STEAK DAY Onboard the Maersk Arkansas

steak day 6

Day 64 on the Maersk Arkansas

The weather was perfect, 83 degrees with no humidity and a brisk breeze. The beers were ice cold, the grill and women were hot, just another fall day in the Persian gulf on the Maersk Arkansas. The girls just finished oiling down and the conga line was snaking its way around the fantail of the ship. OK… before someone reports us to the some maritime authorities understand I am kidding about the beer and women but you must admit it sounded nice. And since there was no beer or oil drenched vixens you can assume the conga line is nonexistent as well.

steak day 1

So where was I…oh the grill was hot and the Steward Doug was tossing 2″ thick steaks on the grill to a sizzle I had not heard since arriving in September. Every sailor looks forward to grill day, maybe because its reminds us of being home gathered around a grill with friends and family. This grill had been dormant for my first two months onboard and the last steward even had the audacity to write on the menu one day “Grilled BBQ Chicken on the Fantail” then proceeded to toss BBQ Sauce lathered chicken into the oven, who does that? The result was something that looked and tasted like a overbaked hamster. Well I have no idea what baked hamster taste like but it can’t be good and either was this. I was laughed at for stepping outside with my camera looking for grilled chicken, as the grill sat quiet and lonely. I was so naive to actually think he was going to put in such an effort. Out here at sea (much like in prison) meals are very important and help break of the monotony.

steak day 2

Unlike prison we normally don’t have to worry about getting shanked by a shipmate in the galley, although on my last ship two sailors were sent home for fighting. Believe me it wasn’t much of a fight and more like “Smackdown 2009 “. This sailor laid all 350lbs of himself into this man’s eye which resulted in a 3 minute nap on hard steel, no recollection of what happened and massive swelling. Ok I got a little off track, but seriously this man had hands that look like anvils. Anyway if the food is bad it makes a 120 day voyage feel even longer.

steak day 3

The man that holds your culinary fate in his hands is the Chief Steward. He is head of the steward department, sets the menu and does the baking among other things. He has a chief cook that works under his direction who obviously has direct hand in how your food is going to taste as well. Have a ship with a bad cook and steward, you can guarantee the can opener is going to get heavy work opening tuna after you dump your slop into the trash. Before Doug arrived crewmembers were already telling me how much better the food was about to get when he got onboard. There was talk of fresh made breads, cinnamon buns, cookies and donuts….wait, fresh made donuts on a ship (more on this later)?

steak day 4

Doug at the office, don’t talk to this man about a cubicle.

When Doug walked up the gangway he brought with him 20 years of restaurant experience and a Johnson and Wales Culinary School degree to back it up. Living in Thailand fulltime he only makes it back to the States about 14 days a year, tending to a Thai harem is apparently very time consuming. Food quality has definitely improved and the steaks were on point (will let the pictures do the talking). Since his arrival I have had to double my workouts to offset the gluttony that has been taking place. A new chief cook has recently joined and these two definatly make a good team. I once again have something to write about and take pictures of since I am not allowed to lay my infidel feet on the precious soil of the “Kingdom”. We head to Umm Qasr, Iraq next and unless they have kabob delivery to the ship you can assume I will not be posting about any of the local cuisine.



Maersk Arkansas working cargo at Shuwaikh, Kuwait.

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Categories: Travel


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5 Comments on “STEAK DAY Onboard the Maersk Arkansas”

  1. October 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on La Buena Vida and commented:

    A LOOK BACK to November of 2009 when I was floating on the Persian Gulf and musing about steak. This is what happens when a man goes over two months without a good piece of red meat.


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