Rocking and Rolling at Sea

August 1, 2023

Sam Barresi, Merrimack College, B Watch

"Scups" (Sam) standing lookout as his friends clip in and get drenched by the ocean

Ship's Log

15° 02.1’ S x 178° 43.3’ W, sailing past Futuna Island

Overcast with a side sea mist and drizzle (think wet roller coaster)

Souls on Board

All blogs from S-310

GOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDD MORNNING EVERYONE!!!!!!It is another bright and beautiful day on Robert C Seamans. WRONG!!!!! Its overcast with winds blowing south southeast by east at a force 5, with southeast seas at 8-9 ft and with a course ordered of 175° psc (per ship’s compass). We are pretty much motoring straight into all of it. For a lowly scupper boy like myself, I absolutely love it. We are rocking and rolling more than we have ever on this voyage; bow watch feels like you’re flying; helm is a literal arm wrestling match with the ocean; and if you get the chance to clip in and lie on the head rig then you can quickly get a salt water plunge before taking a deck shower. This is all a result of us crossing a stationary low pressure front and a convergent zone into an area high pressure due to a high pressure anticyclonic system just southwest of Fiji. So there’s a lot going on, lots of air getting moved around. We are for lack of better words, getting toss about a wee bit. Day two of weather of this sort, day two of little to no bright sunshine, day two of some nice cool WIND and water right in the face while on deck. The crew has been enjoying a break from the tropical blazing sun that has been cooking us relentlessly, but I am starting to miss it. Miss the beautiful blue skies, puffy white clouds, and the magical sunsets, and, yes, frankly the hot 34-37 degrees Celsius days.As cliché as it may be, I didn’t know I would miss the heat until it was gone. Yet as we approach land this is not the case. I full well know that I will be missing this boat--more accurately I will miss the simplicity of boat life.  We are approximately 10 hours to our first sight of land, and I am candidly anxious about leaving; land brings back responsibility, school, and stress. On land there is a source of constant stimuli. If you wanted to you could keep yourself busy till the day you die. Out here there is not. If you want to learn or do something you need to actively seek it out or you stop, sit, and ponder. Enjoy the sunset and the birds and realize that there is more to life than just what you see on social media. In these moments, at least for me there is a feeling of absolute contentment, where you can just be at peace with what you accomplished knowing that though there may be more for you to complete, there is a time and place for it that is not now.Granted I miss my land life, I have a pretty great gig back at school being a Ra, running a student innovation organization, Rugby and a bunch of other stuff (and my family). Yet I will always crave the moments of peace while at sea.Fam, I do miss ya’ll and I am quite excited to share the experience that I have had.Best,Sam Barresi, Merrimack College, B Watch

Weather Chart for July 29th. Highlighted orange is the stationary low pressure front and convergent zone, the dotted line and "x" is our rough track and position, with Fiji just to the southwest.

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One Comment

  1. Maya Gabelberger August 5, 2023 at 10:58 - Reply

    I have to admit when I read “high pressure anticyclonic system” my heart skipped a beat (metaphorically – my hearts just fine). The word “cyclone” seems to be at the root of anticyclonic and I couldn’t make logical sense other than to imagine something quite scary… but then I re-read “feels like you’re flying; helm is a literal arm wrestling match with the ocean; and if you get the chance to clip in and lie on the head rig then you can quickly get a salt water plunge before taking a deck showers” and I realized how much adventurous fun this must be. And then I read about the contentment while sailing and the anticipatory grief that this will be missed. The weather seemed like a reflection of all of this change and you remind me to enjoy the peace and when the seas are rough to find the joy in that. May your life back at home be full of joy, adventure and also contentment!

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