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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand

March 13, 2015

Penguin Day

Sarah Graves, A Watch, Hamilton College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

With only six days left in the program (it’s amazing how time has flown!) I’ve found myself wishing that we could be at sea instead of at our port stop in Dunedin. However, today was my favorite port stop so far! Today was penguin day!

March 13, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Pam

As Tropical Cyclone Pam continues to develop in the South Pacific, the SSV Robert C. Seamans is safely alongside in Dunedin, New Zealand, well beyond the predicted path of the cyclone.

Our ships navigate with safety and risk avoidance as primary objectives. Captains make use of every available means of monitoring and predicting the path of a significant weather system to choose the safest possible itinerary for our ships. They are guided by up-to-the-minute satellite imagery, storm track forecasts and, real-time advice from colleagues at the National Weather Service. In the face of tropical storms and hurricanes, minimizing exposure to heavy weather dictates every aspect of shipboard decision-making. Currently the Robert C. Seamans is secure alongside in Dunedin, New Zealand, and will remain there until offshore wind and sea conditions are settled.

We encourage you to enjoy the blogs coming from the ship and as always, feel free to contact SEA directly with any questions or concerns.

March 11, 2015

Happy Birthday SSV Robert C. Seamans!

Helen Dufel, C-Watch, Stony Brook University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

I would like to use this blog to give a very big Happy Birthday to our classroom, our music studio, our home, the Robert C. Seamans! Momma Seamans is turning 14 today and even the dolphins and seals have come out to wish her a great day. On March 10th, 2001 the Robert C. Seamans was launched in Tacoma Washington. Our very own Mary Malloy was there to witness the first adventure of this fine vessel. On this historic day the ship was only a hull, which was held fast to the pier by steel plates.

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March 10, 2015

The Word on the Bird

Natasha “Scoop” Kaufman, B Watch, Boston University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, actually, our story begins in the morning, around 1100. It wasn’t particularly dark at that point, as the sun had risen several hours before, and it wasn’t stormy either – a little cloudy, maybe, though at that point the morning’s overcast skies were clearing up. But I’ll leave the specifics to our hourly weather log, and get on with it.

March 09, 2015

Back at Sea

Jenny Jones, C Watch, Middlebury College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Today was our first full day at sea in a week and, as is to be expected, much of our ship’s company is still in the midst of an adjustment period. We have had to contend with the familiar obstacles of life at sea, including hallways, tables, and showers that unexpectedly turn sideways, not to mention the associated queasiness alluded to by Sara in yesterday’s post. In some ways, getting underway feels like a return to our old routine, but a lot is changing.

March 08, 2015

Mal de Mer

Sara Martin, Third Mate & Med Officer, currently of A Watch

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

After a marvelous and much extended visit to Windy Wellington, the crew of S-257 headed back out to sea early this afternoon, equal parts excited to be getting underway and nervous about the challenges of the upcoming leg.

While everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves immensely in Wellington-exploring the city, running and hiking on the extensive local trails, getting fabulous tours of both Te Papa and Kaitoke park, and accomplishing an impressive amount of academic-project and ship’s work-the return to sea offers a retreat from the particular demands of the land.

March 07, 2015

YOU SHALL NOT PASS. Out of Wellington So Covered in Mung!

Claudia Geib, A Watch, Northeastern University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Good evening from a damp night here on the other side of the world! The full moon moon is shining, the wind is blowing, and Mama Seamans is clean-after a day of preparation, she and her crew are ready for our departure from Wellington tomorrow afternoon and the continuation of our adventure.

A watch started this morning with sponges in hand, performing the daily ritual of DC, or dawn cleaning.

March 06, 2015

Delayed in Windy Wellington

Eleah Wilkerson, B watch, Amherst College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Hello! Well, Wellington is still windy, and we are still here to be blown away. Those 45 knot winds promised in yesterday’s post came howling in this morning, and though it would be nice to be sailing today as planned, it’s probably good that we are staying in port until this weather blows over. I started the morning on watch at 0600 and in time to watch a spectacular sunrise before the sky clouded over.

March 05, 2015

Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand

Maravilla Clemens, A Watch, Colby College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Greetings from Windy Wellington! And it appears that it really will live up to its name—with up to 45-knot winds forecasted in the upcoming days, it is unlikely that we will be leaving our port until Sunday. While we are disappointed that we will have to wait a few extra days until we can have the wind in our sails again, it is pretty hard to complain at the moment. I am writing this from the top of the doghouse, basking in the sun while others lounge and read and our vagabond visitor Anthony strums on the guitar.

March 04, 2015


Emma Colman, B Watch, Knox College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

I don’t write to you from the desktop computer of the ship. I simply couldn’t, it didn’t feel right. No, I am scribbling this down along the shore of Wellington’s Harbor- Where the tide is coming in and people are strolling by. It is a lovely night and was an impeccable day. We rose in the early hours of the morning (as per usual) then packed our bags for a forest adventure. Amongst our countless blessings, we are fortunate enough to have onboard two people doing a project that led us to Kiatoke National Forest.

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