SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
March 19, 2018
45° 52.7’ S, 170° 30.8’ E , Dunedin, NZ
Ship’s Heading & Speed
High Alongside Wharf
Cumulus Clouds, 4/8. Winds north by east, Force 3. Temperature 19.5°C.
Nestled between rolling, shadowed hills that lay, kingly, crowned in pine, Dunedin sleeps, amber lights alight upon its streets, where bright stars lay etched across the sky as if holes pierced by silver lights in a veil of sapphire twilight. No voice nor laugh is heard, only the cries of early sea-birds who, as opposed to the worm catch the fish. With baited breath, dark houses and the spires of old, gargoyled cathedrals await the casting of dawn unto the earth, and afar they stand behind us, our company in the still of night as we watch, tired and free upon a well-scrubbed deck, beneath creaking lines and above lapping waves where permeates the smell of brine. Our watch near done, we cast our tired eyes to the east, where the twilight is less-than-so, and the stars begin to retreat, holes sewn shut in the veil of night only for it to be torn away. And there! A blaze is lit upon the crest of one lordly hill, and before our eyes it spreads like wild fire, 'till the hands of dawn have found their grasp and she begins to heave herself heavenwards, and plants upon the flying cotton clouds a firey kiss. All this while the city still sleeps, and a crew just-woken stumbles awake, blinking sand-encrusted eyes.
The winds who, through the night blew in force, pick up, as if they too were woken by the light. The ship rocks gently beneath our feet as our hair whips our cheeks, blown suddenly aback by a gale that runs, laughing in its hollow way from the light in the east as Dawn blew her mighty breath to tell us she was there. She did in vain, for we already knew, transfixed as we were upon that bewarning morn, where black clouds blew beneath golden ones above, dawn's sun still hidden, shy to show himself from behind his mountain coat. A laugh from the doghouse, deep and warm, reminds us of those people still waking below, and we throw open the door and call to them there, "The sky is beautiful, come see it so!"
One by one they file up and unto the deck, each like a painting with windswept hair, steaming, warm ceramic mugs pressed tight in their hands as they stare at the sun (or the lack of it yet). And as crimson skies turn slowly to fire, then gold, then turquoise and green, and as the sea churns beneath a furious wind, cast first in black, now emerald beneath the royal hills, we see the short flight of Dawn before the rising of her sun, and Dunedin awakes behind us. Our eyes are cast alight in its wake, and we are left with the beauty of the earth laid bare.
- Sasha Vukasovich, B Watch, Reed College