Feb. 3, 2008
By Ken Krayeske • 12:00 PM EST
Captain Bill and I carrying fish we just bougth in the Maldivian fish market in Male. It smelled bad, but you could get yellowfin tuna for 50 cents a pound. We ate much sashimi. And thus, the person who carries the groceries gets to leave the boat.
The life of a deckhand, continued...
1p.m. – Lunch. Since breakfast was late, lunch is served an hour after its normal time. Today, the chef has treated us to toasted cheese sandwiches, with meat on some for the omnivores, and tomatoes for the vegetarians among us.
1:45 p.m. – Return to the washdown.
5 p.m. – Finish putting away the hoses, soap, buckets, chamois cloths, deck brushes and wash mitts. Two of the deckhands will have the night off, one of them stays on for watch. Normally, that only consists of emptying trash, turning on and off lights, stocking refrigerators with beverages and locking doors.
But since the owners are on board, guests are meeting the boat at 6 p.m. for dinner, despite the fact that we just pulled into town today and none of have had a day off in five days.
The unlucky man on watch not only deals with the above duties, but now assumes the role of bus boy and sous chef as well.
Change back into khaki shorts, belt and polo shirt. By this time, your feet are thoroughly pruned. If you want, put on a pair of shoes designated expressly for the boat, and they cannot be worn off the boat. Otherwise, the boat is a barefoot vessel. No shoes allowed on board.
5:15 p.m. – Remove the covers from all the deck furniture, where the owner and his wife and guests plan on sitting. All the teak furniture has expensive cushions and throw pillows, usually white, which get very dirty very quickly if not covered.
Once uncovered, de-lint the pillows and cushions and wipe down the table. Also, the shoe storage bins and hanging locker should be placed at the entrance to the boat.
6:00 p.m. – Help chef grate cheese, crack eggs, and peel and wash and chop potatoes.
6:25 p.m. – The guests have arrived. Go open the door, stand in front of it feeling stupid that you are there to show how wealthy the owner is. The presence of a uniformed greeter says look, guests, I have these people who can help and attend to your needs if desired, but really, we will only make him stand there while you climb on board, because I am in charge, I will take your purse. Hand him your shoes and he will deal with those.
When done organizing guest shoes, return to the galley to resume chopping potatoes.
7:15 p.m. – The sous chef now becomes a dishwasher.
7:30 p.m. – Now the deckhand/prep cook becomes a bus boy for the first course, a full-bodied gazpacho. Since the dining table is on the second deck, those same two flights of stairs which were climbed down on the engine room checks, are now climbed up with two hands full of plates.
7:45 p.m. – Wait in the sun lounge for the stewardess to bring you the empty dishes from the first course. Bring them to the dishwasher and clean them.
7:55 p.m. – Second course is ready. Carry food upstairs.
Making fresh ricotta gnocchi in the galley with Chef Rubi.
8:00 p.m. – Now that "The People" have eaten, sit down and enjoy dinner. When guests are on board, the stewardess never can enjoy a meal uninterrupted, because, like a waitress, about every 10 minutes during "The People's" meal, she has to run upstairs and make sure everything is okay.
Among the stranger phenomenon in the boating industry are the nouns employed for the owner and his wife. On board Maverick II, crew calls them "The People," "The Man," "Mr. Man," "The Boss" and several other names.
Does that mean the crew deserves less than human status? We often feel treated as such, like indentured servants. But remember, someone has to pay for law school.
8:25 p.m. – The People have finished with dinner, so now go help clear and wash the dishes.
8:40 p.m. – Bus Boy for dessert.
8:45 p.m. – The chef has a stack of pots, pans, measuring cups, spatulas, cutting boards, knives and other tools of the trade that need washing.
9:15 p.m. – Dessert dishes with the stewardess.
9:30 p.m. – The chef wants to get a jump on dessert for tomorrow, so crack more eggs, measure flour, etc to help the chef.