5,000 Calories Per Day for ICEX Participants

This is the 12th blog post in a series about ICEX 2011 by Jeff Gossett, Arctic Submarine Laboratory’s ICEX 2011 Exercise Director written on March 18, 2011.

USS CONNECTICUT at Marvin Gardens

I can’t let any more time go by without talking about one of my favorite topics – food.

Because of the extremely cold temperatures, our bodies burn a lot of energy just staying warm.  To cope with this, the cooks budget 5000 calories per day per person.  That’s a lot of food.  It’s a lot easier to put down that much food if there is variety and the food tastes good.

Like everybody else at APLIS, the cooks have performed beyond the call of duty.  We have a huge amount of variety – normally 4 salads and 3 entrées with each meal – and the food is fantastic.  We’ve had several different kinds of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish.  The frequent use of Middle Eastern and Thai recipes makes every meal an adventure.
The cooks are interesting in themselves – two of the cooks are married.  Sarah and Grey Wicker have worked as a team on other projects.  This is their first time on the ice and they are loving it.  The team is rounded out by Karen Juhre who was one of our cooks at our 2009 camp.

CONNECTICUT surfaced on Wednesday to exchange riders.  She did a great job of positioning in the feature we selected (what we call “Marvin Gardens”).  While NEW HAMPSHIRE surfaced through slush and moored alongside a thicker floe, CONNECTICUT busted through 2½ feet of ice.  We were then left with the problem of clearing the ice from the deck to allow CONNECTICUT to open her hatch.  Nick Michel-Hart, Kieth Magness, and Paul Aguilar from APL/UW attacked the ice with a chainsaws, picks, crowbars, and shovels to burrow down through 30 inches of ice in about an hour.  One more example of how almost everything has to be done differently in the Arctic.