SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
March 21, 2019
Remember Me, Bobby C.
43˚36.385’S x 172˚43.148’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Alongside in Lyttleton Photo Caption:
Fair, Winds NE Force 1, Seas Calm, Temperature 18˚C, Clouds 5/8 Altostratus and Stratus
One thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight nautical miles, one thousand five hundred and thirty-six eggs, and over eight hundred cookies later we have arrived at the end of our voyage.
This day has been a whirlwind of emotions and envirox as we spent our final day aboard the Seamans. We arrived in Lyttleton by 1030 this morning and promptly fell into our final field day. We spent the morning cleaning harnesses, battling with the shower strainers, and wiping down every crevice and surface with the colored microfiber of choice. After accidentally spraying myself with the hose and dumping toilet brush water on my foot, we were ordered to take naps, something I couldn’t seem to do in our dwindling hours aboard. It’s a strange feeling, to learn the language of being at sea, spend every waking hour (and sleeping ones) putting the ship’s needs first, and then suddenly be flying half away across the world away from what has become our whole world.
After a delicious all hands dinner featuring corn on the cob and ample amounts of butter, we began to prep for our final gathering as a class and community. Wearing my shirt that had been sacrificed to the griddle and wielding the scraper and galley tool bucket as implements of my craft, my watchmates and I stood by to haul in our final act. There are many things that you can say you’ve prepared for in leaving the Seamans, things I won’t miss and things I will.
I am looking forward to sleeping through the night and seeing my family and loved ones, but I can’t prepare myself to leave my friends and the crew, the people I’ve come to know in the past three months and in our time at sea; and in our final evening it suddenly became real that S-284 is coming to a close. We are off to start the next phases of our lives, but as our Chief Scientist Deb put it, we cannot go back to the people we were in Woods Hole. This program meant something different to every crew member and every person on this ship, and somehow that’s the beauty of it. We came together as a ship’s company and almost two thousand miles later we left behind parts of ourselves in the swells and in the surf and gained so much more along the way.
I don’t know what will await me when I return home tomorrow, flying over twenty hours across the oceans we sailed and away from the people who will stay behind. But, although the tears may say differently, leaving the Seamans is just beginning, and so tomorrow we go. To leave behind the people we were here, thank those who helped us along the way, and meet the people we’ve become.
Goodnight and fair winds.
- Samantha Minshall,C Watch, Mount Holyoke College