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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

April 17, 2019

“Hutch it”

Erin Houlihan, 3rd Assistant Scientist

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A rare sighting of hutch pizza.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
33˚ 49.2’ S x 160˚ 15.3’ W

Location
South Pacific Ocean, slightly closer to Tahiti

Heading
052 ˚ Wind: F3, SW

Souls on board

“Hutch it.”

This is one of my favorite phrases to hear from our steward, Sabrina. On the ship, we get 6 meals a day (3 meals + 3 snacks) and we eat when we are told to eat. This is with the exception of  THE hutch. The hutch lives in the main saloon and is an area of great revere. Leftover food can get “hutched” and then becomes fair game-free to be eaten at any time and in any number.

To be clear, our steward does an amazing job and cooks a bountiful amount of delicious food-there is only hutch food left over because we have all eaten our fill (and some more) of the tasty grub. There are some running competitions for what food is the best hutch food. Harry says, the best hutch food is “whatever is there,” but the usual winner is “hutch bacon,” followed closely by “hutch pizza” according to chief scientist Ben. As fellow shipmate Supi says, hutch bacon with pizza is even better. A few special hutch highlights from this trip have included a mountain of lemon blueberry waffles, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies leftover from midnight snack, and leftover strawberry streusel from midnight snack. Hutch eggs are always a toss up- only the true hutch lovers will eat cold eggs in search of their temporary protein fill. Personally, my favorite hutch food is any baked good. 

Thus, when you give an assistant scientist a watch without science, they might bake (with lots of assistance). Life at sea is always at flux. Just as one thing settles, another blows in and sometimes these events prevent us from completing our normal science routine. However, this just allows us labbies to get creative with how we spend our time on watch. Between helping deck, doing a surface station through the flow-through seawater system on board, working on oceanography assignments and various other chores, there can still be time for other fun tasks such as baking.

After a particularly, out of the ordinary, long night due to the breakage of the boom, we arose the next morning, unable to complete science deployments. In an effort to give our steward a much deserved break, one of the deckhands (who had previously been an assistant steward) who was scheduled to be in lab led a group of myself and a few other students on watch in the task of making chocolate chip coffee cake muffins. Shout out to Supi for her experience and leading the charge in all things galley here. Idle hands were measuring cups of flour, going into the exotic locker in dry stores to find vanilla extract, beating eggs and dumping chocolate chips with no need for measuring.

Soon enough, there were around 40 muffins cooling on wire racks wedged between dividers in the galley. The next day, as science deployments still couldn’t happen, we returned to the kitchen to make breakfast (homemade granola) and midnight snack (very chocolatey brownies). Onboard the RCS-no matter what the ocean throws at us, we are a community who works together to make things happen, to make great things happen like great chocolate chip muffins.

- Erin Houlihan, 3rd Assistant Scientist

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s285  life at sea  study abroad • (0) Comments
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