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

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 28, 2018

Hello hello from a place where it’s summer!

Ginny Renjilian, C Watch, Middlebury College


A cloudy day on the Bobby C!

Ship's Log

Current Position
39°25.3’S, 178°51.7’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
160°, so really southward bound! Sailing under the fore and main stays’ls, mains’l shallow reefed, jib, and tops’l.

Cloudy - a mix of altostratus, altocumulus (or “high puffy blankets” in Rocky’s words), cirrus, and cumulus so a fun blend but enough gaps to see some blue sky and the moon, low and huge and faint, looking like a perfect lil cloud herself. The moon is nearly full! The winds are medium strong and from the north, so we can head straight to Wellington pretty simply! The waves are very confusing, as there are pretty big swells coming from lots of direction but mostly from the east I think? Who is to say!

Souls on board

We're heading south so it's getting cooler, but still a far cry from the chilly billy Woods Hole! Today was still warm enough for shorts! Speaking of short - sailors like to make words shorter by dropping lots of the letters, which really tickles me. For instance, I live in the fo'c's'le, and if you know of a word with a better letter to apostrophe ratio please let me know. I think it stands for "forecastle" but there's no real way to tell! Really it's the "funksole" (credit to Emma G) because of its distinct aroma.

Today was a very exciting day in terms of animals. We saw at least four albatri (the new plural of albatross), one of which was a juvenile which was exciting. Baby anythings are exciting!  It's also a pretty big step that we can actually identify a lot of what we see now. For a long time, we were yelling "Look, a shark! Oh wait it's a whale! Or maybe a dolphin??" every time a porpoise came over to check us out (@Claudia and all of C Watch). Another fun sighting was a cute lil box fish or maybe puffer fish that we caught in the neuston net during a tow. At first while we were watching him swim around the bucket I was getting super sad that he would be killed and pickled or something for Science, but he's totally fine! Thrown back into the water still alive 'n' flippin'.

We are sailing south now, which is exciting because for a spell there the winds were keeping us from going towards Wellington. By the time this is posted, we will have logged 1,000 nautical miles! That is so wild - how long have we been here?? Sometimes, when the winds aren't how we like them we have to "motor sail" which is a cool fun hybrid I did not know existed. This boat feels confusingly tiny and enormous. It's tiny in that I feel so small and isolated, bobbing out here with ocean all around. We haven't seen land in days (almost a week? how does time work!) and in that time we've barely seen any other boats either. Everyone can hear everything in this small and confined space, which is a bummer as up to 2/3rds of us are asleep at any given moment. But it's also huge, because it's our whole world here. It's home and school and work. We've learned so much about it but there are still so many things we don't know.

Today, I discovered (or rather, one of the scientists showed me) the secret bonus library built into the wall full of good novels. What a surprise treasure trove! I also feel like going aloft will be an entire new world and new dimension to the ship and I'm excited for us to experience that. So this boat is both confining and so huge it's perpetually exciting and sometimes overwhelming, which I think balances out nicely. Also, it's like being in a pressure cooker in that it accelerates our relationships by so much. It's easy to get close quickly when you can't escape each other, and see each other in every mood. We don't use alarms; instead, wake each other up and get to see the disgruntled faces, the jolts as people are yanked from weird "boat dreams," or the sweet smiles as people get up to start their days, be it 1am for dawn watch or 1pm for afternoon watch. We see every phase of each other's days, and still love each other. It's a jelly world, and we are just here floating in it and doing our best!

- Ginny Renjilian, C Watch, Middlebury College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s277  study abroad • (2) Comments
Previous entry: Of Science and Wind    Next entry: Lunch Comes at You Fast


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 Tim Renjilian on March 02, 2018

Call me biased, but that was a great post!  The idea of not seeing land for a week sort of wigs me out - glad to hear that you and the rest of the crew have kept your sanity and your senses of humor!

Tim R’j'l’an

#2. Posted by Daria C on March 14, 2018

I can’t wait to hear more about this world on the other side of the world! Everything operates on a whole other plane. Hope NZ is an incredible sight! Missing you tons.




Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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