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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


November 01, 2016

Finding another home

Savanna Michener, C Watch, Drexel University

SPICE

Dr Professor Mariner Sir Ben Harden teaching ballet on deck

Current Position
29° 23.9’S X 172° 30.9’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
193°, 5.5 kts

Sail Plan
Port tack under the stays’ls, Tops’l, and Main

Weather
Clear, Wind F4 N x E

Souls on Board

We are now less than 500 nautical miles from our final destination in Auckland, New Zealand and I’m starting to feel a little weird about it. There are so many things to be looking forward to back on land, but it is becoming very apparent at just how well we’ve settled into life on board: Mama Seamans has become another home. Coming in not knowing a thing about how to actually sail a boat, I never thought I would get this far in five weeks. I no longer feel the need to spend every moment on watch trying to sleep, I don’t even notice not sitting for the 6 hours we’re on watch, not showering everyday is normal, the engine room is fun rather than intimidating, the food triangle ringing no longer wakes me with a start, and I find myself getting lost in the horizon and waves, rather than worrying about falling down when I’m at lookout.

Our comfortability is even more obvious now that we are JWOs and JLOs. I was scheduled to do my JWO for dawn watch and JLO for evening watch, all on the same day. So naturally I went in with a bundle of nerves, and apprehension, unsure if I was ready. With a ton of help from my watch and watch officers we were able to make it through a morning of rough weather, and a night of a deep net tow. Trying to lead the watch only made me realize just how much of a team we truly are. As we all cycle through, we often are confronted with situations where we are still unsure, but we are able to problem-solve and together figure out how to safely sail. Today we struck (took down) the mains’l and needed to furl (tie down) it, but there was a lot of disagreement and confusion as to how. Even though it took longer than it would have taken the crew, being able to successfully do it by listening to our shipmates was super rewarding! Even though this phase is giving a lot of us some extra stress, we’re also coming out with a new level of confidence in our own skills, and a new level of comfortability with the ship and our shipmates.

Right before we went into JWO/JLO, our lovely steward Bex reminded us all that even though this journey is ending, remember to not dwindle on what lies ahead and to make our time left at sea last: be present and enjoy these many magical moments (whether that is successfully setting a sail, lounging and enjoying the sunrise or sunset, or laughing with shipmate).

Tonight my entire watch even stayed up after dinner to decorate cups, play some cards and hang out. Because it’s nearing the end, we are going to stop doing a lot of the science deployments (cue sad face) and switch to processing all of the samples we’ve now collected. One of our last deployments will be a super deep hydrocast, potentially over 3,000 meters deep (we have over a mile of water under us and its not deep enough yet). As part of it, we are each decorating a Styrofoam cup that (because of the increase in pressure with depth) will shrink and we will get a super tiny cup to bring home!

Also, Bex informed us today that we broke into our emergency toilet paper stores- EEK! Fingers crossed we make it!

- Savanna

P.S. Happy Belated Birthday Uncle Marky!

Previous entry: Halloween 2016    Next entry: And the Stormy Winds May Blow

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