Desperately Seeking Sea Cook

Desperately Seeking Sea Cook

My apron collection – almost complete.

Captain Smiley came into the main salon a few minutes ago and interrupted my nap to say that my replacement would not be coming…that if I wanted to stay, he’d love to have me.

If I was a really nice person, and if I had been given more than two days off in a row in the last six months, and if I could have breakfasts off… even just two days a week… and if I didn’t have an amazing lover waiting for me in New York City… maybe, just maybe I would stay. But I’m not that nice. I’m beat. I’m so checked out there’s a vacancy sign above my bunk. But wait – maybe you’d like to take the job?

Here’s my sales pitch:

Drop Everything.
Okay, many of you can’t do this. You have kids; you can’t drop them. But imagine dropping the rest of it – the desk job at the 9 to 5 grind, the same old thing you do Friday night and the television shows you watch on Thursday. The car and the repairs you’re putting off. The lawnmowing, and especially the edging. The laundry – ugh. Leave it, all of it, and jump blindly into the great unknown.

See the world.
Not all of it, but a beautiful little chunk of it. Starting with Bay Harbor, Michigan, you’ll wind your way around the mitten, past Detroit (where you can hail one of the few remaining mailboats and deliver… well… a four-by-four or even a donkey if you’re so inclined!), then through the Welland Canal – be sure to make amaretto cupcakes in my honor, and on to the Thousand Islands where you’ll taste that dressing right there where it originated.

This time around, we got to
see Sleeping Bear and the islands. Hurrah!

Stop in Clayton, one of the cutest towns ever – where you’ll get a free pass to the Antique Boat Museum, and maybe even a ride in one of the boats out and around the islands. Eat a first class meal and drink some Riesling on the patio at Bella’s and watch the boat traffic. Buy some River Rat cheese and send a postcard to me. If you’re lucky the mayor will take you grocery shopping.

Then keep heading upriver, stopping at another yet-to-be determined Thousand Island port town before spending a few days in glorious Montreal – where, this time, you’ll be allowed to get off and hug your friends who live there. Or maybe even just hug a French-speaking person. Why not?

Next up, more locks. Then it’s up and out of the St. Lawrence you go, around the tip of Nova Scotia – bring your wellies and your heavy weather gear and if you don’t have any, I can send you mine.

Then head down the eastern seaboard to a few ports I’ve never been so you’ll have to tell me all about it… in fact, start a blog, will ya, so I can live vicariously. I’d like that. Then keep on with the boat until she gets to Mystic for the winter maintenance program. It’s not all that long a ride – but what a ride it will be.

Did I mention they do the dinner dishes?
And all the dishes when underway!

Make whatever food you want.
(Within the budget, of course, but we’ve already established how you’ll do that.) Other than the commemorative cupcakes mentioned above, you will actually be paid to make stuff like blintzes for breakfast, sandwiches on homemade bread for lunch, Phad Thai and Green Curry for dinner, and macadamia nut cookies for midnight snack!

Learn how to sail.
Whenever you want, you can go up on deck and, to quote Seth #2, “Tug on lines like sailors of yore.”

Be surrounded by excellent company.
Okay, maybe one will drive you crazy. One will be just plain weird. One will follow you around like a puppy dog hoping for scraps. And one will look at you like you’re the crazy one. But almost all of them will praise your cooking abilities and eagerly await whatever it is you’re bringing out of the galley at any moment.

Your time is your own.
Other than making sure the meals go out on time, and the coffee pot is always filled, you are free to do whatever you want. Okay, you can’t jump off the boat when it’s moving, you can’t wear headphones when underway, you can’t be barefoot in the galley, and I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting… but other than that…

Remind yourself that you’re alive.
Maybe you already knew this. Maybe you’re a nurse and you take your pulse regularly. But if you’ve forgotten… if you feel out of touch…this job will remind you. It will take you out of the real world and plunk you down in a place outside of time, on a magical thing called a schooner. And when you’re done, it will leave you changed.

The compensation package
You’re gonna need your own insurance and the pay is pretty low – after phone bills and storage unit costs, I’m not sure I made a dime. But there’s other stuff to life than money, right? And if you’re luckier than I, maybe you can rent out your place – then you only have that phone bill. Maybe you’ll come away with a small nest egg?

You get one day off each week, except in transit. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a vacation, but who needs one when you’re livin’ the dream?

I’ve been hard at work stocking the boat – so you’d be unlikely to run out of anything for months except dairy, vegetables and meat. There’s a healthy basil plant and every spice under the sun. Even the diesel stove is functioning well these days.

So, if I’ve convinced you, or if you know of anyone, the position is available August 28th. They only need someone for a few months, so you don’t really have to drop everything… just put it on hold. Send me an email and I’ll connect you with the real people behind the real schooner, which is not called the Marlin, but still has a nice name and will still go on all the amazing adventures highlighted above.

Pate for Banh Mi.

Tuesday’s Menu
Breakfast
Cheddar biscuits and sausage gravy
Lunch
Banh mi sandwiches: Vietnamese pate on homemade French bread with pickled of all sorts
Dinner
Bread-in-a-pot
Petite steaks that sat in a rub of French herbs and Asian spices and then were pan-seared on each side
Wide Homestyle Egg Noodles in mushroom sauce
Tossed salad with cherry tomatoes