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
December 01, 2017
Deep Waters and Shrinking Cups
32° 39.1’S 178° 31.5’W
Course & Speed
Course ordered 150°T, course steered 170 PSC, 3.8 knots
Sailing full and by under the four lowers
Sunny, 23°C, and light winds
Hello from water world (term from Assistant scientist Steve, who's constantly on lookout for land)!
There is still no land in sight today, and we have been enjoying easterly winds and sunny skies here in the Pacific the past few days. It's finally starting to feel like summer here along the subtropical currents. C watch (my watch) had the deck today from 0700-1300. Every watch has begun Phase 2 of our learning and leadership here on the ship. This includes shadowing our watch officers, making the rotation schedules, and even calling hands to sails as we all begin to take on more responsibility during watch. It's been a little bumpy at the start, but I think we're all starting to understand the bigger picture of things. However, no matter how many times "Hands to pass the stays'ls!" has been belted out at us across the deck, the minute I went to take my turn to call out the orders all words failed. What is a sail again? How does one double jibe? Despite fumbling over words, our double jibe ran smoothly and the patience from my watch was greatly appreciated. There are so many moving parts within 6 hours of a watch, and it has been challenging and rewarding to be able to begin to understand the broader scope of navigating and maintaining a ship this size.
Besides the transition into Phase 2, today team science had our traditional "Styro-Cast!" The main goal of this deployment was to completely lower the wire to a depth that would allow us to re-lubricate it as it coils back onto the ship. To make the whole 4 hour process more entertaining, the entire crew decorated Styrofoam cups last night and then stuffed all 33 cups into pantyhose to be deployed into the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Why did we do this you ask? Why not? The free CTD and Styrofoam cups sank to about 2781 meters (between 1-2 miles) of depth where the maximum pressure was 2815 db. At this depth, the Styrofoam cups compressed and shrank to produce tiny cups that where about 1/8th the size of the original once they reached the surface They're definitely going to make great Christmas ornaments once we get home (Shoutout to Savio, our assistant engineer, for the idea). After letting about 3500 meters of wire out, we successfully lubricated it as it came back on board, and hopefully all our next deployments will continue to run smoothly. On top of creating tiny little cups, we also were able to get a complete water column profile with our free CTD measurements. This includes profiles of temperature, salinity, chlorphyll-a concentrations, and fluorescence.
A lot of what we do during our watch rotations is to ensure everything is running smoothly and to take time to repair things as we go; hence our long Styro-Cast today all for the sake of maintaining the wire for future deployments. For now, there is yet another beautiful sunset on the agenda this evening. Fingers crossed we have clear skies for C watch's dawn watch tonight (0100-0700), because seeing Orion and the Southern Cross will never get old.
*3 hours later update: as I attempted to sleep I heard cheers from up on deck - we caught our first fish! We have a fishing line trailing our ship during the day when we are in open water. It was a 23 lb. Tuna! Hopefully tomorrow's blog has a photo, but it looks like Tuna is on the dinner menu... for now, signing off.
To my loving and generous parents, Max (cheeseburger and fries), and all my friends (abroad and elsewhere), I think of you all often and miss you dearly. I can't wait to tell you about everything I have learned and seen here in New Zealand. Always sending good vibes, Love you.
Until next time,
PS from savio: hi mum! i hope you're having a great start to december. happy birthday!