The kitchen. Note the bars keeping the pots in place.
One of the important ingredients of any great voyage is food. No
matter how much the ship rolled from side to side, the kitchen team
led by the cook Eric, together with his assistants Sarah, Andy and
other helpers from the crew, prepared and served us three delicious
meals every day. They were even able to store some fresh fruit and
vegetables until the last days when we were approaching Cape Town.
The dishes were varied and healthy, including a well balanced menu for
vegetarians and many home made food items, topped with friendly
service. A sailing ship like Bark Europa naturally cannot match the
vast buffets of a luxury cruise liner, but the food either met or
exceeded our expectations in every respect.
Breakfast buffet with home made yoghurt.
Every day started with a breakfast buffet between 7 and 9 am,
consisting of porridge, home made yoghurt, muesli, fruit pieces and
fresh bread. The bread was baked every night and served with various
toppings including cheese, ham, marmalades and peanut butter.
Sometimes we also got eggs or other extras, and there were always
juice, tea and coffee to drink.
Everybody waited eagerly for the fruit bowl to appear.
At 1 pm we had lunch which included the soup of the day, another dish
and a bread buffet similar to that on the breakfast. Dinner was served
at 7 pm, starting with the main course and followed by a short break,
during which everybody was eagerly looking forward to tasting the
dessert of the day. During the dinner there were water, tea and coffee
to drink. Soft drinks, beer and wine were available at the bar at
Food stores under the deck.
A couple of times a day small snacks were brought up to the deckhouse.
To get a piece of cake or a cookie, it was essential to line up at the
queue rather soon: in about ten minutes they were usually all gone.
The most attractive serving of all was the fruit bowl, which appeared
every two or three days. Using a combination of knowledge and gentle
care, the kitchen team were able to offer even soft fruit such as
peaches, plums and grapes for more than a month. During the last
couple of weeks, soft fruit largely gave way to apples and oranges
which keep longer, and they were in limited supply. Nevertheless, we
had more fresh stuff than we thought when boarding the ship.
Lunch buffet on the deck on a sunny day.
The cook told us that experience from previous trips is used to
estimate how much food is bought in, and will be needed at any given
meal. For example during the days with landings the consumption is
generally higher than during the days at sea. Whatever is left is
cleverly recycled to throw away as little as possible. Leftovers of
the dinner often reappeared next day at lunch, sometimes in a
different form as pizza toppings or as ingredients of a dish baked in
the oven. During long trips recycling is a necessity already due to
limited storage capacity, but we also appreciated the ecological
aspect of generating less waste.
Usually we ate inside, but occasionally when the sun came out and the
sea was calm enough, the lunch was served out on the deck. The last
photo shows our lunch buffet a couple of days before leaving South
Georgia. That was one of our favourites, featuring three refreshing
salads and crunchy pizza breads.