It has been 3 full days now since we have been aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Three days used to feel like no time at all but now it feels more like 3 weeks. We are all quickly starting to learn the ropes (figuratively and literally) and realizing how beautiful a full day (6am-9pm) with no distractions can be. The first two days onboard were filled with orientation, safety drills, and swimming! But now we are finally getting into watches. Our watch duty can be one of 4 different times based on which watch you are. There are 3 watch groups all with 2 professional crew members who are helping to guide us along our journey's here. So far, I have had an evening watch and a morning watch which have both started a bit groggy and ended with high energy and laughs.
On watch, you are either on deck, in the lab, or with the engineers or stewards. On deck, you rotate through helm, lookout on the bow, and boat checks. I have personally only been on deck so far and I have enjoyed every moment of it. My first shift on lookout was precious. I was nervous I may be scared being alone in the dark all the way forward but I wasn't. It was peaceful and a great time to reflect. On helm, my only complaint was the growing pain in my feet but I would take it any day if it meant experiencing the feeling you get being on helm. Boat checks were also fun but definitely get tricky when trying to be mindful of being quite, being thorough, and being efficient. I ended up doing 3 my first watch so I have quickly gotten pretty good at them.
Aside from that, being on this boat has already proved to be the best possible decision I could have made and I can't wait to update you all again soon with even more stories to tell! I hope the snow in New York isn't too bad and I can't wait to give you all a hug soon.
Lots of love <3
- Mary E. Haley, B-Watch, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
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