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
April 21, 2018
Crew Profile: Lauren, our Steward
31°41’S x 160°21.9’W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
085° per ship’s compass, 5 knots
Sailing on the port tack, full and by, under the single-reefed four lowers
NNE Force 4
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.