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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. 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 Robert C. Seamans

August 02, 2015

Cookin’ with Shelby

Erica Schulz, Denison University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Above: Shelby showing me how to knead dough for our homemade bagels. Below: Shelby and our Cinnamon Rolls!

Ship's Log

01° 56.15’S x 175° 11.113’W


Course steered
155°, speed 5.8 knots

Souls on Board

Cooking has always been something I've been fascinated with. I like to eat good food and I like to know how it's created.  I've been lucky enough to have a wonderful mother who cooks the most delicious food in the world and in twenty years I've only learned a handful of her tricks but I'm hoping to learn many more as I cook with her in upcoming years.

On the Robert C. Seamans we have plenty deck and lab time but what most of you sleeping on land might not know is that we have plenty of tasty food too. The food schedule is the same everyday and it makes it so that if you wake up at anytime of the day you probably have less than two hours till more food is being made and ready to be eaten. It's a pretty awesome lineup and it means you're basically never hungry. Ever. So who exactly makes all this magical goodness happen? Our lovely steward, Shelby.

Everyday one lucky student gets to spend the day with Shelby in the galley and cook for the entire ship. Today was my lucky day.

I was awoken at 0515 by a fellow shipmate but this time I wasn't told the weather, I was told to report to the galley for my day of cookin'. The day started off with breakfast where we made eggs in a puff pastry paired with some oranges and sausages. We made far too many but they were toast by lunch. After breakfast we wanted to get our midnight snack out of the way so we quickly whipped up 3 batches of homemade peanut butter cookies. They were delicious right out of the oven and I was confident that they would remain that way till much later that evening. Our next task was to make morning snack. We decided on cinnamon rolls (a little inspiration from my sister, Laura). The rolls were a hit and were gone within the hour.

I thought lunch was going to be easy breezy since we decided on leftovers but little did I know the amount of leftovers that had built up in the reefer. We had enough food to feed a crew of 100 people.  Everyone was happy with the lunch choice since there was much variation. For those of you who know me at home, it is no surprise that afternoon snack consisted of a salted caramel threat. Shelby and I made some shortbread to be our bottom layer and created our caramel using sweetened condensed milk and then sprinkled large salt chips to finish off the candy bar. I'm not sure if the bar ended up to be everything we hoped for but It was definitely fun to create and very very sweet.

In between the madness, we made bagels for the next morning. (yes I know, she knows how to make bagels too) Making bagels from scratch was a foreign process for me but I had a ball learning the ropes. I was surprised by how simple it was to make the dough yet the actual construction of the bagel took a little more time to master. With time and a lot of weird small holed bagels later I had actually started to make a decent looking bagel. It was exciting and I can't wait to try out this new skill at home.  My momma provided me some inspiration for our dinner menu. Dinner consisted of steak, salad and garlic, Parmesan cheese red-skinned mashed potatoes.

The whole day was full of heavenly deliciousness and I had an absolute blast spending the day with Shelby. I was beat after a day of cooking and as I got ready to hit the hay I couldn't even believe that Shelby is able to do that every day for 36 hungry shipmates!  Shelby's energy and cooking abilities are incredible and I think I can I speak for the rest of the ship when I say that we appreciate her presence and her scrumptious food!

I asked Shelby her favorite part about being on the ship and she proceeded by telling me: "Being in the middle of the ocean and knowing you have everything on board to feed and take care of 36 people for six weeks."

Thanks for a tremendous day Shelby!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s261  life at sea • (4) Comments
Previous entry: Disconnection    Next entry: The Cast of Baewatch


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by VIrginia Lagergren on August 04, 2015

    I shall expect a feast when you get home featuring all the things you made with Shelby.  Looking forward to your return and our tea at the Towmsend.  Miss you and love you!

#2. Posted by Mark Schulz on August 05, 2015

Hello Erica, 
I was getting hungry reading about your new kitchen skills—very impressive.  I was expecting, however, that you & Shelby would be creating recipes for salp omlettes. 
Miss you,  Dad

#3. Posted by Katie on August 05, 2015


I am so glad to have a small taste (pun intended) of your amazing life adventure at sea! You look so happy cooking with your sun-kissed glow! Can’t wait to hear all of your stories when you return home!

<3 your cousin Katie

#4. Posted by Theresa Schulz on August 05, 2015

Missing you Erica!  What a fun day you wrote about!  I can’t wait to hear about all what you have experienced.
Love, Mom xoxox



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