SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
S251 Weblog 11 March 2014
18° 02’ 04.80” S x 141° 00’ 33.60” W
On our way back to Tahiti from Hao
Course and Speed
sailing 270° at 3.5 knots
Main stays’l, course, tops’l, and rafee (and the “shades’l” over the helm for a little relief from the sun)
33°C, sunny, hot, and beautiful
Four days away from Tahiti and the end of our sea component, I can’t help but think about how much we’ve experienced and accomplished over these past weeks. As each of our classes begin to wrap up, I can now see how together they’ve created a complete experience. Nautical science will be the first to end, as our deck practical and sheet anchors are due tomorrow. The deck practical will test our knowledge of sails, knots, and on-watch responsibilities—everything our mates have tirelessly and patiently helped us through while at sea and that we’ve now taken responsibility for as Junior Watch Officers. Captain Colleen will read through our sheet anchors, a collection of notes, diagrams, and definitions of sailing know-how, complete with a detailed description of the weather and a personal reflection of our trip.
Oceanography has been the basis of all our science deployments and work in the lab. We’ve counted thousands of zooplankton, sent rosettes 600 meters into the clear, blue water, and discovered the reasons behind the bioluminescence that surrounds the ship at night. This class will conclude with papers detailing the physical water and current profiles, and phytoplankton and zooplankton information around many of the islands we’ve visited.
Our Maritime Environmental History and Maritime History and Culture classes have kept us busy throughout our port stops, as we’ve met with mayors and people of importance at each island to ask questions for our individual papers. It’s been incredibly interesting to compare our stops this way, and the knowledge that we’ve gained is certainly being put to use as we sometimes have to forgo the incredible sunsets on deck while we write our papers below.
Finally, Maritime Studies papers are reflective topics of our choosing, linking voyage journals and novels read on shore to the landscapes and cultures we’ve experienced. Some of us will discuss education, music, and gender roles, among many other topics. Overall, I think it’s safe to say that we will all come away from this trip with a complete, multi-faceted picture of Polynesia—at least as best as one can get in only 7 weeks and 7 islands.
Today marked yet another busy, sunny day, and I can only think that I’m so spoiled to sit here, gorgeous sunset above me, friends playing ukulele nearby, my hands reeking of fish from dinner preparations, and a refreshing on-deck salt water shower waiting for me (really though, you haven’t lived until you’ve taken a sunset on-deck shower—now dubbed ‘ODS’). I’ll admit I’m a little tired and a little sunburnt, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Lotsa, lotsa love to everyone at home and friends abroad. Clare, if you’re still reading this I’m coming to visit you asap. Miss you all, see you in a few weeks!