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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
March 19, 2019
Kevin’s Galley Day
42°27.034’S x 174°04.865’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
160° at 1.5 knots
Winds blowing from ESE at a force of 2. Clouds at 6/8, 23°C outside with 1 foot seas from SE.
The cooking prowess of our one and only Kevin Johnson is no secret aboard the Robert C. Seamans, as members of C house onshore got to experience firsthand. However, over the past few days, there have been murmurings aboard that Kevin would not get his galley day and would therefore not be able to bless us with his culinary genius. Today, those fears were put to rest as Kevin stepped into the galley to chef up for the whole ship an eating experience never before seen.
Kevin started the day off strong with hearty breakfast tacos that included savory hashbrowns, robust eggs, and salty sausage. After breakfast, most of the members aboard the ship were either on watch, sleeping, or simply awaiting the next meal. When lunch rolled around, the masses were salivating. Thankfully, Kevin, as he has always done, delivered.
Kevin, while he may be a generally incredible chef, is particularly skilled in his special sauce making, a fact we were all reminded of at lunch. Kevin wowed students, crew, and faculty alike with perfectly seasoned chicken atop somehow-still-fresh lettuce. The chicken was hand-marinated by Kevin through a process that can only be described as equal parts messy, impressive, and terrifying, much like the art of professional grease-trap cleaning. Of course, this lunch was made complete with a sweet and savory Hoisin sauce which gave the flavor profile some depth and character.
After lunch, we had class. As we near the end of our trip, we took class time to write ourselves letters about our time at sea and what we wanted to remember and do with this experience moving forward. Everyone found a little spot to look out at the open ocean that surrounded us, and we all took about an hour to think and write. The process was very peaceful and reflective, and made me, and others, realize how much we’re going to miss this community.
After this moment of deep reflection and the sentiments of poignancy that followed, Kevin knew he had to rally the troops, so he set to work cooking the most dangerously tasty meal of all time. The meal was going to be an entire production, as Kevin and I had even prepared a song to be sung before eating and had studied and workshopped the recipe thoroughly onshore before the sea component.
As dinner was in the works, students were either busy cramming to meet their project deadlines, on watch stressing about the cramming they should be doing, or climbing aloft and lounging around with swagger after finishing their projects. And then the dinner bell rang. Students, who had been smelling dinner for hours now through the ventilation of the ship and the whispering of the winds, filed down for the meal of a lifetime. Kevin had cooked his famous spaghetti and meatballs. The sauce was perfect, with loads of vegetables, bursts of garlic, and fist-sized meatballs lurking in the depths.
The noodles were the perfect vehicle, buttered and shining in the low lights below deck. And much like how the Whos still had Christmas even post-Grinch, all of the students hummed in respectful protest the song that Kevin and I had written and never got to perform (as we were scolded for letting it distract our other duties). Pictures wouldn’t do the meal justice, which is a good excuse for why none are included. The day as a whole was rather calm and reflective until the stress of work set in, and Kevin’s cooking helped keep us afloat all along.
Epilogue: Firstly, Natalie, homey first, steward second, deserves arguably more credit than Kevin here because she runs the galley like a machine day in and day out. Secondly, in all seriousness Kevin is a top chef and also a top pal who always makes me giggle and gets me hyped for the day, even when I’m feeling low energy. Thirdly, thank you for reading this nonsense, I hope all the parents aren’t too worried about us out here, as we’re having a ball.
- Fin Ouweleen, B Watch, Carleton College