SEA Currents: s262
October 14, 2015
Message in a Bottle
Woke up to another day of casually sailing through the South Pacific… it’s a hard knock life, but someone’s got to do it. We have great sailing winds and are cruising our way along toward Fiji. The excitement of the trip never wears off and my energy is perpetually high. High fives and secret handshakes were divvied out to the crew, watch members and the unsung hero of the trip, Ben Harden on the E-Stop.
October 13, 2015
We’re All in the Same Boat Now
For the first time since arriving in Wallis, today was an absolutely beautiful day! After two full days of 100% cloud cover and persistent rain (I thought we signed up for a trip to the South Pacific Islands, not the Pacific North West…), the gale-force winds finally let up. The sky cleared and the seas calmed to a startlingly clear blue through which we could see baby octopuses frolicking near the dock and sea turtles swimming further out, and the Robert C. Seamans was unpinned from the dock and able to motor away from the island.
October 12, 2015
Small Island, Deep Roots
As was the case with Samoa, Wallis has been unexpectedly bursting with places to see, people to talk to, and daily lifestyles to witness. Wallis, or Uvea, is a French overseas territory of only about 9,000 people, and it’s been largely excluded from the world of online information. When I first explored the capital town of Mata’utu on Saturday afternoon and found the streets to be mostly deserted, aside from the occasional car passing by, I couldn’t believe that the country’s capital might be as empty as its Wikipedia page. It turns out that I just wasn’t looking hard enough.
October 11, 2015
We’ve Made a Friend or Two
As this blog’s title suggests, we have certainly made a friend or two in our travels. It all started on the plane ride to American Samoa, where many people were headed to visit family. I remember being exhausted and staring blankly into space when a man looked at me with a toothy grin said “Hey man, be excited! We are all headed to American Samoa!” At this point I snapped out of my trance and knew we were headed to a different place.
October 10, 2015
Landfall in Wallis
Today was the day we had all been waiting for. Although we came within a mile of Wallis yesterday, we couldn’t enter the harbor because the high swells would have made the narrow entry too risky. Today, however, the swells were smaller, and Captain Sean deemed it safe for us to enter. We aimed to pass through the 300 foot wide channel at around 1000 local time, when the tide was supposed to be favorable.
October 09, 2015
Dawn during Dawn Watch and Cleaning With Dawn
Dawn Laundry Detergent because I had to wash some towels covered in my puke. Yes, I know I told everyone back home that I didn’t think I was going to get sea sick, but I was so, so, so wrong. I thought I was going to die of starvation for first three days that we’d been at sea because I kept throwing up over the side of the ship, or as Capt. Sean affectionately puts it, “making a donation to Neptune” (at this rate I should have a coral reef named after me for how much I’ve donated).
October 08, 2015
A Birthday at SEA
What a life at sea! If I could grow a beard I would have one by now. Beard, eyebrows, and thick scraggly hair—encrusted with old sunscreen, deet from port stops, and, of course, with sea salt. Showers aren’t a thing; we are encouraged to scratch each-others’ backs to get rid of the daily grime-yum. Half the crew has scurvy; I have forgotten what vegetables look like. We are given bowls of green and orange mush, which I think are supposed to be broccoli and carrots.
October 07, 2015
“Weathering” our first batch of bad weather
Last night, the Robert C. Seamans and her crew of 35 endured our first batch of bad weather together. What began as a beautiful day getting underway from Samoa turned into a wild and wet adventure as the day continued. After a rolling nap of occasionally crashing into the side of my bunk, I was awoken at 2230 to prepare for midwatch, which lasts from 2300 to 0300. During wakeup, I was informed that it had stopped raining, but was very windy so foul weather gear (or foulies) remained a good idea.
October 06, 2015
Reflections from a Salty Student
As we set sail for Wallis on this rainy day, I can’t help but reflect on my time so far on, and off, the Robert C. Seamans. In the last week my wonderful shipmates and I flew from Hawai’i to American Samoa to become crew members on a 135-foot tall ship only to begin sailing two days later. It was a 125 nautical mile voyage to Samoa filled with blood (not really), sweat (A LOT), and tears (only happy tears).
October 05, 2015
Tala or Dollars?
Our last full day in Samoa! This morning I enjoyed a 7:15 wakeup from Todd, and after smacking my head as per usual, relished the late start. A week ago I never would have considered pre-8am sleeping in, but welcome to life aboard a ship. We ventured off to the headquarters for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, or SPREP, to learn about their initiatives in all different realms of sustainability and environmental protection around the Pacific.