Jurassic Ocean Crust Magnetic Survey: 2011 Expedition in the Pacific

The R/V Thomas G. Thompson left Honolulu on November 5, 2011 heading toward the Western Pacific. This expedition journal was written by cruise participants and uploaded about once per weekday, depending on internet availability.

November 10, 2011: The Galley

Today's lunch (Credit: Will Koeppen)

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day so it was fitting that our first meal aboard the R/V Thompson was a fulfilling morning delight consisting of eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurt and much more. It was very clear that we wouldn’t be going hungry anytime soon during this cruise. The number of different food items to pick from often causes a line to form as everyone tries to decide what they want to eat. The buffet style setting allows even the pickiest eater, like me, to find something delicious to munch on before shifts. The dedicated cooking staff, Sarah, Tony, and Terrance, also accommodate for those who don’t eat meat, making sure that there are always vegetarian-friendly dishes as well as a salad bar stocked with yummy vegetables, so everyone is happy.

The lineup (Credit: Will Koeppen)

One of the first things I did after learning my shift schedule was to figure out a way to never miss a meal because a hungry Dani is not a happy Dani. Luckily I learned that if I were to miss a meal the cooking staff kindly puts leftovers in an easy to find fridge for those of us who were elsewhere during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mealtimes are very important because they only occur at a specific time each day, 7:15–8:00, 11:30–12:15, and 17:00–18:00. If you miss the scheduled time, you’ll be heating up your meal in a microwave. These time slots are hectic as people are rushing to eat before going on their shift. A rule of thumb in the galley is to get your food, eat, and then get out. The tables can get quite crowded and, even though everyone wants to linger over food, it’s important to make room for those who have yet to eat.

The galley (Credit: Will Koeppen)

It might sound as if these rules cause the galley to be quiet and boring, but that is definitely not the case. While people are constantly coming and going, the conversations and merriment continue on as everyone shares what went on earlier in the day. It’s a lot like eating at home with your family, but the ship is a much bigger family with many interesting characters adding to the lively talk filling the room. But as quickly as the galley fills up, it empties just as fast. Within ten minutes the galley is empty once again except for those of us who might come through for a quick snack. Like everything else that concerns food on the ship, the choices for snacks are easily as large. Favorites like M&M’s are always stocked as well as fig newtons, and one can never go without a Slim Jim or two.

Now being surrounded by all of this food might sound amazing, and believe me it is, but it can also be a pain when you are seasick. After suffering a few days of terrible nausea and sleepiness the last thing I wanted to see was a buffet filled with food, at least that is what I told myself. Even though I was feeling quite green and apparently looking it as well, I still couldn’t miss a single meal. Filling up on delicious food that made me think of meals with my family seemed to make the nausea disappear, even if it was only for an hour or so. ♦