Well, I'm 41 today. My birthday started early by about 30 minutes, when I woke up for watch at 2330. First thing I had to do was about 20 minutes of all-out labor, getting sweaty as hell, despite it being in in the low 40's and windy on deck.
So, after my little wake-up task was completed, and I was feeling all soggy and hard to light, I discovered when I went back inside that Big B, my watch partner, made us a big-ass batch of pork ribs, and those things were AMAZING. So I had super tender pork ribs for my birthday breakfast at 0030.
That's some good living right there, and turned my frown upside down.
A well-fed sailor is a happy sailor. I wish that all shipowners realized what a good investment good food for the crew can be. In the old days, ships were classified as being a 'good feeder' or not, and more often than not, this went along with whether or not it was a happy ship. My days on the S.S. New River, we had two stewards who were diametrically opposed there. The company pretty much got by on the minimum, food-wise, and one of the cooks, promoted out of the engine room, pretty much ensured 75 days of diarrhea. The other, a true steward, an Italian guy from Argentina (they have those), could make a boot taste good, and often did, as I'm pretty sure we ate horsemeat a few times, which had been sold as steak, and yet when 1700 rolled around every evening, we all showed up ready to be fed and smiling about it.
Ah well, anyhow, it's just another day.