SEA Currents: Mar 2016
The students of S-265, Ocean Exploration, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Lyttelton/Christchurch, New Zealand by April 2nd. They will end their voyage around May 10th, in Tahiti, with planned port stops in the Chatham Islands, Raiatea and Moorea.
As our time on the Seamans draws to a close, I think most of us are wishing we could tie ourselves to the ship with our well-practiced knot knowledge and never leave. After our swizzle tonight, which will consist of lighthearted talents and debauchery no doubt, we will go our separate ways.
Just a few short hours ago, we arrived with all hands on deck into Boca Chica, and with the securing of the Corwith Cramer’s dock lines to the pier we mark the end of our six-week journey that began in St. Croix, USVI, with the island’s remnants of Danish cultural markers, and continued on to the Greater Antilles in a circuit that included ports with clear vestiges of the Spanish Colonial era juxtaposed to those of a former British sugar island.
This blog entry is the second of a two-part series of profiles on persons aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Chief Engineer Tom Klodenski and sign language interpreter Drew Pidkameny, both hesitant to write about themselves on the SEA blog, were nevertheless encouraged to contribute by resident anthropologist and blog czar Jeff Wescott. Tom wrote a series of questions for Drew to answer, and vice-versa. The entries for March 19 and March 24 are the result.
I just came below deck after a beautiful sunset, an equally beautiful moonrise, and watching a student (Hailey) lead our ship through a tacking procedure to get us pointed closer to our destination of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic - the end of the voyage for C-264.
We had a surprisingly great day weather-wise today! At approximately 0200 we got word of a minor storm coming our way. Though the wind speed increased and the sky filled with clouds, the rain luckily held off. The plan as of yet is to stay close to the coast to protect us from the poor weather. We had an exciting surprise fire drill before lunch, giving us all a chance to practice our fire-fighting protocol, maybe for the last time onboard the Seamans.
How do you feel about rainy days? I have a hunch that most of you are like me, and far prefer prefer blue skies to drizzle and rain. Yet it is a pretty indulgent relationship with water, something we can afford thanks to municipal water supplies and secure access to it. Something that can quickly make this fact plain to us is a trip to an atoll island pretty much anywhere. I remember waking up to the sound hard rain hammering the tin roof of my friend Herve’s house on the island of Rangiroa in French Polynesia some years ago.
Kia ora family and friends of all us salty sailors on the Bobby C!
After standing in awe of the sunrise over the Otago Peninsula this morning, we departed Dunedin and made our way through the narrow channel back out into the South Pacific Ocean, and on our way to Lyttleton. As a student of nautical science and geography, I am always interested in the numerous charts that aid us in our travels through bays and sounds and in the vast ocean around New Zealand.
Ahoy again! Today was the third and final day of our change project presentations! All we have left is the final write up of what we have learned about our topics at different port stops! I find it challenging to comprehend that there are less than three days left onboard Mamma Cramer with all my shipmates. From Woods Hole throughout the Caribbean, we have studied together, written papers together, raised and struck sails, written some more papers, and, of course, said hello to some whales.
It is just our second full day in Dunedin, but I have already developed a new love for this city! We keep getting reminded by the locals that the weather is normally not 75 degrees and sunny and that we are just getting lucky, but it seems pretty perfect to me. We’ve had a very busy past 24 hours that have been full of visitors on the ship, an extensive all-day field trip, and storytelling from members of the Sense of Place class on deck.