The trip from Suva, Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand was without question the best bit of sailing. For fourteen straight days we commanded the SSV Robert C. Seamans. While we still fumbled the occasional line, or plotted slightly off course, we also stood confidently at the helm, and fell into the rhythm of our watch schedule. Even though we were still a little green, we truly felt like sailors at home and at ease on our ship.
Things that at first felt so unfamiliar on the boat, became comforting. The chirp of the depth sounder, the smell of the dry lab, the cool feeling of the deck after a wash, or the lapping of the waves against the hull as I fell asleep in the fo’c’sle.
Certain memories stand out strongest of all, like the satisfaction of a shower after dawn clean up, the grooves of a furled jib in my back as I sat reading on the bowsprit, or the giddy excitement I felt when crossing over the 180 meridian (a first for the Bobby C!).
My final task while standing watch on the Seamans was lookout. I stood at the bow as the sun slowly rose, illuminating the approaching horizon of New Zealand. While I was beyond excited to begin my next adventure, I was very aware that something was ending. It’s funny how unremarkable some sets of six weeks are, while others have a profound impact. These are six weeks, filled with extreme lows and extreme highs, that I can definitely say were remarkable.