Fraternisation happed all right as per this old post of mine
I was a fridge engineer on the Rangitane and the arrangement was for a meal to be left in the engineer’s pantry fridge for each night watch keeper. This consisted of a couple of rashers of bacon, two eggs and two thick slices of bread for toasting all laid out on a dinner plate and the routine was for the greaser to go up into the main galley to cook it for me around 2 am.
My watch keeping mate was a young Londoner, a Tony Curtis look a-like and suave with it, a nice lad but he was no cook and I was always complaining about hard fried eggs, cindered bacon or burnt toast.
A day or two after we left Panama for Wellington he went up stairs to cook the breakfast but instead of being missing for half an hour almost an hour had elapsed before he came back to surprise me with a meal cooked to perfection. I asked him who cooked it and he insisted that he had and claimed that he had decided to try a little harder.
This went on for a week, great piping hot meals, until one morning he arrived back after more than an hour with a plateful of twisted and charred remains of what was once good food. I challenged him to come clean otherwise I would go up and cook my own breakfast in future so he finally admitted to the fact that the Second Baker, a mate of his who was on duty at that hour, was cooking my bacon and eggs while the greaser was having a rendezvous with a young female passenger in a secluded spot just aft of the funnel but on the night in question when the food reverted to a normal mess the baker had been too busy so the greaser had had to do a hurried char up himself.
He explained that he had made eyes at the lady during the Atlantic leg while bronzing himself on the fore deck and after an exchange of notes via a steward messenger he arranged to meet her ashore during the scheduled overnight stop at Balboa. It turned out to be a week or more in that port after we had collided with another ship in the Miraflores Lakes so the passion had been allowed to really develop.
Cooking my breakfast provided the perfect foil for his trysts while his baker mate helped him out by keeping me happily fed.
I had to read the riot act to him, curbed my envy and all that, and I allowed him one more night of ecstasy and indiscretion to tell the lady that she would have to wait until we arrived in Wellington for more amour which was only a week away.
This recall sees the envy creeping back even today as I think of him getting the crackling while I made do with the rasher rind