The Delaware II left its sheltered anchorage in Provincetown at dawn on Wednesday. We weighed anchor at 6 a.m. and worked our way east onto Georges Bank for more plankton sampling and a second transect of the ISIIS towed body video system. With the storm system that had pinned us down moving away to the east, conditions improved slowly but steadily, although residual large seas made getting to the first station a long rough ride!
One thing that will always lift my spirits during these down times is the food we are served aboard this vessel. Regardless of the conditions outside, Chief Steward John Rockwell and Second Cook James White are always busy preparing three meals a day in the Delaware II’s tiny galley, plus baking pastries for desserts or morning coffee break to ensure that everyone aboard is well nourished!
Entrées range from a variety of meats – chicken, beef, lamb, and pork – to fish and shellfish, prepared in different ways on different days. We’ve had a variety of pasta dishes as well: manicotti, ravioli and the perennial favorite, spaghetti and meatballs, embellished with a light garlic seasoning by the Chief Steward.
A variety of vegetable side dishes, a salad bar, and fruits ranging from apples, bananas, and grapes to blueberries and strawberries for breakfast, round out the food groups. Breakfasts feature hot and cold cereals, pancakes, waffles, and eggs prepared in a variety of ways, with bacon or sausage, as a sandwich with cheese, and of course, as omelets. Coffee drinkers will find that their coffee beans are fresh-ground onboard the vessel right before the coffee is brewed, for a truly fresh flavor.
Coming to the mess area for chow is definitely a high point in everyone’s day. There is always the Delaware II “gym” (an exercise bicycle in the wet lab area) available to work off any excess calories!
Helping to deploy and retrieve our gear is another way to burn calories, and we’ll talk more about these operations in a subsequent update.