Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

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 01, 2018

B Watch begins!

Ella Cedarholm, B Watch, University of New Hampshire


A view from the lookout on the bow this afternoon.

Ship's Log

Current Position
86 nautical miles East of Christchurch, 43 33.26’ S by 174 59.80’ E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
070 degrees per ship’s compass, 7.3 knots

Sail Plan
Stays’l and Tops’l while motoring

16 degrees C, light winds, low cloud cover and sunny (perfect night for the green flash!)

Souls on board

At the wee hour of 01:00 this morning, my group - B Watch - began our first official watch. The dawn watch from 01:00 to 07:00 in the morning is beloved for its unparalleled view of the stars, its guaranteed sunrise sighting, and the tranquility that being awake at this otherwise unusual time brings. Among other tasks, I stood as lookout for a good portion of the morning where I was visited by a family of dolphins. The entirety of being on the Seamans is a humbling experience, but leaning over the bow at 04:45 in the morning watching eight dolphins chase each other back and forth just a few meters below my feet was absolutely breathtaking. The moon was bright this morning, making the stars hard to see, but allowing me to distinguish the dolphins from one another by the trail of bubbles that outlined their bodies. They were clustering so close to the bow of the boat that it almost seemed like they were playing a game of who could swim nearest to the front of the hull without touching it. When the hull brushed one of them, they would dive deep down and away from the boat, and if I listened hard enough I could hear the rest of them sing to help the stray one find their way back.

Shortly after the dolphins departed, the sun began to rise, indicating the approaching completion of my watch. While I have viewed many a sunrise via a mountaintop, and even a few while in a harbor, this was the first time I got to witness the sun creep its way over the horizon without a piece of land in sight. As lookout, it is my duty to report anything relevant (another boat, a light on the horizon, land, whales, dolphins, etc.) to the mate on duty. This morning, low lying clouds obstructed my view to the East, so the first signal of the morning was not the sun's peeking face, but lightness over the water. Although I had been anticipating its arrival, it seemed bizarre that a splotch white water now appeared over the previously dark ocean waves, and we were heading straight for it. Was it a sheet of ice? Was it fog? Was I imagining things? I reported my sighting back to the mate and sure enough, it was just our friend, the sun.

The rest of our day was filled with many albatross, hot cross buns, and jelly beans. So far the sea has been our only April fools prankster, granting a few of us with sea sickness, but with a community like the one we are so fortunate to have aboard the Seamans, aiding to and comforting our seasick friends has been a priority. Hopefully seasickness will just be an April fools-day joke, but for now, the sea is surely the only one laughing.

- Ella Cedarholm, B Watch, University of New Hampshire

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s278  study abroad • (7) Comments
Previous entry: Report from C Watch    Next entry: Neuston Discoveries


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 Franklin Albro on April 02, 2018

Hi Ella!  This sounds so exciting, especially the sea mammal sightings.  Keep up the great reporting.

#2. Posted by Haley Cedarholm on April 02, 2018

Hey Ella!! I can’t imagine what the stars must look like out there! Glad you experiencing it. XOXO

#3. Posted by Dave Cedarholm on April 02, 2018

What a special time for everyone aboard and an equally special treat for us to hear about it real-time. Thanks for the nicely crafted update, Ella! Love, Dad

#4. Posted by Sally Cedarholm on April 02, 2018

Hi Ella-From the delight of sailing with the dolphins (so much fun!) to the anguish of seasickness, it is wonderful to get your post from sea. So happy to hear that caring for each other is a top priority for the S-278 class. From your description, I felt like I was watching the dolphins too! Love, Mom

#5. Posted by Adele Ziemek on April 03, 2018

Hey El, what a treat to get to read about your watch! You have such a way with words. So amazing that you saw dolphins! I miss you big time already. Love you xoxo

#6. Posted by Susan Tripp on April 03, 2018

Hi Sarah and C watch. 
It is wonderful to hear from you. I continue to be jealous of your
amazing adventure. I imagine you will have nice callouses after
a few weeks. The most wonderful to hear is that you are forming
a great team. Hearing about the sunrise and the dolphins makes me think
lovingly of the water!!  Love you, Mom

#7. Posted by Kathy Albro on April 06, 2018

hi Ella, What an incredible experience you are having, especially with the Dolphins.  You would be caring for me, because I would be suffering from sea sickness.  Enjoy!  Kathy



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.