SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
July 16, 2015
00°02.00’ N x 168°09.5’ W
Winds ESE 4-6 knots
Looking up at the stars from the bow of the ship, humming melodies at long last remembered from childhood, I thought of what the coming day would bring. Anticipation of crossing the equator, the first time for the majority of us, runs rampant about the ship. You can hear whispers of the projected time when we will cross it through the hallways, from Sleepy Hollow to The Foc’sle. An imaginary line divvying the globe into two sections, the equator holds different expectations for everyone. Some expect rain and heavy, building cumulus clouds, others anticipate heat even greater than what we are experiencing now, some hope for wind and an end to the motorsailing, I personally look forward to the changing of the sky.
This journey has brought me closer to the stars than ever before, closer than I could have ever imagined. Though to some the sky will not seem to change much, the star I have always counted on seeing come the darkness, a star that has acted like a sign of home, Polaris, will no longer be visible. Instead, the Southern Cross will be the defining feature of the darkness, lighting the way. It is a welcome change. Much like the way life has changed, slowed down, while aboard ‘Mama Seamans’, it is greatly appreciated and not unnoticed. A break in the clouds behind us affords me one last look at Polaris; I know that tomorrow it will be too far below the horizon, effectively hidden, for the remainder of the trip.
As watch comes to a close, I take solace in knowing that this is not nearly the last time I will experience this calm on the bow. On the contrary, it is only one of the first. I know that my shipmates and I are in for a restful, deep, dream-lit sleep. After being relieved from look-out and after rejoining the rest of the watch for a quick debrief, we decide on an interesting chant which undoubtedly describes our state of emotions. Putting our hands together we chant “Two-Six” followed by silence rather than the usual strange phrase like equator lasagna or mustachio bashio for example.
As we make our way below, a couple of us find ourselves in the main salon, talking, snacking and happily sharing the post-watch silence. For having been together just a short time, this gathering has become something of a tradition, a means of releasing any last energy before heading to our bunks for a much needed sleep. Our incessant snacking and meaningful searches of the high-boy remind me of the incredible increase in food consumption. While I normally have no trouble finishing a full plate of food and more, I find myself and others easily finishing two or more full plates of food at each meal and then snacking continuously throughout the day. These changes bring a smile to my face, they are just further evidence of the incredible lifestyle change we have all undertaken.
I feel the weight of sleep on my eyes, head, shoulders, and entire body. I slowly rise, remembering the songs that have been stuck in my head throughout the day which I journal because they act as a form of memory which holds the day’s events in it. With great anticipation, I move toward my bunk and, with great excitement, think of what the rest of the day, when I wake up in a couple of hours, will hold.
On board ‘Mama’ Seamans,