At Home in the Pacific

July 5, 2024

Author: Kai, A Watch, Cornell University

13_KaiTomas_Palmerston_small

Seamans and Palmerston volleyball tournament while Mem braided my hair

Ship's Log

Wednesday, 03 July 2024
Noon Position (Lat and Long): 18 deg 02.7 'S x 163 deg 11.4'W
Ship Heading (degrees): n/a
Ship Speed (knots): 0
Log (nm): 1096
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan: ESE Beaufort force 3 winds, at anchor
Description of location: Offshore of Palmerston Island, Cook Islands

Today was our last day anchored off Palmerston Atoll. In the morning, we bid
farewell to the beautiful people that welcomed us. The two-ish days we got
to spend in Palmerston highlighted the main reason I wanted to do this
program-the people of the Pacific. As a Pacific Islander, to be able to have
this opportunity to explore Oceania and meet other Pasifika is so precious
to me. Having to say goodbye to this small group of people that call
Palmerston home this morning was probably the hardest thing I had to do on
this journey so far. Being in Palmerston was also the first time I truly
felt homesick on the trip. The food, the people, the display of culture and
family-it all reminded me so much of home and my own culture. There's so
much beauty in Pasifika cultures and the people themselves. There's no way
to describe the pride I felt in seeing the people of Palmerston proudly
performing their traditional songs, chants, and dances for and with us.

Once we got back on the ship and prepared to set sail again, we were sent
off by one of the families on the island who took their small boat out to
where we anchored to say goodbye one last time. After some boat chores and a
little bit of down time, we were back in the swing of things, except now,
with our new watch officers, we're in "phase two" of the program. Phase two
meant that I got to be the student shadow in lab today when I was on watch.
I got to take a bit more charge over the duties and tasks during lab, as
well as leading watch turnover. It was both stressful and oddly fun at the
same time. At some point during the watch, science came out to help with
sail handling, which allowed us all to see Daryl killing it, as she called
the shots as the student shadow on deck.

I ended the day with a nice little watch meeting on the quarter deck under
the stars. We did a fun little activity and had some journal/reflection
time. Overall, the day was really long and felt a bit bittersweet to me. I
only hope that I'll be able to continue building relationships with other
Pasifika that we might encounter along the rest of the journey.

Shoutout to Palmerston! Forever in my heart <3

P.S. Much love to my family and friends. I'm missing you guys extra hard
tonight.

Kai, A Watch, Cornell University

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