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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

February 18, 2017

Dolphins at the Port Bow, Scrubbed Decks, and Setting Sails

Adam Tigar, C Watch, Carleton College

The Global Ocean

Ben at the helm sailing by a rainbow. Photo by Austin Sun.

Ship's Log

Current Position
38° 413.05’ S x 174° 58.38’ E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
355°, 0.6 knots

Calm seas and full stratus cloud cover

Souls on Board

As we prepared to raise the anchor, C watch (my watch) began the sea watch structure of six hours on, 12 hours off by waking up from an interrupted night of sleep at 0600. Kate P. and Sabrina crushed the first meal, starting off the day with scrambled eggs, potatoes with onions and peppers, and bacon. Watch began at 0700 on deck with Austin, Anna J, 3rd mate Eric, and myself scrubbing the decks with freshwater. Every 30 minutes, one of us would break off to check the anchor and our position to make sure we were not dragging an anchor all around Mahuite Island. Despite the comings and goings, the deck was pretty spotless after.

Anchor raised at 0830, with Shem at the helm once more. Part way through our departure C watch dropped a buoy for a man overboard drill. A and B watch deployed the rescue boat with Clare and Cassie onboard.

With the buoy recovered, A and B watches set the mainsail, topsail, and staysail; A & B returned below deck while I began the 1000 deck check. Surprise, surprise, I do not fit well into the engine room (an essential part of deck checks) but I still manage to check the day tank levels someway somehow. At 1100 I relieved Anna J at lookout and everything possibly exciting happened over the next 90 minutes. In addition to the much less interesting speedboats and ships the lookout is supposed to report on, I saw four sharks! Later on, a lone dolphin started approaching from the port bow. Soon joined by five others (including a juvenile!), the dolphin swam in front of the boat from side to side putting on a little show. They were so close, skimming right along the water! Sadly, most of the people who got a glance at them were on watch and did not have cameras on deck.

The dolphins and sharks made 90 minutes pass by easily, whereafter I took over the helm from Anna J for the remaining 30 minutes of watch. While I was busy below decks and at the bow, Madeline, Shem, and Kai performed the first CTD (Conduvity Temperature Depth) deployment collecting ocean water samples with programmed bottles on a carousel lowered over the side of the boat. CTD deployments will happen at least twice a day for the remainder of the voyage. Post-watch, Kate and Sabrina had tomato soup, grilled cheese, and salad waiting in the saloon for lunch. Another pod of dolphins swung by on port side afterwards, even more than before! Jeff led our Maritime History and Culture class, debriefing Tiritiri Matangi and the War Memorial Museum. I took the time between class and dinner for a 2.5 hour nap in preparation for dawn watch (0100 to 0700). Woke up to pad thai and I’m stoked for the blueberry muffins waiting for me at 0100.

- Adam

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s271  life at sea  megafauna • (1) Comments
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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 Dean Vallas & Debra Pemstein on February 20, 2017

Hey Sophie—

Happy Birthday, cha cha cha

Mom, Dad, Zoe and Buzz



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