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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
June 10, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Finding Your True Self
Captain Pamela says you find your true self at sea. Apparently my true self is a loud and hyperactive jukebox, with the poor hygiene and spikey hair of a 12-year-old boy.
It's always nice remembering you have the capacity to surprise yourself.
With only a week left, it's funny feeling like I'm only now falling into my ship life stride. Truthfully, the onset of this endeavor was unexpectedly difficult. I felt perennially exhausted and ceaselessly incompetent. At times I missed home severely - not the place but the feeling and people. Other times I struggled to remember what life was like before the ship. Often I felt self-pitying and guilty about my ungratefulness.
Then one morning I woke up with a 101.4-degree fever. Over a wretched 8 hours of cold sweats, hot flashes, achiness and congestion, my body seemed to be signaling defeat. Thankfully, my shipmates were instrumentally kind, with our captain and medical officer checking in on me regularly. I was cleared just in time for a loopy dawn watch on deck!
I can't pinpoint exactly how it all transpired, but ever since then, I've felt more and more at home here. Maybe it's because my threshold for sleep deprivation has vastly increased, exhibiting a strong correlation with my baseline slaphappy delusion. Or maybe it's because I've realized how much I appreciate the little community we've got going on here. A community whose lives are more entrusted in each other's than anything I've ever experienced; a community that genuinely tries to look after one another.
Now, I don't want to elicit an erroneous, romantic vision of a unified and loving whole, which hugs and compliments and hauls lines together all day smiling and singing... But I would say there's definitely something special brewing here, and I don't mind drinking the swizzle for a little while longer.
Side effects may include:
- Entrancement - dazed gazing aloft.
- Primordial screaming - leaping off the bowsprit during open ocean swim calls.
- Unexpectedly breaking out into group singing - What's Love Got to Do With It?
- Uncontrollable laughter - the blind leading the blind in some questionable sail handling.
- Odd phrase coining - "brute strength and ignorance!" "pork bun!" "~rogue~" "put the cow in the shed!"
- Enlightenment - learning how funny/crazy/weird/interesting all your shipmates are.