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 22, 2018
Gales, Gratitude, and Gravy
31° 50.91’ S 178° 01.10’ E
Course & Speed
024° heading and 3.7 knots
Under fore and main stays’ls
Winds NW force 6, intermittent squalls in the morning and afternoon
Hello readers! Happy Thanksgiving!
We aboard the Robert C. Seamans have been preparing for the holiday, some of us helping to bake pies or hang decorations in the main salon (dining area), or even reminiscing about traditions of football and day-after leftovers. In anticipation of this blog post, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of gratitude, especially in the context of this program. Although we have just gotten underway on our first big 2-week stint towards the Kermadec Islands, there have already been so many moments to be thankful for. For instance, just in the past 24 hours, I have:
- tucked away in my cozy bunk and fallen right asleep
- felt the power and presence of a morning squall or sea storm
- spotted (and then proceeded to scream about) 21 common dolphins off of port side that jumped and swam under the ship
- listened to our watch officer, Megan, play the fiddle after dinner that made the saloon seem homey and full of spirit
But where there have been some high-highs, there have also been some low-lows. Whether it is doing engine check down below during a squall, or being woken up at 1 am to be on watch for 6 hours, or especially being stuck in a stupor of seasickness, it is in these moments I question past me and ask, “Why did you decide to do this again? Why did you choose the study abroad program that seemed like the absolute craziest and the most mentally and physically challenging?”
Even if I am cursing my life decisions, I am still grateful for these moments. They humble me and make me thankful for little things I could never have imagined, like doing an engine check where I don’t bang any part of my body, or sweet 2-hour naps, or being out on lookout that clears out any hint of seasickness. These moments are part of the package deal of being at sea; they are essential to the adventure and what I signed up for. And while I recognize the importance of being present, I also have to remind myself to situate these feelings in a larger context. Instead of looking back at my choices and asking, “Why did I decide to do this?”, I look to the future and ask, “When am I ever going to be doing this again? When will I ever sail in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean on this home of a ship with some of the coolest and capable people I have ever met?” And when I frame it this way, it humbles me and makes me feel grounded and incredibly grateful.
And with that, I am ultimately thankful for the Robert C. Seamans, my family and loved ones in different time zones, and my new-found family and these moments we will cherish and treasure as memories.
Until next time,
Olivia Vasquez, C-watch, Oberlin College
(P.S. Mom, Dad, Celia, and Ken – I love you and miss you all very much, and I hope you are having a very amazing day.)