Crew Blog | Keli Takenaga: Notes from the Galley

Notes from the Galley by Keli Takenaga | June 4, 2017

During this voyage home from Tahiti, I am on the 2-6 watch and my kuleana is cook and quartermaster. Here is a glimpse at my daily routine – my “notes from the Galley”.

Get up and ready for 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. watch. Around 3:30 or 4 a.m. (time determined by stars or my best guess when cloudy) I start prepping breakfast. Once breakfast is set up and I am off watch, I can shower and do any waʻa chores. When the 10-2 watch starts I begin to prep for lunch. If able and especially when needed, I’ll try to find time to grab a nap before my next watch at 2 p.m. During this second watch, I work on dinner prep around 3 p.m. to have it ready for our crew meeting before sunset. I think about food all day and all night – every day, and every night!

With a 6-day menu rotation (which changes a bit when we catch fish) I don’t have to guess the next meal. However, I try my best to use the day box ingredients to make different meals that aren’t necessarily on the menu, thinking about how to be creative to provide a different taste or twist with the ingredients on board. Waʻa cooks tend to bring some extra stuff from home to add their little touch; I bring things for treats and surprises for crew.

Having fresh produce is great. It’s important to know how and where to store them and how long they will last. Most fruits and veggies last at least a week, they can be used in the meals and cut up for snacks. Other things like onions, eggs, garlic, potatoes and pumpkin will last through the voyage, if stored properly.

As you can imagine, you cannot please everyone. At the least I make sure I know about everyone’s food allergies and food restrictions. Other challenges are weather – storms, squalls, and swells. When things are rough – guarranz you’re gonna get wet by squalls or splashes from the sea. In excessively windy conditions the burners will periodically go out too. Luckily, on Hikianalia we have a galley below. This is a dry space for me to prep most of my ingredients or even cook if it is too crazy on deck. We have a little oven in this below galley – which is nice to bake some goodies too. Maybe the biggest challenge aside from just cooking for 15 people is cooking for 15 people with wa`a food fatigue. We all talk about what we wanna eat when we get home – nobody ever says they wanna eat soy crumble spaghetti or tuna crackers once they hit land. : )

I’ve said it before – the best thing about being the cook is being able to do something for my crewmates everyday. This kuleana is an honor.

Other responsibilities I have as quartermaster are keeping track of our drinking water and knowing where everything is on the wa`a. Before and after the voyage, it is my kuleana to inventory and organize everything on the wa`a. All food items and wa`a supplies need to manifested and accounted for.

The kuleana related to wa`a cook and quartermaster is actually shared with a lot of people at home. The logistics team are the real heroes to making it all happen on the wa`a. As always a big mahalo to Lita and her team, and many other helping hands. Also big mahalo to our Tautira ʻOhana for all their kōkua to help prepare us for our voyage.

Mahalo nui to my two-six watch (Kala, Hina and Scottie) for their support to my kuleana, mahalo to Miki`ala for always being there to assist and mahalo to all my crewmates on this voyage for their support – and for washing dishes in the splash zone. Love all you guys!!!!

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