SEA Currents: s252
Seeing the Bigger Picture
A few days after departing Nuku Hiva, we have started to settle back into the daily routine of life at sea. Or so it might appear. However, a closer look will reveal many signs that we’ve made our way into the final stretch of our time here on the ship.
The voices calling out “Hands to set the JT” and the faces carefully studying the radar now belong to the students of S252!
Happy Easter to family and friends on land!
The last couple days have been super busy for all of us aboard the Robert C. Seamans. The pollywog crew members and students faced Neptune’s judgment yesterday and became official shellbacks after crossing the Equator. Some of us even made donations to Neptune in the form of haircutting. Many braids were thrown from the ship and quickly taken away by the sea. The mohawks and shaved heads look great, guys!
Among the birthday excitement (thanks a million to everyone aboard for the celebration!) and the Equator crossing, the students and staff of the Seamans also recently took part in the deployment of two Argo floats. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coordinates this international program that is responsible for the deployment of over 7,000 floats to date. These specially built floats have two way satellite communication, an expandable bladder, and a hydraulic piston that adjusts the bladder to allow the float to move up and down in the water column.
Sailing for Science
Darkness. Groggy bodies, shaking off the remnants of a short post-dinner nap, begin making their way on deck for the mid-watch. The moon, which has lighted our way these last few nights, is obscured by the squall to windward. As the rain begins to fall, we continue to do the ship’s work, sailing for science.
Gybing around after completing our meter net tow, we continue to make our way northbound.
An interesting day for B Watch as we celebrated Hannah’s birthday from dawn to twilight! It seems like the days are all melding into one as I don’t even remember what happened this morning. Things are going smoothly in any case. We have been “shadowing” our Watch and Lab Officers for two weeks, and we’re all starting to get more comfortable with the new responsibilities that are bestowed upon us.
Challenge + Reward
Ahoy family and friends!
Today was a busy day here on the Seamans. Our Atlas Projects, which we’re working on in groups of three, were due today. My group, which includes Julian and Emma, are focusing on the issue of sea level rise in French Polynesia. Our project provided us with great opportunities to interact with locals in our various port stops and get their opinions on how their island might be affected by rising sea levels.
Greetings from the equatorial Pacific!
Today was a most glorious day aboard the Seamans. For one, our extraordinary steward Nina (with the help of her student assistant Drew) prepared a slew of meals fit for a king: cheesy fried eggs with biscuits and bacon, grilled sandwiches with French fries, and spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread! I’m getting full just writing about it!
However, the big event of the day was the Lab Practical.
Ahoy outside world!
We are back underway and remembering how this sailing thing works. It was an amazing extended stay in Nuku Hiva, full of lush tropical forests, waterfalls, and charismatic megafauna. Absolutely the highlight of my birthday was completing a boat check while on anchor watch around 4 AM, and being called up to the quarterdeck to watch one, then two, then three manta rays swimming up to our boat, floating dreamily around in our stern light, somersaulting and waving to us. It was breathtaking; I never imagined I would be seeing such a beautiful animal!
A Full Day on Board
It was a full day aboard the Seamans! We departed Nuku Hiva this afternoon after staying a little bit longer than originally planned. Next stop: Hilo, Hawai’i! We are all so excited to get underway again even though that meant leaving an amazing place. Fortunately for us, the transition was rather pleasant - one might even say magical - thanks to the gigantic pod of talented dolphins (a few hundred strong) that escorted us (they actually swam along with us for several miles) away from the island on the first leg of our journey.
Another Day in Nuku Hiva
Hello Family, Friends and followers of the S-252 blog,
Today was our fifth day anchored in Nuku Hiva; there were a couple of things that needed to be taken care of before going back out to sea so the crew decided to stay one more day in this beautiful place. It was a serene day aboard Seamans as students caught up on sleep and homework, and some of us started to learn arts of the sailor: expanding our knowledge of knots, making bracelets, and cutting and shaping sail canvas to make handcrafts.