Oklahoma bobcats are generally reclusive. This one, however, either didn't notice me, or has watched me on the walking trails enough not to be afraid.
It would be grand to have a meal aboard an authentic sailing vessel of the past and I had a chance to explore one. The Star of India dates back to 1863, and is currently being refurbished to return her to her former glory. But I loved seeing the parts that still had dents and dings and I was most fascinated by the cooking area.
The stove was considerably larger than I expected. I realized that feeding a whole crew and perhaps passengers would require preparation in bulk.
Pans and plates were next. On some ships, sailors were expected to bring their own plates, but due to the pantry area with a plate holder I suspect voyagers on the Star had plates provided.
I'd thought of the need to bring drinking water, and ale or beer which might remain more palatable under sail. But I'd not given much thought to the cook's need for water.
Definitely a pump handle sitting on a shelf in the back of the photo.
And since the cook didn't have a gas or electric range...
In my research, I uncovered one other fact that makes cooking all the more challenging during this vessel's sailing history. Imagine working at the stove. The sails are unfurled and the wind suddenly fills them, jolting the ship forward. With the mix of motion, hot pans and ingredients, a cook might need juggling experience with the balancing skills of a tightrope walker to get the meal safely on the table.
Would I have risked sailing across the sea on the Star of India? Yes. Even though I can't swim.
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