SEA Currents: s251
S251 Weblog 15 March 2014
I once rode a mechanical bull at a county fair. It took all of about three seconds for me to be thrown to the mat. Today has been a similar experience, only imagine that you are strapped to that bull and cannot get off. And you have to cook and clean while you ride. The goal of today was to clean and have a fun farewell before departing for our shore component tomorrow. That all got turned on its head when we started having 15 foot swells and waves crashing over the sides of the ship.
S251 Weblog 14 March 2014
Ahoy there land-lubbers, from on-board the Robert C. Seamans! That is one of the last times I’ll be able to say that sentence, seeing as tomorrow is our last full day on the ship. It is strange to me that S251 is almost over, and I’m beginning to reflect on the last six weeks I’ve spent at sea.
S251 Weblog 13 March 2014
For the first time in what seems like a very long time, the Robert C. Seamans is moving with alacrity while entirely under sail. After days of wind that would simply not cooperate, we’ve finally been blessed with a strong Force 3 that has us zipping along. Since leaving Hao, it has been a game of ping pong as our course steered bounces up and down in order to remain five nautical miles from the scattering of atolls that make up the Southwestern portion of the Tuamotu Archipelago.
S251 Weblog 12 March 2014
So last night, we finally deployed the 2-meter net! We have been deploying throughout the trip two different nets for collecting different types of plankton: the neuston net and the 1-meter net. The neuston net is towed at the surface for 30 minutes. The 1-meter net is towed at depth (typically around 150 m). Basically water and biota is funneled through the net and collected at the end of the net in a small bottle (think a Nalgene minus the top).
S251 Weblog 11 March 2014
Four days away from Tahiti and the end of our sea component, I can’t help but think about how much we’ve experienced and accomplished over these past weeks. As each of our classes begin to wrap up, I can now see how together they’ve created a complete experience. Nautical science will be the first to end, as our deck practical and sheet anchors are due tomorrow.
S251 Weblog 10 March 2014
As I sit on deck writing the blog post this evening, I can’t help but to feel rather discontented that the sailing component of our trip is quickly coming to an end. I have really enjoyed living at sea and on board the Robert C. Seamans for the past 5 weeks and I’m just not quite ready to leave! There are just so many incredible things to experience while sailing. Although we are all hard at work on our various papers and projects, I was convinced by my shipmates, Nanuk and Jerusha, to take a break and climb aloft with them during our transit from Mangareva to Hao.
S251 Weblog 09 March 2014
Todays blog is coming you direct from the engineering department on the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Some people may wonder why we need to have 2 engineers onboard a sailing vessel. To answer such an inquiry, let me take you through an average day in the engineering department.
S251 Weblog 08 March 2014
We have now visited six of the some 109 islands making up the country that most Tahitian speakers simply call Te Fenua. Fenua in literal translation means land or ground, the bits of terra firma in this the biggest ocean on the planet. It is a remarkable thing, making a country out of the ocean with just these little slivers of land. The islands themselves play an equally remarkable part in this; their shapes, reflecting their geological history, in turn shape the lives of their human inhabitants in profound ways.
S251 Weblog 07 March 2014
Having just a bit more than a week left in our voyage, thoughts on the ship have seriously turned to writing papers. If your first reaction is that this must be the boring part of the trip, after our exploits as sailors and adventurers have been so well described in this blog, I‘m here to argue that our role as scholars gives a deeper meaning to the whole experience.
S251 Weblog 06 March 2014
After waking up to a radio update ready in the chain locker right outside my bed, I am certain that falling back to sleep is no longer an option and the rest of the focs’le is about to be woken up by the loud hauling away of the anchor. About 20 minutes later, the familiar bob of the ship reassures all those below the deck that we are indeed leaving Mangareva and setting sail towards Hao.