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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

July 18, 2014

Kanton: Population 35

Bredd Pratt, A Watch, San Francisco State University


Hello there land dwellers! Us seadogs have set eyes on the beautiful island of Kanton (or Canton) today, the only human inhabited island of all the Phoenix Islands. Population:35 Elevation: just a couple meters. We left our previous spot near Enderbury yesterday and sailed throughout the night to approach our new destination. We took our sweet time sailing so that we could deploy the Hydrocast, MOCNESS and do a neuston tow near an uncharted seamount.

July 16, 2014


Matt Hirsch, Third Assistant Scientist


It has been a long couple of weeks, but we finally heard the cry of “Land Ho!” as we approached the Island of Enderbury. There are about 10 palm trees on the island, some other vegetation, and a plethora of birds. While I was asleep this morning, the crew on watch dropped the anchor but it did not hold. On our second attempt to anchor in the afternoon we found a shallower location and paid out the anchor slowly rather than just letting it go.

July 15, 2014

Anticipating PIPA

Jan Witting, Chief Scientist


We crossed the equator on Sunday morning, the day we entered into PIPA. There is always a celebration of the event, crossing the line is a big thing for a sailor, for the first time in particular.  Of course around the ship nothing changes, the same trade winds push us along, the same waves stretch into the horizon.  Drawing lines into the high seas can seem like a funny business!

July 14, 2014

We made it to PIPA!

Rachel Greenough, B Watch, Second Mate, brand new shellback


We made it to PIPA!  After more than 1500 nautical miles, we motor-sailed into the Phoenix Islands Protected Area right on time at 2000 last night.  As we hove to in preparation for our first PIPA superstation, we were greeted by the passage of a squall and a truly spectacular moonrise. Since our first squall, B Watch has greeted weather phenomena with a round of the song game, in which we brainstorm and sing lyrics that feature a particularly relevant word (rain, sun, clouds…).

July 13, 2014

A Cookie Cutter Shark

Mary Engels, 2nd Assistant Scientist


Wow, what a day…  Late last night and during the wee hours of this morning the science lab kicked into gear and deployed our standard hydrocast to collect water sample from the deep.  After 1000m of wire out, the carousel came back aboard full of water and surprises.  While the hydrocast is normally a device for collecting water samples and CTD data, this particular morning, we collected another very special sample.

July 12, 2014

MOCHNESS + Pilot Whales

Mackenzie Haberman, A Watch, Chief Mate, Cheez-It-enthusiast


I’m not going to lie, today has been BUSY! Saturdays really are full of fun, learning and aquatic treats. Today started out for A Watch with a fast paced morning watch, sailing under all fore and aft sails up until our science station at 0900.  The much anticipated MOCNESS made its first foray into the depths for this trip with a 400 meter tow, cumulatively taking about two hours of towing time. Molly and Erik did some spot on steering, with over a mile of wire over the side.

July 11, 2014

Approach to the Equator

Marissa Shaw, B Watch, Sailing Intern


Hello to all you Lovely Land Lubbers (We love alliterations here aboard the Mama Seamans), this is Marissa, 1/3 of the D.O.D, or Department of Deckhands that is sailing this awesome PIPA SEA Semester.  Today has been yet another glorious day aboard, and as we pasted through the meteorological equator aka the Doldrums, aka the ITCZ, we have been able to secure the Main Engine and sail once more.

July 10, 2014

S254: The Interviews

Ashley Meyer & Chrissy Dykeman, C Watch, 3rd Mate & 1st Scientist


Good evening and welcome to a special segment of the S254 blog, these are your intrepid C watch officers Shlee and Chrissy reporting live from 5° North News at 2100. Tonight we bring you breaking news on the goings-on aboard the SSV Robert C Seamans. We interviewed several crew members here in the Pacific on their thoughts on a variety of topics and events that we have experienced lately. The format for the first set of questions was rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness answers in order to get to the heart of the matter.

July 09, 2014

Launching the Argo

Molly Groskreutz, A-Watch, Wesleyan University


Today was an exciting day on the Robert C. Seamans.  It began with my first deployment of the Hydrocast!  The ships crew is divided into 3 watches and those within each watch rotate between deck duty and lab duty. Being that it took about 4 days for me to get my sea legs, I spent that time avoiding small, enclosed spaces.  I have, however, now begun to delve into the exciting scientific inquiries that are taking place in the lab.

Clare Feely, B-Watch, Cornell University

Today marks a week aboard the Seamans!! While finding sleep amid the bustling schedule on deck has been the biggest adjustment for most, I believe we are beginning to settle into the routine of watches, meals, cleaning, and class. With watches rotating every three days, each day blends and blurs into the next. Our skin is tanning (or in some cases, reddening) to the sun’s powerful rays, our hands are toughening to the continuous processes of setting and striking sail, and our bodies are slowly, but surely, acclimating to the constant roll and sway of the ship.

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