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
October 21, 2014
Learning to Like New Things
18° 07.9’S X 178° 25.6’E
Docked in Suva, Fiji
Calm and sunny
Aboard the Robert C. Seamans one day seems to last a lifetime, as well as pass by in a second. Scrambling into my bunk each night as I lay my head on my pillow it feels almost impossible that it was in fact only twenty-four hours ago when your shipmate nicely cooed you awake that morning by saying your name with an ever-increasing tone of urgency. Before boarding the ship our head resident in Woods Hole, Jeremy, told us to treat the ship as a new country. He explained that with the boat comes a new language, new customs, and a new culture that we would get used to, but that it would also take time. Looking back to climbing onto the gangway for the first time in Pago Pago with my oversize duffel bag I have realized that the discoveries encapsulated in this boat are more diverse and vast than any one country could ever contain.
The Robert C. Seamans acts as a learning community itself, and then allows us to explore the South Pacific islands on our cruise track with an open mindset following a deep sense of curiosity and desire for exploration and knowledge. No matter how many times the gimbled tables whack us in the head as we squeegee the boat’s soles or how taking a shower in the rolling swells enables you to get to know the walls surrounding you a little too well, our new home has more than anything a surpassingly level of rewarding experiences and leads us on a never ending learning adventure.
Although many things have struck me since boarding our home, one really threw me off guard. It was watermelon. Growing up I have always disliked watermelon and avoided it at all costs. The other day, as assistant steward, I carried the symmetrically sliced watermelon up the stairs to the deck as our afternoon snack. Leaving it there for the oncoming feast I came back a bit later to bring the bowl back down and found a single piece left harmlessly sitting in the shiny silver bowl. Approaching the seemingly nonchalant pink fleshy piece of fruit I went to take it back down to the galley and I suddenly took a bite. At first it tasted the same as it usually does, a bit too strange and unfamiliar with a mealy texture I wasn’t sure I liked. I thought about throwing it out, but took another bite and it started to get better and better and suddenly the fruit that I had so much doubt about was wonderful. A lot of times on the ship it feels like there is so much information and lines to learn that we will never be able to master it all. However, like the watermelon, each island we venture to and each new sail we learn to raise on the boat drives me to want to learn what is next and explore what is waiting for us whether that be on the rolling seas or being engulfed in a sea of curry at a local Indian restaurant in Suva, Fiji.
No matter how this program attracted us nineteen odd grouping of students we can all share the common bonding factor of constantly learning, living as a community, trying new things, and maybe even learning to love the process of this newfound adventure.