SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
December 15, 2016
Sweet and Salty
Rounding East Cape, North Island
Motorsailing under the mains’l and stays’ls
Overcast and brisk, winds filling in
After a brief stint in Napier, most of us were surprisingly relieved to return home to the boat and get underway. Though land has its perks (Netflix and espresso in particular), the routine of the boat is comforting and allows ample time for appreciating the beauty around us.
Yesterday, as many of the ship's company sat enjoying our regular Poetry Time, we were treated to a spectacular sunset, a full moon rising under a pink glow, and dolphins leaping in our wake all at the same time. Though we often speak of overstimulation on land, with the constant stream of news and people around us, this was a very welcome, slow-burning overstimulation. We all sat in near silence and absorbed the sights and sounds around us. Then again this afternoon, we gathered to watch as the boat passed directly beneath a spectacular double rainbow arching from horizon to horizon. I've found that seeing these sights that land-bound people never get to see is a strong bonding force for the everyone on board.
The students and sailing interns are in the midst of the JWO (Junior Watch Officer) phase of the trip, where we manage the running of the boat for a watch. One of the sailing interns today described being JWO as being an eagle, able to both soar above to see the big picture and focus with precision onto small patches of details happening below. It's been rewarding to see how much I, the other sailing interns, and the students have soaked in over the past month, and how we can essentially run the ship ourselves.
It's been especially rewarding to see the students on my watch take on the leadership role with such grace and maturity. Though it can be overwhelming, there is comfort in that one can never learn everything there is to know about the boat.