SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
May 03, 2017
Taking our departure from Raiatea
Midway between Huahine and Raiatea
~7 kts, motorsailing under the stays’ls
3635 nm total
Fair weather Cumulus, 27°C
Today at 1530 local time our ship departed the calm, protected waters of Raiatea's lagoon bound for sea on the final leg of our journey together. For many of us, our arrival to the land brought a mixture of feelings and reactions: a visceral aversion to the sight of cars and trucks, a strange need to carry dirt around in one's pocket, the urge to lie prostrate and kiss the ground. Our watery world, which had ensconced us in its protective (sometimes combative) embrace, was shattered, and all of a sudden there were these rocks, and people, and colors other than blue. It was weird!
But now we are returning to our first shared home: the ocean, and again there is a sense of conflicted emotions hanging about the ship. It is difficult to leave a place that has welcomed you with such fully open arms as Raiatea has. 48 hours is only really enough time to scratch the surface and whet the appetite. There are still so many more people to meet and soursops to eat! But the waves crashing on the reef just outside of the lagoon are a clear call to the ship and to the sailor within us that the sea is out there waiting. And though for some of us, this might very well be our last time departing the land on a ship bound for sea, we are overjoyed that we still have this time together, to laugh, to sing, and to marvel at the beauty all around us.
So we saw the sights, we danced the dances, we heard the stories, and now we will leave and carry a tiny piece Raiatea within us for the rest of our lives. And when we meet others, maybe on a beach under the hot sun somewhere, or standing at the helm under a sky full of stars, or back home cozy in our living rooms, we will share the lessons we learned from this place and every other place our lives have touched. Because that's what we sailors do,we are life's greatest collectors. We are the wanderers, unable to stay still for long. Always seeking, always learning, and always looking over the next horizon.