SEA Currents: sailing
Hitting the Wall
We’ve whipped our way out of Bermuda, wearing a little extra paint off of our starboard side from the steady port tack. After sailing for the last four days set for maximum sail area, the trip towards the coast has been pushing a zesty seven or eight knots. After taking our stop ashore and watching the little island of Bermuda fade into the distance, it has strange to take in how familiar and consistent the ocean can sometimes be.
Notes of a “Voyager”
The wind has picked up and there are sizeable swells today - not the smooth, sunny conditions we’ve enjoyed since leaving Bermuda. It’s just after lunch and conditions may be classified as “sporty” as we approach the counter-current of the Gulf Stream - about Force 7 on the Beaufort Scale.
Children of the Boat
Three days out from Bermuda. I’ve found that the first three days out from port prove to be the most taxing, both mentally and physically, as we have to readjust to the watch schedule, motion of the ocean, and extreme self-containment of sea life. That said, tomorrow is looking up. After a long dawn watch and 3 total hours of sleep last night I’m more than ready to sleep from 0100 to 1100 tonight after evening watch.
Underway Once More!
This morning C watch had the pleasure of being on watch for our departure from Bermuda. We were able to sail out of St. George’s (without motoring—a first for even our Captain), and I was lucky enough to be posted on bow watch as we coasted through the channel. From there I was able to look back and see everybody hustling to set sail, and able to wave to everyone who came out to see us depart! It was so satisfying to see the jib and stays’ls come back up, followed by the tops’l and the mains’l.
The Real Thing
Allow me to describe a remarkable thing to you. So there I was, exhausted and anxious after hectic rescheduling of flights from the wintery northeast somehow managed to work out at the last minute and get me to the quaint New Zealand port of Lyttelton, where Shackleton had been before. Stepping out of the taxi with ol’ Doug, the cold rain started pouring down as I was ready to begin my first hitch with SEA and my first ocean passage as a sailing mate onboard the Robert C. Seamans.
Bucket List Before Bermuda
Just like anything else in the world, you can get in the rhythm of life at sea. Today we had our second “field day” where we scrub the ship from top to bottom for two full hours. It’s the only time of the week when we can listen to music and it’s nice to have five different speakers placed around the boat playing tunes as we scrub the main saloon with Envirox. It is truly fascinating how much dirt and loose hair 31 people can create in one week.
Waking up for morning watch today, there was no question that we have experienced a change in our horizons here on the Robert C Seamans.
I, and I am sure a majority of my fellow students, were tired from the day before as we worked furiously to finalize the research projects into which we have put so much time over the past 10 weeks.
Up, up, and Aloft
Although my planner doesn’t work as well here at sea, this morning still felt significant to me when I realized that today marks the first day of May, and almost two weeks onboard the Cramer. If you took away my watch and told me we’ve been sailing for months, I’d probably believe you.
There are brief snippets of time in my life when everything aligns, there is a lightness in my heart and smile on my face, and I experience what I call “capital ‘G’ Good moments.” They’re not always the moments that get photographed, but those that I carry with me wherever I go. In order to understand the best of the best of times on this boat and the people who live on it, I have compiled a list of these moments from our community aboard the Robert C. Seamans.
Crew Profile: Lauren, our Steward
You have probably already read about Lauren and the delicious food that she makes for us every day, but here is a chance to get to know her better. She is most likely to be found in the galley, belting out a musical number. Each day a different student joins her and her assistant steward Natalie as they work to prepare all of the food for the day.