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!
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
Stays’l and Tops’l while motoring
16 degrees C, light winds, low cloud cover and sunny (perfect night for the green flash!)
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