Working in the galley – a day full of music

How happy were we as we saw the fresh cinnamon rolls and the warm cocoa after our hiking trip in Falmouth, England! And there is nothing better than a great breakfast before a day full of exciting experiences. Of course, the meals don’t make themselves, responsible is the all-beloved galley team. But how does a day in the galley actually work?

Every day, a group of four people, either three pupils and one adult member of the crew or four pupils, come to the galley at five o’clock in the morning. The red morning light is searching its way through the portholes, brightening the room.

What we get to cook has been planned the day before and therefore the food stands prepared in boxes in the cold storage. Every breakfast, you can eat fruit salad – this goes right back to scurvy, which often occurred on ships in the past because of a lack of vitamins. For the fruit salad, we chop fruit, which vary depending on where in the world we are. At the same time, someone cuts freshly baked bread. Next, we set the tables – in a heavy swell with slip blankets – and prepare spreads, yoghurt and muesli. From time to time, people come in, depending on which guard they are. Guard 2 for example, who are on duty at night, eat at half past nine, guard 4, who are on duty in the morning, at 07:20. Then, our hard-working cooks play servants because the messroom is too small for so many people standing up and taking their food on their own. “Good morning! What can I bring you? Orange juice, tea, water?“ With this, all the sleepy ones are served every morning – of course with a friendly smile on the countenance!

The plates pile up and the great dish washing begins. Cleaning the dishes for fifty people after every meal can last a long time. At the same time, we cook the warm lunch. What will it be today? Noodles with mushrooms, oven potatoes or even better: pumpkin soup? The music is turned on loudly, life is filling the galley and everyone knows what to do. We are singing to “Happy”, dancing and laughing and the work isn’t boring at all! A playlist, just for the galley, is playing and melodies of Queen, ABBA and Peter Fox are ringing out through the portholes over the deck and are entertaining the guard. This is something very special on the Thor as it is not possible to listen to music on deck or in the messroom for safety reasons.

At 12 o’clock the lunch is ready; one person walks through the whole ship with a bell and rounds up the crew. Happily, everyone appears on the main deck, listens to the flowery descriptions of the food. Then, a silent minute follows, announced with the bell; everyone becomes quiet and has one minute to calm down, think, dream. The food is given out through the portholes of the deckhouse; the adventure of eating soup while the sea is quite rough starts, the waves are sweeping over the deck and the wind is playing with everyone’s hair. I am doing the dishes with a wide view through the portholes, all I can see is blue. Water, water, water everywhere.

We prepare the coffee break for 03:30 pm. The beverages and small pieces of melon are placed outside – all this sweetens the afternoon. If there is a birthday or another special occasion everyone gets a big piece of cake.

Next comes dinner. In the messroom we eat bread with cheese and ham. If there is some food left at the end of the day, we put it in the refrigerator for the night guard, because one thing is for sure: Nothing tastes better than noodles with ketchup at 2 o’clock in the morning! The galley is cleaned and scrubbed until it sparkles, because cleanliness is really important here. This lasts not rarely until 10 or 11 pm, when one of the adults comes over and controls whether the cleaning process was up to our high hygiene standards.

Tired but happy, the galley team is falling asleep, thinking of the compliments; knowing that the food tasted good, everyone had fun and a full day is over.