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
March 30, 2018
First full day aboard Robert C. Seamans!
Docked at Lyttleton, 43 36.4’S; 172 43.3’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Clear Skies, Sunny, 17 degrees C
SEA class S278 has now completed our first full day on board! Yesterday all twenty-one of us managed to find our way to the dock where we were greeted by the sight of the beautiful Robert C. Seamans surrounded by the backdrop of the lush mountains and turquoise water of Lyttelton, New Zealand. While we have spent six weeks in Woods Hole eagerly and anxiously preparing for our trip to sea, our first glimpse of the boat sparked a wave of unfamiliar emotions. Despite all of our mental and physical preparation, the boat has always seemed to be an entirely different world - almost as if it weren't real. After all, there are few things to which one can compare a forty-one day open sea voyage. Only when we saw the boat did the reality sink in - we are really doing it! The fact that none of us had any idea what to expect or any reference to pinpoint how we were feeling was unsettling. While waiting to be cleared by dock security I heard more than a few exclamations of "what have we gotten ourselves into," one of which may or may not have been muttered by myself. On top of the encroaching nerves, it started off as a bit of a gloomy day with grey skies and light drizzles. However, with blissfully reassuring timing, at almost the exact moment we stepped on board the sun came out and we jumped in full speed with training. At this point, my nerves melted away and were replaced by pure excitement.
The past twenty-four hours have been packed full of basic sailing training - furling sails, coiling and stowing lines, safety procedures, research deployments, boat language, watch schedules - the works. The highlight of today was the chance to climb up into the rigging and view the harbor perched high on the foremast. I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of a dolphin from my spot, which was all too encouraging for those of us who are hoping for the added bonus of spotting some marine creatures that are just a bit larger than the plankton we will be sampling (fingers crossed for whales!). Overall, the day has been packed with a steep learning curve. On top of all of this, for those who have not heard, we are a bit of a goofy bunch, and we have managed to build a group that is not only supportive and cooperative, but also comprised of great friends. With that said, by far the best part of these past few days has been the addition of thirteen new members to our community, all of whom have succeeded in making the Seamans feel like home in just a matter of hours. While this experience has already been filled with new knowledge, challenges and personal growth, the real adventure finally begins tomorrow when we take her to sea.
Shout out to my mama, family, roomies (chicas!), friends, Morgan and loved ones - love you guys!
- Phoebe Shaw, A Watch, George Washington University