SEA Currents: s257
SEA Semester Students Profiled by Dartmouth College
SEA Semester® in the News:
“Sailing and Science in the South Pacific and the Sargasso” by Joseph Blumberg
Dartmouth Now | May 15, 2015
Two Dartmouth students have been sailing the world’s oceans aboard tall ships, modern versions of 18th-century brigantines. Christopher Dalldorf ’16 and Fredrik Eriksson ’16 enrolled in the Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester programs.
Docked in Lyttleton/Christchurch
Well, we finally made it through the moments we all knew were coming; the last 24 of our time at sea, met by a lot of other lasts. My last evening watch began last night, the 17th of March at 1900. We came out to a sky full of cumulous clouds, winds coming out of the south by west at a beaufort force of 5, swells reaching over Conor, our tallest crew member’s head, and an unrecognizable sun threatening to set through the stormy clouds that hung ominously over our last day.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day from Sea!
We are making excellent time on our way to Lyttleton. Cyclone Pam passed us well to the east, but provided some good southerly winds on the back side of the storm to propel us along. We now have just a few days left in what has been a really terrific program—on our campus back in Woods Hole, aboard the ship, and in all of our New Zealand ports of call. Our shipboard company has been remarkably companionable. The students have never failed to be enthusiastic and curious, even in challenging conditions.
Final Leg for S-257
Well, here we are in the third period of S257, with Otago harbor fading into the distance off our stern and just over a 200-mile journey ahead of us to Lyttleton. Six weeks of hard work are starting to come to a close as the students wrap up projects and papers for all of their classes. JWO/JLO phase continues and students are stepping up as leaders on deck and in lab to bring us home on this final stretch- a challenge that all are more than ready for, despite what they may think.
Hi there. I’m Lauren, the steward, and I just want to say that it has been an honor to feed your kids/siblings/friends. This group is a great bunch of eaters and that makes me very happy. They never fail to demolish a snack even if they have all just been whining about how full they are from lunch. When I made pannu kakku (Finnish pancake) for breakfast, they didn’t even question it and just said “I don’t know what this is but I can’t stop eating it.” How could a cook not appreciate that?
The Final Countdown
Today was a day of exploration, and not just for the crew of the Robert C. Seamans. It was Open Ship day! It works like an open house, except you replace the house with a ship, our ship to be specific. Almost 500 people showed up between the hours of 1000 and 1300 to see our Seamans in all her glory. A handful of enduring volunteers gave away their time onshore to stay on the Seamans and be the representatives of our student crew during our open ship.
Otago Harbor is a broad estuary formed behind a steep hilly peninsula of the same name, far down the east coast of the South Island. It’s shallow and muddy. You could walk across most of it in a good pair of waders, save for the long sinuous ship channel that runs up its length to the wharves at Dunedin. Stone walls were built on the mudflats to hold back the silt, long ago and at great human cost, and at low tide you can still see their grown-over green spines bordering the shallows.
With only six days left in the program (it’s amazing how time has flown!) I’ve found myself wishing that we could be at sea instead of at our port stop in Dunedin. However, today was my favorite port stop so far! Today was penguin day!
Tropical Cyclone Pam
As Tropical Cyclone Pam continues to develop in the South Pacific, the SSV Robert C. Seamans is safely alongside in Dunedin, New Zealand, well beyond the predicted path of the cyclone.
Our ships navigate with safety and risk avoidance as primary objectives. Captains make use of every available means of monitoring and predicting the path of a significant weather system to choose the safest possible itinerary for our ships. They are guided by up-to-the-minute satellite imagery, storm track forecasts and, real-time advice from colleagues at the National Weather Service. In the face of tropical storms and hurricanes, minimizing exposure to heavy weather dictates every aspect of shipboard decision-making. Currently the Robert C. Seamans is secure alongside in Dunedin, New Zealand, and will remain there until offshore wind and sea conditions are settled.
We encourage you to enjoy the blogs coming from the ship and as always, feel free to contact SEA directly with any questions or concerns.
The Word on the Bird
It was a dark and stormy night.
Well, actually, our story begins in the morning, around 1100. It wasn’t particularly dark at that point, as the sun had risen several hours before, and it wasn’t stormy either – a little cloudy, maybe, though at that point the morning’s overcast skies were clearing up. But I’ll leave the specifics to our hourly weather log, and get on with it.