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
October 30, 2014
The tension mounted as the racers took their positions. For a brief moment the only audible sound was the ocean against the hull and engineer Dusty’s flame-themed lavalava blowing in the wind. “Racers ready!” cried Will, our chief mate. The semi-annual pin rail chase had begun and pandemonium ensued. Friendships were broken, unlikely alliances formed, fortunes bet. Each watch had a relay team. A scientist would hand each person a card with the name of a line for a sail on it, and our mission was to identify it and return so the next person in the relay could go.
October 29, 2014
This is what the bow of the Robert C. Seamans looks like from the very top of the foremast. It was really only here that I realized just how tiny we are, bobbing like a cork on the huge, huge earth. But the strangest thing about going aloft for me was how calm and peaceful I felt—until I was back on the ground, and my legs turned into jelly from the adrenaline I didn’t know I had.
October 27, 2014
Today marks our third day at sea on our way to New Zealand. Despite being this far in, I have yet to accept that I will not be on land for another 11 days (and I think that I speak for most of us when I say that). Much like the rower I am trained to be, I am taking this long voyage one day at a time and focusing not on the distance that separates our crew from the finish, but on the present.
Today was a historical day for students aboard for two reasons, the first being that we all completed our aloft checklists.
October 26, 2014
Today marks our first full day underway headed toward the magical land of NEW ZEALAND!! Who’s to say what this crazy new land may hold for the crew of the Robert C. Seamans? We’re headed almost dead due south for Auckland now which is also where our wind happens to be coming from, making our sailing transit a bit difficult since we cant sail directly into the wind. However, students are nailing their time at the helm with any steering challenges this may throw them. I can’t wait to see where the next 2 weeks take us (other than Auckland, of course) as we all strap on our sailing pants and head out for our longest sea leg.
October 24, 2014
As we begin thinking about setting sail for Auckland tomorrow, there are lists all over the boat to help us get underway, ranging from the Captain’s list (I’m imagining it includes important things like clearing customs,
plotting our course, and getting a good night’s rest, among other things) to the steward’s list for provisioning (my fingers are crossed that fresh okra, pineapple, and tomatoes make their merry way onto the Seamans) to the engineers’ list (it probably includes things like “efficiently dribble oil on machinery” and “turn on things that make lots of noise” and “share weird facts with the rest of the ship”)...
October 23, 2014
Between many of my shipmates and I there has been an ongoing understanding about the ‘three kinds of fun’ that one can find in life. First, there is the fun found in reading a book, watching TV, and relaxing with friends and family. Second, there is the more thrilling fun found from bungee jumping, partying, or exploring new places. This has been one revisited by students and crew throughout the trip, especially when alongside port. I believe the third kind of fun is the most difficult to fully comprehend, but probably one I will better understand by the end of my SEA involvement.
October 22, 2014
Today was an on and off rainy day in Suva. The past few days—our port stops in general, actually—have been packed with so much activity that the rain and the quiet mood in me that it brought was a nice relief. Lately, I’ve been thinking about a concept in anthropology that was introduced to us in class back in Woods Hole (doesn’t that seem ages ago): strive to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.
The phrase seems to suggest that while away from home we will experience the strange.
October 21, 2014
Aboard the Robert C. Seamans one day seems to last a lifetime, as well as pass by in a second. Scrambling into my bunk each night as I lay my head on my pillow it feels almost impossible that it was in fact only twenty-four hours ago when your shipmate nicely cooed you awake that morning by saying your name with an ever-increasing tone of urgency. Before boarding the ship our head resident in Woods Hole, Jeremy, told us to treat the ship as a new country. He explained that with the boat comes a new language, new customs, and a new culture that we would get used to, but that it would also take time.
October 20, 2014
For the last three, almost four weeks the students aboard the Robert C. Seamans have been busy learning the language of sailing, getting use to standing watch and becoming accustomed to ship life. In addition, we have been working on student projects because after all this is a sailing school vessel (although sometimes we forget). Usually all we want to do when we first dock at a new island is explore every foreign inch, yet time has to be set aside to find individuals who will answer our burning questions about all sorts of subjects. From Troca shells to sharks and religion to traditional artifacts, our interest range is broad. So venturing off with a buddy to find helpful locals has been a part of this experience.
October 19, 2014
After days of mounting anticipation we arrived in Suva, Fiji. The majority of the morning was spent piloting our way safely into the dock and clearing customs. This was a group effort that involved striking and setting sails and preparing the ship for the dock. Having done this several times already, we whipped through many of the tasks that only a week ago took the entire arrival process for us to complete. In the down time between clearing customs and docking, many of the students and staff spent their time vying over the only Fiji guide book on the boat to plan out our days for when we hit shore.