Mess Bill

[from the vaults, 2007]

May 10

Munro's FS crew

I just got my mess bill from FS1 Kelly Napier. The total comes to $290.25 for March, April, & May. “Was it worth it?” she wants to know. “Not exactly cruise ship quality?”

Kelly breaks my mess bill down this way. “Breakfast is $1.65.
Lunch & Supper are $3.15 each. Everyone gets signed up for pizza night (no way of keeping good track of that night!). If someone doesn’t sign up for either a lunch or supper, we sign them up for one meal.
For all the snacks, espresso, and other items that are kept out to be consumed throughout the day, a ‘Coffee Mess’ is charged each officer, four if we are inport, eight if we are underway. If an officer isn’t with us the whole month, we estimate a number.”

Officers and guests are charged. Enlisted are not.

So I wrote my check and I marched it down the main deck to her office so I could say thank you in person for feeding me so well on this patrol. Let me just say one more time, everyone works hard on Munro, but the FS’s work hardest of all, in a grueling physical environment beneath the hypercritical view of their shipmates three and sometimes four times a day. FS2 Lee Schob, thank you again for the green chile stew. FS2 Nicki Steele, your snickerdoodles are divine, and your apple pie ambrosia. Captain, your egg yolks aren’t runny enough for over medium. See what you can do about that, will you?

Okay, maybe not cruise ship quality, but $290.25 for almost two months of meals that were pretty consistently tasty and for the most part pretty healthy? I lost weight on this patrol and I didn’t even work out (I figured I’d already hit this ship with my head once). If I ate this well at home where I get all the exercise in the world, all my pants would fit.

It was a bargain.

In the photo, from left:

FS1 Kelly Napier (who is going to EMT school this summer and who also swings a mean paintbrush)
FS2 Moy Castillo (who turned me onto Sonora Santanera)
FS3 Matt Dulemba (who joins me in worshipping at the feet of Joss Whedon)
FS2 Lee Schob (who works out of Repair Locker 2 as well as the galley)
FS3 Shane Ayers (who is always smiling, even in the galley)
FS2 Nicki Steele (with whom I have a date sometime in the future to figure out my mom’s cinammon roll recipe)
FS3 Jake Barclay (He’s sure Snape is evil. Me? Not so much.)

Missing is FS1 Tracy Mellott (We shared a mutual affection for the espresso machine in the wardroom. Thanks for all the half and half, Tracy.).

Tomorrow, it’s goodbye, so long and thanks for all the fish. No, wait. Where was all the sushi I was promised, anyway?

Click here to order a copy.


Dana View All →

Author and founder of

8 Comments Leave a comment


  2. Ms. Stabenow, thank you so much for the writing workshop, your expertise was so helpful and I would’ve probably forgot that I could write if it wasn’t for you! Have a safe trip home and thanks again for the blog.

  3. Snape IS evil! I will miss these updates, and will keep the crew of the Munro in my thoughts and prayers. Dana, you did an excellent job of chronicling your journey, and we’re not letting you off the hook just because you’re not going to be on board anymore…you STILL have to update regularly!

  4. Thanks, Jake.

    Jessica, great to hear from you! And don’t forget you can write the instant my back is turned, hear me?

    Shel, one more Munro blog only, tomorrow. I’ll keep posting to the blog, I just don’t guarantee it’ll be as interesting as the last two months. Helps when you’re writing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Wait, isn’t that the definition of a hero?

  5. Dana,

    Thank you again for everything. I know that you gave all our families so much more to read about than the small one or two paragraphs we can manage to send after a hard work day.

    I thank you for boosting morale. Having a writer of such talent on board was a terrific treat. It was a wonderful opertunity to ask questions and learn so much from you. Especially about my new home, Alaska. Cant you just sense the excitment? Haha.

    The writing class was wonderous. I learned so much. My writing has taken off to places I never knew it could go. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, alright I think i’ve got it now. Haha. I will keep you updated on how my book is coming along. I hope you will do the same.

    Thanks again Dana. I apreciated your visit. I meant a lot to me.


    P.S. Nice Douglas Adams’s quote. He’s one of my favorates.

  6. Ms. Stabenow,

    I will wait and leave my sweet and sappy good bye for you tomorrow, but I will say this….I am going to miss this pipe “Now, there will be the Writing Class held in the ward room in 5 minutes.”

    Thanks for everything!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: