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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

November 03, 2019

Daughter of Oceania

Letauaeletise Hunkin, C Watch, University of Washington, Seattle

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The sunrise from 5 am today.

Ship's Log

Current Position
31°24.169’S x 173°31.354’E

Weather
Slightly cloudy, but still gorgeous

Souls on board

“If I have courage, it is because I have faith in the teachings of my ancestors. With that courage you can travel anywhere in the world and never be lost.” – Mau Piailug

This journey has been one of the biggest turning points in my life. I’ve obviously learned so much about sailing and life at sea, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself while I’ve been away from home. Being able to voyage from island to island similarly to the way my ancestors did before me has been an extremely emotional personal experience for me. I think about them all the time; I find myself talking to them when I’m at lookout, sometimes I see them in my dreams, and whenever I look up at the stars I’m reminded of how they were able to navigate without any help from modern technology.

Then I begin to think of how I’ve been navigating my own life. Stepping away from most technology, social media, etc. has given me a plethora of time for self-reflection. I’ve thought constantly about my identity as a Pacific Islander, my name, my personal voyage through life, and what mark I want to leave on this world. I know I still have a lot of growing and learning to do but I’m excited for the knowledge I will continue to gain and ready for any challenges that come my way.

As this adventure is coming to a rapid end, I have learned that I was never meant to stay in one place for a long time. I struggle to find the words to accurately express the emotions I’ve experienced and the excitement I have to go forward with my life after this trip (it would take so much more than a couple of paragraphs), but I hope this short update on my life will do for now. While I’m still not sure where I’ll be when I finish school in a few years, I know for a fact that my future lies in Oceania. My ancestors consistently voyaged from one place to another and I want to carry on their legacy and follow in their footsteps. I may be away from home (Washington), but I’m still home.

To end this blog post, I leave you all with an excerpt from my favorite poem by Sia Figiel:

“No shoe fits the foot of the fat brown woman
No high heel
No low heel
No prince
No king
Can contain
Constrain
Confine the foot of the fat brown woman
Because the feet of the fat brown woman
Are grounded nicely to the bellies of
Her Mamas
The fat blue Pacific
The fat brown Earth.”

Alofa tele atu to all of my aiga, ua o misia oe! To my siblings specifically; FESILI!!!! Kakou o e aumai le falaoa (lol)!

- Letauaeletise Hunkin, University of Washington – Seattle, C Watch

Reactions

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

#1. Posted by Paul Charbonneau on November 05, 2019

What a lovely, thoughtful post.  How reassuring and comforting for the ancestors ...and the elders.


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