Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs
  • View SEA Semester campus visit calendar

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

July 17, 2017


Kate Suchanec, C Watch, Pennsylvania State University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Driving the winch, thinking about science and probably snack time, too

Ship's Log

Current Position
3° 30.7’ S x 170° 03.9’ W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
330° and 3.5 knots

Sail Plan
Motoring along (*thumbs up*)

Post squalls with a beautiful sunset off the port side!

Souls on Board

Hello from PIPA!!! (Mom, I’m alive) This is the official first blog post from the SSV Robert C. Seamans in PIPA waters, which was basically the whole goal of this voyage, so it’s a pretty big deal that we FINALLY made it.

Anyway, the theme of this blog is FIRSTS! As we officially wrapped up our first week at sea, today at approximately 1400, I have a few firsts I want to look back on.


For me and a few of my other shipmates our first steps on the Robert C. Seamans also happened to be our first steps on a boat in the ocean. No better way to find out if you like boats than jumping onto a five week ship voyage with no escape! Another first for some of us was sea sickness! I am proud to announce that I, Kate Suchanec, was the first member of class S-274 to throw up over the side of the boat. (I did say firsts was the theme) Cassidy Lyons, if you’re reading this, you would have been so proud of me for my puke and rally, all 7 times.

Some more serious firsts included being on the first watch while under way! (Shout-out to C watch, a.k.a. the best watch) C watch also had the honors of the very first science deployment! This was probably my favorite thing to happen that day. I got to drive the wire, which means I got to lower and raise the carousel. The carousel, also known as a hydrocast, is a ring of bottles that collects water for sampling from different depths of the ocean (600 meters!).

Another first was the stars. I’ve seen stars before, spent hours gazing up at the heavens trying to point out faint constellations from my backyard, but I’ve never imagined stars like this. The sky is covered in thick masses of stars that twinkle down at us, satellites that race by, and so many shooting stars. I’m amazed by every constellation that’s been pointed out to me. I definitely have Scorpio, Sagittarius, and the summer triangle down now thanks to Janet and Adrienne, the OG C Watch Officers.

Back to C watch firsts…we were the first watch to set the course sail, and then, pretty much immediately after, take it in because of some squalls. By now we’ve all learned our sails and lines, as demonstrated in our line race in which C watch decided to let other watches be first for a little change. Yesterday was our very first field day, which was nothing like elementary school field day in that there were no obstacle courses unless you count trying to maneuver around 37 other people trying to deep clean the entire ship (DEFEAT THE MUNG). It was still pretty enjoyable, though. We got to listen to music and have candy, so it was probably better than elementary school.

We also saw a boat last night, which was pretty exciting (especially for Kyle Alvanas who is recording ship sightings for his research project). It was our first time seeing people other than the 38 of us in a week. Although, we didn’t actually see them, and they didn’t respond to our radio call…I have high suspicions that they were pirates, but Captain Chris said that was definitely wrong.

Today was the first day of the second phase, meaning students begin to shadow the watch officers, so we can learn more of what they do every day. Being the first watch in PIPA meant spirits were quite high. Once again, C watch was the lucky watch to have the first deployment. We had the joy of deploying the hydrocast, Tucker trawls, and Neuston net, which brought back some super cool critters!

All in all, our first week was filled with exciting firsts. I think everyone here has learned a little more about themselves, the ocean, and why we’re here. We’ve also learned how to move around on a boat, although that’s still a work in progress as my numerous bruises will inform you. It is safe to say that there will only be more fun to come in week two, and still plenty of more firsts.

Love you, Mom and Dad. Happy belated 31st to my big bro, Stefan. I sang for you - hope you heard it. Tell Ashes I miss him so much. Cass, hope E-Town is fine without me. Reilly, I haven’t been eaten by pirates or sharks (yet). Theresa, I will most likely return to land someday, and Dana, I have your printed memes hanging in my bunk.

- Kate

Previous entry: Are You a 10?    Next entry: I’M ALIVE, MOM!


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 Hailey on July 20, 2017

Hi Carmen!

Following the blog and loving when I catch sight of you! Just thought I’d drop you a note to let you know I’m thinking of you and hope you’re having the best time. Your little loves you and misses you.

LIOB always,

#2. Posted by Elizabeth Alvanas on July 21, 2017

Hello to the S-274 crew!

Your blogs have been great - every day we look forward to reading the next!  And we love your sense of humor (not anyone can make puking sound so exciting)!  We were so excited to get a glimpse of Kyle (from the nose down) in Mark’s blog!  And from Kate’s blog, we think we have figured out that he is on Watch C.  So exciting that you have finally hit land!!  To Kyle and all of his shipmates, we hope you enjoy every minute of the rest of your adventure!

Stay cool and healthy!

Miss you Kyle!
Elizabeth, Bruce and Evan

PS.  I apolize for the overuse of the exclamation point, but your adventure is just so amazing.

#3. Posted by Jill Wagner on July 21, 2017

What an amazing experience Kate! I’ll live vicariously thru you and look forward to more posts!  Keep a watch for pirates, dolphins & whales!!


#4. Posted by Barbara Suchanec on July 22, 2017

Hi Skate - Loved your blog!  Sounds like you are having a great time.  Glad you found your sea legs.  Love you and miss you.  Can’t wait to hear your stories when you get back.  Enjoy every minute!  Love, Mom

#5. Posted by Dad on July 24, 2017

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time; now you understand why you came that way…



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.