SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
October 24, 2017
Living the Sweet Life on Deck
20° 14.2’S x 177° 32.6’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
175° PSC, 7.5 knots with the motor under us
very light winds from NNE, 6/8 stratocumulus/cirrus, high of 33 degrees celsius
There’s a handful of thoughts the novice sailor finds themselves pondering every day. How much sleep could I get if I fell asleep right now? God, it’s hot/wet/smelly. What’s for snack? I can’t believe I’m doing this right now. It’s that last one that I found myself thinking a lot today.
Today was our weekly field day, which for A Watch meant the beloved galley cleansing. For us, this means taking spoon, pan, and tray out of the 10’x10’x10’ box that is our galley, sudsing and rinsing it, as well as every inch of the galley itself, and putting it all back in the right place. There was a moment when I was scrubbing a grease stain out of a hotel tray while sweating on the deck in 90 degree heat with not a breath of wind that the small nagging thought entered my head. I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.
But the moment was fleeting. The lack of wind was actually a blessing in disguise as Captain Jay rewarded us on a successful field day with a swim call off the boat in the middle of the ocean. I’m used to swimming in Minnesotan lake water where you’re lucky if you can see to your feet when taking a dip. But as I opened my eyes underwater I was confronted with the most startling, deep blue I’ve ever seen. Apparently that’s what swimming
on top of a mile of ocean looks like. And there that thought was again, I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.
After drying off and throwing my harness back on (I was still on watch after all) Katie and I returned to the lab to count plastics and plankton from the noon net tow. We were interrupted by an invitation to head to the quarter deck and watch the sunset. The whole crew seemed to be there as we looked westward towards the setting sun and the pinks, oranges, and purples it painted in its wake. I looked side to side at my shipmates taking in the show, wearing soft, contented, sun-kissed smiles. All felt good and right in the small universe we’ve created for ourselves at sea. My surreal astonishment returned. I can’t believe I’m doing this right now.
P.S. Happy Birthday Sonia! Love you, miss you, hope to see you soon.