SEA Currents: s269
October 25, 2016
Great news! We’ve just started the 12 day leg to Auckland—and four out of eight of my watchmates have already donated to Neptune. It’s been a rough start for B Watch. That aside, a lot of us are recovering pretty well and are adjusting faster to seasickness. As I reflect on the beginning of the last part of our sailing component, I’m struck by how fast time has passed. When I look at the various photos that my shipmates have taken, I can still remember the activities and fun of each day.
October 24, 2016
‘Au i Ke Kai Me He Manu Ala
After a night of dock watch I have to say waking up for breakfast this morning was pretty rough. Apparently while I was struggling to get out of bed we had to move the Seamans for boats that were trying to dock. To my surprise next to us was another massive cruise ship filled with people that were eager to explore Suva and the rest of Viti Levu. It’s sort of amazing how much Suva changes when there are cruise ships compared to when there are not.
October 23, 2016
Wasn’t that the best of times?
It seems surreal that today marks the fourth day being in Fiji. Everything seems to be a blur, everyday holding a new adventure and an opportunity to learn about the Pacific and from the amazing people that inhabit it. With so much going on it has become difficult to take a step back and appreciate all that we’re doing and what we’ve done so far. It won’t be long before we’ll be back home filled with nostalgic thoughts of the beautiful islands and an ocean of undisputed grandeur.
October 22, 2016
Day Three in Fiji started with a bit of excitement as a cruise ship pulled up next to us on the dock in Suva. So far on the trip, every time someone asked how we could possibly fit 38 people on our boat, I always said “it feels much bigger than you think,” but today was the first time it felt tiny. Once we were sure that we weren’t going to get squashed by the cruise ship and had a new perspective of our vessel, we left to see a traditional Fijian sailing vessel being constructed in a town east of Suva.
October 21, 2016
Bula from Fiji!
Despite the fact that we only arrived in port yesterday, my Mama Seamans shipmates and I have already been warmly embraced by the city of Suva and kindly welcomed by locals to engage with their communities and culture over quite a few “high tide” rounds of kava drinking. I could certainly spend the entirety of this post outlining the events of the past 24 hours, but I am choosing to not do so. I think it would be impossible to use a blog’s worth of words to properly capture and relay the essence of our interactions in Fiji (or any country we have visited, for that matter).
October 19, 2016
The Golden Dragon
Just before 0000 this morning we hit a milestone. We crossed the 180° line of longitude! This officially puts us in the Eastern Hemisphere. I am somewhat happy I was awake at this time, but also desired sleep just as much. I did get my sleep but only to be woken up again for class, watch, and an unusual ritual that has left all students aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans with a new sailing title.
October 18, 2016
Today began pretty early with a wakeup at 05:57 (three minutes early, and right now I’m really missing them). In order to make sure that we’re all learning the same things and keeping up with our work we have a series of checklists we need to complete individually by the time we get to Suva, Fiji: two for science and one for deck. And since we’re due to get into Suva possibly within the next 48 hours (since everything is subject to change: “Semper Gumby,” stay flexible, as one of my watch officers Rocky likes to remind us all).
October 17, 2016
The clock struck 0000 to begin the day early this morning, marking the halfway point of S-269’s journey aboard the Seamans. As Captain Amster would say, time is a funny thing. Yet the boat must be sailed, and so the crew does not stand on ceremony as we set our sights on Fiji. One of the most incredible aspects of this journey is the opportunity that it affords us to live in the moment, and as such we aboard the Seamans do not often dwell on memories of the past or prospects of the future.
October 16, 2016
It happens every day…
Since departing Tonga we’ve seen some beautifully clear skies, and therefore had opportunity for the first few star frenzies of the trip. You—dear reader—might well ask, “What the heck is a star frenzy?” and you would not be alone; many students were asking the same question mere hours ago here aboard Seamans. Some of those students are now veterans of two star frenzies, and already eager for more.
October 15, 2016
Today all aboard the Seamans ended their first trip to the Kingdom of Tonga as we cast off our dock lines and motored away from our wharf in Nuku’alofa at 12:25. Tonga has been good to us, and I think that all aboard left wishing we were rich in time here. Between Vava’u and Nuku’alofa, we enjoyed incredible natural sights and interactions with the Tongan people which ranged from the briefest of transactions to prolonged and repeated conversations, helping us to better understand this place we have been staying and the people for whom it is home.