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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 26, 2015

Eat, Sleep, Sail

Hayden Harding, C Watch, Bryant University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Scoop takes a moment during watch to watch the sunset.

Ship's Log

42° 11.635’S, 176° 55.215’E

In transit towards Wellington

Souls on Board

One month ago we were confined to our cottages in Woods Hole waiting out a blizzard that put New England under a record amount of snow. Fast forward to yesterday evening and we were getting ready, yet again, for a different kind of weather event. Forecasts told of an approaching cold front with strong southerly winds to follow. The evening started quietly, as the setting sun filled the cloud-spotted sky with colors of orange, and Lauren, our multi-talented steward, played her musical stylings on a violin. Waking at 2300 for watch, my fellow C watchers and I found that the calm had passed and the wind was now in full force, gusty and cold from the south. As we took our turnover from B watch, pitching and rolling in the swells, we suddenly found ourselves tending lines and hauling at the mains’l halyard as the deck lit up with floodlights. Both B and C watch in full force, two thirds of the student crew, shouting over the winds in unison “2, 6, heave!” as we set the double-reefed mains’l. I now sit in my bunk writing this after a 6-hour watch of pitching and rolling, and can’t help but feel a bit salty knowing how seemingly normal this has become.

As we have gotten further into the routine of life at sea, here in the middle of our two-week voyage toward Wellington, we have all grown together into an efficient sailing machine, at least when compared to our first week out of Auckland. Eat, sleep, sail has become our mantra, and as Matt Silvia stated in a previous blog post, the SSV Robert C. Seamans has become our marae. A bond between ship and crew has formed. But more notably, a bond between us crew members as a family has taken shape.

As we work on our various projects and papers, I can’t help but think about how suitable one of my classes can be used to describe what we have become as a seafaring community. The class, “Sense of Place,” aims to “capture the ‘cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic benefits that people value’.” While the class focuses on the places that we visit ashore in New Zealand, we have found our own Sense of Place aboard the Robert C. Seamans. While some still struggle to stomach some of the more intense motions of the ocean, there is always someone right behind them with some saltine crackers and ginger. While some still struggle to learn lines, there is always someone willing to assist in teaching. We have come to value each other intellectually, spiritually, and communally, and have grown into a close-knit group of individuals. With just under half of our sea component left, I eagerly await what our futures will bring.

- Hayden

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257 • (7) Comments
Previous entry: On Burritos and Sextants    Next entry: Passage to Wellington


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 Rick and Trine on February 27, 2015

I was excited to read about the increased winds, and adventurous sailing conditions!  Based on the map it looks like it came at a good time after you turned west and I assume were on a beam/broad reach?  Curious about the wind speed, swell size and point of sail if there is a way to get that info. 
Also, love hearing about the community that has formed and it is hard to believe that you are only half way into your time at sea.  Thank you for all supporting each other so beautifully, especially through the tough times, and for working as a community to keep all safe, healthy and happy.

Keep enjoying!!

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”      ~William Arthur Ward

love you Maravilla!!!

#2. Posted by Heather on February 27, 2015

Awesome post! Beautifully written! Love you!

#3. Posted by Cathy geib on February 27, 2015

Ditto, beautifully written.
Miss my Claudia!

#4. Posted by Diane Flis on February 28, 2015

You’re starting to sound like sailors!  It isn’t always smooth sailing and I’m so glad to hear that you all continue to pull together as a team.

I’m enjoying the family comments as much as the student blogs.  Great quote from William Arthur Ward.  Thanks for sharing.

Wishing you all continued success….

#5. Posted by Kim on February 28, 2015

To all the parents and students…the “hangouts” app is a great way to communicate while they are in Port and can find WiFi.  Video chat, text, or call without using any minutes or data and no international charges. Completely free. Just an fyi. I hope all of you are feeling better now that you are in port. Enjoy your time on land while it lasts!

#6. Posted by Suzy on February 28, 2015

Wow, guys—you’ve crossed to a place outside of time…you must be really feeling your Melville!  Have fun!! Suzy

#7. Posted by Janelisa Williams on March 01, 2015

Happy 21st Megan! Enjoy your birthday while in port; hope you find an amazingly delicious treat on your explorations. I’m spending the weekend in Spokane with Andrea, celebrating Madi’s 10th birthday while Michele freezes in Michigan with her family - frequent subzero temps. Helps her remember why she moved to the NW!

Love you, Mom & Michele



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