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SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

August 06, 2015

The Wake Up of All Wake Ups

Julia Chavarry, Johns Hopkins

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Photo Credit: Elise Ziemendorf

Hove to 1 nm off Nikumaroro Atoll

Winds Force 2, squalls around with drizzle and occasional hard rain. Swells South around 6 feet

Souls on Board

This morning I was greeted with the wakeups of all wakeups.

When you live aboard a ship where everyone has a different schedule, setting any sort of alarm would just result in an alarm ringing every 30 minutes and no one would get any sleep at all. The solution to this is to have your fellow shipmates wake you up before watch or any all hands meeting. Today I was assistant steward, which meant that I got an extra two hours of sleep, and the pleasure of being awoken by my one and only Starboard Watch.

And so

At 5:40 AM Maddie and Krystina proceeded to sit on my bed and sing the wake up song It goes something like this:

"Good morningggggg
This is your wakeup!
Its time to wakeup!
And make me breakfast!

And because I was having a lovely dream about preforming my first recital as a ballerina, they had to sing it a few times before I stirred. And only on the 5th rendition by which Maddie began poking my side was I fully awake and set to start the day.

Between cooking and such many other activities took place. While it wasn't possible to go ashore Nikumaroro due to inclement weather, we did have a lot of fun just the same. The crew got together and decided to take us aboard the small boat for a half hour that would afford us with a closer look of the island and enable us to stick our faces in the water. To my delight I witnessed a giant napoleon wrasse and a plethora of surgeonfish swimming just beneath us.

When we returned the "independent young women" of Starboard Watch decided to tackle our next big feat: climbing to the tippy top of the foremast. Krystina had already accomplished this a few days ago, and now it was time for Elise, Maddie, and me to do the same. So with a tightened harness and jittery hearts we began our ascent.

First to the first platform, pretty simple.

Then the next ladder.
Is this supposed to be moving this much??

Then the next.
This ladder is not big enough for my feet.

The final white one
"Krystina you really came up here??"

And so Elise went up to the very top and touched the anemometer with a mighty reach. But Maddie and I could not be beaten! We stared at each other and simultaneously began our final climb.

"Krystina did you touch the black thing or the spinny thing??"
"The spinny thing!"
Maddie and I stare at each other
"We can't reach it, Elise how did you reach it!"
"I just reached out for it!"
Maddie and I stare again. The spinny thing is about 6 inches away
"Eh, close enough"

And with that we came down to the base of the highest ladder and rested as we stared over the island.

As the clock ticked 15:40 I knew it was time for me to return to the galley to put out apples and peanut butter with honey and cinnamon for snack. As exciting as my climb had been, the descent was just as great as a few more visitors joined us: another large group of dolphins swimming in front of the bow as the Robert C. Seamans circumnavigated Nikumaroro. They dove and jumped and splashed racing alongside us as I scurried down the ladder. Then I gave one last glance to the baby dolphin that was weaving between the pod before heading down to Shelby to help prepare food for the rest of the day.

- Julia

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s261  phoenix islands • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Land Ho! Nikumaroro.    Next entry: An Update from S-261


#1. Posted by The Beatties on August 07, 2015

That’s a LONG way up there!  If that’s Madeline Beattie on the foremast, I hope she took some pictures!  Everyone have a safe trip to American Samoa.  We parents miss you all and look forward to your safe return home and all of the wonderful stories that will go along with it!

The Beatties

#2. Posted by Kristi Smith on August 07, 2015

Omg! That pic made me nauseous but that’s so cool!  Hi and kisses to TayTay.

#3. Posted by Mom on August 09, 2015

Jules- Glad you decided to take the slow scenic route down rather than the express dive!
Breathtaking view x 2! - Thank you Elise

#4. Posted by Mary on August 10, 2015

Great blog Julia.  Thank you for sharing that experience. What a view!  My heart took an extra beat or two.  I think I recognize that sandal and knee?

Can I say some how I am not surprised of Elise’s push to the top!  I have experienced that a few times here on land.  And can I boast for a moment and say “that’s my Girl” but “don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way”. 

Also a shout out to that wonderful lady- Happy 22nd birthday (11th).  One I suspect you will remember for a long time. 

Wishing all of you many more exhilarating-memorable experiences before your safe return.

Love, Peace and Hugs,

Mama- Mary

#5. Posted by Mark Schulz on August 10, 2015

Hello Erica,  Quite a journey !! We’re anxious to see you return home & share more stories.  The Montrachet will be waiting on ice. Call me when you get to Samoa.  LOL Dad

#6. Posted by geraldine walsh on August 10, 2015

Jules you are amazing. The view must have been breathtaking. I loved your blog and your take on shipboard life. clear sailing.  CG



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