SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
April 19, 2015
The Ingredients for a Perfect Day
27° 48.7’ S x 144° 30.9’ W
Course & Speed
060° true at 5kts
Two stays’ls and the Jib
Sunshine with a spattering of cumulus clouds
There aren’t many perfect days in life, but living aboard the Robert C. Seamans certainly provides opportunities a plenty. On land, one might not usually associate being woken up at 0230 by a friend whispering your name and giving you a brief weather report with a good day, but after you groggily put your harness on and stumble onto deck, the first thing that greets you is a night sky full of stars. I took lookout for the first hour of watch and was able to take the opportunity to enjoy the expanse of stars (while dutifully looking for boats and other hazards, of course). As we move northward, some familiar constellations, such as the Big Dipper, are beginning to appear low on the horizon. After my turn on lookout, our
baggy-wrinkle-skirt-sporting Junior Watch Officer (yay, Phase 3!), Audrey, and I calculated the time of twilight. This allowed us to have our twice daily “Star Frenzy,” measuring the height of the stars in order to get a celestial fix on our current location, all under the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise. To end our solid dawn watch, I was back on lookout, taking in the
sunrise and singing the snippets of songs that I remember from back when we were still in touch with modern technology.
After dawn watch and a delicious breakfast of pancakes and popcorn, we enjoyed our version of the “weekend,” or two 6-hour watches off. Usually, this time is spent catching up on sleep or project work, but with the hope of sighting land in the near future, very few people capitalized on those opportunities. Around 0930, A Watch first caught a glimpse of Île Rapa, Nevin shouting the satisfactory “Land Ho!” 17 days since our last view of the Chatham Islands. In the distance, you could just make out a few humps of grey, marking the island’s steep topography. Since then, people have been lounging in the sun on deck, playing the violin, ukulele, and banjo, and keeping an eye on Île Rapa as we slowly make our way closer. Although we will not anchor there, it is exciting, and almost unreal, to see Île Rapa jutting out of the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As we continue to enjoy the sunshine and music, surrounded by friends and the ocean, it’s hard to imagine how life could get any better than this.
Back at home, happy birthday to Liz and Natalie! I am so grateful for all of my wonderful friends and family who encouraged me to take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity, and I can’t wait to share my stories with you.