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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

October 15, 2018

This too shall pass

Malika Elizabeth, The Evergreen State College


A reason to live: Photo Courtesy of João Freitas.

Ship's Log

Current Position
21°11.849’S; 176°41.271’W, Heading to Fiji

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Course Ordered 270, 7 knots per hour

Wind from ESE and BF 6. Sea is wild with height of 13 ft. Cloud cover is 8/8 sky with stratus clouds. Barometer reads 1017.6 mmHg and the temperature is 24.0° C

Souls on board

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I started the morning with a lovely wakeup by Irena at 5:20a.m. I was able to be assistant steward for breakfast. Christian, our steward asked me to get pineapples on the port side bow. I was looking around and with the help of Biz's nose found the pineapples successfully. Even though I spend a lot of time on this boat there are many little places I have yet to discover.  After breakfast many people were getting ready to collect more scientific data at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai. I stayed on the boat to think of snack and meals.

For lunch we had left overs; pulled pork, string beans, noodles with a cream-based sauce and more. While finishing up cutting tomatoes for the next salad, Merlin came down to make me aware of the whale spotting, Christian said he could finish up the salad and encouraged me to get up on deck. There were four to five spouts in the distance and I was able to see their flippers through the binoculars. I watched the whales splash and swim for a good twenty minutes before they were out of sight.

Later I decided to read a book. While I was reading my nose starting running. I started coming down with a cold. Irena was kind enough to take on the rest of assistant steward duties while I went to bed to sleep. I was awakened very kindly by Helen informing me we had watch in 15 minutes. I tried my best to get ready and as I was heading up the ladder I started to feel  nauseous and ran to the side of the boat to give to Neptune. My stomach was tossing and turning as watch started. Watch Officers Allison and Colin were very kind, offering water and medicine as I anchored my harness to the side of the boat. After trying to recover and realizing I needed to rest, Allison said I should go to back to sleep. I climbed down the ladder and plopped into my bunk.

At around 2:30am I woke up fighting my body to go back to sleep. As I sat up I could feel the sickness coming . Trying to hurry upstairs to get fresh air and over to the leeward side.  I remembered the saying: first you feel so sick you feel you are dying, and then you feel so sick you want death to come. Two songs are battling in my head: "Survivor" by Destiny's Child and "Someday I hope you get the chance to feel like you are dying" by Rascal Flatts. I stared out into the ocean, drawn to its strength as I was in the second phase of wanting death to come, when I started to see a little bioluminescence appear and I heard a voice: "Malika..."

I wonder if I am in the way as I am curled up in a child's pose, and I asked if I needed to move. Farley responded, "I am checking in on you and seeing if I can get you anything". That gesture of kindness is very prevalent here. The community fosters a caring atmosphere and I started to gain my strength to come back a little. I continued to drink more water and as I lay down I see a little figure walk by me. It's a bird, "Bird, Bird" I call out. Christine comes over and asks if I am okay. She saw the bird earlier and wanted to make sure it wasn't bothering me. I felt a lot better and headed below to my bed. I lay down and allowed the lull of the boat to rock me side to side to sleep. Not today death, not today.

- Malika Elizabeth, B-Watch, The Evergreen State College

Previous entry: Sunset in Nuku’alofa    Next entry: Near-Gale Excitement


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 Sue Tague on October 17, 2018

Malta..I hope you ar e feeling better soon. It’s hard to be sick when yo are far from home

#2. Posted by Christie on October 18, 2018

I hope you feel better soon Malika! I have enjoyed reading about all of the adventures on this trip. It is awesome you were able to see the whales! Best wishes for the rest of the journey.




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