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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

April 04, 2017

Having a Whale of a Time

Kurt Bahnke, College of the Holy Cross

Ocean Exploration

Sunset on the Pacific

Ship's Log

Noon Position
44° 43.0’S x 175° 28.0’W

Ship’s Heading

Speed over ground
6.4 knots


Wind: South w/ Beaufort Force 5. Sea: SSE, 8ft. Cloud Cover: 5/8 Cumulous. Pressure: 1024.5 millibars Temperature: 13.0° C

Souls on Board

"Whale!" exclaimed our 3rd Assistant Scientist Helen Duffel as we all stood lined up on the science deck on the port side of the ship learning how to deploy the Nueston net, one of our many ocean sampling tools. Although some of us, myself included, only managed to catch a glimpse of the spray from its blowhole our 1st mate Scott would later explain that it was most likely a Sperm whale based on the fact that its spray was at an angle and that it came up for air at least 20 times that he saw.

Once we lost sight of it we continued on with the Nueston demonstration and then it was back to the quarter deck for some sail handling practice. Specifically, we furled the jib and set and struck the tops'l. I think we are all starting to settle into the routine of shipboard life. You stand your 6 hour watch, report to the quarter deck for class at 1430hrs every day (except Sunday), eat the (excellent) meals during their respective times and sleep when you can. My watch group, B Watch aka Best Watch aka Bodacious Watch stood Dawn Watch this morning (0100-0700).

We are all in agreement that your mind starts to wander as you stand lookout on the bow. Maybe you start to question the recent life choices you made that landed you at the bow of this sailing vessel at 0300 on a Tuesday in the dark and cold as you get splashed by the swells; not your typical classroom environment. Nonetheless, we enjoy every minute of it and embrace it as Type 2 fun; it's difficult in the moment but when we look back on it about 40 days from now we will undoubtedly smile (once we all learn our lines). There is always something to be done on a ship and now it is almost time for B Watch's second rotation; 1900-0100.

- Kurt

P.S. Hey Mom, Dad, Hope, Erin, Hunter, Luke and Ella. (I told you I wouldn't get seasick.) Miss and love you guys thinkin about ya all the time. Also a Big Dominican (SNL reference) shoutout to everyone back at HC, miss and love ya'll too.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  megafauna  research • (5) Comments
Previous entry: The Third Day: A Poem    Next entry: Phyto-Nutrients for Supper


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 Kurt Bahnke on April 05, 2017

So good to hear from you Kurt! We all miss you and not being in touch is very strange. Glad it turns out you’ve an iron stomach and haven’t been seasick.  Our best to all you Bodacious Watch buds and all on board the RCS for S-272.

We were borne before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
-Van Morrison

#2. Posted by Jean Feather on April 05, 2017

Safe travels Kurt. So exciting to follow your journey through these blog entries.  Grandma and Grandpa check the blog everyday!
Wishing you smooth sailing,
Aunt Jean, Uncle Dave, Tara and Shannon

#3. Posted by Catherine Gotzens on April 08, 2017

Glad to hear you aren’t sea sick! Love following your amazing adventures through the blog. Savor this amazing time! Love Aunt Catherine

#4. Posted by Ryan on April 09, 2017

We miss ya KB.
The Yankees are 2-4, but they haven’t played at home yet. If the Mets close out tonight’s game against the Marlins, they’ll be 3-3. The Sox are 3-2.
First order of business when you get back is a baseball game and you telling us about-B watch and everything else you’ve been up to.
Have fun, be safe.

#5. Posted by Grandma & Grandpa B on April 21, 2017

HI Kurt We enjoyed the blogs very much the pictures of the ocean and sunsets are beautiful. Hearing about how your time is spent each day is fascinating I guess you think the same way seems like great time for all good food good new friends and mother nature paints a beautiful picture of a place you probably never thought you would be. LOVE GRANDMA & GRANDPA BAHNKE



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