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Dining At The Captain's Table

CBS News producer Chloe Arensberg is traveling with Daniel Sieberg and cameraman Mark LaGanga to the arctic.

I was invited to the Captain's Sunday dinner, or dinner with "the old man."Also in attendance: Larry the logistics officer, Marsha the nurse, a guy named Tom on an exchange program from a major oil and gas concern, the chief scientist, the group leader, the chief officer and two of my closest friends thus far: Jan the ice pick, and Paul the helicopter pilot.

Dinner was to be in "the fishbowl." This gave me pause. At CBS, entry into the fishbowl is usually followed by judgment, bouts of self-doubt, and in fairness – occasional praise. So with hesitation, off I went.

Five courses with wine, scotch, Sambucca, and Bailey's would usually be considered a lot. But this was perfect. I'm pretty sure it's the favorite part of the week for Captain McNeill, and a great source of pride for Randy the chef, and for Flo, who served us. Each has been invited, but seem to prefer their behind-the-scenes roles. Afterwards, Randy showed me some of his favorite pictures from past trips, including an impromptu jam session in the helicopter hanger a couple years ago with the Captain on guitar and Randy on an upside-down trash can. I'm hoping we'll be privy to something similar.

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