Thanksgiving at Sea

An update from Suzanne O'Connell

How do 114 people from a dozen different countries celebrate Thanksgiving in the middle of the ocean? If those people are on the JOIDES Resolution, it's a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. An hour before the meal, the galley and mess (where people eat) was roped off--no admittance. But at 1100 when the room opened it was obvious why. Paper turkeys, cornucopias, leaves and pumpkins dressed the usually Spartan room. But the most spectacular sight was the food.

A two-foot-high mountain of shrimp was surrounded by platters of whole turkeys, chickens, ham, duck and roast beef--each platter a work of art. Thin slices of red pepper, kiwi, lemon and grapefruit and shredded carrots circled the plates. Even the meat was decorated with red peppers, and olives--dressed for the feast. The centerpiece of the fish table was a fifteen-pound salmon, surrounded by colorful salad molds, snow peas and quartered eggs.

Fruit characters stood sentry at the desert table. A watermelon with a carved pumpkin face and luscious grape hair, accompanied by a cantaloupe with an orange head, carrot nose and watermelon hat, stood sentry on the port side. The starboard side was guarded by a honeydew melon with smart grape buttons and a red pepper headdress. Sentry or not, they didn't object to seconds on pumpkin and pecan pie. This was only the beginning.