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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

October 28, 2015

Sailing Life

Will McLean, Chief Mate


Science station celestial navigation

Current position
24° 25’ S x 174° 30’E

Course and Speed
175° PSC, 5 kts.

Sail Plan
Four Lowers, Tops’l, Raffee

Wind NE, Force 3, Clear Sky

Souls on Board

Passages across Open Oceans are hard to describe to those who haven't yet had the opportunity to experience the vast open ocean from the deck of a sailing ship cutting through the waves under the power of the wind alone. Living life on a sailing ship on the open ocean opens ones perspective on the world and creates a feeling of power and strength in the soul while teaching how small and powerless we really are against the supremacy of the elements.  How do a group of young people coming from different parts of the world come together to learn about themselves, the ocean, and how a community sustains itself on a daily basis to become a cohesive and powerful team that has seemingly boundless energy to accomplish all of the ships fluctuating needs?  The experience of the everyday molds and bends these individuals into what one student told me was a team "with one mind and different bodies." How is this accomplished within such a short time among such different people?

We have been together as a ships company for 4 weeks traveling across 1720 nautical miles of South Pacific Ocean in conditions from flat calm and oppressively hot to mountainous seas and blowing rain that sucks the heat out of your body. Through all of these experiences we have been looking out for each other and keeping the ship safe and "stoke levels high" throughout our time onboard, learning every moment more about the ship and the ocean around us. Constant vigilance along with experiential learning in leadership, navigation, ocean sciences, the physics of sailing, and the community living of keeping the ship clean builds the team stronger and closer together. Nothing on a ship can be done alone, so Leadership and teamwork play a vital role at every moment. As the Student Crew take on exponentially more responsibility over the operations of the ship during the last 2 weeks of the voyage experiential learning and team work will be intensified. This point in the voyage is the most challenging, but also when the most rewarding learning takes place. With our "one mind" attitude that was developed early in the voyage, our students will master these challenges amongst the stress of paper deadlines and the daily routine of a ship at sea. As we bring our experiences and lessons learned from sailing a beautiful ship towards the never ending horizon to what will seem like an all too soon end, what we really take home with us will be memories of the community and teamwork that we built with our shipmates.   

Will McLean
Chief Mate

Hi Kelly!

Previous entry: Tarring the bowsprit    Next entry: Life beyond the white noise


#1. Posted by Marianne Donovan on November 01, 2015

Really fun to follow along by land!

Rachel, you missed a crazy Halloween night in Fells Point. I have never seen (or heard) the neighborhood so busy. Police helicopters constantly overhead. Impossible to sleep but fun to watch the street from our windows after the candy was gone.

Look what you have to come home to:
Raja (aka Diesel, the name we will be using) - a two-year old yellow lab/German Shepherd mix.



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