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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

March 05, 2018

A Salty Sea Dog

Tyler Egeland, B Watch, Eckerd College


Aloft on the foremast

Ship's Log

Current Position
41°17.599’S x 174°10.790’N

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Northish, anchored

WIND: NNW @ 2knts SEA: Calm CLOUDS: 3/8 Cirrus and Cirrostratus; BAROMETER: 1009.0MB TEMP: 22.0°C

Souls on board

We were lifted swift to drift with a gale
But pleasantly stable as an anchor entails
And although skin wrinkles by salt and sun
Spirit fails to be weathered if it weighs a ton

Students set sail for a new sense of place
Promptly missing their mother's embrace
As different we are individually one
As difference makes us markedly more fun

We ward off scurvy with kiwis sweet as
And grow untamed beards as Duncan surely has
Mark your head when helms alee
And yell "Gybe Ho!" to Eric's decree

When sat beneath our last starry night
The end will depress us and rob our delight
But all is well and will be all right
As we carry home stories on our return flight.

It's safe to say that we will never be the same. For some students, maybe it hit them on day one when they first stepped aboard the Robert C. Seamans. Maybe they had a moment on dawn watch, singing their heart out on the bow of the ship to keep themselves occupied in the middle of an ocean devoid of light. Maybe it was triggered by the charismatic mega fauna, or the seemingly weightless fly-by of an albatross. Maybe it takes a while, when you finally get back home and your mother notices you swaying back and forth at the dinner table. This is truly an unbelievable day to be alive, in a country so gorgeous, surrounded by such wonderful friends. But we face this timeless dilemma, a universal curse of not being able to know it's the good ol' days until you've left them.

Before many of us left home, we got to tell our friends and family about this adventure we were about to embark on with SEA, and many of us got a similar response: "Oh, you're doing a semester at sea?!" No, we are not taking classes on a cruise ship. We are sailing a tall ship thousands of miles through the ocean on the other side of the world. Our boat rocks so much that our tables are gimbaled to stay level so our dinner doesn't end up on the floor. Every three days we get a shower that can't last more than two minutes, or else the water shuts off. However, while we work these grueling 18 hour days, there are certainly some moments where we are both blessed and spoiled with these luxuries. First and foremost, Sabrina cooks better than all of our mothers, but don't tell them I said that. Yesterday she even instructed a seminar on how to make bagels in what she called The Dough-Jo. Then today we ate all of these bagels that we made ourselves as sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, garlic hummus, and roasted spinach, among several other toppings, and a fresh side salad.

Today we also got our safety aloft training, meaning we all donned harnesses and climbed up the rigging of the foremast. Climbing the masts certainly serves a functional purpose for performing repairs and maintenance; however, I think we will mostly just use it to get some killer new pictures to send home and make mom even more nervous. After our aloft training, we hit the epitome of our sea semester-ness, and I am honored to be the one to write about it. WE ACTUALLY WENT SWIMMING. This was such a blessing on this gorgeous summer day. We are also the only boat anchored in this picturesque little inlet surrounded by a 360° wall of mountains. It genuinely feels like we are in a movie, but we are just all too captivated and sleep deprived to break the fourth wall.

To my dog Gracie back home: Bark, Bark... Bark!

I might've gotten too much sun today.

- Tyler Egeland, B Watch, Eckerd College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s277  study abroad • (0) Comments


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