SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
October 27, 2016
An Introvert’s Paradise
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Steering 165° at around 5 knots
4 lowers on a port tack
clear, getting colder every day
Bow watch at night is an introvert’s paradise. In hour-long shifts, one of the deck hands stands at the front of the boat and acts as lookout. If you’re lucky enough to be sent to the bow during an evening or a dawn watch, you get to spend sixty rapturous minutes with yourself.
Tonight is exceptionally beautiful. The moon scatters a replica of itself onto the water: silvery light flits across the blue-black waves. The bioluminescence stirred up in the boat’s wake makes it look like ocean swallowed the stars. Alone and cocooned in wind and darkness, I’m hit with a sense of space that I hadn’t realized I’d been craving. The space is twofold: there’s the mental space that comes from being alone and separated from distractions, but there’s also the physical space of being surrounded by miles and miles of unpeopled ocean.
Looking out onto a completely vacant horizon is electrifying and unnerving in equal parts. While the experience is singular, I can compare it looking out over some of the vast, treeless landscapes in the West. I’ve heard that certain psyches are drawn to these expansive stretches of horizon; I think everyone on the boat has grown to love being surrounded by 360 degrees of uninterrupted sea and sky.
It’s during these quiet moments that I think about my people back home. Mom, Dad, Quinn, Sophia,
Ruby, (and Arlo), I’m missing you all the time! You can all rest assured knowing that when I come home, I will have seen at least 9 whales, 1 shark, 1 octopus, and 10,000 zooplankton.