SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
Are You a 10?
4° 10.14’ S x 169° 22.30’ W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
330° at 4.5 kts
Single Reefed Mains’l, Main Stays’l, Fore Stays’l, (previously under top and course sails but were struck for a passing rain squall)
Mostly squally skies with heavy rain, and some lightning. 21 kts of wind and 29°C.
Hello from the lifeboat! Obviously kidding, there are no computers on a life boat. In all seriousness, we are still aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, and we are all safe. On the starboard side (right) there is the ocean and, I bet you can guess, on the port side (left) is also the ocean. We are still sailing north in the EEZ of Kiribati, and we have set the two square sails rendering us a more refined version of The Black Pearl. In two days we will hopefully be in the presence of land. After a week and some change of nothing but clouds, rain, and a ridiculous amount of blue, I am pretty excited.
Friday, we had some friendly competition to test our line knowledge. Lines are ropes on a ship that control the sails. It was a relay format, where each watch competed for the ultimate prize: first in line for SNACK. Each person was given a card with a line written on it and walked with purpose (no running!) to the line somewhere on the ship; he or she then returned promptly and the next watch mate would do the same. About 4 rotations were completed throughout the chase with a few curveballs thrown in the mix. The only line that through me for a loop, no pun intended, was the “pick-up line”. I turned to Aidan and asked “Are you a 10?” He looked at me in confusion and said, “No.” I was then very confused but proceeded to say, “Because you are the only ten I see.” Everyone proceeded to laugh at me, but I still hadn’t caught on to my mistake, until the word had made it around the boat three times that someone really butchered the pick-up line. It was me. I butchered the pick-up line. Clearly, I usually rely on my charm and good looks. Despite the embarrassment, B-Watch finished the line chase with a strong lead and a celebratory, albeit obnoxious, conga line around the Seamans. There were no losers; only A Watch and C Watch.
Aside from waking up in pools of sweat (it’s warm and humid in the tropics) and one, or seven, more bruises (there are lots of things to unnoticeably bump into on a rolling ship) than I had gone to bed with, life aboard the SEAMANS has been fantastic. Dreads, more accurately a single dread, are coming in nicely, because I conveniently forgot a hairbrush. Bun is life. All jokes aside, I have really appreciated the immersive experience of being on a research vessel. I have never learned so much about myself, others, and my surroundings in such a short amount of time, and I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity. I am looking forward to finally getting to jump in the ocean surrounding the Phoenix Islands, even though I have been told numerous times that it will feel like a lukewarm bath. The truth is I would probably benefit from one of those anyway.
Love you Mom and Dad, you too Eli, although I doubt you’re reading this.