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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

March 18, 2019


Sarah Whitcher, Third Mate/Bosun

At anchor in St. John- how far we’ve come!

Ship's Log

Current Location
23° 32.5’ N x 083° 23.8’ W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
075° PSC, 6.7kts

Wind ExN/4, Sea NExE 4ft, Beautifully overcast- a welcome shift from weeks of blue skies and blazing sun!

Souls on board

This is it! The crux of anxieties and pressure as due dates arrive and we approach the long-anticipated ‘Puke-atan’ (Thank you, Beth Doxsee for that turn of phrase <3)

I can’t help reflecting back on memories of these final, stressful days from my own student trip, especially as we were joined in Grand Cayman by one of my student-class-mates, Everto! (Sending love to all of S242!)  We’ve been reminiscing on how we sailed into the California current leading into the crunch days of data processing and paper polishing, gifting us with gales and seas a plenty as we hung on to keyboards for dear life. These stresses are a shared burden of SEA alum, and one that each of us recognizes with hindsight we grew from in deeply life-changing ways.

I fell in love with shipboard life during my Sea Semester back in 2012, and have never been more than a year or so distant from working for SEA since. I am inspired every time I go to sea by the way it kicks my being into high-gear. Life at sea is concentrated- every moment holds more substance, texture, and complexity than I am ever aware of on land. Life at sea feels timeless in a literal sense- moments last for ages, while weeks pass in the blink of an eye. Tapping in to the rhythms of a ship, you slip like a cog into a well-oiled machine- each part has purpose, and together things run smooth. This environment is one where actions have meaning, repercussions are real, and each moment teaches the meaning and value of hard work done well. At sea I learn that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. I learn the meaning of a closed system and feel first-hand the pressure of finding ways to use resources sustainably.

Sharing this state of life is one of the greatest joys and honors of working for SEA - it is my hope that in this time together, each of our crew has widened their perspectives on the experience of life. We all joined the ship’s company with our own world view, and together for the past ¬five weeks we have learned and shared our experiences and selves and found a way to fit in and thrive with our watches and in this purpose-driven environment. Together we have come 1977 life-packed nautical miles from Saint Croix through the Caribbean, now tantalizingly close to our long-awaited destination of Key West. I always reach this point of a trip and desperately wish I could turn the ship around and keep going.

As this class nears alumni status, they are buckling down to get many projects done- no easy feat! In moments like these it can be hard to remember your own humanity, let alone the bigger picture of where such experiences fit into the narrative of your life. I’ll close by hoping to remind the audience at large to remember the truism that ‘this too shall pass’, so seize the diem and make each moment one you grow from and can find pride in. This experience becomes what each individual makes of it, and you become what you experience. Thank you, C284, for this journey!

Love to all,

Previous entry: J-Woah!    Next entry: S-284 / S-285 Program Update


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