Posted on: April 29, 2011 Posted by: Cole Ruth Comments: 1

Cap said we were over halfway, but not in terms of speed. After our record-breaking night, we had slowed to a crawl. We were forced to turn on the engine.

Although Seth #2 was hired to be our first mate, it often feels like we have two captains onboard. One night, as we were sitting down to eat, he gave the deckhands permission to take down the flags early and something about the transaction felt odd. Maybe as first mate he could make that call, but I kept expecting him to check with Cap’ to make sure it was okay with her. That kind of thing had never been allowed before.

The dynamic is more obvious because Seth #2 is older than the rest of us, and probably has twenty years of experience on Cap. He’s used to being in charge. So essentially, we have two captains onboard. It got me thinking about the characteristics of a captain and/or the personality types that are drawn to be captains – as well as which types might be good at it, and which types not.

Smith guts the fish.
Smith guts the fish.

And is there a personality type for cooks? Do the people who become cooks generally assume the caretaker role? And what about deckhands? Eve said today that the industry actually encourages you to go from boat to boat – the more you’ve been on, the more experienced you are. She said it’s not like acting where you stay at one theatre for a long time. So there’s another criterium: you must be nomadic, and you must like change. Is it any wonder everyone in the industry knows each other?

Fish on the hook
Smith caught two bluefish today by pulling a baited hook on a line behind the boat. Harrison gutted and filleted them for me (!) and one set is now marinating in a Thai-like sauce of chili, soy, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic and Ginger.

Smoke ’em Out
The stove is back in business but the air coming out of the fo’c’sle hatch smells of gas. Cap says she thinks its carbon dioxide, not carbon monoxide. So it’s not bad for you. She says she’s never heard of anyone ever having health problems from it. She said the worst she’d seen was this one summer when the deckhands used to wake up with black soot around their nostrils.

It was a beautiful night – the sky split open with stars and suddenly boats appeared on the horizon, far off, freckled.

Friday’s Menu
Sandwiches with leftover Texas brisket and mashed potatoes
Thai-style bluefish, cucumber salad, a tom ka (without the gai; just mushrooms), rice and chopped peanuts to go on top of everything

Harrison's sandwich.
Harrison’s sandwich.

1 people reacted on this

  1. I would say that most of the sea cooks I have met along the way have a “nurturing” way about them. We appreciate crew who look at you after they have filled their hungry bellies and say a simple “thanks”. Nothing in the world can be better than feeding a group of hard-working, cold, wet crew and seeing warmth creep back into their faces.

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