SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
Has it been a few days or a few months?
44° 05.0’S x 177° 46.0’E
Description of location
29 nautical miles away from the Chatham Islands
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change)
Sailing under the mains’l, both stays’ls, and the jib - wind N F4
I hate to start this entry on a cliché, but wow, it really is hard to find the words to explain just how incredible this trip has been already. Though we are only four days at sea it already feels as if I’ve been living on this beautiful ship for weeks. Each day has brought new incredible memories, new excitements and things to learn that make me love this ship and the people on it as if they truly were my home and family. The most intense experience I’ve had so far occurred a couple of nights ago, on my first ofiicial watch, the dreaded Dawn Watch which lasts from 0100 till 0700. Having had little opportunity to sleep leading up to this, I was exhausted to my core and expected the night to be a difficult affair.
Thinking nothing could overcome the tiredness I felt down to my bones, I was rushed to the starboard side of the quarter deck at around 0230 by another watch member overflowing with excitement. As soon as I peeked over the side all thoughts of sleep and bed immediately left my head. Circling around and under the ship, in contrast to the pitch blackness of the ocean, were beautiful trails of sea-green bioluminescent light. They flowed around each other, leaving long trails that slowly faded only to be quickly replaced by another flash of light streaming in from any number of other directions. I wondered what the cause of this entrancing light show could have been, and closer inspection brought out a laugh of pure joy from me and the others of my watch who had gathered around.
A pod of upwards of forty dolphins had surrounded the ship, leaping in and out of the waves clearly drawing as much exuberance from playing around in the bioluminescent ocean as much as the humans received from watching them. The huge pod swam with the boat well into the morning, making the sometimes lonely forward look out a spectacle I never expected to behold. It seemed they were putting on a show just for me, and it was an experience I am not soon to forget. The excitement and wonder has not ceased since that night, and is not likely to stop for many weeks to come, but I am certain that years from now when I think back to this life-changing experience, one of the chief thoughts on my mind will be of that first watch, and those fantastical glowing dolphins.