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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

July 22, 2016

Taking a Breath in Kanton

Jennah McDonald, American University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Palm tree blowing in the breeze on Kanton.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
2° 48.3’ S x 171° 42.8’ W

At anchor in Kanton lagoon

Taffrail Log
more than 1720 nm travelled!

Souls on Board

Today was our final full day in beautiful Kanton. After an entire day exploring the island and last night’s spectacle of food, song, and dance, that we shared with the residents of Kanton, I was left with sore muscles (and vocal cords), burnt skin, mangled toes, and a full heart. After so much activity, most of the Robert C. Seamans crew needed some R&R. When we were told we would be spending half of the day today exploring another part of the island, I was excited but not sure I was up for the task.

After arriving at the island I “explored” the shore for about ten minutes and once satisfied, I quickly laid claim to the shadiest spot I could find (there wasn’t much to be had), put my hat over my head, closed my eyes, and listened to the rolling of the waves and the music coming from Corinna’s phone. The remaining four hours were spent in this fashion, with intermittent spurts of snorkeling (which was amazing!!) whenever I needed to cool down. It was exactly what I needed. Since setting sail, my life has been a whirlwind of watches, science deployments, paper writing, sail- handling, and coming to embrace life at sea. Staying busy has certainly kept things interesting, and I’m grateful for all that I’m learning, but I was beginning to feel like a cut line slowly unfurling.

Being in Kanton, taking time to breathe and re-gather thoughts allowed me to put my frayed bits back together. Most importantly, it allowed me to regain perspective and remember why I wanted to go on this crazy adventure in the first place. I am here to do my small part to help keep this place protected and to support the work being done by the people of Kiribati and the people of Kanton that I’ve now had the privilege to meet. In the midst of some of the madness of the last few weeks I had lost sight of some of that.

Starting tomorrow, this brief respite of anchor watches and time off the ship will come to an end and we will go back to our regularly scheduled programming of 6-hour watches, morning and evening deployments, midnight wake-ups, galley clean-ups, and class time. All watch groups will be switching watch officers, a fact I still have not quite come to terms with. Just as we were getting used to Will and Kelsey’s expectations, their moods, their weird senses of humor, the rug has been pulled right out from under us and we have to start all over again with two entirely new personalities. But if there’s any constant on the Robert C. Seamans, it’s that they like you to always be just a little bit uncomfortable. Apparently it’s about “growth,” or something.

Mike, another constant these last few weeks has been how much I miss you. It’s a lot. It’s been hard not being able to share this experience with you. Be prepared for an earful when I finally get home. Oh, and give Sophia a kiss for me. I love you. 

- Jennah

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s268  port stops  phoenix islands • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Experiencing Kanton    Next entry: Setting Sail from Kanton


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 Mike on July 27, 2016

I love and miss you!



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