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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

April 21, 2018

Crew Profile: Lauren, our Steward

Tristan Feldman, Second Mate, SEA Semester Alum

Oceans & Climate

Basking the in Glory

Ship's Log

Current Position
31°41’S x 160°21.9’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
085° per ship’s compass, 5 knots

Sail Plan
Sailing on the port tack, full and by, under the single-reefed four lowers

Weather
NNE Force 4

Souls on Board

You have probably already read about Lauren and the delicious food that she makes for us every day, but here is a chance to get to know her better. She is most likely to be found in the galley, belting out a musical number. Each day a different student joins her and her assistant steward Natalie as they work to prepare all of the food for the day.

What is your job?
I am the steward onboard, which is the cook. I cook three meals and three snacks a day. I'm also responsible for provisioning the ship with all of the food we are going to have for the six weeks and stowing it. And keeping people happy. I feel like morale is a not written but understood part of my job.

How long have you been with SEA?
I am a SEA Semester alum. I did a trip in 2005 from Hawaii to San Francisco. I started working here in 2012 and sailed full time for three years, which means about nine months a year. Then for the last three years I've been working part time and just being at sea for about three months a year.

Why did you decide to work here?
It was seven years between my student trip and coming back to work. I was working in kitchens and I decided that I needed a lot more adventure in my life. I started looking around thinking maybe I wanted to deckhand for SEA because that was a really fun trip. But, I didn't think I had any skills that I could use on the boat. I didn't have sailing experience and I had a science degree but I didn't want to go in the scientist route. I just thought that boat life wasn't for me. But then I saw that they were looking for cooks and I was like 'Hey, I have that skill.'

What keeps you coming back?
It's adventure that feeds my soul. I love it. I have a lot of friends who work here, people who are very dear to me. I love being inspired by the students. They are all so ambitious. They are so hardworking. I really look forward to it. And when I'm on land I find myself thinking that I just can't wait to go up on deck after dinner and look at those stars because you don't get to see stars like this ever on land.

What is the craziest thing you've had to do as a part of your job?
I feel like there are so many moments where I am inside the freezer, the boat is rolling, one arm is holding up a 20 pound ham that is about to skyrocket onto my head and my left arm is twisted in a ridiculous contortionist pose touching a pork loin and the boat takes a roll and I'm like, "Oh My God, this is my life, I'm just going to wait for this roll to roll back." None of my cook friends can relate. They have no idea.

What is the most ambitious thing you've made onboard?
I'd have to say some of the desserts I've made onboard, I've impressed myself. Like Choux Swans, that was impressive. We made pâte à choux, we piped swan necks, we made whipped cream. I don't think the people even understood what level we took it to when we served those. One time I sculpted a two-layer cake and I carved it in the shape of the boat.

- Tristan

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s278  study abroad  sailing • (1) Comments

Reactions

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 Mark J Heinen on April 24, 2018

I remember watching the ship sail out of Hawaii in 2005 with Lauren on board, thinking to myself ‘My daughter has the wits and talent to handle all situations she so chooses to tackle.’ I’ll miss the “hey, Dad” and the music she sings or plays. For those of you that have had the opportunity to see or work with her in the galley, it’s simply refreshing to watch someone do so many things in such a small space as baking, chopping, cutting and whipping up food all without a timer and always a smile. And to top it off, it always tastes great. Mark Heinen (Dad)


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