While I was away in London doing research, some much needed renovations were being done to the galley. As I’ve mentioned many times before, most of the crew are pretty talented. They not only do the job they were hired to do but bring a wealth of knowledge and talent for other things, like electrical, plumbing and carpentry.
Though the galley was dated, it was large enough for two people to work in and be quite comfortable. There was an industrial four burner stove with oven, a microwave and full size refrigerator. The appliances were old but were still fictional. I had a double sink to do the endless dishes and lots of cabinet space. I had been working and cooking in it for months, but hey, who wouldn’t want a make-over?
We had an open house planned for that fall where anyone interested could come aboard and learn more about what Sub Sea Research was doing. We were still docked in East Boston and many people would just stop by wanting to come aboard, so we hoped for a large turnout. The local media was interested in our story and they had contacted us and were planning on being there too.
We all take pride in both our ships, the M/V Sea Hunter and Son Worshipper so there was a lot to get done before the open house. My responsibility was to make the living areas inside the ship clean, safe and inviting. So of course, I was excited about the galley renovations.
The ship’s captain, Gary Esper and a couple of the crew (Alex & Nick) were doing the work in the galley. They set up an area outside on the deck to do the cutting and gluing. Gary had decided on refinishing the existing cabinets and laying a new counter top. Greg had also approved putting a dishwasher in and of course, I was ecstatic about that. The thought of walking into the galley without a sink full of coffee cups was thrilling. This was going to take a few days and it was going to be very messy. So I would try cleaning up after them to help keep a bit of order. Of course, there were meals to prepare as the crew still needed to eat. All the food from the cupboards ended up on the galley table and floor. It almost looked like a bomb had exploded inside the galley. It was extremely trying at times, but I knew the end result would make it all worthwhile.
We had previously put in a new refrigerator when the old one quit working. Our chief engineer, Brian Ryder, had fixed it numerous times. It would run for a while, and then out of nowhere, stop working. However, it was very old and it didn’t make sense to try andkeep repairing it. Brian checked around the Boston area to find us a new one (he was great at finding deals). The new one had water and ice maker on the side which I knew would be used constantly by the crew. The tough part was figuring out how to get the old refrigerator out and the new one in. It was challenging to say the least. The guys ended up having to actually cut an opening next to the galley door as neither one would fit through the existing door.
The next dilemma was figuring out how to get it aboard, as we were anchored in Boston Harbor at the time and not at a dock. The decision was made to load the refrigerator onto Mini Me (our ship’s tender), drive it to the port side of the ship and use the crane to lift it as close to the galley door as possible. I was worried that it wouldn’t work and we would end up dropping it into the ocean and losing it for good. When I voiced my concerns, I got the “look” from the crew. It’s the “we can do anything” look that I’ve come to realize over time, is true. Once they decide to do something, though it may seem impossible to others, these guys get it done. Just like they planned, they moved the old one out and brought in the new one without a hitch. I was impressed, as well as happy to have a new refrigerator that I could count on not breaking down every three or four days. Not to mention it looked great.
As the day neared for the open house the rest of the crew were busy cleaning up the deck area and making sure it was safe for people to walk around. When the guys are working on the deck, all doing different jobs, it doesn’t take long for it to be trashed. We have specific areas that house the ship’s tools, paint and misc. unfortunately, things aren’t always put away at the end of the day so by weeks end, it can be quite the mess.
The morning of the open house, I baked some cookies in my newly renovated galley. As those in real estate know, the aroma of baked goods help to make potential buyers feel more at home. Not that we were trying to sell anything, but it is our home away from home and I was proud to show her off. We ended up having a steady flow of people throughout the day. Some would be in the pilot house while others loved the engine room. They would all ultimately end up in the galley and I would proudly give them a tour of my newly renovated area.