SEA CurrentsCatch up on news, events, and daily posts from SEA Semester voyages in SEA Currents, the official blog of Sea Education Association.
Sea Education Association (SEA) will host a public lecture, “Introduction to Celestial Navigation” on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 pm. Virginia Land McGuire, SEA Associate Dean for Financial Aid and Student Services and Associate Professor of Nautical Science will deliver the lecture, the final of SEA’s Fall Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Association, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Good morning land dwellers!
The residents of Robert C. Seamans have lots to report as we start to fall into the rhythm of life at sea and are beginning to find our sea legs. It was looking pretty rocky for a while as the leeward side (lower side of the boat) seemed to be constantly crowded with seasick-plagued sailors, the “fish feeding club”. Our Oceans and Global Change professor, Kerry, comforted us by saying we were “feeding the microbial loop”. Ginger themed snacks and constant reminders to stay hydrated are commonly topics these days.
Hello from the open ocean!
It’s official, there is no land in sight. Just us and blue and gray for miles and miles, plus the occasional NZ Navy helicopter or the fancy cruise ship or 180-meter cargo on our radar. But, if we’re being honest, amidst lots of throwing up and a (literally) bumpy adjustment to life underway, S-276 forgot to write the blog yesterday. So, reader, travel back in time with me to Monday, November 20, 2017 at 1430 South Pacific time.
Let’s count off. Who’s here? One-two-three-four.seventeen-eighteen! Alright, we have everyone. Every shipboard muster begins with a count off, a count up or count down to ensure that all the students and staff are present. One through eighteen for the students and interns and then by department for the crew. Here are some more important and interesting numbers from the trip.
Today is our last day at anchor before we set out for a three week sail to the Kermedec Islands and back! Both students and crew are taking advantage of land while we still can, heading ashore in groups to stretch our legs, buy back-up stocks of toothpaste, and explore the quaint town of Russell. Meanwhile, Conservation and Management students are looking for local Kiwis to interview. Our class has focused on studying the use of single-use plastics in the States, particularly Falmouth, Mass.
Today we ventured ashore for a tour of Grenada with our outstanding guide, Mandu. Our journey began travelling north along the west coast of the island with picturesque views of tiny bays and harbors and a narrative of the island’s complex history. The bus chugged up the steep volcanic hillside and brought us to our first swim call (aka Sierra Charlie) at a waterfall! The already high spirits of the group lifted even further as we played in the cool, rejuvenating mountain waters.
Today was our second day anchored off of Russell and we took a field trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Many of us wore full yellow foul weather gear to stay dry in the rain, which resulted in many confused looks and inquiries as to why we were dressed like banana slugs.
Here we are at anchor in St. Georges, Grenada, our final destination. It’s quite amazing how far we’ve come in the 29 days since leaving the dock in Woods Hole. There is excitement in the air as the students are getting ready to go ashore and maybe a little unwilling recognition that the trip is almost over. The final port call is a bittersweet moment as one has spent the whole trip heading to this point (storms and dolphins, rain and rainbows, crepuscular rays and beautiful sunsets) and yet this community and home we have built is almost over.
C Watch was woken up at 0030 and advised to wear their foul weather gear. While crawling out of bed and fumbling to get dressed as quietly as possible, as to not let slip the precious moments of sleep from our bunkmates, we prepared for our third watch while under way. The rain was barely above a drizzle but the wind reminded us that we were on a ship. The only visible landmarks were silhouettes of far islands and a lighthouse flashing far off port side. The excitement of standing at the helm and staring forward past the sails and into the darkness of the early morning is something that I will never get tired of.
Our first full day at sea! Waking up to a gorgeous sunrise at anchor this morning, we set the sails and continued towards Russell. Throughout the day, we’ve been rotating watches focusing on applying all of our newfound skills in navigating, plotting courses, and catnaps. Around 1400, all hands gathered for our first actual class of the voyage. We discussed our current position (roughly 60 nautical miles North of Auckland), sail plan, and weather forecast before diving into sail handling 2.0.