Friday, May 26, 2017

Perspectives from Aloft

I started this blog after spending an afternoon looking at the ocean from a slightly different perspective than I've become accustomed to on board Mama Seamans. After getting trained in the protocols of 'going aloft' (which basically means to climb up into the rigging much higher than my mom is going to be comfortable knowing about), Mike and I headed skyward for our first climb on our own. Two unidentified whales, which swam alongside us for over an hour, had interrupted afternoon class; we were determined to spot them from above.

View from aloft (Hanna)
My childhood was often plagued by the draw of high open spaces, but the reminder of the dangers that such places bring. Some of my favorite memories are of climbing oak trees with my brothers, winding through their marvelous branching mazes as we played tag on the most precarious limbs. We were always brought back down to Earth by the warnings of a loved one- Mom or Dad, who had quick tongues driven by their big hearts.

I miss leading my brothers into trouble. Whether we strayed too high in a tree or too far on our bikes, adventuring with them was one of the greatest parts of growing up. As Mike and I perch on the course yard and share stories of our siblings back home, I can only imagine the childish joy this one spot would bring mine.

Another view from aloft (Hanna)
Mike and I never spotted the whales from aloft. They probably rejoined their own pods, as we were telling tales about ours. But our short hour off-deck provided me with a new perspective of the wonderful ship I get to call home, and one of the wonderful people I get to share it with. Amidst the hustle and bustle of ship life, it's sometimes hard to find time to talk individually, to learn about each other beyond Stanford@SEA. Mike and I reflected on his honors thesis and his year abroad, our siblings who will both be at Berkeley next year, and how accurately we would have to spit to hit Chris, who stands lookout on the bow below (no worries, Captain- no spitting occurred and no lookouts were harmed). I appreciate little moments like these, with the students, professors, crew, and shipmates who keep me afloat.

-Robby Haag

No comments:

Post a Comment