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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.


SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

Rachel Scudder, Chief Scientist

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Greetings from the Robert C. Seamans in the middle of the South Pacific.

Over a number of days in the past week the students, faculty, and staff of SPICE 2018, Class S-282, have been extremely privileged to spend time on Hunga Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai (HTHH). The students have done an excellent job of summing up our time there so far, but what we have been doing here is as close to the original explorers of old as you get in the modern day, so here is everything we’ve done all in one place.


October 16, 2018

Near-Gale Excitement

Emily Settlecowski, University of Denver

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Our second day underway to Fiji from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai has been an exciting one weather wise. Long gone are the days of motor sailing under the stays’ls on smooth, glass-like waters. Last night on evening watch, 1900-0100, the wind was blowing force 5 and force 6 with gusts at 7.


October 15, 2018

This too shall pass

Malika Elizabeth, The Evergreen State College

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I started the morning with a lovely wakeup by Irena at 5:20a.m. I was able to be assistant steward for breakfast.


October 12, 2018

Sunset in Nuku’alofa

Glenn Billman, B-Watch, Northeastern University

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Now that we are clear of the excitement of a cruise ship booting us from the dock, we’re back to our routine. After re-docking in Nuku’alofa, we kept up our regularly scheduled programming and met with the Tongan Department of the Environment. But first, we started our day by going aloft for the first time.


October 11, 2018

To Nane and the Tongan Way

Ryan James Lavin, A-Watch, Cornell University

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O.K. we just departed the dock by the palace in under 20 minutes to make way for an emergency aboard an incoming cruise ship that needed our parking space. Captain says we done good. No makings for an Allstate mayhem commercial here, no sir.


Cutter (Charles) Thompson, C Watch, University of California, Santa Cruz

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This morning we left the volcanic island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) at 0530, setting our course for Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Unfortunately the winds were too weak to sail so we had to use the engine to close the 35nm gap between HTHH and Nuku’alofa. However we still had the fore’staysl and the main’staysl raised on the port tack to help us along.


October 09, 2018

A Volcanic Journey

Mariah Reinke, A Watch, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

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Greetings from Mama Seamans!

It’s not every day that you get to wake up next to a volcanic island after a wonderfully full night of sleep and prepare yourself to go on land, but that certainly was our morning.


October 08, 2018

Flowers and Bombs

Debora Ortiz, A Watch, Knox College

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After a day of anchoring near Mala island, and a day of motor-sailing around the Tongan sea, we arrived at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai. This is the world’s newest island, formed by volcanic eruptions from within the ocean. Scientists thought that the volcanic matter was not going to stay out of the water, but it did, and that’s how the island was created!


Therese Ohman, B Watch, Suffolk University

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Early morning here on the Robert C Seamans with a full morning of activities ahead of us. ‘A-Watch’ started early swabbing the deck (regardless of the fact it was pouring rain) and morning chores were in full swing. This morning we mustered on the quarter deck to gather snorkeling equipment and flippers.


October 04, 2018

Pow-wow in Vava’u

Fletcher Tague Shell, A-Watch, Southern Oregon University

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We started off our first full day at port in Neiafu with a splendid breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, English muffins, and hot sauce. Afterwards, our class mustered on the quarterdeck to apply sunscreen and a heavy shield of Deet before we walked down the street to attend a educational presentation by the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA).


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