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

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

March 30, 2018

First full day aboard Robert C. Seamans!

Phoebe Shaw, A Watch, George Washington University

Ship's Log

Current Position
Docked at Lyttleton, 43 36.4’S; 172 43.3’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed

Clear Skies, Sunny, 17 degrees C

Souls on board


SEA class S278 has now completed our first full day on board! Yesterday all twenty-one of us managed to find our way to the dock where we were greeted by the sight of the beautiful Robert C. Seamans surrounded by the backdrop of the lush mountains and turquoise water of Lyttelton, New Zealand. While we have spent six weeks in Woods Hole eagerly and anxiously preparing for our trip to sea, our first glimpse of the boat sparked a wave of unfamiliar emotions. Despite all of our mental and physical preparation, the boat has always seemed to be an entirely different world - almost as if it weren't real.  After all, there are few things to which one can compare a forty-one day open sea voyage. Only when we saw the boat did the reality sink in - we are really doing it! The fact that none of us had any idea what to expect or any reference to pinpoint how we were feeling was unsettling. While waiting to be cleared by dock security I heard more than a few exclamations of "what have we gotten ourselves into," one of which may or may not have been muttered by myself. On top of the encroaching nerves, it started off as a bit of a gloomy day with grey skies and light drizzles. However, with blissfully reassuring timing, at almost the exact moment we stepped on board the sun came out and we jumped in full speed with training. At this point, my nerves melted away and were replaced by pure excitement.

The past twenty-four hours have been packed full of basic sailing training - furling sails, coiling and stowing lines, safety procedures, research deployments, boat language, watch schedules - the works. The highlight of today was the chance to climb up into the rigging and view the harbor perched high on the foremast. I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of a dolphin from my spot, which was all too encouraging for those of us who are hoping for the added bonus of spotting some marine creatures that are just a bit larger than the plankton we will be sampling (fingers crossed for whales!). Overall, the day has been packed with a steep learning curve. On top of all of this, for those who have not heard, we are a bit of a goofy bunch, and we have managed to build a group that is not only supportive and cooperative, but also comprised of great friends. With that said, by far the best part of these past few days has been the addition of thirteen new members to our community, all of whom have succeeded in making the Seamans feel like home in just a matter of hours. While this experience has already been filled with new knowledge, challenges and personal growth, the real adventure finally begins tomorrow when we take her to sea.

Shout out to my mama, family, roomies (chicas!), friends, Morgan and loved ones - love you guys!

- Phoebe Shaw, A Watch, George Washington University

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s278  study abroad • (4) Comments
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Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Dave Cedarholm on March 30, 2018

Thank you for the delightful update, Phoebe! Clear skies and fair seas ahead to all of you. Best, Dave (Ella’s Dad)

#2. Posted by Kirsten Woods on April 01, 2018

Happy Easter to all for the east coast of Maine! - Kirsten Alexis’s mom ❤️

#3. Posted by Sally Ryan Shaw on April 01, 2018

SO HAPPY to see the first blog post for this trip, and to have it written by my intrepid, brilliant girl!  Have an amazing voyage, all of you, and don’t forget to come home.  Fair winds!

#4. Posted by Heather Ryan on April 03, 2018

I’m so excited and envious of your adventure. When I was 20 I did a transatlantic from Newport to Gibraltar on a 60 foot sloop with 5 total strangers who were also very experienced sailors. Despite seasickness, limited food options, salt-water bathing, and iceberg scares, we had a great time!  However, my trip was only 20 days at sea… not 41 days. You’ll be so appreciative of land’s stability when you return. Although I have yet to sail in Polynesian waters, my Dad sailed around the world after WWII for 5 years on a 76 foot barquentine.  The only place he almost did not leave was Tahiti so I’m sure you’ll love the area. Enjoy your watches, swim with the dolphins, and have fun! Bon voyage!



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