200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 52: “Time for Tea ”

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photo of Charles G. C. Chaplan and James E Boehlke
Charles C. G. Chaplin (left) and Dr. James E. Böhlke examine a fish while working on Hog Island, Bahamas, 1956.

Time for Tea

In the 1950s, active Academy supporter and fish enthusiast Charles C.G. Chaplin proposed undertaking an intensive study of the waters adjacent to his island home in the Bahamas. To help him, the Academy hired young ichthyologist James E. Böhlke, and the two formed an 29-year collaboration.

Each winter, Böhlke joined the Chaplins at their winter home where the men adhered to a strict daily schedule: early tea at 7 am on the porch, then a trip across the harbor to pick up the daily household workers, and then a substantial breakfast at 9 am. By mid-morning, they loaded the gear into the boat and left to collect. Regardless of their agenda, they returned to the house by 4:30 or 5 pm for tea. After tea, they processed and inspected the day’s catch and cleaned the boat and gear.

Food and drink remain important on Academy expeditions today. Read Ted Daeschler’s blog on his trip to Canada’s Nunavut Territory to find out more about eating during an Arctic expedition.

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