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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

May 07, 2020

Party hats and cake all around!!!!

Cassie Sleeper, Mate

You always have to set the "party hat" (Raffee) when there's a party! Seems like we're in the ITCZ from the sky but it makes for a pretty sky.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
05 degrees 08.2’ N x 139 degrees 43.7’ W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
000T, 6.8 knots

Days underway and trip log
Day 30, 4496 nm

Weather/Wind/Sail Plan
Wind SxE/SSE F3/4, Seas SSE 5-8 FT, Overcast skies 7/8 cover small rain squalls in area, motor-sailing at 1300 RPMs under the raffee, topsail, and main staysail

Description of location
1239 NM SE of the Southernmost tip of Hawaii (Big Island)

Today is officially 30 days since we left New Zealand! One of the ways we know that it's been 30 days is all of the music we had downloaded on our phones from Spotify has expired (a heavy sigh was heard around the ship). Some people have looked at what music they have on their computers and hard drives which has led to some great discoveries of playlists friends made them in high school and some rather eclectic assortment of "I listened to this at one time?" kind of music. Great finds!!

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity around here!!  We've been making our way north to warmer climates; It's been quite wonderful. We have surpassed 4000 miles and crossed from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere! When we were getting close to crossing we hove the ship to and went for a swim.  It was lovely drifting across the equator in 29C/84F water!

We even had special visitors come on the 5th!! King Neptune and his court came and separated all the Pollywogs on board and told them of their transgressions (there was some booing and hissing from his court of miscreants). Unfortunately all were found guilty (no surprise there). Neptune's legal representative asked if they were prepared to atone for their wrongdoings and willing to run a gauntlet to prove their worthiness to become Shellbacks and thankfully all agreed!  Neptune and his court mysteriously disappeared as they came. The morning of the 6th Neptune sent the ship a wonderful breakfast for the Pollywogs he made himself!!!  Tasty oatmeal of the sea!  The Shellbacks had chicken and waffles which Neptune himself doesn't care for but is ok with Shellbacks eating it. That afternoon Neptune came back and it was time for the Pollywogs to run the gauntlet to prove their desire to become Shellbacks. Thankfully, everyone made it out unscathed and there are only Shellbacks on the Seamans now. 

The tradition of the crossing the equator ceremony has been around for as long as people have gone to sea.  Each ceremony is slightly different and we (Shellbacks) aren't supposed to talk about the specifics to people who haven't crossed (Pollywogs), but all involve going through an obstacle course on board, getting SOAKING wet from salt water, possibly some kind of food substance, and giving of some hair to the sea.  A few hundred years
ago, the bosun would take a rusty barrel hoop, grind it down until it was sharp, and shave the heads of the Pollywogs. Glad to say we've gotten a little more sophisticated than that, we used the best scissors on the boat. After the ceremony a few people decided to take this opportunity to get a new hair style. They're looking quite good. We had cake after to celebrate the joyous occasion! 

The weather has been quite nice, we've been having E-SE'ly winds and it's been anywhere from 25C/77F to 30C/85F.  It's funny and welcomed to be cold when it's 25C/77F during dawn watch.  I hope it doesn't get much chillier as we head more North.  Today it's been overcast and we've had some small squalls develop which makes me think we are entering the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone).  It's quite pretty but does leave things SUPER humid.

Soon we will be turning left to start our last leg of the voyage to Hawaii. A lot of talk around the ship has been what to expect when we get to Hawaii. We get regular updates on news and stuff about Hawaii and the Mainland but it's hard to know exactly what the world will look like when we get there. One thing is for sure, when we land in Hawaii all of us onboard will be different from when we left New Zealand.

The full moon is tonight.  Last night I got some people howling at it.  Must go and do that again tonight.  It's not a proper full moon until you've howled at it a bit...

- Cassie Sleeper, Mate/bosun extraordinaire 

P.S. Hi to my mom, brother, friends, and my KALMAR NYCKEL FAMILY!!!  I hope you're enjoying our blogs and tracking our progress!  It's nice to know that some people I know are reading this!  We love reading everyone's comments on these blogs so keep doing it!!  The office sends them every few days and we all talk about whose mom/aunt/dad commented.  :D

P.P.S. Captain Lauren, I've told everyone here about your equator crossing banana situation; we all laughed.

Editor's Note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all SEA Semester students departed our ships on or before March 18, with modifications made to the cruise tracks to ensure swift travel home.  A small, dedicated professional crew aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans is working in a closed community to return the ship to US waters.  The crew complied with New Zealand's 14 day self-isolation period to establish & maintain crew health prior to departing on their open ocean passage.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topics: s290t • (9) Comments


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 Kat Caudle on May 08, 2020

yay! I’ve been waiting for a Cassie update. Love reading the blog and following all of you! Fair winds and all that…  the world won’t be the same but neither will we.

-Kat C.

#2. Posted by Flicker on May 09, 2020

Your retelling and adventure leave me longing more deeply such experiences for myself. Dare I take the step? For now those of us sequestered on land can dream of a future that you are living. Thank you for giving us something to continue on for.  Much love and safe travels to you all.

#3. Posted by Jan Ross, KNF staff on May 09, 2020

Glad you made it across the equator! Your blog post was shared on KN Crew by Tom Unger on FB. Capt. Lauren loved the shout out fr mid-Pacific. It made my day to read your news & antics. HI is stunning w COVID 19 be safe. Fair winds!

#4. Posted by Sharon Bonner on May 09, 2020

Congrats to former Pollywog Rocky. Although he has been a professional tall ship sailor for 19 years, he is finally a Shellback.

#5. Posted by Scott Pollock on May 09, 2020

We (Judy & Scott, Sonia’s parents) are loving all the blogs!  You all write beautifully and we’re so fortunate to be able to vicariously share your experience.  All the best and bon voyage from us housebound Pollywogs, hoping to face Neptune’s Court some day for real.

#6. Posted by Rebecca on May 10, 2020

We’re all howling under that same beautiful moon with you shelllbacks!

#7. Posted by john french on May 12, 2020

Cassie, it’s great to hear that you have had a smooth crossing to this point. I’m assuming it was good based on much talk of King Neptune and Pollywogs and no mention of foul winds and gales. I hope you’re abaft the beam the rest of the way to Hono. I’m really interested to see how things will shape up for the rest of the year. Fair winds.

#8. Posted by Maria Sleeper on May 13, 2020

Cassie I always love your colorful descriptions.  I’m so glad you are having a good time and “teaching the young-ins”.  I hope to attend King Neptune’s court one day.  Stay fearless. Fair Winds my darling.

#9. Posted by Stacey Strong on May 17, 2020

Cassie!!!  Love this blog so much!! Thanks for bringing us aboard with you for a bit!!! 
Fair winds,



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