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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


Mar

14

S251 Weblog 14 March 2014

Jerusha Turner, B Watch, Whitworth University
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Above: The Robert C. Seamans, where I’ve called home the last 6 weeks, with the sunset we were privileged enough to witness at Hao the day we left. Below, right: Jill Ackermann, of B watch, standing bow watch just after sunset began.

Current Position
17° 54.7’ S x 146° 38.4’ W
Course and Speed
Motor-sailing 255° at 5.6 kts
Sail Plan
Fore-stays’l and Main-stays’l
Weather
Fairly squally. Force 6 winds, 9-foot seas, (both from the NW), and 8/8 cloud cover.

Ahoy there land-lubbers, from on-board the Robert C. Seamans! That is one of the last times I’ll be able to say that sentence, seeing as tomorrow is our last full day on the ship. It is strange to me that S251 is almost over, and I’m beginning to reflect on the last six weeks I’ve spent at sea.

I’ve had so many amazing experiences! One of my favorites was standing bow watch under the non-light polluted skies; counting the shooting stars, glancing over the bow to see the bioluminescence sparking in the waves below, and watching the distant heat lightning light up the horizon. I would stand, wide-eyed as the full moon reflecting off the water created a yellow brick road in front of us to our next destination, and I would trace my newly learned constellations in the dark sky. My favorite was standing there, conducting the ship’s movements, like something out of Fantasia’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as we sky-rocketed up and came crashing back down with spray, all the while giggling like a little girl. It was both a roller coaster ride and the perfect opportunity for me to be alone to sing, pray, and gather myself in the silence of the open expanse that is the Pacific Ocean.

Out here, with such a wide-open view, you can even make out the slightest curvature of the Earth! I have seen some of the most vibrant sunsets and sunrises: stripes of golden yellows and oranges; pink and blue skies that make cotton candy look dull; and even the illusive green flash on those evenings with clear skies. Those are moments that you can’t let slip by. It’s much too easy to get caught up in the daily going-ons of life, but appreciating the masterpiece of art that we live in provides an all-too-needed recharge.

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This program is largely about sustainability, and I continually find myself reflecting, asking myself the question, “What if people, in the future, could not experience this like how I am today?” It’s a heart-breaking thought. The vibrant colors of Tahiti; the snorkeling I did in Fakarava; hiking through the lush landscape of Nuka Hiva; swimming at the waterfall on Tahuata; seeing the astounding cliff-faces on our boat tour on Fatu Hiva; hiking Mount Duff to get a breathtaking panorama on Mangareva; the sheer color of the water in Hao; swimming in the open ocean after jumping off the bowsprit; standing aloft, 70 feet in the air, on the ship as a pod of dozens of dolphins porpoise ahead of us; and all the other experiences that are too rich to explain in a single blog post… how would it be if those things were not possibilities in the future? Experiences like SEA really do good for the soul of the environmentalist. We sometimes need reminders of what we’re fighting for.

I want to dedicate this blog post to my mom, Frances Ruth Fletcher Turner, who passed away on this day, nine years ago. If only you could be here today to see all these crazy, amazing adventures I’m having! Shout outs to my Aunt Smoregoo and Uncle JB; my brothers Joha and Jonathan; Dad; my friends from Friday Harbor (Wilson, Sean, Melisa, Luke, Amanda, the Dunaways, Malcolm, Nelson, Shelby, Sierra, etc.); friends from Whitworth (Laryssa, Alyssa, Michael, Drew, Joey, Sam, Chris, Hope, Will, Bob(s), Julie, etc… ‘SGO BUCS!); my bestie from New Hampshire, Mindy; all my friends from SAS (Nicole, Lucas, Trevor, Ashley, Tanner, Kevin, Analyse, Justine, Dani, Coco, Eddie, etc.); and all my Wyldlife girls (Marianna, Stephanie, Devon, Payton, Hayden, Emily, Abbey, MaKenna, Caleigh, etc.)! Thinking of you all! God Bless!

- Jerusha

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