Tasks of a Purser

Date: 28.11.2023
Author: Kris
Position: Tenerife
Etmal: 0
Total: 1831
Ship: Regina Maris

Food Organization on board

As you all know by now, we consume a significant amount of food, making eating a crucial part of our onboard life. With the daily quantity of food, effective storage becomes essential, requiring creativity in organization. To manage and maintain an overview of our onboard supplies, two students serve as our pursers. Currently, Elizabeth and I (Kris) undertake this responsibility. Our tasks include updating inventory lists and coordinating nearly weekly food orders.

Food Order Arrival

Yesterday, we received a food order, and here’s how it unfolded. In the morning, we removed all old food from storage spaces, not just in the galley, but also under benches in the messroom, on dry storage shelves next to the teachers‘ cabin, and in a small room under the wheelhouse, known as the bunker. After sorting and cleaning these compartments, we awaited the arrival of the new food. Once it arrived, we quickly unloaded the truck, counting each item to ensure nothing was missing. The challenge was that certain items needed refrigeration and couldn’t be exposed to the sun for too long, requiring a swift process.

Organizing Everything

For the sorting process, we had helpers everywhere, with everyone pitching in. Some focused on sorting and counting meat for quick storage, while others handled the counting, cleaning, and organization of vegetables and other items. Due to restrictions on bringing cardboard onboard, we had to remove all packaging, adding complexity to our tasks. My role as a purser involved recording the quantity of food, essentially moving around with a clipboard and list, documenting what and how much we had ordered. Given the large quantity, maintaining an overview was challenging, especially with multiple people shouting my name at times.

The Sorting Begins

Subsequently, the extensive task of organizing and sorting commenced. We divided into three groups: one for dry storage, handling cans and cleaning supplies; one for the bunker, storing fresh food like vegetables and 300 liters of milk; and one for the messroom. While I was still onshore counting items like pasta, the dry storage and bunker groups had already started organizing the new food.

Organizing Food in the Messroom

Upon completing my onshore duties, I joined Anna and Lasse to organize the pasta. We ordered a substantial amount, recognizing our collective craving, especially after bouts of seasickness. We proceeded to organize other items on the benches. However, dealing with leftovers posed a challenge, necessitating sorting and categorization, such as grouping all baking supplies together. The process involved storing new food and bringing down old food from the poop deck, facilitated by passing items through windows. Although this sped up the process, some mishaps occurred, resulting in a mess. Despite efforts to maintain an overview, the rapid pace and individual tasks made it impossible, leaving detailed organization for the next inventory.

Talking About Inventory

Inventory is a crucial task for a purser. We must always know our food stock to prevent shortages, requiring regular checks. Currently, we conduct an inventory every week, involving removing items, counting, cleaning storage, and restocking. While theoretically, we have a system for recording when items are taken, its effectiveness is limited, necessitating weekly inventories.

For our efforts, you might wonder about our compensation. The answer is simple: exemption from galley duty. Although a significant privilege, we both choose to participate in galley duty because we enjoy it, and it’s only fair.

Today (28.11.23)

Today was a relatively normal day in the harbor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Initially expecting to leave, we gradually realized that we would stay another night due to the delayed arrival of ordered diesel. With not much planned for the day, we were granted free shore leave in the morning. My group explored the city, bought chocolate, and enjoyed ice cream. After lunch, we gathered in our interest groups, including those focused on school, sports, and dancing. Instructed by Luisa and Franka, we learned Disco Fox, Chachacha, and Walzer, finding it enjoyable, with some showing surprising talent. Later, interests evolved into activities like listening to music, sitting around, and even cutting hair. After the boys cut their hair four weeks ago, it was the girls‘ turn, with some opting for more radical cuts.


Andrea: „The letters are still not here, are they?“

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