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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.

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

July 09, 2018

Adjusting to Life at Sea

Annabel Spranger, C Watch, Denison University


Our first fish, a Mahi Mahi, on the quarterdeck. Photo by Annabel Spranger.

Ship's Log

Current Position
14° 23.3’ N, 161° 26.8’ W

Ship’s Heading and Speed
210°, 6.4 knots

Current Weather
Windy, Cloudy, Sun is setting

Souls on board

Hi y'all! It's Annabel, or AB, as I'm known on the ship. We are on our fourth day at sea, and honestly I'm starting to lose track of time. When I'm not on watch, I'm in class or eating. And when I'm not in class or eating, I am curled up in my bunk, being rocked to sleep by the waves.

Adjusting to life at sea has been interesting. We never get to sleep at the same time and sometimes I'm crawling into my bunk just as the sun comes up, while other times I'm getting woken up at midnight to go stand watch. I have realized very quickly that being on my feet for 6-12 hours a day is much harder in sandals and on a boat that is constantly rocking side to side. I also really overestimated my sea legs- they were not as good as I thought they were, but they have gotten better. And unlike some very fortunate people on the trip, I did succumb to sea sickness the first couple days. Luckily, I think that storm has passed. But getting to have a little break from smartphones and social media has been good. I've had a lot of time with my thoughts, a lot of time to write, and a lot of time to take in all the sights.

I am also lucky because I chose a very exciting day to choose to write the blog. Today during our ship meeting/oceanography class, we were discussing sea birds, when we saw a dozen of them feeding on the horizon, likely on a school of fish underneath the sea surface. Just as we were all looking to them, someone announced that we had a fish on the line. After a lot of reeling, we pulled a small Mahi Mahi onto the boat! And that's what we had for dinner. It was delicious, as is most of the food our steward cooks.

I think my absolute favorite part of the trip so far is lookout on night watches, being up at the bow all alone, with millions of stars above, and bioluminescent plankton below. I know it's an important task, being the eyes of the ship, and it also gives me some time to think about how small we are and how big this world is. It makes it a lot easier to not miss my loved ones at home, because I know we are all under the same sky, watching the
same sunsets and sunrises. It reminds me to be thankful for this experience because it is a once in a lifetime chance, and we have access to people, things, and places that not many other people get. In my time up at look out, I have been spending it thinking of gratitude.

Annabel Spranger, C Watch, Denison University

And now for the shout outs I promised to many people... To Dave Goodwin, for pushing me to be a better student and for talking me into doing SEA semester. I got to look at some forams and radiolara in the lab today and thought of Paleo! To my parents, family and friends, for always encouraging me to take chances (even if that means 5 weeks on a sailboat- Mom, you're a trooper) and for making experiences like this possible. To my Physical Plant family, for being the most hardworking people I know. And last but not least, to Benny. I'm having fun and being safe. Think of me when you watch the sunrise before work.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s281  pipa  study abroad  polynesia. • (5) Comments


Leave a note for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Julia Baker on July 11, 2018

Gratitude is the open door to abundance. So thrilled to read this. Have been checking for blog posts obsessively. We love you and miss you, BooBoo. xxxooo

#2. Posted by Annabel - little sister on July 11, 2018

I love you, little sis and the risks that you take with such enthusiasm! I loved what you wrote and your photo. Sorry that you got seasick and hope you are fine the rest of the trip!

Have an amazing rest of the trip and I hope you see my sister, Amy who passed away.  She is the dolphins, whales, seals, and sea lions.  Please say hi for me.

#3. Posted by Dave Goodwin on July 13, 2018

This was great to read.  It is fun to think about all of the new things you will experience.  Make sure you learn something new every day you out there.  I am also curious to hear about your celestial nav. activities.

#4. Posted by Matthew Jungers on July 14, 2018

So fun to read this, and hear what you’re up to! Fresh Mahi Mahi straight from the ocean is pretty awesome. Reminds of “Old Man and the Sea”. Keep doing what you’re doing, and I agree with Dave ^^^ - throw yourself into learning out there.

#5. Posted by Ken on August 12, 2018

This sounds amazing.  I hope it is NOT an experience of a lifetime and that you have others just as fantastic.



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