Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
October 19, 2014
In the Galley
36°31.9’ N x 006°17.2’W
Docked in Cadiz, Spain
As I sit in the Main Salon, waiting to relieve Amie as the dock watch-stander at 0200, I have begun to reminisce on the events of days passed, and what an amazing adventure this has been thus far. From sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar with a flock of flamingos leaving us on our port side, to making new Spanish friends and sharing drinks and tapas together, this has truly been a once in a lifetime experience. And now I sit alone in the Main Salon, tasked with the job of writing the blog for today’s events. I could write about how I spent the entirety of today roaming around the perimeter of Cádiz and exploring all of the 17th-century fortifications, with many stops for drinks and tapas along the way, but I would rather discuss what occurred two days ago, during our last day of transit before we docked in Cádiz.
I was assigned to stand duty as the Assistant Steward on October 17th from 0500 to 1930. I was to work with Becks, our in-house Steward, on creating and preparing meals for that day. What I had not expected was that being Assistant Steward would be one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had on the ship thus far.
Upon awakening on Thursday, when my duty began, Becks first tasked me with the job of cutting the apples for breakfast while she tended to the bacon and recovered the freshly-baked chocolate chip muffins from their receptacles within the several baking trays. She also informed me of where certain ingredients were located and instructed me on the proper technique
of quartering an apple. Throughout the entire preparation process, she motivated me by mentioning my “perfectly cut apple slices.”
I really appreciated her affirmations and her trust in me to complete the task without needed intervention. A similar instance occurred with slicing the watermelon for “first snack.” Again, Becks instructed me on how to best slice a watermelon, and then complimented me on my “perfectly cut watermelon slices.” By then, I was fully confident in my cooking ability. As it so happened, I would need all the confidence I could muster when it came time to prepare lunch. I mentioned that I wanted to make fish tacos, and so Becks let me prepare fish tacos with very little intervention.
There were times when I asked for input, but she insisted that I do what I felt was best, and she trusted my cooking ability. What came of this was a delicious meal and a very rewarding experience. I managed to cook a meal largely of my own design for 30+ people, a meal that was well regarded, and Becks had allowed me full control of its preparation, entirely based on her presumption of my cooking ability and her trust in me. This spoke volumes and meant a lot to me. I had never cooked for more than two people at one time before that day, so having the opportunity to do that and have it turn out well was a great feeling.
For dinner, we had “loosely” planned on preparing a stir-fry, but apparently we had Irish sausage and potatoes at hand and Becks, feeling exotic, had the desire to cook “bangers and mash.” And so we set out on the lengthy and oft-times frustrating task of cooking sausage and mashing potatoes. Then, about 20 minutes before the first dinner service was to begin, disaster struck. Our potatoes had not been cooked long enough to be fully mashed by any strong-armed human. Thinking quickly, Becks delegated me to continue pounding on the potato/butter/milk mixture as much as possible while she procured scoops to put through a blender. Would this solve the problem? As it turned out, it did not. To Becks’ great dismay, the potato mixture had the consistency of a humble risotto. She was about to scrap the whole “bangers and mash” idea and instead go with “bangers and bread”, but before doing so, she asked me to taste our potato risotto and offer a critique. I tasted it, and I found it to be quite good. I suggested that we serve it as is, and so “bangers and risotto” was served. The dish was very well regarded, especially our risotto-like mashed potatoes. Becks and I rejoiced in the galley, and shortly after I was relieved of my duties.
My tenure as Assistant Steward was met with excitement and anticipation and was left with relief and exhaustion. However, Becks managed to keep stomachs happy for one more day, and I learned a lot about what it takes to feed a full working crew day in and day out. Even through dire straits, the food continues to be phenomenal. Here’s to Becks.
P.S. Hey mom and dad, dogs, cat, brothers, Emma, Mitch, Josh, Doug, Erik, Brendan, Sean, and others! Miss you guys! Who dat!