SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
March 01, 2019
39°13.360 S, 178°17.273 E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
218° & 5.4 Knots
It is currently 19° C aboard the Robert C. Seamans with the wind at 17 knots coming out of the SSE. It‘s partly cloudy, and the waves have calmed since yesterday to a steady 5-6 feet.
Today, B-watch took the deck at 1300 after most of us slept in until lunchtime due to our long evening watch the previous night. Morale was a bit low, as the rough seas we have been facing have taken a toll on both our bodies and our original plan for out course track. Our morning was spent preparing for the notorious pin rail race that would be happening during class time at 1430. The officers told us that we would need to have every line on board memorized in order to succeed in this race, and beat the other watch groups. All of us seemed to know the relative location of the lines of sails that we have been working with: the four lowers. So we spent the morning reviewing lines to the sails that we weren’t so sure about such as the raffee, and tops’l.
After some brief presentations in class, it was time to race. Each watch group created a single file line on the quarterdeck, and the mates took their stations around the boat. The scientists of the watch group were tasked with handing out flashcards with the names of the lines we had to identify, and our team was only allowed to help out by yelling either hot or cold. The race was equally fun for both the students and the crew. While A-Watch took the win, all of the watch groups seemed to benefit from the playful nature of activity, especially the conga line around deck to finish. After we calmed down from the pin rail chase, we celebrated fellow Gabe’s birthday with chocolate mousse, and Oreos (for the vegans!).
The day continued on fairly normally after class, as we finished up our watch, ate dinner and continued to work on our journals till the end of the night. However, there is one occurrence that brings the whole boat together once again almost daily; the evening sunset. We all gathered at around 1930 on deck, steaming cups of tea in hand, to watch the sun meet the horizon. While we all expect the light in the sky to fade every day, the excitement that comes with each sunset on the boat has never dimmed. It is a time of reflection for me, and brings us all together to decompress as a collective each night.
During tonight’s sunset I was thinking about something one of my professors said in particular. She made the remark that going back to life on land is an adjustment; no one will be able to understand this experience, and there is no way that we can go back the exact same person as we once were. I guess this blog is an attempt to explain what happens in the day-to-day here, but it’s an experience that you can’t understand unless you have lived it. I cannot properly explain what it feels like to stand a 0100-0700 watch (or how weird conversations can get), the dexterity that is required to cook in a moving kitchen, or how the sunset out in the middle of the ocean makes me feel more at home than I could have ever imagined. To all the family and friends of S-284, feel free to ask us how our trip was when we get back, but just know that.
To my Dad: Thank you for always pushing me to pursue the things that I love, and being there for me in all of my struggles and personal growth in these past couple months. I cannot wait to tell you all that I have learned in my time here, as I know the boater in you will appreciate all of it. I hope that Mom and Zach made your birthday celebration today extra special, and cannot wait to come back and spend another summer in the Long Island sun with you all.
To Delaney: I know that I have traded in many important days together in order to spend this time with the sea, and I am forever grateful for your endless patience, and constant love and support throughout this time. I hope you can find comfort in the idea that I have been surrounded by happy (and sometimes beautifully rough) waters on this journey. The universe has been guiding me, as I steer by the stars at night, and study the seas every day. I hope she is guiding you through your days in San Diego, as well. I miss you, but I will always love you more.
- Brooke Baldassare, B-Watch, University of San Diego