SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
December 19, 2017
Anchor Watch Reflections
Course & Speed
Anchor for a day, then sail into Auckland!
Sunny and blue skies
Lindsey here, reporting from the deck of the good Robert C. Seamans and fresh from lone 2200-2300 anchor watch. It was a quiet watch tonight- today marks the end of all of our schoolwork with a final round of research presentations, and the students are finally free from the stress of getting those last few leadership journal entries written down and the final paragraphs of their MHC paragraphs reviewed and edited. As I stood in the darkness on deck, light glowed through the skylights and peals of laughter echoed softly from below as lively games of whist and bananagrams ensued. However, I wasn’t worried about missing the festivities below – armed with a hot cup of tea, I was free to relish the peaceful solitude of the deck at night. A soft breeze (Beaufort force 1 if you ask me) sent moonlit ripples across the water and a stand of pines stood sentinel along the bluff of the bay, black and unmoving against the remnants of tonight’s sunset. The stars above were out in full force, with Orion in mid-cartwheel to keep me company, and I greeted all the stars I have learned from Heartbreak on dawn watch this semester: the Pleiades, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel, Mintaka, Procyon, Sirius, Canopus, Rigel K, Hadar, Acrux, Gacrux, Mimosa/Becrux, and Castor and Pollux.
It was a pleasant yet bittersweet hour as sentimental thoughts made their winding way through my mind. It’s hard to believe that in a few short days, we will return to the same dock we left 6 weeks ago – and that this time, we will be striking sails and manning the helm ourselves instead of standing around awkwardly with no clue what to do or how to sail the ship. We’ve learned so much since we first departed Auckland, and not just about sailing – about ourselves, each other, leadership, the wacky world of plankton, and the value of the natural world. Personally, I know that I’m not the same person I was when I first stepped off the swaying gangway and aboard the Robert C. Seamans – and it is with great difficulty that I come to the realization that our time on the Seamans will soon come to an end. This experience has been invaluable, unsurpassable, and something I will never forget; a truly formative experience, changing the course of my life as abruptly as the ship’s course changed when I took the helm for the first time and subjected the boat to my horrific steering abilities.
However, there will be more adventures in my future, and so – the good members of B watch (plus the welcome addition of Maddy K!) are sticking around NZ for 3 more weeks to do some quality trekking and backpacking. Let’s hope that 6 weeks onboard hasn’t given us horrible sea legs and that we’ll still be able to carry backpacks!
Signing off – and this time for good. Fair winds to all!
P.S. a HUGE happy 16th birthday to my sister, Lauren! I miss you so much and wish I could be there to celebrate this milestone with you. I’m so proud of you and I can’t wait to see you soon! Please don’t get TOO cool while I’m gone now that you’ve entered your true teenage years – I don’t think I can stand being the dorky sister any more than I already am J love you lots! Mom and Dad: love you, miss you – I’ll call you when we get back to Auckland. Talk soon!