Nothing But Blue

September 28, 2023

Author: Grace Shoemaker, Colorado State University

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Susanna & I on the science deck trying to take a photo without getting hit by the sea spray.

Ship's Log

Date: 28 September 2023Time: 1930Location: Will get in a secondWeather: 26 degrees C, overcast, stratus clouds

Souls on Board

Bula (hi)! Greetings from the water! My name is Grace Shoemaker, and I go to ColoradoState University. The ship is officially underway, heading southwest aroundViti Levu, the largest island of Fiji. We have all completed our first6-hour watch shifts. The common themes were sea sickness, meclizine("meccy", a motion sickness medicine), and "wow, this is so cool". The partof the ocean we are in has some large swells, up to 12' high, from the tradewinds, and these waves are rocking the Robert C. Seamans! Everyone among thecrew and staff has told us to "take the drugs!" They are right, the medicinereally does help. Not to worry though, we are all in good hands, andeveryone is leaning on one another for support and love. The other side ofthe present emotional state is the crazy fact that we are finally out atsea! It's hard to describe the feeling of looking out onto the open oceanand seeing nothing but blue. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and am inawe of the beauty and power the ocean holds. It is a great privilege to bescience sailing the South Pacific Ocean, no phones, living in the presentmoment.I'd like to share with you a little bit about our home for the next 6 weeks.I'm writing this post to you from the Seaman's library, below deck, off themain saloon. There is an abundance of books to read here, not sure how I'mgoing to get through them all. I'm peering through into the dining area,watching the gimballed tables rock back and forth, the port holes looking upto the sky and then dipping beneath the ocean's surface. If you walk to theright, you'll head aft to the back of the ship. Located there are some ofour bunks and the doghouse, the main navigation area for charts, radar, andother navigational tools. If you walk to the left, you'll head towards thebow with the rest of the bunks. Right now, the bow feels like you're flyingevery other second as the ship falls down the backside of a wave. Walkingaround the ship feels like a choreographed dance, as everyone shifts to thesame beat, left, right, forwards, and backwards.I'm not going to lie, the space is tight, especially with 32 people aboard.You must get comfortable with being in everyone's way and people being inyour way. Bunks are tiny, heads are even tinier, and don't even get mestarted on the showers. However, the things that really do matter are inplentiful abundance. We are rich in music, knowledge, food (shoutout to Tobiand Jake, our wonderful stewards), sunsets, sunrises, and stars. Among ourS311 class and the rest of the crew and scientists, there is no shortage ofgreat conversation. I've got Grant and Satya to play guitar with, Susannaand Ruthie who will talk with me about anything, and Prue and Dotty who Ican always count on for some artistic inspiration. What we lack in materialthings, we make up for through the richness of everything else. The ocean ishelpful in that sense. Everyone here shares a love for the water, and Ithink that brings us all together.Mom, hope your birthday card made it, love you! Lucy, please don't break mycar while I'm gone. Dad, thanks for shipping all the extra gear to SEA. canalways count on you to say yes, especially when mom says no! Hi to all myfriends reading this. Love and miss you lots.Cheers,Grace

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One Comment

  1. Dotty October 5, 2023 at 16:16 - Reply

    Yas Grace! Do those 100 pushups gurl :):):):)

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