Reflections on S-302

March 7, 2022

Author: Charlie Dvergsten, A Watch, Carleton College

Arrival on Palmyra Atoll.
0306

Arrival on Palmyra Atoll.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
5 degrees 53.266 minutes North 162 degrees 05.297 degrees West

Ship Heading
110 degrees

Ship Speed
0 knots

Taffrail Log
1293 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Docked in Palmyra

Souls on Board

“Home is where the heart is”

Cheesy, right? I certainly think so. But as we are docked on Palmyra, I had a weird realization. Leaving the ship felt odd. We have toured Palmyra, snorkeled in various spots, rowed around the lagoon, and explored a bunker from World War II. But after living on the Seamans for the last 3 weeks, it is weird to think of a time where I did not know the comforts that this floating island provides. I am sure my peers will give you a more in depth summary of our time here, but I am feeling quite reflective. Maybe it is because this is my last blog post, or maybe I have finally realized why this ship, this group, and this program will always have a special place in my heart.

This is home.

Now I should certainly preface that statement with these: I think you can have many homes; I am definitely not the first to think fondly of the Seamans (and won’t be the last), and I am not an actual resident of this ship, merely a passer-by.

But March 26th will be a weird day. No longer will Liv and I sit on the cabintop at 3 AM, questioning the reality of ghosts and the meaning of life.

No longer will I be able to go aloft with Audrey or Maija, chitchatting about nothing but having an amazing time doing it. And no longer will I be able to walk into the galley, ask Cat and Gracie what we are going to eat today, and see their faces light up when I respond in audible excitement (don’t worry guys, I am getting Cat’s phone number for recipes after we are done). This is a special group of 21 students, 12 crew, Audrey (we don’t know where she fits; I contend student but she disagrees), and Sebastian’s 35th person he sees in his dreams (we have theories). But time continues on regardless of our little bubble, free of the internet and many other worries of life (but not Putin!).

So back to the quote. The ship, certainly right now, is home. But what is the heart?

Buckle up for this cheesiness overload, friends – the people.

Whether it is the middle of the night and pouring rain or 2 in the afternoon and 34 degrees (celsius), everyone on board has an uncanny ability to make every moment special. Now, you may be asking, “Charlie, are you just romanticizing this trip?” I wouldn’t blame you if you are. Even I had to take a step back and question myself. However, my response is now, and always will be, an emphatic “no.” But who am I to make baseless claims?

Let’s start with some audience participation – would you, if you were voluntarily confined to one place with 20 to 30 people, start to feel a fondness or connection to them? Enjoy weird, random, or repetitive tasks in their company? Would you start to understand one another and have fun, regardless of the activity? In my case, certainly.

If there was not that bond, how could we be yelling at each other over the shape of a cloud (wow CloudSky makes another appearance – I said duck, Emily said dinosaur)? Why in the world would anyone be mad at me for shipping my ceramic duck away instead of trying to take him aboard, even if he wouldn’t have survived? Could Emily, Leen, and I be dying from laughter at 1 AM, resulting in the ship going 20 degrees off course for a short period, if we could all easily go our separate ways once the Seamans returns to Honolulu?

And we assuredly would not have loved our Point Break movie night as much as we did if it wasn’t for the watch party (young Keanu is such an… interesting actor).

Just some food for thought. I certainly cannot talk for everyone, but that is how I feel.

I apologize to my large (potentially massive) reader base if they were expecting a funnier, more lighthearted post. I have received some good feedback on my last two (thanks to all who have read) and worry this might not have offered the comedic respite from daily life you all expected when you began reading (if you remember from my first blog post, I was recently upgraded to ‘pretty funny’). If you rolled your eyes at all while reading, please tell me (thru the comments or otherwise). I currently have an over/under of 12 eye rolls, and if I were a betting man, I’d bet the over (free money? Ben will probably have at least 6 with a multitude of random interjections). So with that, thank you for reading, goodbye, and if the Wild are out of a playoff spot when we return home, I will have a breakdown (don’t fail me, Kapri-sun!).

- Charlie Dvergsten, A Watch, Carleton College

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | dkarlson@sea.edu

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One Comment

  1. Barbara March 12, 2022 at 18:29 - Reply

    LOVE this post, Charlie – you really “get it” !

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