Hawaii Teacher on Board
Life At Sea

By Naidah Gamurot

Oct. 18, 1998. Ah… life at sea. Rolling deep blue swells glittering in the sun and sea birds skimming across the shimmering surface. Looking back toward land, the stark beauty of the Big Island. Dark, black flows against the lush green of the rainforest. The tops of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa extending high above the clouds. At night, thousands of stars glisten to earth. An occasional meteor streaks across the sky to awaken you from a starry trance.

I think many of us can easily envision this picture when we think about life at sea. But, last night I got a taste of the "unromantic" side of sea life.

Saturday night, Rob, one of the crew that had boarded with me, and I, had to endure a case of possible food poisoning. We probably picked something up during our stay in Hilo. Among our many symptoms, one of them was insomnia, so neither of us were able to sleep it off. To make matters worse, ARGO was onboard and we were racing out to sea for a midnight deployment. It was cold and rainy and the seas were as high. By 4:30 a.m., I was finally able to fall asleep. But, poor Rob, he was still awake when I ended my watch at 4:00 p.m. the next day.

I have learned that, for the most part, when you're out to sea, you're pretty much on your own. Though your shipmates are always there for you, there are no doctors or hospitals here. Prevention is the best medicine. Actually, I think when you're out to sea, it may very well be the only medicine.

Oh, yes. Remember those opening images about the alluring sea. They're all true - at least out here!