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
February 24, 2015
An Unconventional 21st Birthday
41° 10.554’S, 177° 34.802’E
The first hour of my 21st birthday was an eventful one. I was on watch, actively handling sails, surveying the surrounding waters for boat traffic at the bow, and balancing on the bowsprit in preparation to set the jib. The winds and swells were intense; it was as if I was a pinball, and the ship was a giant pinball game, making simple maneuvers much more difficult. However, the clear skies were a recipe for great stars, and I was finally able to locate the components of the Celestial G without the help of Stu, my watch officer. Looking at the dramatic seas surrounding us, I was happy to be secure on the Robert C. Seamans with my watchmates.
Although the rest of my day was not as active, it was equally memorable. I toasted my ability to legally drink and purchase alcohol in the U.S. with a celebratory shot of apple cider vinegar with Lauren, our steward. I drank my coffee and read Moby Dick while lounging on deck. I ate a chocolate brownie sundae in the main salon with the ship’s entire crew. It was these simple pleasures that made my day wonderful.
At home, I like to treat my birthday as an ordinary day in order to avoid unsatisfied expectations. When I woke up this morning, I thought I was going to have another one of those birthdays, which would have been totally fine. While sailing on a tall ship off the coast of New Zealand would make any birthday special, the company of my shipmates made my day extraordinary. Although it is difficult to describe the nature of the community that is
created through living and learning on a 134 ft ship to those who aren’t experiencing it, the warmth I received from my shipmates on my birthday provides a window into the supportive, close-knit environment that we have developed on the ship over the past two weeks. The Seamans is truly a special place, and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next few weeks.