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Journals 2007/2008

Heather Judkins
Seminole High School, Seminole, FL

"Equatorial Pacific Dolphin Abundance Study - R/V McArthur II"
November 3 - 29, 2007
Journal Index:
November 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
               12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17
               19 - 20 - 21 - 23 - 24 - 25
               26 - 27 - 29 - 30

Additional Resources

November 25, 2007
Let's Eat

Before arriving for the cruise, I pictured in my head a camp-like set up for meals while onboard the McArthur II. I was also hoping that the cruise would be a great jumpstart to lose a few pounds before the holidays. Buffet style cuisine including sandwiches, pasta, and maybe ice cream bars as dessert. Cereal and oatmeal for breakfasts and a constant supply of coffee. Before I got here, the NOAA survey coordinator asked if I had any requests for meal needs. The only thing I came up with is my one "Diet Coke a day" jolt for my caffeine needs. A case was put onboard for me.

There are set meal times for the entire ship- breakfast is from 6:45am -7:30; lunch- 11:30-12:30pm and dinner from 4:30-5:30pm each day. So, when I woke for breakfast the first morning, I was more than pleasantly surprised as I walked in the mess hall and faced a great set-up! Fresh fruit, cereal, toast, bagels, eggs, sausage, bacon, and hash browns! I got the feeling that I had had greatly underestimated the food situation...

I did. All of the meals have been excellent! There is always a variety to choose from for each meal. We are in the last week of the cruise and still have fresh fruit and salads! There has been fresh fish that has been caught while underway, steaks, pizza, spaghetti, and tons of vegetables at lunches and dinners. Every Sunday, there is a cookout on the fantail with chicken and pork kabobs, filets, and of course, desserts! There is always some snack or fruit if a meal is missed and they set aside plates if one had to work through the meal. Needless to say, I don't think I have lost one pound this trip but have used the exercise room more!

Art Mercado, Chief Steward on McArthur II

Art has been a chef for 35 years, 15 of them with NOAA, starting out on the McArthur and now the McArthur II. He was originally from the Philippines and has been in Seattle, WA since 1969. He is the Chief Steward on board the ship, responsible for his staff, budgeting and ordering food, keeping the sanitary standards high, and food preparation.

Prior to the cruise, Art was responsible for ordering enough meat, dry goods, and supplies for the entire 4 months. He spent $12,000.00 on meat alone before the trip began. The only things purchased in the port stays are produce, milk, and coffee. The stewards need to supply food to the 37 people on board, 3 meals a day, for every day of the cruise. This is quite a task!

The most challenging thing about his job is keeping up the sanitary standards while 37 people are in and out of the area each day. He has two other staff working with him which is making it a little easier to get a quality job done each day. He loves the fact that he has his own room and that his team works well together. He also said that the Captain and the Executive Officer were great to work for. I can attest to the fact that there are recipes I want from Art! The cinnamon rolls are to die for!

Marine Science Question:

1. If the cost of all the meat alone for the cruise( 4 months) was 12k, estimate the cost to supply the meals for the entire cruise. Keep in mind this includes produce, desserts, condiments, coffee, juice, and milk.