Culinary Adventures at Sea

June 30, 2023

Hallie Rockcress, Boston University

Hallie Rockress in sunglasses, worn out from the galley and lying on the doghouse, chatting with Julius Gabelberger. Note the red-footed boobies sitting on the yard in the background.

Ship's Log

16° 42’ N 162° 27’ W

Lovely partly cloudy day, with one or two squalls

Souls on Board

All blogs from S-310

If anyone reading this has worked in a professional kitchen they know that it is a long and very hot shift. Now just imagine that same heat and humidity without an AC, cooking over a 400* stove for over 14 hours. Imagine that even while everything from soup to dishes are fastened down they still shift back and forth. Imagine having to think about placing the chef’s knife beneath the cutting board so it doesn’t go flying across the room. Think about trying to scramble eggs while they sway with the motion of the boat. That is what it is like to work in a galley. And quite honestly, I loved all of it.

Wake up was 0500 and after the first night at sea and sleep less than adequate, I was ready and excited to start my day. The rest of my watch had their watch scheduled from 0100 to 0700 but I was assigned to be student steward so I got leave from my watch rotation and slept a little more (not really, like I said rough first night). When I got into the galley our steward, Ashley, was already ready and roaring. The day was hot and sweaty and the plan was to make food that, if people got seasick, was easy to come back up. She let me take lead on parts of each meal, and we learned what the consistency of shelf stable heavy cream looks like. By dinner most of the crew’s stomachs had settled so we made BBQ pulled chicken or tofu sandwiches, green beans, applesauce and my personal creation coleslaw (recipe listed below).

The stewards are the boat’s “chefs” in charge of cooking the six meals served a day but also the inventory in the reefer (refrigerator) and dry storage. They are in change of what is below deck. Currently the reefer is stocked to the brim with veggies and various items and the freezer filled with meat. Dry storage hold copious amounts of canned goods, flour, cleaning supplies, etc.. The citrus is stored in various nooks and crannies on deck in hammocks. Side note, in the middle of a six-hour afternoon watch there is a moment when passing by the fresh pineapples where all your worries melt away, when just for a second you don’t smell your own body odor but enjoy the pineapples. The stewards are the backbone of the ship; they ensure morale is high through amazing meals; they provide all of the electrolytes we have sweated out and ensure a happy crew. I will never stop praising our stewards; I can barely begin to describe how much I learned from my brief 14 hours in the galley on day 2 of 43 of this voyage.

My name is Hallie Rockcress. I am a student here on the Robert C. Seamans. I go to Boston University, where I study Environmental Policy and Analysis, and this summer is my last semester of college. I have never sailed before, and I can’t believe it took me this long to try. I absolutely love it! Hello to Mom, Dad, Alex, Ian, Gabby, Natalie, Sydney, Matthew, the whole B&B crew and beyond. I hope y’all aren’t missing me too much, I’m so excited to share everything with you when I get back!  Sending all my love <3 Special shout out to Anna Day. Thank you so much for letting me borrow your bag. You are the MVP.       ColeslawServes: 33Prep Time: 30 minutes        1    small red cabbage        ½   large green cabbage        3    big ole carrots        6    GIANT green onions        10  stems worth of cilantro leafs, leave some for garnish        ¼   cup of sugar or honey (less or more dependent on taste)        ¾   cups of apple cider vinegar        ¼   cup red wine vinegar        ½   cup of toasted sesame oil Salt and pepper to tasteShred the cabbages and carrots into a HUGE bowl. Thinly slice the scallions place into bowl. Finely chop cilantro and place into the big bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients separately then pour over veggies. Mix until everything and adjust to the taste of your liking. Everything in this recipe is a suggestion so do what you want with it and see if it works.

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  1. Maya Gabelberger July 5, 2023 at 15:47 - Reply

    OMG so interesting! For a moment I felt like I could smell the pineapples and certainly feel the heat of the galley and your joy in the work and how the galley supports the whole venture! So glad to get to know your experience a little Halley!

  2. Timathie Arbo July 6, 2023 at 07:06 - Reply

    Hallie, your mother shared your impressive blog on Facebook. As a “came to sailing later in life sailor” I honestly envy your wonderful adventure on the Robert C. Seaman’s and your appreciation of your experience!

  3. Beth Rockcress July 8, 2023 at 17:08 - Reply

    We are following your adventures from afar! Thinking of you every day. XOXO

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