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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


Dec

11

Of Stars, Sunrises, and Megafauna

Erin Jones, B Watch, Mount Holyoke College
The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Pod of charismatic megafauna off the bow of RCS!

Ship's Log

Noon Position
39° 19.6’ S x 178° 22.1’ E

Description of location
Approaching Hawke Bay, New Zealand

Ship Heading
215 PSC

Ship Speed
4.5kts

Taffrail Log
1355.0 nm

Weather / Wind
Winds increasing from 15 to 25 knots, transitioning from NW to SW over the next couple days. Currently maneuvering in the outskirts of a high-pressure zone.

Sail plan
Continue SW into Hawke Bay to avoid the major weather changes.

Souls on Board

Greetings landlubbers!

We've rounded East Cape of the North Island and are steadily making our voyage to Napier. With some balmy, high-pressure weather, we've soaked up some sun during the warm days and gazed upon the constellations displayed on the clear starry night skies.

B Watch started off our morning with dawn watch at 0300. Though waking up in the middle of the night isn't always pleasant, having the opportunity to view the sunrise is consistently satisfactory and even makes up for the dawn cleanup (scrubbing soles, heads, and showers) that follows our watch.

After being hove-back as we rode out some 12ft seas and high winds, our watch got Mama Seamans sailing again en route to Napier. Battling seasickness and the void left from Travis' departure, B Watch has adopted one of the A Watch members for the time being. Andy Sia, from A Watch, has been an exceptional new addition to Bravo Watch and we're exceedingly thrilled to have stolen one of Alpha Watch's finest.

The afternoon of the 11th was spent like most during our off-watch time: sleeping, eating, and homework. Deadlines are approaching quickly for numerous papers, projects, and presentations; so in between our nutty sleep schedules and watch-hours, we're all diligently working away. Many of us managed to pull away from our laptops and leadership journals long enough to check out a massive pod of dolphins as we passed through their feeding grounds. They surfaced up around the bow of the ship and soon dozens of common dolphins were jumping in and out of the water off of the port and starboard sides.

Evening watch is one of my personal favorites simply because after the sun sets on the horizon, the stars come out as bright as ever. The night sky has been abundant with stars the past few evenings, and as the stars come out, so do the sextants in students' hands. For those of you who don't know what a sextant is, it is an optical device that measures the angular distance between a celestial body and the horizon. Through a few calculations and conversions, we can use that measurement to determine the ship's line of position on the globe. Learning celestial navigation has become a favored practice among all of us ever since our chief mate, Sara Martin, introduced the sextant several days ago.

With only a couple weeks left in the program, our responsibilities and skills are increasing exponentially. While we're still in Phase II, we'll shadow, call gybes, and keep learning, but once we leave Napier, Phase III will be in full swing and control of the ship will continue to turn over to us. I think I speak for everyone when I say that in the past 4 weeks we've learned an immeasurable amount about sailing, life at sea, and ourselves.

Piles of hugs to my sisters back home; I miss you weirdos all the time. Hannah, mon coeur, tu me manques. I can't wait to see you in France!

- Erin

Previous entry: All Downwind From Here    Next entry: That Time About All of Us

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