Saturday, November 1, 2008

Battle of the Bulge

One thing that everyone comments on at sea is the food. It is usually quite good (the crew insists on it) and it is certainly always plentiful....too plentiful. For breakfast this morning, the standard order was a mound of scrambled eggs, some bacon, and buttered toast. For lunch the selection consisted of vegetable soup, warm ham and cheese sandwiches, eggplant lasagne (my favorite), huge boiled shrimp (amazingly succulent), caesar salad (with anchovies), and biscuits. Last night’s dinner consisted of chicken filets with cilantro-garlic mayonnaise (that topping would make an old shoe taste good), tuna in filo rolls, Portobelo mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and bacon (first rate!), potatoes served two different ways, soup (didn’t see what type), and jello with a mixture of berries.

Ah, but the food doesn’t stop with the meals! Always on the table in the galley are containers of candy and cookies, a bowl of trail mix, and fresh fruit in case you decide you want to be healthful. Of course, if the candy and cookies aren’t enough for you, there is a freezer full of ice cream that you are always welcome to invade. In fact, you can pretty much eat anything that’s available.

Now this plethora of food might sound like paradise at sea, but it’s a problem. In the waiting time between stations, the galley is the main place aboard ship that people can gather. So, one sits there in the waiting boredom amidst temptation. The vast selection at mealtime doesn’t really provide one with choice: since the food is all good, one wants to sample it all. Many people also find that the slow rolling motion of the ship tends to make them a little tired and hence they lose what little remaining self-control they had.

The marine tech aboard ship tells me that he has gained 20 lbs on long deployments (only to lose it on spending extended time at home). The more fit looking crew tend to take one moderate plate of food and immediately leave the galley. I had a friend who once confessed to gaining 36 lbs on a 36-day cruise. And, for those of you tempted to just increase your level of exercise, remember there’s no place to jog aboard ship and no exercise room either (at least on modest sized ships like the Pelican).

So, what’s a poor boy like me (with loss of self-control) to do? One strategy (following that of the more fit crew), is to avoid the galley....but as chief scientist, I shouldn’t go into hiding. Another is to skip a meal (but then there are those ever-present snacks calling my name). You can also invent a special diet for yourself. For instance, one can readily become a quasi-vegetarian. I say quasi because, although the cook would certainly oblige a vegetarian or any other special diet, no one on this cruise has requested such a consideration. And, I don’t care to ask the cook for special food preparation on his part just because I’ve lost control.

Well, it’s almost dinner time. So, I’ll just go contemplate this problem in the galley. It’s a rough life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where can I sign up. You guys eat better than I do at home. Lance (Erik's Brother)