SEA Currents: swim call
Living the Sweet Life on Deck
There’s a handful of thoughts the novice sailor finds themselves pondering every day. How much sleep could I get if I fell asleep right now? God, it’s hot/wet/smelly. What’s for snack? I can’t believe I’m doing this right now. It’s that last one that I found myself thinking a lot today.
Today was our weekly field day, which for A Watch meant the beloved galley cleansing.
I knew something extraordinary was going to happen today. After five weeks, we’ve gotten into a definite rhythm of life on the ship. There’s the 18 hour cycle of being on and off watch, there’s the three day rotation of different watches, and there are all the tasks that need to be done every hour, on the hour, every hour of the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle, and time has seemed to pass quicker and quicker the longer we’ve been on this ship. But then, there are afternoons like this one that break the rhythm, bring us all together, and remind us how precious our time aboard the ship is.
The Suite Life: On Deck
0300 was a little bit too late to have no ideas for today’s blog post. I had considered writing a very dry, comedic post about scientific deployment safety and had been putting off actually writing by taking a reading break above deck. That wasn’t going very well either. I was being distracted by the scenery. We had just come upon White Island, the most active volcano in New Zealand, which had a large cloud of steam coming from the middle of the island.
Our World in Motion
Sailors have a heightened sense of awareness to the world around them. If there is one thing I observed aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, it is that our maritime world is in fluid motion. Winds veer and back, the celestial sphere scans the sky, the ship inhales and exhales with each swell, and the compass sways as we alter our heading from NW to SE.
Today all aboard the Seamans ended their first trip to the Kingdom of Tonga as we cast off our dock lines and motored away from our wharf in Nuku’alofa at 12:25. Tonga has been good to us, and I think that all aboard left wishing we were rich in time here. Between Vava’u and Nuku’alofa, we enjoyed incredible natural sights and interactions with the Tongan people which ranged from the briefest of transactions to prolonged and repeated conversations, helping us to better understand this place we have been staying and the people for whom it is home.
Operation Sierra Charlie
Behold, arctic tern
Bird of eternal summer
Flapping in the breeze.
(Collaborative spontaneous haiku at the sight of said bird – Morning Watch (A))
After nearly four days on the open water, all aboard the Cramer have been getting used to the daily view: beautiful blue skies meeting beautiful blue seas, only with the occasional cruise or container ship breaking this sight. But this morning, all were on deck witnessing a change in the scenery: WHALES!
We executed a Sierra Charlie
Despite some bouts of seasickness, it was smooth sailing all through the night. To quote our captain, she moved “like a bar of soap slipping across your bathroom floor.” At 1030 this morning, we deployed the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) for the first time, and collected a lot of salps! According to Molly, salps stand for “snacking and lunching on plankton sludge.”
I’m Swimming In Data!
The day began with a personal lesson in accuracy. While conducting my morning rounds to wake up the next watch so that they can eat breakfast before their shift (which I did do at the right time!), I was telling them the meal was ready twenty minutes earlier than it really was. Upon realizing my mistake, I had to go back below deck to correct my mistake, which brought down simultaneously sleepy and annoyed glares throughout the ship. But hey, now I will never forget that breakfast is always at 0620.
There were two things on my checklist of musts before starting this trip. I wanted to swim from the boat and watch dolphins as they swam along by the bow.
On our very first day at sea everyone was looking out over the big, beautiful ocean we were venturing into and watching the sunset on the horizon. As it was setting, a whale breached directly in front of the boat, prompting cheers, laughs, and cries.