerator is scrupulously clean, empty, clearly arranged and does not smell.
Then comes the first big purchase. Drinks and food for several weeks are procured, dragged on board and the refrigerator is loaded. One is very concerned about the order in the realm of the cold. Nobody wants to have to search in the fridge, all the goods they want should be within easy reach.
With a lot of care and brainpower, the sailor builds the refrigerator as full as possible, because a full refrigerator works better than an empty one. There is also a lot of stuff to stow away at the start of the trip.
Most of the sailboat fridges I've seen in my life are top loading. That is practical. If we had a refrigerator on the sailing boat like at home, all food would fall to the floor when the refrigerator door was opened, depending on the angle. Okay, that's not entirely true, there are also front loaders for sailboats. However, they are very expensive and installation is not always easy. With us on the Sissi we couldn't install a front loader, because what still looks rectangular in the photo follows the shape of the drop side on the rear side.
Then the first evening comes on board. We haven't sailed a meter yet, we haven't untied the ship yet. A first handle in the refrigerator reveals a beer. After the second handle and closing the refrigerator lid, you can hear a rumble in the refrigerator. The third beer has now disappeared under an avalanche of coke cans, blocks of cheese and vacuumed steaks. In search of the third beer, a can of crème fraiche falls upside down on the cork of the wine bottle that has been refrigerated for tomorrow's gourmet meal, the foil on the lid is damaged and the crème fraiche is noiselessly distributed over the coke cans and between the sausage packs. Meanwhile, the Camembert takes over olfactory sovereignty over the entire refrigerator.
Now the fridge is being emptied in a panic, but now neither the traces of the crème fraiche can be found, nor the beer that was guaranteed to have been put in the fridge the night before. There is a can with the label “Vegetable sauce, April 13th, 2018”. Where has she been hiding all this time?
However much care you take when loading the refrigerator, order is destroyed the moment the first food is removed from the refrigerator. If you don't take any food out after filling but set sail straight away, there is guaranteed to be a wave that can heel the boat so much that the inside of the refrigerator is immediately rearranged, thus restoring the regular mess in a sailing boat refrigerator.
Where else did I bury the pork loin for tonight?