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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

July 31, 2015

Disconnection

Taylor Smith, Harding University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Photo Credit: Elise

Ship's Log

Position
1°44.4’S x 174°20.8’W

Winds
SE force 2

Course steered
315°

Speed
Avg 6 knots

Souls on Board

Many things have changed since we boarded the Robert C. Seamans. Our hair is lighter or in some cases shorter. Our skin is darker. Our hands are callused. We now know the names of all the sails on the ship and how they are set and struck. People will never be able to watch Pirates of the Caribbean with us ever again without us muttering about which sails they are using and being plunged back into memories of the sea. We can successfully pick fish larvae out of a sieve full of krill and have developed a strange fondness for big blue copepods (which is what Plankton on Spongebob was inspired by).  Our schedules have become ruled by our watches and very few on board can confidently tell you what day of the week it is. We have crossed the equator and seen a part of the world that very few people will ever have the privilege to see.

Here on the ship we don’t get the news or follow celebrity dramas. We are disconnected from it all. Before this trip it was hard to imagine being disconnected. We have become accustomed to being surrounded by technology and instant gratification is the norm. At home I am continuously on Facebook or Pinterest. I have the ability to talk to anyone within seconds in my pocket.  I liked to think that being away from all that wouldn’t bother me, but I never had a chance to test it. Until now.

For the past four weeks the only communication we have had with the outside world has been through this blog and occasional emails sent to our teacher. I have never been so disconnected and yet I have never felt more connected. I find it is easier to connect with others. The conversations I have with my shipmates feel more substantial than the conversations I had with classmates back at Harding. It has become easier to connect with myself. Like Nikki said in the last blog post, lookout gives you at least an hour a day to be quiet and just think. On top of that being in a place where very few people have ever been gives you new perspectives on yourself and the world around you. I also feel more connected to the world around me. I’m learning constantly about how everything works together. The sun, wind, and currents work together to move the ship. The coral ecosystems we have visited act as a natural boundary for the islands and atolls they surround protecting them from the waves and storms. It is amazing how much the world is connected.

I was partially right. It doesn’t bother me to be disconnected. I wish I still had Google it would make writing my papers so much easier. And I wish I could talk to my family about all the new experiences I’m having. Being disconnected from the world has been great and in two weeks I’ll be back in the states happily posting about my trip on Facebook. More importantly I will go home with a better understanding of the world and the people in it, all because I had the privilege to be disconnected.

- Taylor
 

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s261  phoenix islands • (3) Comments
Previous entry: Lookout is a trap.    Next entry: Cookin’ with Shelby

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 Mark Schulz on August 03, 2015

Great perspective Taylor.  We really enjoyed your observations & update.  Don’t worry—you’re not missing much in the internet-connected world (same old). Savor the real world you and your shipmates are experiencing. 2 weeks will go by in a flash.  Mark S. (P.S. Hello Erica.  We’ll see you soon.)


#2. Posted by Don Smith on August 03, 2015

We are looking forward to being connected with you soon.  We miss you very much.  I am so glad you have the opportunity to experience this journey, it is one of a kind.  The stories and relationships will go with you forever and will be triggered in your mind by the weirdest things.  Have fun for the remainder of your time on board.
We love you!
Daddy


#3. Posted by Mary on August 05, 2015

Taylor your thoughts/perspectives were great to read.  You are so right about the difficulty to disconnect here on land and to quiet the mind and go inward but the rewards can be great.  You are way ahead and continue on….

Love and hugs to the photographer.  Great picture great Christmas gift idea for your mama smile


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