SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
August 11, 2018
Five weeks in the middle of the Pacific
13° 26’S x 170° 37’W
170° towards Pago Pago, American Samoa
Partly cloudy, 28° C. Winds ENE, Force 3. Seas out of the NE, 3 ft.
Hey everyone, it’s Annabel again. We are currently on our way to American Samoa, preparing to anchor tomorrow and go through customs on the morning of the 13th. It has been a whirlwind of a trip, but luckily the past few days have been a good time to reflect on the 5 weeks that just passed us by. With two science stations a day, tons of sail handling, 3 island stops, as much snorkeling as we could ever wish for, AND classes and research on top of that, I definitely had to force myself to find time to sit down and reflect. This trip has been intense, challenging, humbling, and transformative.
We have learned how to work very closely with a group of students and crew that 5 weeks ago were strangers. We learned to depend on each other, making sure tasks got done, helping each other through schoolwork, and keeping each other sane. In the words of one of our engineers, Henry C., “I think boats make people better at being people.” There were tough times, times where tensions got high, but there were also so many times (especially towards the end, when we all started to get “boat weird” as the crew calls it) when we would burst into song or laugh uncontrollably.
Knowing that these five and a half weeks flew by reminds me of something that has been at the back of my mind this whole trip. When you’re out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with no one around for hundreds of miles, it’s impossible to not feel small. When we had swim calls on very hot afternoons, it was impossible not to think about the 5000 meters of water below you. On dawn watches when the moon hasn’t risen yet, it was impossible not to think about the millions of stars above you. Yet, going to deserted tropical islands and seeing plastic littered beaches and the remnants of people who had settled there before, also reminds me that the impact we have on this planet is huge and can be seen in even the most remote corners of the world. That holds true to this ship and this group of people as well. In the grand scheme of things, five weeks is such a small period of our lives, yet I know that I have been profoundly impacted by the beauty of the places and people we visited, the simplicity of the lifestyle, the camaraderie we developed, and the knowledge we all gained.
That’s all for now folks,
- Annabel (AB) Spranger, C Watch, Denison University
Now for shout outs…
To my family. I love you all very much. Mom, Dad, I hope you guys enjoy the first few days of being empty nesters. I’ll be home soon. Erika and Jill, I hope college move in went well. I already miss you both and I’m very sad I couldn’t help move you in. To the homies: Al, let’s paint when I get back? I miss you partner. Lexie, I just thought about how big Ecarg must be and realized I had been gone a while. And Moose, another breakfast date? I promise I’ll be on time. To my Phys Plant family. You know I can’t stay away too long, I’ll come stop by soon. Jim, Steve, and Keith, I owe you all lunch and I don’t want any arguing. To my professors, Matt and Dave, I can’t wait to share my stories, photos, and most importantly my research with you. And last, but not least to, Benny. I love and miss you very much. I can’t wait to see you in a few days.