Obviously, things will have changed since our voyage, but I believe that an indication of what products could be found where along the way can give a good general idea of how to organise provisioning.
A general rule is still valid: when you find something, buy it! You never know when you will find it again.
Concerning food, it must be remembered that tastes change in the various places around the world, and “european” style products can often be found only where there is a large local expatriate colony (tourists do not matter, they stay in hotels and do not go to local supermarkets!).
Indian- or chinese-tasted food is often all that can be found.
Basic food can be found anywhere in markets or small shops, but only few places feature supermarkets or shopping centers selling more sophisticated items:
– GIBRALTAR: good supermarkets with british-taste stuff, high prices but a good place for your pre-departure stock-up.
– CANARY Islands: plenty of small supermarkets with limited choice, and a few large, well-stocked ones.
– CARIBBEAN Islands: good supermarkest in several islands (Antigua, Guadaloupe, Martinique, Saint Lucia, but not Dominica, St.Vincent, Bequia); prices are generally high.
– BONAIRE: several indian- or chinese-owned supermarkets, well supplied but of asiatic taste.
– COLON/PANAMA CITY: several large shopping centres with US stuff, at generally good prices, but beware of security, always go around by taxi!
– GALAPAGOS Islands: only small shops, often running short on supplies (which are replenished by ship every fortnight or so. Oddly, beer is only available in bottles, no cans allowed.
– MARQUESAS Islands: small, chinese-owned shops, with all essential products. Wine and spirits are hard to find and very expensive.
– TUAMOTU Islands: in the larger villages, there may be small shops like in the Marquesas.
– TAHITI/MOOREA: you can find everything, and some shopping centres are at walking distance from the Marinas, but prices are very high.
– HUAHINE/RAIATEA/TAHAA/BORA BORA: there are some chinese-owned supermarkets, surprisingly large and well-stocked, and less expensive than in Tahiti.
– COOK Islands: only small shops with limited choice.
– TONGA Islands: small indian supermarkets with limited choice.
– FIJI Islands: several indian shops, and a few large supermarkets in the main islands.
– VANUATU: small supermarkets in Efate, nearly nothing in the smaller islands.
– AUSTRALIA: even in the small towns that we visited, you can find everything at reasonable prices. Oddly, wine (even the australian one) and spirits are very expensive and can be bought only in dedicated outlets.
– INDONESIA: some good supermarkets or even shopping centres in the larger towns (Kupang, Sumbawa, Denpasar, Batam), only basic stuff elsewhere.
– SINGAPORE: everything, and then some! And good prices, too!
– MALAYSIA, especially GEORGETOWN and LANGKAWI: some good supermarkets.
– THAILAND/PHUKET: some good supermarkets and shopping centres, at reasonable prices.
– SRI LANKA/GALLE: basic stuff is easy to get, but for more sophisticated items you need to order them from a ship’s purveyor, with limited choice and prices are not very good. Wine is hard to get.
– OMAN/SALALAH: some well-furnished supermarkets, with the obvious islamic limitations. Beer can be bought at the yacht club.
– DJIBOUTI: just one french-flavoured supermarket, exorbitant prices.
– RED SEA/PORT GHALIB: at the time, there was nothing at all, basic food could be bought at the hotel.
– HURGHADA: some well-furnished supermarkets.
– SUEZ: not a lot in town, but in nearby CAIRO there are good supermarkets.
Surprisingly rare, and often not well-stocked. Generally they can order stuff for you, but deliveries can be very slow.
– GIBRALTAR: surprisingly poorly-stocked. Mainly british stuff.
– CANARIES: few shops, hard to find and not very well stocked.
– CARIBBEAN: some good and well-stocked shops: in Antigua, mainly US products, while in Guadaloupe and Martinique, mainly French stuff.
– PANAMA: another surprise, there is almost nothing, although they can order from the USA with delivery in few days. In Panama City there is a good retailer of nautical charts and pilot books, a rarity!
– TAHITI: a couple of passably stocked, french-oriented chandlers.
– AUSTRALIA: in the small towns we visited, despite the marinas, shipchandlers were few and not well-stocked, but they can order everything for delivery in just one or two days.
– MALAYSIA: some technical support, but very little in the way of equipment, other than by special order. In downtown-Langkawi there is a print-shop that sells (illegal…) prints of nautical charts, at a bargain price…
– THAILAND/PHUKET: shipyards, some chandleries, sailmakers, you can find everything. Make sure your boat is in good shape before leaving, because there is NOTHING available from here on!