NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship McArthur II
July 2 – 24, 2005
Mission: Ecosystem Wildlife Survey
Geographical Area: Pacific Northwest
Date: July 11, 2005
Crew Interviews: “Serving up Yummy treats – The Cooks of the McARTHUR II”
Sitting in the galley of the McARTHUR II, is like sitting in a warm kitchen with good food all around. The Cooks, Art Mercado- Chief Steward and 2nd Cook Art Mercado, has been with NOAA for 32 years. He started as Mess Man, then was promoted to 2nd cook, and then to Captain Steward. He’s sailed on the FAIRWEATHER, the Old McARTHUR, and the DISCOVERER to Guam. He’s sailed all over the world, including Hawaii, Costa Rica, Montecito, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. His duties as Chief Steward is to order all the food, plan menus, supervise the 2nd cook, and do all the cooking with the 2nd cook. He cooks for 39-40 when there is a full compliment. The best thing about his position is that it keeps him busy; he gets to talk to officers, crew and scientists. Also he loves it when he can fish and has caught 110 lb. Yellow fin, 35 lb, Mahi Mahi, a 95 lb. Wahoo. The only challenge is that sometimes he gets bored and sometime feels like he has too much to do. When he gets bored, he watches TV and walks around the ship. Art will be retiring in 1 ½ years and is thinking about Hawaii for his retirement years. His most memorable cruise with NOAA is when he was in Alaska, not only did they have beach barbeques, but they also were allowed to go on-shore and see beaver, deer and moose. His toughest cruise was in the Bering Strait when the weather became very rough. Even though his supplies were secure, they still fell off the shelves and made a big mess.
Helping Art is 2nd Cook Carrie Mortell, who has been with NOAA one year in August. Carrie’s experience is with a fishing boat in Alaska. She used to fish for Salmon in the summer and Black Cod and Halibut in the spring and fall. She loved the excitement of being out at sea on a 40 ft. Power Troller. At that time she lived in Prince Wales, Alaska. She enjoyed Alaska because she was surrounded by water and saw plenty of deer, moose and even bear. She came to work for NOAA because she really likes being on the water, and is looking at either Alaska or Hawaii as her home port. Her life on the McARTHUR II is very busy. She needs to be at work at 5 am and finishes her day between 6-6:30 pm. She likes the fast paced work on the McARTHUR and during her time off she likes to read, relax, exercise and play cards, Carrie along with Art prepare 3 meals per day, along with a morning snack. Her favorite thing to bake is desserts and her favorite fish to eat is King Salmon, which she states is high in Omega-3. Carrie’s having fun working for NOAA.