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
April 29, 2018
Thanks for the Memories
Approx. 200 miles south-southwest from Raiatea
Ship’s Heading & Speed
295 degrees per ship’s compass at 7 kts
Motorsailing under the stays’ls
Unbelievably breathtaking, gorgeous, calm, and hot. Little to no winds and majestic cumulus clouds on the horizon on all sides. In a word: “Idyllic”
Wow, what a day this has been. I started the day off with two hours of sleep before Dawn Watch, which probably wasn't the best idea, but I was able to get a lot of things done the night before. The watch itself was amazingly calm and finished itself off with a stunning, cloud-scaped sunrise that I got to experience firsthand from the bow. I began the day in that way, only having plans to begin wrapping up my research project. Little did I know what the day would have in store.
Shortly after lunch, at around 1400, we received a mysterious call to muster on the quarterdeck, made even stranger by the fact that we weren't expecting to meet today since we don't typically have class on Sunday. Whispers ran rampant amongst us as we ascended the ladders to the deck, and our suspicions were indeed confirmed: SWIM CALL PART TWO! And what an amazing day for it. The water was warm and welcoming and the day could not have possibly gotten better as we splashed around and had fun in the swells. But oh did it ever. We were then treated to the best possible snack for such a hot day: Ice Cream. Shout out to Student Steward Kyler for convincing Steward Lauren to indulge us on this hot day. Now all that remains of the day is to finish this post and make moves to wrap up research projects. This will be a day to remember.
And as this amazing voyage comes to a close, I can't help but reflect on past moments and events: the things that led me to this trip, the shore component, my time in NZ, and the journey so far aboard the Seamans, including fun galley days, swim calls, and coffee-fueled dawn watches. Even just in the last blog post, Kat went around and asked everyone about a favorite memory we have so far of the trip. It all seems so long ago. Soon, the remainder of the trip (a little over a week left aboard) will too become a distant memory, fondly remembered for the rest of my life. But memories can unfortunately fade. There are however, many ways to help memories last forever, and I know that both myself and everyone else on this trip is actively taking measures to preserve these memories in the best ways we can. We are creating mementos and reminders in numerous forms, which I will try to summarize as best I can.
Probably the most immediately obvious and widely used form of memento is the photo. So many people on board have been taking fabulous photos, many of which you've seen attached to these blog posts. Immortalizing the moments we capture is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to remember the trip, and everyone is certainly taking advantage of that. As soon as swim call was announced, people raced down for their Go-Pros and waterproof cameras, hoping to document this special occasion. Lauren and Mike, in particular, have been taking numerous photos of the trip, and everyone is uploading their own images to the ship's server for everyone to see. People are even shooting videos of special moments. Of special note is Kat's ongoing project of shooting 1-second-long video clips and stringing them together into one massive collage, of which I cannot wait to see the final product.
Other than photos, numerous people on board have taken to crafting small bits of memorabilia. It started with Henry whittling a sweet looking manta ray, and now Colin and Brooke are working on their own pieces as well. We spent an entire class period making turkshead bracelets to wear as reminders of the trip. Some of the crew still have theirs from when they were students. Yesterday, we were told of a unique opportunity to create little
mementos of our trip in the form of shrunken styrofoam cups. We each drew a design on a small cup, then sent them down to the very depths of the ocean on the hydrowinch wire, causing them to compress and shrink down to tiny size. These little trinkets are excellent ways to keep the trip in our minds as we move forward, as each one can bring back any number of fun memories of the trip. One of the things we did on shore to prepare for the voyage was to design and order custom shirts for our journey, which will undoubtedly serve us well into the future, both as comfy and stylish clothing, but as a solid reminder of the wonderful trip we've had.
In addition to trinkets, photos, and articles of clothing, I have noticed that some people will commemorate trips or sailing accomplishments with the age old Polynesian and consequently sailor tradition of getting tattoos. Many of the crew have tattoos that represent their love of sailing and the ocean, from complex Polynesian designs to sprawling krakens. I have to admit that I have been considering this idea for quite a while on board, but I'm still unsure at the moment whether I'll go through with it. Such a permanent commitment can be daunting, but I think that this life-changing experience might just warrant it.
The last way that we can remember this trip is not with something physical or visual, but with something personal. So many friendships have bloomed out of this trip, and I am positive that they will survive long after this voyage. In this way, the trip will live on in the community we have built and the connections we have made on the ship. I'm sure there isn't a single one of us that won't remember this trip for the rest of our lives, but even
still, having mementos and reminders is a great way to relive some of our favorite moments of this fantastic journey.
As we finish the day, frantically working on our projects, we still have time to go outside and appreciate the spectacular full moon rising as the sun sets across from it. Star frenzy chugs along with more than half a dozen people shooting stars, and Rachel manages to snap a phenomenal photo of Kyler shooting the stars for a celestial fix. Another great way to remember an exceptional day.
- Justin Freck, A Watch, University of Maryland, Baltimore County