SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
April 12, 2015
Life at Sea is Tough and I Miss You
035° 27.5’ S x 150° 23.0’ W
Course & Speed
Heading north to the Austral islands; course ordered 000, course steered 030, speed about 5 knots
Currently motoring due to low winds, stays’ls are set
Gorgeous night sky full of stars and the Milky Way, calm seas at Beaufort force 2
Wow, life at sea can be rough. Rough, rough, rough. To begin with, the days at sea go by slowly, to the point where I almost wouldn’t be surprised if when we land in Tahiti in May 1st, we’ll be informed that actually 50 years have passed like in Interstellar instead of 6 weeks. It feels like I’ve been on the water for years. This is for many reasons but mainly due to the fact that on shore, you go to sleep, wake up, and then it’s already the next day. On the boat, we have five 4-6 hour shifts to cover all 24 hours, and in every 24 hours you have 2 shifts. So you go to sleep, wake up, and it’s still the same day! It effectively makes every day go twice as slow.
Aside from that, life at sea has been very challenging for me. It has been a roller coaster ride for both my stomach and my emotions. For one, it is extremely physically demanding. Back in school, if you’re super tired, you might miss class in the morning to sleep in and call it a day. But here, even when you’re exhausted, if it’s your turn to go to watch you go on watch. Dragging yourself to deck, even when it’s raining sideways, and the boat is at a 15 degree angle, even when the waves are 12 ft. tall and they are spraying onto deck, even when you’re sleepy, tired, cold, and seasick.
The boat must keep on moving, so you get up and go on watch. From my view, it’s incredibly disciplined and very demanding.
Despite its challenges, life at sea can also be stunning. So far I’ve seen dolphins glowing bright green with bioluminescence in the night sea, whales breaching out of the water following our boat, the Milky Way in all its brightness, and dozens of shooting stars (and even satellites! The night sky is so dark here that you can see the satellites that orbit our planet). I’ve also seen many albatrosses - they are gigantic and amazing - but they still do not compare to my favorite water fowl of all time, the duck. (Hi there Ducky!)
To all my family back in Miami: I miss you all very much and can’t wait to call you once I get on shore. I hope everything is going well. Special shout-outs to my mom, Monica, my brother, Rodrigo, both the best mom and the best brother anyone could ask for. Also my fat gray and white cat, Paquito, the best cat in the whole wide world. To my Alan in Boston: Babe I miss you like you wouldn’t believe. I think about you every single day and I can’t wait to come home to you. And to my amazing dad in Argentina: Feliz Cumpleanos Yayo! Cuando me levante el 10 de Abril en la manana, las primeras palabras que salieron de mi boca fueron: “Feliz Cumpleanos Papa!” Te amo y espero que la hayas pasado muy bonito en tu cumpleanos. Pronto estaremos juntos para celebrar.
Mil besos! And much love to all my amazing friends whom I couldn’t mention by name, you know who you are. I know I’m, quite literally, thousands of miles away, but if it’s any comfort, if you look up at the night sky, know that I’ll be looking up at the same stars as well.
With love from the middle of the Pacific,