SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Course & Speed
Rainy mornings, sunny afternoons
These last couple days in Hilo have been crazy. At 10:15 yesterday morning many shipmates awoke to the Big Island of Hawaii as we let the anchor down. After many small boat runs and a little dock rock, passports were stamped and we were officially welcomed back into the United States! It was strange at first to see traffic lights and the McDonalds on the corner. Even driving down the road was bizarre, but we adjusted quickly with thoughts of volcanoes in our minds.
Today at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park we were all amazed to walk through the craters (especially all of our geology majors)! The unique patterns made by the lava and the steam still emerging from the rock were enough to make us all geek out. Students could be seen running from one interesting feature to the next taking as many pictures as possible and yelling at each other to “put them on the network when we get back to the ship.” The lava tubes were definitely my favorite part of the park though. The tunnels formed by the lava flow were lit just enough to see and looked like something straight out of a Harry Potter movie.
By the time we arrived back on the RCS we were all exhausted from our day on shore hiking and soaking in all the sights (with no naps!). Anchor watches continue tonight with two students on deck at a time ensuring the ship’s safety. Tomorrow reality will hit as we clean the ship, pack our things, and prepare for our last night onboard. It is a time when we will reflect on everything we have learned in the last six weeks about the ocean, sailing, and ourselves. Not a single one of us has made it through this program without changing in some way. Remember that first day in Woods Hole when we didn’t know a thing about each other and then they made us go grocery shopping. Then we arrived in Pape’ete and we thought we knew each other so well. Now I have never been closer with a group of 18 people in my entire life. If there is one thing I want you all to get out of this experience it is this: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. I really mean it when I say I love you guys.
P.S. I think I can speak for all of S252 when I say we miss you all back at home and can’t wait to see you soon! I also want to wish a happy and safe 21st to Edmund and a very merry birthday to Izzy! Mom, have a safe flight.
Love and fair winds,