SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
April 05, 2015
It’s a Grand Old Time with the Moon
42° 36.0’ S x 164° 29.5’ W
Course & Speed
045° degrees per compass, 8 knots
The four lowers
Overcast, with intermittent showers
For me, the best part of being at sea is always being in the middle of an ever-changing landscape. Some people have asked me if being at sea for weeks becomes monotonous. The answer is that that is impossible. Every minute, the ‘landscape’ we move through is shifting, both the sea and sky and conditions in between. Two nights ago, we witnessed a total lunar eclipse. I was not personally awake to see the event, but caught the tail end of the Earth’s shadow on the moon as we came up on deck for watch at 0245. Those who were awake will attest to the totality of it as the clouds cleared. This morning, we saw another unusual sight. As the sun was barely rising in the east, the (almost) full moon was setting to the west, and framed by a rainbow in the pastels of dawn.
When the world around you changes so much, you become far more attuned to the minutiae of the moment. This morning watch, it was the gentle approach of light rain every hour on the hour. And there is always attention to the wind. We are getting better at finding the apparent wind, then shifting that back to find true wind direction, and then correcting that from compass to true degrees. Even when below, you can tell when we are hove-to on science station or sailing by feeling the differences in the roll of the ship. On another (less poetic?) note, it is still rather cold, and all on board are looking forward to when we head to warmer latitudes. But the cold has also inspired approximately half the ship’s company to take up knitting projects (myself included). There have been socks, sweaters, leg warmers, and cowls fashioned - another example of resourcefulness when one needs something out at sea.
In moment of excitement, we had a fire drill during this lazy afternoon (no class today). Part of the procedures on the ship is to drill for the main types of emergencies we might have – fire, man overboard, and abandon ship. Each person has an assigned role, so that everything can be accomplished for the safety of all. It’s a bit startling to be awoken from a deep nap to hurry on deck with shoes in hand, but it’s reassuring to know that we are so prepared.
A few notes to those ashore – To the fam, Love and miss you all, happy belated birthday Dad! Charlee – I hope you’re enjoying Friday Harbor (and drysuit diving!). Mike – enjoy a sprak for me. Lots of love!