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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

March 01, 2019

Half-Way There

Brooke Baldassare, B-Watch, University of San Diego


It’s all about catching the sunsets.

Ship's Log

Current Position
39°13.360 S, 178°17.273 E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
218° & 5.4 Knots

It is currently 19° C aboard the Robert C. Seamans with the wind at 17 knots coming out of the SSE. It‘s partly cloudy, and the waves have calmed since yesterday to a steady 5-6 feet.

Souls on board

Today, B-watch took the deck at 1300 after most of us slept in until lunchtime due to our long evening watch the previous night. Morale was a bit low, as the rough seas we have been facing have taken a toll on both our bodies and our original plan for out course track. Our morning was spent preparing for the notorious pin rail race that would be happening during class time at 1430. The officers told us that we would need to have every line on board memorized in order to succeed in this race, and beat the other watch groups. All of us seemed to know the relative location of the lines of sails that we have been working with: the four lowers. So we spent the morning reviewing lines to the sails that we weren’t so sure about such as the raffee, and tops’l.

After some brief presentations in class, it was time to race. Each watch group created a single file line on the quarterdeck, and the mates took their stations around the boat. The scientists of the watch group were tasked with handing out flashcards with the names of the lines we had to identify, and our team was only allowed to help out by yelling either hot or cold. The race was equally fun for both the students and the crew. While A-Watch took the win, all of the watch groups seemed to benefit from the playful nature of activity, especially the conga line around deck to finish. After we calmed down from the pin rail chase, we celebrated fellow Gabe’s birthday with chocolate mousse, and Oreos (for the vegans!).

The day continued on fairly normally after class, as we finished up our watch, ate dinner and continued to work on our journals till the end of the night. However, there is one occurrence that brings the whole boat together once again almost daily; the evening sunset. We all gathered at around 1930 on deck, steaming cups of tea in hand, to watch the sun meet the horizon. While we all expect the light in the sky to fade every day, the excitement that comes with each sunset on the boat has never dimmed. It is a time of reflection for me, and brings us all together to decompress as a collective each night.

During tonight’s sunset I was thinking about something one of my professors said in particular. She made the remark that going back to life on land is an adjustment; no one will be able to understand this experience, and there is no way that we can go back the exact same person as we once were. I guess this blog is an attempt to explain what happens in the day-to-day here, but it’s an experience that you can’t understand unless you have lived it. I cannot properly explain what it feels like to stand a 0100-0700 watch (or how weird conversations can get), the dexterity that is required to cook in a moving kitchen, or how the sunset out in the middle of the ocean makes me feel more at home than I could have ever imagined. To all the family and friends of S-284, feel free to ask us how our trip was when we get back, but just know that.

To my Dad: Thank you for always pushing me to pursue the things that I love, and being there for me in all of my struggles and personal growth in these past couple months. I cannot wait to tell you all that I have learned in my time here, as I know the boater in you will appreciate all of it. I hope that Mom and Zach made your birthday celebration today extra special, and cannot wait to come back and spend another summer in the Long Island sun with you all.

To Delaney: I know that I have traded in many important days together in order to spend this time with the sea, and I am forever grateful for your endless patience, and constant love and support throughout this time. I hope you can find comfort in the idea that I have been surrounded by happy (and sometimes beautifully rough) waters on this journey. The universe has been guiding me, as I steer by the stars at night, and study the seas every day. I hope she is guiding you through your days in San Diego, as well. I miss you, but I will always love you more.

- Brooke Baldassare, B-Watch, University of San Diego

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s284  study abroad  new zealand • (3) Comments
Previous entry: Every cloud has a silver lining    Next entry: Boppin’ around Napier


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 Heidi Padovano on March 02, 2019

You have each put this into your own words in one way or another, what a special and amazing experience it is you are having.  We appreciate beyond words every little glimpse into your daily lives, because you are right… we cannot imagine what this experience means and how it will change each and every one of you. 

To all of you, I probably speak for most parents reading this blog when I say I am brought to tears and great swells of emotion that make it hard to breath as I read your posts. You are part of something amazing and very special, with a fantastic group of people.  It sounds like some of you had sailing experience before, but I imagine many of you are completely new to the ocean. (not so many waves in the Okeefenokee!)

To my own child, Nichole, I am so very very very proud of you for finding this program, choosing New Zealand, and making this your experience.  This has felt so very right for you, (especially once I realized you were NOT sailing ACROSS the pacific to NZ).  I can only imagine what your dreams for the future now hold… your horizons have been so expanded… literally!

I am equally proud, fascinated, envious, and back to proud.  And yes, I check on the ship’s course every hour or so.  You are never far from my thoughts.

Love you, miss you, and thrilled for all of you!

Nicholes’ Mom

#2. Posted by Kenzie Korpi on March 02, 2019

Dearest Kenzie
I read and reread the daily blogs
I love trying to understand what you are doing and experiencing every day
You and your fellow classmates are truly outstanding and special young adults
Love you soooo
Miss you soooo
I am again amazed by you and how you tackle such exciting challenges in your life
So proud of you
Love you so.  Grandma

#3. Posted by Ann Christianson on March 02, 2019

Hi Katey!
I am assuming blog author Brooke is with you in this picture.  Even though your journey is beyond description, it is so great for those of us who love you and your shipmates to have a taste. What a treat to see your smiling face this morning.  Enjoy your unexpected time in Napier.  We look forward to hearing from you when you get to Wellington.
Much Love, Mommy



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