Thursday, May 19, 2011

To the Galley

May 18th

As we steam through day and night up to our elbows and knees in biological gunk, amazing sea life and fossil coral, we all look to the galley to keep up our energy. It is a magical wonderland of all things tasty. The galley is where the day starts and finishes. It is the one room without a monitor of the ships statistics and thus becomes the best friend of tea-breakers and a safe-haven for the overworked. The galley is so important that our body clocks are becoming acutely tuned to opening hours, reading: breakfast-like food break with cake, snack, cake with lunch, dinner and cake, snack (cake), midnight rations, cake, bed.

As indicated above, the galley excels itself in the sweet treat department. Fresh cakes, bakes, biscuits seem to appear as if from nowhere at least twice daily. Once you step inside those four walls there is no escape, be it only for a simple cup of tea, you can guarantee leaving with a guilty look and a chocolate smear on your top lip which you are ‘just saving for later’ on questioning. It has now become standard practice to sneak from the lab, skulk down the hallway and into the galley to try and catch the cookies as they come freshly out of the oven. Here is a lost boy’s feast of toffee flans, pecan pies, macaroons, berry cheese cakes, peach surprise, ice cream cake, custard…..the list goes on. The fizzy drinks flow freely and most importantly for us Brits, so does the tea.

A quirk of the shift system (12 hours on, 12 hours off) provides the perfect opportunity to guzzle anything on offer for whichever meal tickles one’s fancy. Most folk are so confused they don’t pay any attention to other people’s eating schedules, providing the perfect cover for feasting on chips and cake for breakfast, roast potatoes at every lunchtime, and pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for dinner. That child-like desire to do what shouldn’t be done takes over and all basic food rational fades into memories of a mystery world where the ground remained still, where trees grew and the sun shone…..and where there were no thruster engines to wake you up half way through your ‘off’ shift. Dieters beware, this is not place for the faint hearted…..I’m off for a cup of tea.

By Suzy

Weather: temperature 31°F; windchill 5°F; windspeed 10-15 knots; snow!

The team sitting down for a well-earned meal in the galley (A. Margolin).

A montage of desserts on board the Palmer: something for everyone! (A. Margolin).

Shannon and MT Stian bringing in another dredge (R. Waller).

Sebastian getting ready to “hook” the dredge, in order to bring it safely on board (R. Waller).

1 comment:

  1. Suzy - terrific and hilarious blog entry. It reminds me so much of working at sea and the mysterious hold the galley had over us. Only on a long midnight watch could I imagine craving peanut butter on crackers with a side dish of ice cream while the ship rocked and rolled! Keep up the good work.