SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
33°43.9’S x 173°34.6’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
150° under the stays’ls, the Jib sheet, and the storm trys’l
overcast with the sun trying to peak through. A chilly and windy day with a temperature of 20°C.
I welcomed in the month of November from the floor of the lab where we were busy organizing nitrate bottles. Not only were the samples rolling about, but so were we in the red lights of our headlamps. The 12-foot swells made me feel as though I was in a Pilates class trying to keep from uncontrollably slamming into the people, tables, poles and walls around me. By the time we were relieved by A-watch at 0100, I was ready to sleep.
The sound of wake-ups for the oncoming watch, clinking of harnesses, and the sound of sleepy bodies slamming into the walls as they made their way to the deck woke me at 0640 this morning. The Hollow continues to grow colder as we make our way to New Zealand and it was nice to be able to crawl back into my sleeping bag and sweat stained sheets.
Most of C-watch crawled out of bed on time at 1100 for a last reading discussion with Jeff. Still in the wool socks we wore from watch to bed, it looked as though the soles had been greased and we all were in an episode of Soul Train. At approximately 1437, a rule was made by Captain Jay that we are no longer allowed to slide around in our socks.
Afternoon watch was eventful. We dodged the splashes of cold seawater on deck while looking out for the albatrosses flying by. After our afternoon class, Flannery moved from camper ranking to JWO when she took charge in setting the storm trys’l. My towering height of 5 feet 1 inch placed me at the helm where my head would not be in the way of the sheet. From there, I watched Flan call out the orders and the rest of C-watch successfully raise the new sail. Because of the whipping winds, we are not able to set the mains’l. However, the storm trys’l is flying high at the moment and allowing us to hit up to 7kts. The strong winds and moving seas that carry us on this last leg of the sail are placing us ahead of schedule. The math has been done and it looks as though B-watch will call “Land-ho” in the dark hours of the morning.
“What an incredible experience you’re about to have,” is what I heard 248 times before beginning my SEA Semester. However, something that I have learned in the past weeks is that this semester has been filled with
experiences that have been good and not so good, monumental and teeny tiny. The experiences had on this 135 foot boat have mustered together a crew with a connection and story to tell like no other that I have been part of. Here are just a few of the many:
-whale sighting beneath a full rainbow
-swimming in the middle of the Pacific and cool caves
-receiving a bad wake-up
-giving a worse wake-up
-reeling in a mahi mahi and enjoying it later for dinner
-the shrieks given when the fish goes free just before coming on board
-having fish literally jump onto the deck on their own will
-Claire said she saw a fish through the port’l but the jury is still out
-reading countless books on top of the science lab
-losing a battle with the gimbled tables
-telling the engineers that the head “just isn’t working”
-singing from lookout loudly
-caught singing loudly at lookout
-golden sunrises and sunsets and insanely starry skies