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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

July 16, 2015


Madeline Schuldt, Bowdoin College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Photo Caption: Venus and Jupiter while shooting stars during star frenzy. (Christina Quinn)

Ship's Log

00°02.00’ N x 168°09.5’ W

Winds ESE 4-6 knots

Course ordered

Ship speed
7.5 knots

Souls on Board

Looking up at the stars from the bow of the ship, humming melodies at long last remembered from childhood, I thought of what the coming day would bring. Anticipation of crossing the equator, the first time for the majority of us, runs rampant about the ship. You can hear whispers of the projected time when we will cross it through the hallways, from Sleepy Hollow to The Foc’sle. An imaginary line divvying the globe into two sections, the equator holds different expectations for everyone. Some expect rain and heavy, building cumulus clouds, others anticipate heat even greater than what we are experiencing now, some hope for wind and an end to the motorsailing, I personally look forward to the changing of the sky. 

This journey has brought me closer to the stars than ever before, closer than I could have ever imagined. Though to some the sky will not seem to change much, the star I have always counted on seeing come the darkness, a star that has acted like a sign of home, Polaris, will no longer be visible. Instead, the Southern Cross will be the defining feature of the darkness, lighting the way. It is a welcome change. Much like the way life has changed, slowed down, while aboard ‘Mama Seamans’, it is greatly appreciated and not unnoticed. A break in the clouds behind us affords me one last look at Polaris; I know that tomorrow it will be too far below the horizon, effectively hidden, for the remainder of the trip. 

As watch comes to a close, I take solace in knowing that this is not nearly the last time I will experience this calm on the bow. On the contrary, it is only one of the first. I know that my shipmates and I are in for a restful, deep, dream-lit sleep. After being relieved from look-out and after rejoining the rest of the watch for a quick debrief, we decide on an interesting chant which undoubtedly describes our state of emotions. Putting our hands together we chant “Two-Six” followed by silence rather than the usual strange phrase like equator lasagna or mustachio bashio for example.

As we make our way below, a couple of us find ourselves in the main salon, talking, snacking and happily sharing the post-watch silence. For having been together just a short time, this gathering has become something of a tradition, a means of releasing any last energy before heading to our bunks for a much needed sleep. Our incessant snacking and meaningful searches of the high-boy remind me of the incredible increase in food consumption. While I normally have no trouble finishing a full plate of food and more, I find myself and others easily finishing two or more full plates of food at each meal and then snacking continuously throughout the day. These changes bring a smile to my face, they are just further evidence of the incredible lifestyle change we have all undertaken.

I feel the weight of sleep on my eyes, head, shoulders, and entire body. I slowly rise, remembering the songs that have been stuck in my head throughout the day which I journal because they act as a form of memory which holds the day’s events in it. With great anticipation, I move toward my bunk and, with great excitement, think of what the rest of the day, when I wake up in a couple of hours, will hold.

On board ‘Mama’ Seamans,

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s261  celestial navigation • (8) Comments
Previous entry: Approaching the Equator    Next entry: Siren Song


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 Mark Caspers on July 17, 2015

Congratulations Nikki and the entire crew of the Robert C. Seamans on your safe crossing of the equator.  A milestone for every sailor to be sure.  Enjoy the moment and I look forward to hearing about all the adventures to come.

#2. Posted by The Beatties on July 17, 2015

Congratulations to Madeline and her able shipmates on their crossing of the equator.  Do your toilets swirl backwards in the southern hemisphere?  Claire misses watching “Shark Week” with you and hopes you haven’t crossed paths with Megalodon during your voyage.  We miss you and can’t wait to hear of your adventures at sea!

#3. Posted by Mary on July 18, 2015

Thank you for another beautiful blog that brings your adventures closer to home-land.

#4. Posted by Tom Diaz on July 18, 2015

How incredible it must be to cross the equator on the journey of a life time. I can hardly imgaine the anticipation of you all, and your excitement for what lies ahead. Look out to the stars, and know that we are all looking up with you. Eat well, take pictures, stay safe, and capture every moment. I can’t wait to hear about all of your stories when you return.

More than yesterday, less than tomorrow. - T.

#5. Posted by Team Chory on July 19, 2015

Hey Madge!
Miss you so much!  Hope you’re having a blast.  We love reading about your trip and can’t wait to hear about it in Tac.  The ladies miss you too smile
xoxoxo, Team Chory

#6. Posted by Mark Schulz on July 20, 2015

Hey Erica and all aboard,  You’re almost to a key destination—well done !!  I’m sure everyone is anxious to see land and explore Kanton.  We really enjoy the updates on the blog and look forward to them each day.  Thanks for taking time to keep us posted.

#7. Posted by Pat and all on July 20, 2015

Hi from the tristates (NY,NJ&DE;)!
Hope your adventure is even a glimpse of what your crewmates depict- truly an adventure of a life time. Though thinking of you daily we too have changed- certified addicts of this blog. To you and your crew ENJOY, keep safe, explore (no-sharkies can’t come home with you) and if time allows keep the updates coming for us poor souls left on land.

#8. Posted by Bonnie Quinn on July 22, 2015

Christina what an amazing picture!  I can hardly wait to see all the pictures you have taken.  Your photography always leaves me awestruck!

Madeline you have given a beautiful description of a sky so often taken for granted.



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