SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
October 31, 2016
27° 47.5’S x 173° 49.0’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
200°, 3.5 knots
Port tack under four lowers
Clear after morning squalls
Legend has it that Halloween Night is a time when the spirit world and the mortal world collide, and both are thrown out of balance. I’ve always found that concept compelling. This year it has become unusually relatable, as I am also perpetually unable to balance. As I desperately clambered toward the leeward rail this morning to offer Neptune another pre-digested hecatomb, I contemplated the many peculiarities native to the topsy-turvy funhouse that is the SSV Robert C. Seamans. I have attempted to stand up, only to have the entire room rotate sideways so that I am suddenly sitting down again. I have climbed mountains and experienced weightlessness during a single climb up the stepladder. I have seen tables tilt themselves forty-five degrees to prevent spills. I have seen them fail to do so, and watched the resultant puddles flow over the high side of the table.
Granted, our constant motion didn’t seem like such a bottomless wellspring of hilarity while I was bent double over the starboard rail preparing my latest Technicolor yawn. But after years of consuming media that paints the sea as treacherous, ravenous and scary, I’m struck by how funny it can be. It’s not terrifying (not exclusively, at least) – it’s positively whimsical! I mean, have you ever seen a heteropod? What is that about?
We all embraced that whimsy during our Halloween festivities today. We donned costumes and visited trick-or-treating stops throughout the boat, participated in Nautical-themed Ouija, decorated cookies, and told scary stories! We pulled out all the stops; the relative importance of merry-making seems to grow as we steadily chip away at the miles of sea between the ship and New Zealand. The days remaining in our voyage are numbered, and I hope we can have as much fun as the ocean does in the time that remains.