Robert C. Seamans

Ships & Crew

SEA Crew

Each vessel carries a captain, three mates, a chief scientist, three assistant scientists, an engineer, and a steward. The mates and assistant scientists pair up together to lead a watch of about eight students. The mate runs the deck, teaches navigation and sail handling, and ensures the safety of all on deck. All mates are required to have some level of Coast Guard licensing. The assistant scientist runs the lab, leads gear deployments, and assists with student projects. Most scientists have master's degrees or significant outside experience. The steward provides three meals and three snacks a day for over 30 people onboard the boat. The engineer is responsible for maintaining the engine room and ship's systems.

Throughout the course of the year, we hire about 80 people to fill these positions onboard the two vessels. Crew members usually stay on board for two SEA Semesters in a row, or a Semester coupled with short trips or a yard period. Most crew members return year after year. Many are alumni of the program, but this is definitely not a prerequisite for working onboard.

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Meet Some of Our Crew

Jay Amster

Jay Amster

Jay Amster serves as Chief Mate, and has served as a Mate with SEA since 2007. Jay is an alum of C-166 and a graduate of Northeastern University in 2002. For the past 11 years, he has worked and taught aboard traditionally rigged sailing vessels in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and the South Pacific. During 2012 and 2013, Jay served as the Waterfront Foreman at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York. When not working, Jay enjoys traveling, playing the guitar, going to concerts and snowboarding.

Mickey Cavacas

Mickey Cavacas

Mickey Cavacas has served as an engineer for SEA since 2012. Mickey has Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University, and holds two U.S. patents. He became interested in engineering in high school after joining his high school's robotics team, and worked for several different engineering firms while in college. In addition to engineering, he has occasionally also served as an assistant steward and deckhand for SEA. When not sailing he enjoys playing team sports, running, travelling, and spending as much time near the ocean as possible.

Chrissy Dykeman

Chrissy Dykeman

Chrissy Dykeman has served as senior assistant scientist and assistant scientist since 2011. Chrissy is an alumna of class S-219, and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In addition, she has studied marine sciences at the Shoals Marine Lab and the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs.  Her favorite zooplankton is still the pteropod, which was the subject of her research as a SEA student. She likes painting and drawing in her free time, and uses her time at sea to hone her ukulele skills.

Rocky Hadler

Rocky Hadler

Roxanne (aka "Rocky") Hadler has served as a Mate for SEA since 2007. Rocky grew up in Southern California but then moved to Houston, Texas as an adult --  a move that her family says caused her to talk funny. After working many years at The University of Texas Medical Branch and raising a daughter, Rocky began sailing tall ships in the late 1990s. She volunteered for several years on the 1877 barque Elissa in Galveston, then began sailing professionally full-time. She has since worked on numerous historic ships in exotic locales from Fiji to Cleveland, Ohio.

Lauren Heinen

Lauren Heinen

Lauren Heinen has served as a Steward and Assistant Steward with SEA since 2012. Lauren is an alumna of S-200 and a graduate of Northeastern University. Since graduating she has been globally training as a Jill-of-all-trades, which has included raising chickens in Oregon, learning to speak Thai at Chang Mai University, and reaching the pinnacle of mac n' cheese cookery. As a crazed fan of endurance tests she has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and walked the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek across Spain. Lauren is also an amateur banjo enthusiast and apologizes in advance to the ears of anyone sailing with her.

Sarah Herard

Sarah Herard

Sarah Herard serves as a Chief Mate. Sarah is an alumna of C-197 and a graduate of the University of Michigan. She holds a 1600-ton, Ocean Mate license as well as a 200-ton, Near-Coastal Captain license. She has sailed professionally throughout the world, working on 10 different traditionally rigged wooden and steel vessels, ranging from open pulling boats to a full-rigged ship. When not sailing, she loves to bike, travel and write letters and postcards.

Tom Klodenski

Tom Klodenski

Tom Klodenski has been sailing with SEA since 2012. Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Business from Northeastern University and holds a 100-ton, Near-Coastal Master's License from the U.S. Coast Guard. He began sailing professionally in 2010 after working in boatyards around his hometown of Newburyport, Mass. In his spare time he plays the banjo and spreads enthusiasm for lighthouses.

Sayzie Koldys

Sayzie Koldys

Sayzie Koldys has served as Steward with SEA since 2007. Sayzie is an aluma of W-131, attended Skidmore College and has graduate degrees from the University of New Hampshire and Boise State University. Prior to joining SEA, she was the editor for a scientific publisher in California. She has taught literature and writing at the college level, and her short fiction has been published in several literary journals. Sayzie has loved cephalopods since before they were cool and collects photos of all the kittens she has seen on her travels. She is still wishing that she’ll wake up one day with the ability to breathe underwater.

Patrick Lynch

Patrick Lynch

Patrick Lynch has been sailing with SEA in 2012. Patrick holds a combined degree in Biology/Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before joining SEA, he taught both math and science at the middle school and high school levels for several years. When he’s not at sea, Patrick and his girlfriend live on a 41-foot sailboat in Marina del  Rey, Calif. where they spend time surfing, sailing, rock climbing and playing disc golf.