Meals are an important part of one’s daily routine aboard the Melville (and everywhere else!). There are several important rules to be aware of in the messhall of a ship:
- Arrive on time. Meal times while at sea are: breakfast 0730-0815, lunch 1130-1215, and dinner 1700-1800. If you miss the allotted time to dine, you’re left hoping that there will be leftovers in the fridge, but there are no guarantees.
- Clean up after yourself. Biodegradable trash (everything except plastic) goes in one container and is ultimately thrown overboard, while plastic trash goes in a separate container (plastic is burned in the ship’s incinerator and then the ashes are disposed of in port). The cook cleans all dishes except for cups and mugs. Everyone has a numbered glass, which corresponds to your bunk number, and you wash this and then hang it on the wall (I’m number 59.)
- Don’t linger. The cooks are eager to clean up after a meal so you shouldn’t hang around once you finish eating.
The messhall is organized in a buffet style. When you enter you get a plate and utensils, peruse the salad bar, and then survey the entrée station. The tables in the messhall have swivel chairs, which can provide for an interesting dining experience when seas get rough. There are lots of snacks available in the cabinets (and plenty of ice cream in the freezer!) that you can help yourself to anytime.
Here’s an example of a meal on the ship (today’s dinner):
-Salad bar with different salad options: cucumber, egg, pasta, or fruit
-Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting
The cooks Marc and Bob take turns making the main courses each day. So far one of my favorite things they’ve made were warm sticky buns! Many people on the ship end up eating only two meals a day and sleeping through the third. Because I work 1400-0200, I sleep through breakfast and when I wake up everyone is eating lunch, I grab some cereal.
PS. Visit again for future posts on sample collection, more details on instruments, cruise results, and interesting stories from the South Atlantic.