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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Feb 2016


February 24, 2016

Sun-kissed and Salty

Anna Poholek, B Watch, Pasco-Hernando State College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

A day on the Robert C. Seamans is never short of something unbelievable. At the stroke of 0030, I was woken for the late night watch. I slowly rolled out of bed, trying my best to get my clothes on in the dark. With harness in hand, I headed up to the quarterdeck to read the night orders and get in the zone for B watch’s responsibilities. I started out with the hourly boat check, going all through the boat, trying to keep the clinking of my harness quiet seeing as almost everybody was asleep.


February 24, 2016

Probably the Best Day Ever

Cora Knauss, University of Washington

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Starting off the day, we were awoken at the usual 0600, ready for a day of exploration and departure from San Juan, Puerto Rico. My watch was tasked with cleaning the deck after breakfast, in true sailor fashion. By 0830 we were unleashed onto the streets of Old San Juan, in search of Wi-Fi, postcards, and a decent latte. Finding the latte first at a local shop recommended by our Chief Scientist, Jeff, a group of eight of us carried on towards one of the two old forts, El Morro, hoping to find postcards along the way.


February 23, 2016

Class on the Bowsprit

Molly Stark-Ragsdale, C Watch, Macalester College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Starting from the beginning, breakfast this morning was like always, way beyond one’s expectations for breakfast on a ship.  Per usual we had a feast: breakfast burritos with eggs, beans, cheese, bacon, avocado, salsa, and sprouts.  This was all followed by a midmorning snack of banana bread. We set sail at 0830 (8:30) with all hands on deck.  This means everyone contributes to raising the sails, not just one watch.  We’ve all gotten much more efficient at and knowledgeable about sail handling, which made getting under way pretty smooth.


February 23, 2016

First Week Aboard

Chris Nolan, Captain

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

What a first week aboard for class C-264.  We began in St. Croix, where we conducted orientation training and a few nice field trips in Christiansted under the guidance of Dr. Craig Marin and Dr. Jeff Schell. After a short sail, we anchored in St. John, and completed even more orientation training! In St. John, students and crew got a chance to check out the Annaberg plantation ruins and conduct a snorkel biodiversity survey in Waterlemon Cay, where the highlight was a nurse shark sighting.


February 22, 2016

We executed a Sierra Charlie

Hoai-Nam Bui, A-Watch, Macalester College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Despite some bouts of seasickness, it was smooth sailing all through the night. To quote our captain, she moved “like a bar of soap slipping across your bathroom floor.” At 1030 this morning, we deployed the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) for the first time, and collected a lot of salps! According to Molly, salps stand for “snacking and lunching on plankton sludge.”


February 21, 2016

Underway to Puerto Rico

Caroline Bowman, Stockton University

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Dawn watch, 0300-0700, was held by B watch where we encountered some heavy rain. A squall had passed through while we were on mid-watch the night before; I guess the rain loves B watch! We have been sailing between the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John to avoid a low pressure system and cold front that has moved into the North Atlantic making for rough seas.  But no worries, we have managed to stay busy aboard the Cramer!


February 21, 2016

The Open Ocean

Leland Swift, Carleton College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

After getting our first taste of sailing yesterday, following three long days of training at port in Auckland, class S-264 has been itching to get out to sea, and today we finally did. Once everyone had finished eating breakfast, we mustered all hands to deck, lifted anchor, raised the sails, and set out for the open ocean by 0800.


February 20, 2016

Live from the Cramer, it’s Saturday afternoon

Cora Knauss, University of Washington - Seattle

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

With the first full 24 hours underway at sea, the lack of land is getting to me. I have been led to believe that the seasickness will go away, but still have been taking Meclizine, a seasickness medication, to deal with the rocking of the ship on the ocean.  The main effect of the medicine is drowsiness, however I can’t tell if it’s coming from the medicine or the adjustment to our new sea schedule.


February 20, 2016

First Sail

Johanna Bailey, C Watch, Whitman College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

After waking up, we hit the deck to practice some safety drills. First we talked about the station bill, a document that gives everyone a specific role in each type of emergency (man over board, fire and other emergencies, and preparing to abandon ship). Roles range from taking charge of a life raft to handling sails to grabbing emergency water (my job) or other supplies. We also learned how to deploy the rescue boat, which would occur in man over board situations.


February 19, 2016

Prime opportunity to get new shoes

Jenna Lilly, A watch, Colgate University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Kia ora! After 6 weeks onshore of learning about the Māori history and culture, today we finally were able to visit with the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei hapu (subtribe). We didn’t let our travel delay deter us from having an enjoyable morning, so before boarding the one bus in all of Auckland (thanks Ben and Jeff), we spent the morning lounging on the quarterdeck, playing games, and learning some new ASL signs.


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