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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

November 25, 2015

Almost Thankful

Chelsea Ettlinger, C-Watch, Oberlin College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Ship's Log

Description of location
Gorgeous blue all the way around, nothing else in sight with the exception of maybe a shearwater (bird) or two.

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
5.6 knots

Taffrail Log
304.5 nm

Cloudy at sunrise, sunny and hot by 10:00. Low winds, need some help from the engine to move forward…

Souls on Board

Ahoy Maities!

At this point, as you all know if you’ve been good little home dwellers and reading the blog posts daily, the movement of time on mama Seamans is a funky thing. So for the past few days (or so, but who can say for sure how long it’s been, really) we have been blessed by Neptune and the wind blowers with beautiful warm sun filled days and calm seas. Spirits are high and smiles are abundant. The ship is growing into that happy place we all hoped it would reach. Seriously, between the last few days of sunshine, I have reached paradise levels of glee. Don’t get me wrong- we all appreciate the adventure of the swollen sea and wild winds. But to be sure, the morale of the ship and all of its members is now at a consistent high in a way that it definitely wasn’t when we began our voyage. I guess speaking for myself; I feel jazzed up and GREAT.

At this point, the off-schedule and brand spankin’ new knowledge necessary for the tasks at hand are all becoming familiar; routine, even. Before the seas calmed, the highest point of morale I witnessed occurred when we were graced by the presence of several dolphins at our bow. I’m pretty sure now that dolphins exist in this big blue watery thing solely for the purpose of boosting mariner morale. They’re influence is pretty incredible. We’ve now not only had good weather to fill that spirit-boosting role and ease our tummies, but also we have seen another batch o’ dolphins, a WHALE (!!!!!), and our good pal Nate from engineering has caught THREE huge tunas- the biggest one today. Pretty swell out here lately.

Today I was lucky enough to get Bex, our steward, to myself all day. I woke up at just about 5 AM and kicked off the day with some banana muffins. Bex and I had a grand ol’ time in the galley cooking our butts off from morn to night. It’s a lot of work, this galley stuff, and Bex does a phenomenal job day in and day out. Working with her today was a special treat, even if it was exhausting. After muffins, we made shakshuka and corn bread muffins for lunch, and some rockin’ lasagna for dinner. Our snack after class in the sunny afternoon was chocolate mousse in a batch large enough to supposedly fill approximately 130 servings. It’s just about done now.  Yeah, you can go ahead and say it: we’re a little gross.  In the photo pictured above, I’m working on the midnight snack: ginger snaps. I’m gonna admit that I am pretty proud of all that food! I also want to give a shout out to Gaia and M, our marvelous grandmothers of whom we shared many stories. Gaia, you sound great and Bex really loves you very much, I can tell. (M, we’re making creamed spinach tomorrow for Thanksgiving, of course. Sending my love to you!!!!!!)

In our afternoon class today, Mark reminded us of all the problems intertwined with the history of Thanksgiving and also gave us a refresher of a good bit of the maritime history we learned during the shore component. Kate made not one, but TWO surprise presentations during class. What a smart pal to have around. Well done Kate, fellow C-watch member! We had class out on the quarterdeck in the sun. Don’t worry moms and dads reading back home, we certainly DID pass the sunscreen around. We look out for each other. We’re kind of sweet that way.

All this is to say that I have a lot to be thankful for this year. And look at the time: it is just about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I am amidst a second shot at summer, a new dynamic environment, dolphins, new friends, crystal clear magical blue water, clear moonlit nights, many salps and zooplankton (exceptionally large heteropods!!), salty air. We are living a good life right now, and we will not let that go unnoticed. I am undoubtedly glad to be here right now in the big blue pacific off the coast of New Zealand. We’re going to hit port in the Bay of Islands early in the morning and get ready to chow down in thanks. It may be almost Thanksgiving, but I am already thankful!

Cheers (and many thanks to all those who got me here to where I am and to who I am,)

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s263 • (1) 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 Gusty Lange on December 01, 2015

Love this note and we thought about you on Thanksgiving… on the other side of the world….  sounds like that day and the whole experience was awesome… and we are blessed to have been able to skype with YOU!!!!!!! My last comment:  wow….keep writing!!!!!!  The spinach looked awesome…. Dad made Ms recipe here!!!!..and my whole life, the spinach has been my favorite part of the meal!  Yes, we give thanks for all….. L, MoM



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