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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

February 13, 2015

A Day of Firsts

Emily Tokarowski, C Watch, Stonehill College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

From left to right: Elizabeth Asch, Sarah Graves, Claudia Geib, and Emily Tokarowski taking a ‘selfie’ from Kiarara Bay in front of our home, Robert C. Seamans

Ship's Log

36° 10.981’ S x 175° 21.382’

At Anchor off Great Barrier Island in Kaiarara Bay of Port Fitzroy, New Zealand

Partly Cloudy but still plenty of sun!  Not a lot of wind today however.

Souls on Board

Although we have been working within our watch groups since day one, today was our first taste of “real” watch life.  At 0600, the Morning Watch (C Watch) was woken up for the first breakfast and began their first 6-hour watch!  Following Morning Watch began another 6-hour watch called Afternoon Watch.  Then three 4-hour watches are held throughout the night until Morning Watch begins again. 

On this first Morning Watch, the mains’l, the main stays’l, and the fore stays’l, were set!  Unfortunately, the lack of wind and other circumstances kept us from setting more sails to propel us to our point of anchorage.  So rather, we cruised to Kaiarara Bay with our engine, but the watches remained busy with various daily duties and sail work.  Once we left the Hauraki Gulf, the beautiful ocean scenery, rolling waves, and gorgeous sunshine brought nearly everyone aboard to the deck for some reading, relaxing, and simply good conversation with good company.  At one point, our vessel passed a large flock of birds, which we later came to find signaled the presence of whales.  Many of those on deck were able to spot the whales’ flukes and spouts from a distance.

In addition to soaking up the sun, those on watch executed the first Neuston Tow (in which we tow a fine-mesh net along the side of the ship to collect phytoplankton, fish, and micro plastics) for class S-257.

By around 1430 we dropped anchor.  Although we all loved the fact that “Mama Seamans” got to stretch her legs in some open ocean, the best of the day was yet to come.  After our on-deck class at 1530, we received word from Captain Elliot Rappaport that we could take a quick break to swim in the bay off the port side of the ship!  After a long and sunny day, the students and some of the crew were ready in their togs (the New Zealand term for bathing suit—courtesy of Adelle, our New Zealand local) in a matter of minutes to jump off the side of the ship into the beautifully blue water.  Even Adelle’s traditional—and extremely delicious!—New Zealand Pavlova was scarfed down (not a single crumb was left) so we could rush to the deck for our precious swim time.  It was just the right temperature.  And for many of us, we would hop into the water, climb out, lather up with some soap, and hop right back in—it made for an easy and very enjoyable shower!

Tomorrow it sounds like we will be doing some exploring on the Great Barrier Island, but stayed tuned and read what we have posted for tomorrow’s adventures!

Also, we are all wondering how New England and other home states are coping with the weather.  Feel free to comment on this to keep us updated about the snow and other conditions.  We hope everyone is safe and keeping warm!

- Emily

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257  swim call • (12) 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 Cynthia on February 13, 2015

What a great sailing adventure for a land-locked Coloradoan like you, Eleah!! Dad and I love exploring Google Earth to view the terrain you are passing as you sail. Looks like great swimming!  Love, Mom

#2. Posted by Jodi Freedman on February 13, 2015

Sounds like so much fun! We are expecting another FOOT of snow here on Cape Cod tomorrow… Enjoy the warmth!
Also, wishing my lovely daughter, Jessica Freedman, a happy 20th Birthday!
This will be her first time not celebrating her and her dad’s Valentines Day birthdays together…but together in hearts!!!!
With love,


#3. Posted by Cathy GEIB on February 13, 2015

Great post Emily, the water looks gorgeous! So happy to see all of you and our Claudia making use of her Christmas present- the go-pro. They are predicting some of the coldest weather on record for this weekend. New York is not getting hit as bad as Boston but it is really cold.
Enjoy and thanks for keeping us all posted. Claudia’s Dad texts me every day when the new blog is up , it is a major highlight of the day!
Claudia’s Mom.

#4. Posted by Valerie Adair on February 13, 2015

We woke up this morning to 7 degree temperatures in Pennsylvania this morning, so very jealous of all you swimming.  Glad to see you are all having fun.  (Jill’s mom)

#5. Posted by Kim on February 13, 2015

Let’s start by saying Happy Birthday to Jessica! It is a whopping 4 degrees with the “feels like” of -8! We are expecting 6-10 inches of snow here in RI. Kyle, we can only see the roof of the house from the street! It is nice to see that you guys were able to lather up today for a much needed bath. Lol Can’t wait for the next post from you! Be safe! Love Ya!

#6. Posted by Andrea on February 14, 2015

Happy birthday Jessica.  It is snowing here AGAIN!  So very jealous of the warmth and sun,  Love ya, Aunty

#7. Posted by Heather on February 14, 2015

As I drove to SF this morning it was warm enough to have to have my windows open at 8:30am…. Or is it proper to say 0830. smile I started to wonder if it was summer here too! I hope everyone is having a great time! Happy Valentine’s Day to the students, crew and captain!

#8. Posted by Anthony Daley on February 15, 2015

Hey guys! I’m staying in a quaint little cottage in Okiato, right next to the village of Russell, looking out into the Bay of Islands. Can’t wait to hear how the journey has gone so far when we meet up sometime tomorrow.

See y’all soon!

#9. Posted by Rick and Trine Clemens on February 15, 2015

Love that you are at anchor and able to get some swim time. The water looks wonderfull!  We are in the Sierras at 6000 feet elevation with no snow and wearing shorts today. Kinda scary actually!  Hoping for more wind for you all and excellent sailing.  Happy Valentine’s day to Maravilla!  Miss you and love you!!


#10. Posted by Joe and Mary Ann on February 15, 2015

Nice post, Emily, and Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to you and your mates.  WOW!  That water is so clear!  We are so glad that everyone was able to refresh themselves with a dip in the ocean.  It was nice that you got to set some sails today and put “Mama Seamans” through some of her paces.  We are enjoying reading the blogs and following your adventures.  Still very cold, windy, and snowy here in upstate New York.  Love Mom and Dad.

#11. Posted by Ana "banana" H on February 16, 2015

Thanks for the post Emily!

Ana here, Gravy’s friend from Hamilton. Looks like you guys are having an amazing time! Temperature here plummets more and more everyday, so please soak up every last ray of sun for us!!

Gravy boat: miss you so much, you look so dang happy though so can’t complain! You’re not missing anything here, so can’t wait to live vicariously through these posts! Much love from soph, katiekins and I, we’ll be seeing you so soon<3

#12. Posted by Vici Smith on February 16, 2015

I’m so excited for all of you, and admittedly a bit jealous.  It was 3 degrees here in Philly last night with snow on the way.  Emily, I enjoyed your descriptive account of the day’s events. That’s a great photo!  It gave us a good sense of the ship and conditions.  I had to google ‘pavlova’ as I was wondering what was so delicious.  It looks yummy.  Thanks too for infusing some of the local culture.  I’m happy that you all are safe and having fun. (Jill’s aunt)



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