SEA Currents: Oceans & Climate
April 05, 2014
On the Robert C. Seamans we are living up the sea life! It’s very different from you landlubbers out there. Sleep is short, but very refreshing. I woke up at 0230 for my watch at 0300, Dawn Watch! This is my favorite watch time. Who guessed it? I’m turning into a morning person. Lily and I wake up at the same time since we are both on B Watch and live in Shellback Alley, aka The Turtles! We get dressed, grab our harnesses and catch a midnight snack.
April 04, 2014
Ahoy from the Robert C. Seamans!
It’s been just over 5 days since the last palm tree on Rangiroa faded from sight in an approaching squall and we’ve seen no land since. We’re now dancing over swells nearly 400 nautical miles as the albatross flies from Rangiroa and have over 200 nautical miles to go to Nuku Hiva! With distances measured in hundreds of miles and travel time measured in days, it’s so important for our little community aboard the Seamans to live and work cohesively together all of the time.
April 03, 2014
It seems everyone is settling deeper into the seafaring life aboard the Seamans. I have observed more and more people awake when they are not on watch. Perhaps because for the most part we have all gained our sea legs and are no longer exhausted from sea sickness and the new sleeping routine. Today, I got closer to accomplishing one of my lifetime goals of learning how to use the sextant. Many of us took advantage of the clear skies and used the sextants to ‘shoot some sun lines’, precompute our local apparent noon and then find our angle at that time to ultimately try to find our latitude.
April 02, 2014
After a sleep of kings night I am ready for today as we continue to sail to Nuku Hiva. Yesterday was a really fun day as a lot of us got pranked for April fools. A Watch had a morning watch (0700 to 1300) and as always we met on the quarter deck for watch turnover. Jay, our Watch Officer and Chief Mate, came on deck with a harness sized for a 7 year old boy and we all had a good laugh. In spite of the pranks, we had a really busy day since we wanted to shut off the engine and go back to sailing.
April 01, 2014
As we continue on toward Nuku Hiva, is has become clear that science stops for no man. Just about every 12 hours we stop the ship’s forward progress, a process known as heaving to, and deploy gear to collect everything from water samples at 400 meters depth to phytoplankton at the surface level. Although we are working together in small groups on our research, we all do our part to help prepare data for other projects. Our duties include working during our on-watch lab hours to deploy the carousel, the neuston net, and the meter net, as well as processing the results.
March 31, 2014
It’s great to have a clean ship and to be underway again, and with Lily here, everything feels more complete and together. Every day I realize more and more the amazing reality of life aboard the ship: although compartmentalized into watches, tasks, standing orders and projects, the sum of our efforts is incredible. Here we are, moving in our floating home across the biggest, bluest ocean I have ever seen! Sometimes I look over during a task and just feel so lucky to live in the most strikingly beautiful place right now (see picture of last night’s crazy sunset for proof).
March 30, 2014
Last night’s swizzle was a great way to spend our final evening in Rangiroa, and we all gathered on the quarterdeck for a variety of festivities. After honoring Neptune, we appreciated the rare opportunity to relax and spend time with those on other watch schedules. Once Nikesh brought out his guitar, there was plenty of music and singing until a bit of passing rain sent most people down into their bunks to grab a few hours of sleep before starting their anchor watch shifts.
March 29, 2014
While the sea may be our home for the moment, there’s always value in a little vacation time. As the hot sun began its slow trek across the sky above us, S-252 was released to explore the beautiful nearby island of Avatoru, a small islet of Rangiroa Atoll. Armed with our notebooks, water bottles, and enough sunscreen to protect the entire population of French Polynesia, we aimed to continue researching our Atlas Entry topics. Helped along by the friendly locals, we completed this task with gusto!
March 28, 2014
There is no better way to end the 0300-0700 Dawn Watch than by watching the sun rise on the horizon while inhaling the scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. This morning, as A Watch prepared to turnover the watch and enjoy the delicious breakfast that awaited us, we got to watch the sun light up Rangiroa, our first port stop. We caught our first glimpse of the atoll last night, and then waited until this morning, when the current was right and everyone was awake, to motor sail through the entrance of the lagoon. We passed between two sandy, palm-tree lined beaches, and were greeted with our first dolphin sighting, which only a few were lucky enough to witness.
March 27, 2014
Today was a blast! I got to cook in the galley today with our awesome steward Nina! It was a really cool experience because I actually got to plan out the meals; it wasn’t like Nina was dictating what I had to make. She really cared about what food I like to cook and my ideas. And as always, the food was amazing! Like Captain Doug says, “it’s either really good or great!”
Today our class assignment was a “Creature Feature,” which was a continuation of a shore component assignment.