Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

4th July 2009

July 6, 2009

It is without doubt the cook who has the most important job aboard any ship, large or small. Noel has been our cook for the last 8 years. He is responsible for, not only cooking, but ordering everything we need for trips lasting up to 3 months from any port. When we sail from Timaru the ship will be away from home port for about 7 months and it is important to store up with as many of the main brands, frozen and dry goods, to last that long. During port calls at Port Stanley (or wherever they may be) Noel will top up his supplies with fresh veges, poultry and fruit from places like, Santiago and Montevideo.

Dishing up 3 hot meals a day for 23 people is a demanding job even when the weather calm. The real test for any cook is to keep providing those meals during all conditions. When it’s been blowing 35 to 45kts South-West for days on end, dinner time and the chance to sit down and relax a little can be all there is to look forward to at the end of a cold wet shift.

Noel putting out breakfast for the 08:00hrs shift change. Juliet is just starting her shift, part of her cleaning duty is to help Noel clean up after mealtime. Once she has done that she heads below to join her team on the working deck for the next 8 hours.

Noel putting out breakfast for the 08:00hrs shift change. Juliet is just starting her shift, part of her cleaning duty is to help Noel clean up after mealtime. Once she has done that she heads below to join her team on the working deck for the next 8 hours.

Rgds: John B.

26th December 2008

December 27, 2008

Day 33 . Boxing day.

Mike serving xmas dinner

Mike serving xmas dinner

After a good meal and some R&R its back to work, weaving our way south toward the fishing grounds.

We all take turns at lookout searching for good leads that will take us south.

Me searching for leads through the ice

Me searching for leads through the ice

We are now 80nm south of the ice edge with around 250nm to go before we exit the ice bridge and enter the Ross Sea.

When we finally get there we could have traveled over 600miles weaving back and forth, in and out to find the safest track.

Today we have a long low swell from the NW, this is good news for us. A big swell (next to the warm water currents that thaw the Ross Sea from the inside out) is probably the next strongest force that breaks the sea ice up and speeds the thawing process. While we stopped for dinner 3 leads opened up that weren’t there before. We’re heading down one of them now.

Rgds: John B.

25th December 2008

December 25, 2008
On deck with snowman

On deck with snowman

Snow man photo from left to right;
Pete (CCAMLR observer), Shand, Nick, Nolan, Frodo, Aaron, Thio (Boson), Adam (standing behind the snow dood), Steve (Factory manager), Josh (Thinking about his brother on the Gold Coast surfing), Matt, Bull (Not feeling the cold).
Front row: Marli (Mfish observer), Mike (The cook), Pete (Chief engineer), Ren (Boson) 

Day 32 from home. Christmas.

It’s a wintery day south of the Antarctic Circle but celebrations go on. We have stopped looking for leads through the maze of ice into the Ross Sea so we can enjoy some down time. Mike is putting on a great meal for lunch, in the meantime some of the crew have decided to build a snow man on the frwd deck. (Photo attached).

It is difficult getting a photo with everyone around the Christmas tree but all crew were up for the feast at noon.
Almost everyone had presents to open from home but the Chief had the most by far, we reckon he bought most of them himself !
The Iridium phone network is always busy at Christmas time and this season is no different. Some have managed to make calls early but others will have to wait until the congestion eases latter today, reception is usually pretty good but its just not like being there.

Christmas day. Antarctic Chieftain2008

Christmas day. Antarctic Chieftain2008

Anyway, we all understand that this is our lot and we make the best of what we have. In many ways most of us will remember this Christmas more than others for just that reason, even though we’re away from our families we all keep in contact in our own way and I’m sure the boys will rev it up when they eventually get back home.

Merry Christmas to everyone from the crew on Antarctic Chieftain.

Josh checking out the X-box while Nick writes an e-mail home on Christmas day.

Josh checking out the X-box while Nick writes an e-mail home on Christmas day.

 

Cheers: John B and the team.

ps; Thanks for the Christmas cake mum.

12th December 08

December 12, 2008

All hard workers need feeding well and it’s no different aboard the Antarctic Chieftain. Mike is our cook and he’s been doing it for years, preparing three hot meals a day for 22 hungry crew, the first at 04:00hrs, another at noon then dinner at 20:00hrs. Variety is the key after 4 months at sea and Mike is king at that. He prides himself in his ability to create something different every day. From Lamb racks and Beef Wellington to Bacon & Egg Pie, fancy Spaghetti dishes, not to forget the Toothfish. Most chefs would scrub pots for a week to have the chance to experiment as Mike does, with one of the World’s most sought after fish, which is usually destined for top class restaurants.

Mike cooking toothfish - you have to taste it to understand!

Mike cooking toothfish - you have to taste it to understand!

Ordering provisions for the trip is not as straight forward as it may seem, but when the company you work for recognises the need for some luxuries on a long voyage like this, the job is made a little easier.

Some of the quantities Mike has to consider are:

·       300 dozen Eggs
·       200kg Bacon
·       60kg Fillet steak
·       40kg Sirloin steak
·       ½ ton Potatoes
·       120kg Hash browns
·        35 x 500g Coffee
·        1,800 cartons ling life milk

By the end of a long trip, if he’s got it all wrong, and we’re running out of the basics, I’m sure the boys will let him know. That is usually incentive enough to get it right from the start.

Rgds: John B.