SEA Currents: Jun 2015
June 21, 2015
Imagine you are fast asleep until you suddenly awake in a small bunk, tossed by a large swell, and you instantly remember that you are on a dark ship in the middle of the ocean. This is how I welcomed in my 20th birthday on June 21st, by scrambling to gather myself and make it on deck for Mid-Watch, from 2300 to 0300. It felt surreal as I made my way through the galley and onto the deck of the Robert C. Seamans, making sure not to be toppled over by the constant ebbing and flowing of the ship.
June 20, 2015
Today the students officially transitioned study from the land to the ocean. After a tour of the ship and watch assignments yesterday, the students completed orientation with several stations of safety training and emergency drills today. Around 1400 we left the HPU campus from the Aloha Tower Pier in Honolulu with the trades in our sails and a very respectable swell beneath us.
June 20, 2015
I’ll tell you the story of when we caught a tuna.
Early this morning I was enjoying being the lookout on the bow. It was cloudy and very picturesque; the sun was just ahead of us, and whenever it broke through the clouds it made the water shine silver like a sea of mercury.
June 20, 2015
Welcome to the SSV Robert C. Seamans and the sea component portion of our cruise. The students of the HPU/SEA Aloha ‘Aina program, class S-260 have all safely arrived to the ship and are now exploring their new home. Where is my bunk, what is a head (bathroom) and how does it work (imagine an airplane restroom). Where do I fill my water bottle and most importantly, is there coffee! All these questions and more are being asked and answered by the professional SEA crew and HPU faculty that are joining us on this voyage.
June 19, 2015
At 0620, I rolled out of my bunk in the main salon, saw muffins on the breakfast table and thought “this is going to be a good day.” And, boy, was I right! The motor was running, since the winds were too light and variable for strong sailing. But, we can’t let anything get in the way of our great circle route to Ireland, which is now only about a thousand nautical miles away! It’s hard to believe we’ve made it this far already.
We’ve recently entered the phase of our cruise known as “shadow phase,” where each watch one of the student crew shadows the mate or assistant scientist to learn more about the inner workings of running a ship.
June 18, 2015
Clear morning at last, after a few rough and sporty days of being tossed by waves and recounting what it means to live at sea—I look at myself, after emerging from the doghouse onto the hard deck, and am once again gripped by the wonder of the high blue seas. No land in sight—everything I learned to grow up and be with all my life is far away now; and now, I find everything to be foreign, unprecedented, and one-of-a-kind.
June 18, 2015
Heeeeeey Main landers! I am writing this as we fly back from Hawai’i to O’ahu to board our lovely ship, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. We cannot wait to meet her! Yet as we fly out of Hawai’i we get one last glimpse of Mauna Kea who reminds us of all that we lived yesterday.
June 17, 2015
Just a few hours ago, I began my daily routine of brushing my teeth on deck. I sat on the aft port deck boxes, facing the sun and the wind. As I began to brush my teeth, not more than 5 feet away from me, in a cresting wave, a dolphin slid to the top of the water, its fin and dorsal side clearly visible. As I stood up and shipmates pointed and ooh-ed and ah-ed, the dolphin cleared the water twice more with graceful leaps, all the while maintaining a parallel path to the ship. How else could I describe this moment than as magical (and orally hygienic)?
June 16, 2015
As the days go by on this voyage, more and more amazing experiences become commonplace. No one is complaining about the whales and dolphins, the galley’s morale is still higher than the swells, and sea sickness is just a memory.
June 15, 2015
Today the storm has finally past, and we welcomed in the new, warm weather. We actually had several sea turtle sightings from people such as Bones, our voyager on this trip who helps out in watches and makes beautiful drawings of the creatures we see. Today, he wrote a haiku about his experience seeing the sea turtle:
“Standing forward watch
‘A sea turtle!’ he cried out
Life on the ocean.