SEA Currents: Mar 2014
March 23, 2014
Ia Ora na friends, family, and internet!
We had an early start to our first morning on the ship with a 0500 wake up for all interested in going to the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market in Pape’ete. It was still moderately cool that early in the morning, and we enjoyed a beautiful walk through the colorful market, weaving our way through the many people buying ingredients for their Sunday feasts. Outside, aisles of stands were selling fresh produce, from cucumbers and lettuce to taro, mango and passion-fruit, and a selection of unidentified spiky fruits. Inside, there were rows of fresh fish of all colors, barbequed meat stands, and piles and piles of croissants!
March 22, 2014
Hello everyone! Today has been quite exciting and the night is young! This morning at about 0900 we arrived in Cruz Bay, St. John to clear customs. This meant that everyone had to take a dinghy ride to the island, something I always enjoy! After clearing customs and eating lunch, we had an epic field day to get the Cramer ready for the next group of lucky sailors! This involved not only the usual music and candy but a special pump up from our own Chuck Lea. After field day, the swimming pool was open! I think this is a favorite for everyone on the ship. Jumping off the boat and swimming in this beautiful water was much needed after the cleaning we did today!
March 22, 2014
Our Oceans & Climate students boarded the Robert C. Seamans this afternoon after a few days’ vacation on the island of Moorea. All are happy, in excellent form, and delighted to have joined the vessel. They are now true members of the crew and have begun learning the ways of their ship. Today a series of orientation sessions focused on cleaning the galley after meals, an introduction to the engine room, conducting a Boat Check to ensure all is well and safe onboard, and getting to know their Watch Officers and the watch routine.
S-252 is officially underway! More to follow tomorrow.
March 21, 2014
With just three more nights on board the ship, the marvelous adventure that our voyage has been is coming to a close. This morning we are finishing the last bit of our open water sailing as we head closer to the Virgin Islands. It was great to have a few nights underway in open ocean in between Montserrat and the VI to enjoy! We headed into the Sir Frances Drake Channel at 1300. Sailing through the channel today with an experienced crew was a much different experience than motoring through the channel just a few short weeks ago! We are planning on sailing around until tomorrow morning when we anchor up in St. John.
March 20, 2014
The students of S-252, Oceans & Climate, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans by Saturday March 22, in Tahiti. They will sail across the equator and end their voyage in Hilo, Hawaii around Friday, May 2nd.
March 20, 2014
Hello everyone! We are all enjoying sailing downwind and also realizing how very different it feels. The sailing is much smoother, but the helm takes a bit more attention. I personally am enjoying the new areas of shade on the foredeck.
This morning, A-watch set the raffee for the first time this entire trip. It is a little triangular sail that sits at the very top of the topsail. It is super challenging to set because it actually has to be hauled up from the deck, so it took us a few tries to get it right. But, we all felt pretty accomplished when we got it up there. We struck it at the end of our watch to make sure we would be in the right location for our special science deployment!
March 19, 2014
ME AGAIN! Today we sailed out of Montserrat. This was such a cool island, but when it came time to haul back our anchor, and set sail it was all hands on deck. This started out just like any other departure, with the setting of the stays’ls, but then the order came down from the captain: Set the Topsail! Set the Course! Two commands that we’ve been anxiously awaiting. These are the two square sails on the boat that we have never set before. There was a moment of uncertainty and then we all sprang into action. With the wind at our backs, and the sails set and full with wind we are making out way back to the US Virgin Islands, and ultimately, in just 5 days, back in St. Croix.
March 18, 2014
Another beautiful day sailing on the Corwith Cramer began for C watch as they took the deck at 0700 after the B watch JWO skillfully navigated the ship to the waypoint set by the captain off of the island of Montserrat. As we sailed the ship in closer to our anchorage under the loom of this lofty volcanic island we did not find the wind shadow that we had experienced on many of the other islands that we have recently sailed under the lee of. The ship charged on at 7 knots until we reached a point 1 mile off our anchorage where our JWO Kyle hove the ship to and took in all of the ships sails with the help of our friendly B watch shipmates.
March 17, 2014
We’re at that point. In every long undertaking I‘ve endeavored upon in my life so far, there has been some sort of alumni who has warned: just wait for the end because itll get crazy and hard. Sure enough, we have arrived. Our professors have been fair and judicious in assigning periodic deadlines in order to advance our projects, and yet here the majority of us are, scrambling to figure out what it is we have been scientifically up to in the last month. It turns out the absence of internet research availability really works the critical thinking skills which I found to be embarrassingly sore for what my liberal arts college purports to teach me.
March 16, 2014
Poet Derek Walcott once compared the Lesser Antilles to peas on a tin plate, and he was right. These past weeks, they have been sliding by, first to leeward, and now upwind of us as we make our return journey to the north and west. Tall green volcanic masses of trees and cloud, sitting on the silver sea, they are sized and spaced with a uniformity that is surprising to anyone who isn’t a geologist.