NEEMO 14,Crew Journal,Mission Day 5

Chicken Under the Sea

There is so much to enjoy about living in Aquarius. For now, let me tell you a little about the food.

The four members of our crew who had not previously lived in Aquarius went to a café for a great cooked breakfast on the day that our mission was to begin. We wolfed down eggs, bacon, hash-browns, grilled tomatoes, toast, orange juice, and coffee. Although excited about the “splash-down” that would happen a few hours later, we all agreed that we’d likely consume fewer calories during the mission and probably lose some body mass. I mean, how good can the food really be when you’re living under the sea? Turns out we needn’t have worried. Within minutes of our arrival in Aquarius we were chowing down on a tub of cocoa-roasted almonds and we’ve not stopped eating since.

If you look at the webcam of the Aquarius mainlock you will see some shelves running along the wall above the galley and table on the right. This is where the food lives. Most of it is freeze-dried and you just add hot water directly into the bag, leave it for a few minutes, and then eat it with a spoon right out of the bag. Easy. Too easy. And then there are pouches of meat, freeze-dried fruit, hot chocolate, nuts, chips, and candy bars galore. The green tub in Chris’s hand is the cocoa-roasted almonds.

While James will opt for a 6am Beef Teriyaki, my breakfast of choice is freeze-dried granola and blueberries. In fact, it’s so good that I’m considering having some for dinner tonight. The spaghetti and meat sauce is particularly good with a generous topping of mozzarella and, of course, you can never go wrong with a thousand calories of mac and cheese. We even got a huge delivery of blueberry cheesecake and chocolate covered espresso beans, today!

Our outstanding habitat technicians, James “It says it serves four but I can eat one all by myself” Talacek and Nate “I don’t share food” Bender, never hesitate to offer suggestions on how to make a perfectly good meal even better. Whether you are making breakfast, lunch or dinner the suggestion will invariably involve adding copious amounts of chicken, hot sauce and/or cheese to whatever you are currently eating. And they are usually right. The only disappointment is that I’ve not managed to make a good pot of coffee, yet. And no matter how many times Nate suggests it I am not going to put chicken in my coffee.

– Andrew

Hot sauce and chicken

Hot sauce and chicken – don’t even try making a meal in Aquarius without them.

Nate with a plate of food

Food is a source of enjoyment for our crew, and particularly for Nate.