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
April 28, 2017
Alone but not lonely
20° 29.0’S x 149° 18.0’W
250 nm SSE of Raiatea, French Polynesia
A tropics treat: Sailing on the starboard tack under all fore-and-aft sail!
Wind NEx N, Force 4. Seas 2-3 feet from the East.
It’s been 30 days since we left New Zealand, and with the ocean all around, we are alone.
We’ve seen 2 ships in that time, and spoken to only one, in Chinese no less (nice work Jaquelyn and Marcia!). The isolation of our long ocean passage has allowed us to focus inward; the rhythm of the ship’s routine has become, perhaps unnoticed, the new normal for all hands on board.
Sailing, stopping for science. Sailing again. Dealing with fair weather and foul. Class. Amazing meals. Laughter. Celestial Navigation. Field day. Wondering what ‘our people’ back home are doing at this exact moment. The unmatchable view of our world from aloft. Ever increasing amounts of responsibility, both individually and as a watch. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Fully adjusted to this new normal, students are in the home stretch of the academic portion of our program. Oceanography project groups started presenting their results today. Was that hypothesis you developed on shore supported by the data you collected over the past 4 weeks?
As students present their findings, I’m struck by how much they’ve accomplished during their time on board. In addition to project presentations, our students are now well into their JWO phase, advancing to lead their watch as the Junior Watch Officer. JWO is an opportunity for each watch to demonstrate the skills they’ve acquired over the last 4 weeks. Together, watches keep the ship’s routine going: setting and striking sail, running science deployments, navigating, cooking, cleaning, engineering, etc. Simultaneously, students are putting together their project presentations, preparing for their JWO stint, and so on. The rhythm of the ship’s routine continues.
Thirty consecutive days at sea have molded the crew of S-272 into a strong community, and though we’re alone out here, we are not lonely.