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
Waking up I knew it was going to be a good day! How was I so sure? Today is my birthday, I turned 22! The day started with a sleepy chorus of Happy Birthday from my fellow shipmates over a delicious breakfast from Assistant Steward of the day, Maddy Savage and our ever so amazing Steward, Sabrina. After breakfast Eileen and I started an intense game of “Spit” which was quickly interrupted by Cassie, our watch officer, asking for our help.
Today the class visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the site of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document. The Treaty Grounds sits atop a hill, providing a panoramic view of the Bay of Islands region. Our guide, a Maori man named Owen, walked us through the grounds and we gathered around Ngaatokimatawhaorua, a 35-meter-long canoe requiring at least 76 paddlers that the Maori builders first launched in 1940. Just up the hill we arrived at a flagpole marking the spot where the treaty was signed on 6 February 1840.
This morning I woke up to the smell of bacon filling the air around me. I know this meant that Sabrina (our wonderful steward) was coming to wake me up soon. Sure enough, at 0545, she came by my bunk and delivered my wake up call. Today, I was the Steward’s Assistant. This meant that instead of joining my watch for our normal sea watches, I got to help out in the galley. I also was in charge of planning out the meals for today.
Here is a glimpse into my day so far:
We started our morning on dawn watch (0100-0700) with no moon light and slight rain with only frequent lighthouse flashes in sight. Not only was I treating a sunburn and feeling tired, but sea sickness had joined the party. If my mom ever says that motion sickness is all in my head again, I will convince her that it clearly is not.
As a photographer, I try capturing what I think is beautiful in my pictures. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph amazing places such as the deserts of Arizona to the snowy peaks of Niseko, Japan. At these amazing places, I’ve always been able to capture beautiful moments in some way. A waterfall. A sunrise. The milky way. The possibilities are endless. Coming on the Robert C. Seamans, I thought that I would be able share the beautiful moments on board with photography.
As we prepared to raise the anchor, C watch (my watch) began the sea watch structure of six hours on, 12 hours off by waking up from an interrupted night of sleep at 0600. Kate P. and Sabrina crushed the first meal, starting off the day with scrambled eggs, potatoes with onions and peppers, and bacon. Watch began at 0700 on deck with Austin, Anna J, 3rd mate Eric, and myself scrubbing the decks with freshwater.
The day began at 0630, Kate’s soft voice floated through the beige curtains that surrounded my bunk as she woke Peyten down the hall. I peeked my head out peering around, eyes clouded with the last remnants of sleep. “Good morning, breakfast is in fifteen minutes and it’s raining” was the message being spread to those of us who had just awoken. I ducked back into my bunk, dressed and walked down to the salon for piles of pancakes, sausages, and grapefruit.
Yuck…it’s 0520. I’m on watch…meaning I have to meander around the boat and jot down numbers, expected to be fully awake while in realtity, there was only one eye open and two yawns for every footstep. However, the job was done in an orderly fashion (twice) and everyone, including our mascot, Steve, our cat (we don’t really have a cat) was safe.
“Shem, it’s Cassie, its 6:15, breakfast is in 30 minutes” I heard through the white curtains of my bunk. In a sleepy haze I emerged and met eyes with Christina across from me looking equally as disoriented. We prepped for the day and met everyone in the salon while hot plates and steaming dishes assembled neatly on the table. Sabrina, our steward, cooked us veggie frittatas with a side of sausage and pineapple. Coffee in hand I sat to a delicious breakfast, listening as we all remarked on adjustments to our new sleeping conditions and excitement for the day.
The students, faculty, and crew of S-271, The Global Ocean: New Zealand, have all arrived aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans, docked in Auckland. Following two full days of intensive ship training, coupled with excursions to an island nature reserve and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, we will set sail for the Bay of Islands.