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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

May 03, 2017

Taking our departure from Raiatea

Scott Spillias, Chief Mate

Ocean Exploration

Helen stares longingly out to sea

Ship's Log

Midway between Huahine and Raiatea

Ship’s Speed
~7 kts, motorsailing under the stays’ls

Ship’s Heading
125° PSC

3635 nm total

Fair weather Cumulus, 27°C

Souls on Board

Today at 1530 local time our ship departed the calm, protected waters of Raiatea's lagoon bound for sea on the final leg of our journey together.  For many of us, our arrival to the land brought a mixture of feelings and reactions: a visceral aversion to the sight of cars and trucks, a strange need to carry dirt around in one's pocket, the urge to lie prostrate and kiss the ground. Our watery world, which had ensconced us in its protective (sometimes combative) embrace, was shattered, and all of a sudden there were these rocks, and people, and colors other than blue. It was weird!

But now we are returning to our first shared home: the ocean, and again there is a sense of conflicted emotions hanging about the ship.  It is difficult to leave a place that has welcomed you with such fully open arms as Raiatea has. 48 hours is only really enough time to scratch the surface and whet the appetite.  There are still so many more people to meet and soursops to eat!  But the waves crashing on the reef just outside of the lagoon are a clear call to the ship and to the sailor within us that the sea is out there waiting.  And though for some of us, this might very well be our last time departing the land on a ship bound for sea, we are overjoyed that we still have this time together, to laugh, to sing, and to marvel at the beauty all around us.       

So we saw the sights, we danced the dances, we heard the stories, and now we will leave and carry a tiny piece Raiatea within us for the rest of our lives.  And when we meet others, maybe on a beach under the hot sun somewhere, or standing at the helm under a sky full of stars, or back home cozy in our living rooms, we will share the lessons we learned from this place and every other place our lives have touched. Because that's what we sailors do,we are life's greatest collectors.  We are the wanderers, unable to stay still for long.  Always seeking, always learning, and always looking over the next horizon. 

- Scott

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  life at sea  study abroad • (1) Comments
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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 Ann Thomas on May 05, 2017

I have been reading the daily blogs, completely fascinated with all the adventures of life at sea. Being a definite land- lover, I could never even enjoy a minute of it ! I am very impressed with the quality of writing also. My niece Marcia Campbell is with you and I look forward to seeing her and learning more about Semester at Sea. Thank you for keeping us well informed. Ann Thomas



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