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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

August 08, 2017

High tide, low tide, changing tide

Kareati Waysang , B-Watch, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Current Position
11°29’S x 170°27’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
170°, 6.6 knots

Sail Plan
Motor-sailing, at 1200 rpm under the 4 lowers and a single reef in the main


Souls on Board

“Kia ora” and “mauri” (or, “Hello!” in the Maori language of New Zealand and the language of Kiribati) aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. A game was once introduced to us by our watch officers where you would choose your high tide, low tide, and changing tide. These correspond to choosing your best moments, down moments, and things that we’re looking forward to.

High tide:

I always wondered what my high tide would be. Would it be a science deployment or sail handling? As the trip went on, I realized that my high tide was neither. I have come to realize that meeting my 37 shipmates was my high tide: learning everything about them, knowing just how invested they were in saving our little ocean nation, listening to every debate and conversation over meals and having some of them come to me for answers as to what life is like on the islands is touching. They are curious, asking questions like…is it true? Are we sinking? Do we have enough freshwater to drink? What would be the aftermath of our relocation? There have been many moments in which everyone has had each other’s backs in squally times academically, emotionally, and physically. The concern, love, and respect that I have witnessed with this group of people have shown me throughout this voyage is more than just my high tide, it is my tsunami.

Low tide:

Low tide is the recession of water, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and other planetary objects. Low tide in this blog is nothing at all about tides or the gravitational pull of the moon but more like the gravitational pull to personal reality. Through all the struggles of keeping our legs still, our eyes awake and counting shooting stars to calculating sunsets.   It has now come to an end. The time that was once so distant is now too close to even fathom. As crazy as it sounds, it’s true. From great group dinners and wild adventures to a last group trip to the airport where we say our final goodbyes especially for me as I live on the other side of the world.

Changing tides:

After 5 weeks of listening to everyone’s plan after this trip, I feel like everyone has their life goals set. Me on the other hand, I would not personally call it my changing tide, as I am not looking forward to it, but I guess it is time to take my student hat off and transition back to being the responsible adult again; back into the real world surrounded by responsibilities.

This trip has by far been the best experience of my life. And I thank SEA, the staff and students of the Robert. C. Seamans for introducing me to this life and a new family.

“We sail as one.”

Jemic and Mom, I’m coming home soon.

- Kareati

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s274  life at sea  study abroad • (0) Comments
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