SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
April 22, 2014
Global Selfie for Earth Day
8° 40.6’ N x 143° 48.6’ W
Course & Speed
320°, 6.5 knots
Sailing with the four lowers
Winds around 20 knots from NNE, swells up to 8 feet. Stars!
Greetings from the deep blue! Or rather, from the looks of the world outside the library port hole, the dark black. Night has fallen and Jerelle and I just put a big bowl of pasta primavera on each table, ringing the first dinner bell promptly at 1820. As swells roll by, the gimbaled tables alternately rise to each diner’s hungry chin, and then fall into their laps, leaving forkfuls of food comically far away from their departure points.
As Steward, I have the distinct pleasure of working with every student aboard the ship for a full day of one-on-one food adventuring. Being a natural born eater and food-centric soul, I love getting the opportunity to hear about other people’s food memories, family meal traditions, and general food hankerings; which meals comfort them, which challenge them to try making or eating something new, and which challenge me to do the same.
On the ship where everything is a moving, changing, relatively foreign environment, food can be one of the more familiar parts of the daily routine, and the galley can feel just like a cozy kitchen. A constantly moving kitchen, that is. We fiddle our pots onto the stove so they can’t slide spectacularly across two lanes of burners and spill onto the sole, we tack our baked goods into the oven so the cupcakes don’t all have angled tops, burnt on one side and raw on the other, and we tuck our knives safely under cutting boards when we’re not chopping. Instead of going to the grocery store, we head up to the quarter deck market where there is never a long line, and we pluck bananas off of the massive stalk that was given to us in Nuku Hiva that hangs at the break in the deck. Every night is an intimate dinner party with thirty of our closest friends, and just after dinner is an epic clean-up with those same friends, the likes of which is rarely seen after a shore dinner.
As night continues to fall, off-watchers sit in the library working very hard on the next assignment due: decorated Styrofoam cups that will soon be sent to cup-crushing depths, returning as diminutive versions of their former selves. Talk of our final week at sea has brought to everyone’s attention the rapidity of this program, and I get the impression that everyone is happily pushing through the sleepiness and is operating on double triple overtime, fueled by caffeine, in order to make the most of every day left on this ship. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen more carpe diem bouncing around one small space. Rest easy, shore parents, your kids are thriving!
To my homies at home:
Seth-I can’t believe I’m missing the big day in three days, when you become an old fart. I have an epic present for you, way better than that pack of gum I gave you on your 10th birthday.
Hi to Pops! I’ve been honing my crossword puzzle skills like crazy here. Can’t wait to see you, Mom & Charlie, and my P-town girls, I miss you all like crazy!