Quest for panniers
I used these bike buckets on a week-long tour in June and will be starting a month-long trip in November from St Paul to New Orleans: www.crazyguyonabike.com/dbyrne
The Gamma Seal Lid makes any 5-gallon bucket (also 4 or 7 gal) watertight and airtight, available at hardware stores. No rack is needed. I drilled holes in the seat pan and seat back (4 total), and installed a bolt, wingnut and part of an 1/8" wire rope clip (the part that is not a U-bolt). That holds the bucket's wire handle tight, which had to be bent in an odd shape to fit under the seat. I also mounted a padded spacer between the buckets bolted to the water bottle cage threads in the bike frame under the seat. It is made of a galvanized steel joist hanger covered with padding and taped. Its purpose is to prevent swaying and to push the buckets apart and up under the seat, resulting in a ground clearance of 6". A new bucket and lid costs about $10 at Home Depot and their color matches my Quest. Two bike buckets, Gamma Seal Lids and hardware will cost about $25. That is about a tenth the price of Ortlieb panniers and a rack.
The recumbent advantage for touring is the ability to increase stability by carrying your gear low and centered, where the pedals would be on a "normal" bike. I witnessed the opposite following a German cyclist on a "normal" bike, touring with no panniers. All his gear was on top of the rear rack: high and off-center. He wobbled dangerously going downhill!
Behind the right-side bucket is a sling pack hung on a 2" bolt I attached to the rear rack. That's the pack I use on day trips and keep valuables in for long trips as it's quick to remove every time I stop.
Looks like a practical and resourceful solution. Good luck on the New Orleans trip!
What kind of cage is that you have for the liter bottle?
It looks something like the Topeak Modula Cage XL Waterbottle Cage, but mine has a better bottleneck gripper. It holds up to a 1.5 liter bottle or even a wine bottle. The Salsa Anything Cage also might work well for carrying gear on the Cruzbike's telescoping front fork.