Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everyone's Favorite Time of Day

Well, maybe that's bedtime, but what I have in mind to tell you about is meal time! This is Nancy, Biology Research Associate at WHOI for the past several decades, mostly spent working with Peter Wiebe, one of the four PI's on this project. So, let's talk food.
Meal time in the mess. [photo: N. Copley]
We have 3 full meals per day and two mini-meals, aka coffee break. The food is delicious and varies daily in cuisine. The menu is written early in the morning on a white board in the galley so you can dream about it till it's time to dig in. Steve, our Steward is an excellent chef and makes us all feel welcome. Liz, Messman, is his chipper right hand. They work 7 days a week no matter the weather.
Messman Liz gives thumbs up while Steward Steve dishes up some goodies for Katherine. [photo: N. Copley]
Breakfast always includes eggs to order as well as a few other choices such as pancakes, eggs Benedict complete with Hollandaise sauce, and oatmeal. Morning break might be fresh ├ęclairs, pastries, or muffins. Lunch is hearty with a meaty dish, a seafood selection and a sandwich or wrap as well as a salad bar. The dinner meals are a gourmand's delight - filet mignon, orange roughy, scallops, ribs, and more. The cuisine ranges from American and European to mild curry and Thai with a choice of hot sauces and other condiments on every table. Vegetarians have no problem finding enough tasty food to fill up on and Steve & Liz considerately always mark the vegetarian and pork dishes on the menu. For dessert, we may have chocolate mousse, ice cream, a fruit crisp, cake or other temptations.
The menu board. [photo: N. Copley]
It seems as if the meals come very close together: 7:30, 11:30 and 5:30 and last 45 minutes. Those of us on the day shift, 8am to 8pm, are awake for all three. The night shifters can grab breakfast before going to sleep and for their other meals, they can either stay up, get up, or have Steve put aside whatever they like to eat later. Everyone finds their own rhythm after a few days. Jacinta has found she prefers to stay up after her shift and into the late morning while Peter gets a hearty breakfast and gets some rest. He'll skip lunch and then rise in late afternoon, joining us for dinner. For more on the night life on board, see Amy's blog.
Afternoon break: Ahi tuna sashimi with all the fixings, fresh bread and cheese board. [photo: N. Copley]
Steve's says his goal is for everyone on the ship to weigh more than he does by the time we walk the gang plank. In actuality, he keeps everyone's tummies happy and spirits high.
[photo: N. Copley]

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