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
November 30, 2014
Get yer sea legs on!
41°40.6’S x 174°26.4’E
Sunny with a chance of squalls
Sail Plan & Course/Speed
Stays’ls only; heading along the east coast of the South Island; course ordered 185 at 5 knots
Today began with the excitement of heading back out to the open ocean! We enjoyed a regular night of sleep last evening, a precursor to the sometimes odd hours of the watch schedule we enjoy at sea. After breakfast, we completed the usual morning duties (cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning), then heard the call of, “all hands muster on the quarterdeck!” This call may indicate several things: meeting, class, field trip, or in this case, imminent departure. Roles were assigned and the crew prepared to cast off the lines and bid farewell to (very) Windy Wellington. The ship’s first stop was the northeast corner of Wellington Harbor to perform a series of Shipek grabs, executed to sample sediments from the ocean floor. Additionally, surface water samples were collected using the complex bucket-and-rope technique for microplastic analysis (okay, it’s simple and effective – you throw a bucket attached to a rope over the side to collect water).
We sailed onwards (well, motor-sailed initially) under the forestays’l and mainstays’l into a beautiful, sunny, windy day. Traveling alongside large interisland ferries and small personal sailing craft, we headed southeast through Cook Strait toward the east coast of the South Island. It felt good to reacquire sea legs and set the sails after some days perusing the shore. We were able to shut off the engine for a spell and sail, however shortly after setting the tops’l for the first time the winds died down and left us sitting ducks in a large salty pond. Strike the tops’l, furl the jib, find the engineer, fire up the motor. Onwards! If all looks swell (as in peachy, as opposed to the large rolling waves) we will take a cruise out to the Chatham Rise, a region of high biological activity located on a shelf offshore. Fingers crossed!
Additionally, after two weeks with the same mate and scientist (and in the case of B watch a deckhand also – shout out to J2 and Sari), the watch teams rotated crews to broaden our knowledge and experience. We’re in a new phase of our lives – shadowing in preparation for mutiny! I mean, uh, we’ll be taking over the majority of the responsibilities in the final two weeks of the program and need to prepare ourselves. This means directing stupid questions (yes, those do exist) to your watchmates first, instead of the mate and scientist. Teamwork!