Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers.
SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
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.
Bon Voyage, land!
We started my day with breakfast then chores. My watch was in charge of scrubbing the deck (I’ve been calling it the poop deck until someone tells me that it is not the poop deck). After chores we were released to do our independent study. Caleb, Will, and my project for Sense of Place, are to observe and document the taskscape of Mount Eden, Auckland’s tallest dormant volcanoes.
After a night spent rotating through night watches for the first time, we woke bright and early for breakfast and emergency situation trainings. We rotated through fire, man overboard, and abandon ship practices and succeeded in rescuing Gilbert, our rugby ball, from a cold dip. Around 11, despite the drizzle, we set off for the Auckland War Memorial Museum. After exploring Albert Park, the University of Auckland, and the Auckland Domain, and learning some of their history, we were set loose to roam the museum.
The first real day aboard the Robert C. Seamans unfurled before us like a jib (definition impending). We woke, we ate, we leapt right into the life of salty doggery that we’ll be living for the next six weeks. We rotated by watches (students divided into teams to both guide and monitor the ship throughout all hours of the day/night), each of which learned a smorgasbord of tasks, including jib furling (the ship’s front-most sail), various science-gear deployment and the nuanced art of deck scrubbing.
Today the eager students of S-276 boarded the Student Sailing Vessel Robert C. Seamans docked in busy downtown Auckland, New Zealand. Welcomed by equally enthusiastic staff and faculty, the students stowed their bags, made their bunks, and began their lives as crew and members of this sea-going learning community.
The students of S-276, The Global Ocean, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Auckland, New Zealand by November 11th. They will return to Auckland around December 21st, after port stops in Russell and Napier, as well as a trip to the Kermadec Islands.
After a great night at anchor and science poster presentations, B Watch got the Seamans back underway and making way to Auckland. After several watches of no science deployments and minimal sail handling, this watch was jam packed. Hannah, the first JWO, got the stays’ls and jib set and called setting and striking the tops’l several times with all of our different course changes. Sarah, the second JWO, got the mains’l set and worked to ensure that we were making our waypoints
Today was the first day we were able to set eyes on land after 10 days, and it was miraculous. Despite the incredible calculations and the spirit of B-watch, they were not the first to see New Zealand; Rather, it was C-watch, with Graeme giving the loudest “Land-Ho!!” he could as he was the first to see it.
It continued to be an exciting day as we got closer to land.
I welcomed in the month of November from the floor of the lab where we were busy organizing nitrate bottles. Not only were the samples rolling about, but so were we in the red lights of our headlamps. The 12-foot swells made me feel as though I was in a Pilates class trying to keep from uncontrollably slamming into the people, tables, poles and walls around me. By the time we were relieved by A-watch at 0100, I was ready to sleep.
It was a busy, fun-filled day aboard Mama Seamans today, mostly because it’s Halloween! Although most of us here, having not showered for a few days (guilty), could have passed for the stinkiest of ghouls and goblins, we mustered up all the creativity we had and produced some pretty clever costumes to celebrate the occasion. Some of my favorites were Claire and Sarah’s use of their foulies to become a farmer and Zero from Holes, respectively.