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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

April 29, 2017

Swim Call!

Carina Spiro, C Watch, Bowdoin College

Ocean Exploration

Helen jumps off the headrig during swim call

Noon Position
19°00.8’S x 150°51.8’W

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
6 knots

Noon Log

Force 2 winds from the Northeast. Lots of different types of clouds!

Souls on Board

I knew something extraordinary was going to happen today. After five weeks, we've gotten into a definite rhythm of life on the ship. There's the 18 hour cycle of being on and off watch, there's the three day rotation of different watches, and there are all the tasks that need to be done every hour, on the hour, every hour of the day. It's easy to get caught up in the cycle, and time has seemed to pass quicker and quicker the longer we've been on this ship.  But then, there are afternoons like this one that break the rhythm, bring us all together, and remind us how precious our time aboard the ship is.

I could tell the crew was plotting something when I announced I was going to write my blog this morning, and Scott mysteriously suggested I wait until later. The wind had died, the sun was scorching, and we were all sticky and sweaty gathered on the quarterdeck after field day and a man overboard drill. The group was abnormally quiet; I looked around, and could tell the same thing was on everybody's mind. Would today be the day that we'd all been waiting and hoping for? And then Jay made the announcement, the tension broke, and we all cheered. SWIM CALL! We rushed to change into bathing suits, gathered on the science deck, leapt off the headrig, and frolicked around in the water. I've spent a lot of my life jumping into oceans, but this was by far my favorite swim, made extraordinary by the knowledge that we were a hundred miles from the closest land, and that the ocean extended nearly 5000 meters beneath us. Certainly an experience to remember forever.

This morning at our pre-watch meeting, C watch sat around and shared our highs, lows, and heroes of the last few days. It's one of my favorite ways to reflect, so I thought I'd share some more. Highs: Besides the swim call, there have been other incredible moments I've shared with my shipmates in just the past couple days. I sat aloft and chatted with Lily and Abigael for over an hour, I watched a sunset from the headrig, I sang at the top of my lungs while cleaning the galley at night, I saw the constellation Carina in the sky for the first time, and Liz and I did our project presentation about physical oceanography and finally finished the rough draft of our final paper.

Lows: Everything I brought on this ship is sticky and just a little bit damp. My sheets, my clothes, me- nothing is safe from the salt and humidity. The other hardest thing has been finding a way to balance wanting to fully
take advantage of the unique opportunities that come along with being on the ship, but also needing to write my science paper, stand watch, and sleep. It's frustrating to not be able to do it all.

Heroes: And the common theme of all of those highs, and the reason why those lows aren't so bad at all? The 31 other people on this ship, and for that, they're my heroes. Liz was a wizard with Excel and the data for our project, Lily made the tiniest things hilarious, Marcia literally squealed with excitement while we learned about stars, Turi was there for me right when I needed it, Abigael helped me remember all the words to the song that was stuck in my head, Megan sang while we cleaned, Sophia answered all my questions about planets and stars, and all of C-Watch was exceedingly supportive during JWO. I've run out of space to mention everyone by name, but that's not to say they're not incredible. I feel so lucky for the time I've spent with them, and have big plans to make the most of this last week.

To everyone back home, I think you're pretty cool too, and my heart is filled with lots of love for all the special people in my life, the old and the new.

- Carina

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  swim call  study abroad  life at sea • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Alone but not lonely    Next entry: An Island of Our Own


#1. Posted by Marjorie spiro on May 01, 2017

Dear Carina,Loved your blog and all the other ones.It makes my day when I read one.So glad you are keeping your journal.Enjoy to the fullest your remaining time.All Our Love GRANDMA Margie and Grandpa Al

#2. Posted by C PG on May 01, 2017

Isn’t this a lot more enjoyable for the both of you than sitting in a stuffy classroom in Brunswick?
CPG.  Bowdoin ‘62

#3. Posted by Marisa Maravi on May 02, 2017

What a great shot! I know you were all waiting for this moment.

#4. Posted by Keith Segalman on May 02, 2017

Lily Anna, it sounds like you have had an incredible trip. I can’t wait to see you. Love Dad

#5. Posted by joseph maravi on May 04, 2017

Man/Woman overboard!  Woohoo!! But just who is that person falling from the sky? Jana, can’the wait to hear some tales of you and your mates adventures.

#6. Posted by David Gresham on May 07, 2017

Carina, your Dad told me about your trip.  How lucky are you!  Sounds like an amazing adventure and a bit of a step up from sailing in Peconic Bay.  Best, David (Ting, Alex and Meeghan).



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