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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

February 18, 2015

Heading to Sea

Matt Silvia, B Watch, Northeastern University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Islands fade into the distance while the sun sets as SSV Robert C. Seamans heads to sea

Ship's Log

36° 29’ 52.8” S x 176° 29’ 36” E

Souls on Board

Today marked our last day in northern New Zealand. Normal wake up calls sounded below decks at our anchorage in Russell followed by our first all-watch, ship-wide field day. Field day is the crew's weekly battle against the unending tide of dirt and grime on the ship, where all three watches combine forces to maintain cleanliness onboard for another seven days. Having filtered the solids out of our cleaning grey water and dumped it overboard into the bay there was obviously only one way to unwind after our victorious battle against grime - a swim call! With the ship stowed for passage and the crew fresh from an ocean shower, the Robert C. Seamans was ready to begin our 13 day transit down the eastern coast to Wellington.

We began by lifting anchor and running a man overboard drill. By afternoon, the ship was quiet with people napping, obviously still tuckered from their morning contest to clean our home. B Watch had the watch between 1300 and 1900 this afternoon and during which we had the opportunity to see much of mainland New Zealand fade against the horizon behind us. As I write this from the starboard quarter deck, there are several islands outlined against the fading sun - but already the sentiment that we are setting out to the ocean proper has settled across the crew.

The Marae is the traditional Maori meeting house for a tribe. It is where celebrations, funerals, and weddings occur - a true cultural center for the community. Now, as we sit aboard our floating Marae and head out to open ocean, I would like to impress upon everyone reading this post the extent to which we have formed into a community. A short 6 weeks ago we were all strangers sitting in the lecture hall of the Madden Center in Woods Hole, introducing ourselves, telling the group our major, and feeling awkward.

Now, I think we all know enough about each other that none of us can ever expect to safely run for political office. Certainly, it can be expected that any group of people thrown into close quarters with a limited number of showers will learn a few things about each other. However, it speaks volumes to the caliber of everyone here as individuals that we have become such a close family in so short a time. And yes, to all the mothers reading out there, this means that we're looking out for each other and, save for some repatriation of lunch to Neptune, everyone is well.

- Matt

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257 • (7) Comments
Previous entry: Greetings from Russell    Next entry: Headed for the High Seas


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 Kim on February 19, 2015

Thanks SO MUCH for that perfectly stated and reassuring note to us moms! It brought a tear to my eye! Be safe All of you!

#2. Posted by Diane Flis on February 19, 2015

A wonderful post, glad to hear you’re looking out for one another.  Beautiful photo…wishing you continued smooth sailing.

#3. Posted by Janelisa Williams on February 19, 2015

Ditto to Kim’s post above. I’m at working thinking of the next 13 days and brought up Matt’s post. Wonderfully written! Megan’s mom

#4. Posted by Maddie on February 20, 2015

Matt, we are enjoying reading all of the entries by you and your shipmates.  Glad to see that all is well.  What an adventure you are having.  Looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing more great pictures.  Keep safe.  Love, Aunt Maddie & Uncle Al

#5. Posted by Barbara clark on February 21, 2015

Hi crew. Matt all the moms love you! Great post! Love to all!  Janet’s mom

#6. Posted by Jodi on February 21, 2015

So glad to hear you are all well, and have created tight bonds with each other.  Matt, ditto in appreciation for comforting the moms!
What a unique life experience!!
Love to all (and especially my Jessie!)


#7. Posted by Jackie on February 27, 2015

Hi Matt and Crew, Love all the posts! So glad to hear how tightly you have all knit together to support each other on your seafaring journey. Thank you for your comforting words to the moms! Keep safe! Love you! Matt’s Mom & Dad



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