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

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 23, 2017

How to Become an Old Salt

Jacquelyn Wu, Best Watch, Bowdoin College

SEA Semester

Sunset at the Helm. Photo Credit: Talia

Ship's Log

340° T

5 knots

Noon Position
29° 07.2’S x 147°20.1’W

Noon Log
2852.0 nm

Weather/Wind/Sail Plan:
Wind SxE Force 5. Sea SE 7ft. Sky 4/8 Cu, Ac. Baro 1022.0. Heading North!

Souls on Board

Don’t shower – you will literally be salty head to toe from sea spray, along with your sweat from hauling on lines day in and day out.

But actually, have you been wondering what it would take to be a sailor aboard the Seamans? This is a (short) cheat sheet from what I’ve learned so far, mostly in order of importance:

  • Expect the unexpected. This is by far the most important tip I have! I’ve been surprised at every turn. It pays to be ready at all times, whether it be for a fire drill where you have to head to your assigned station and wait for orders, for a swell that’ll knock you off of your feet, or for when things don’t go quite as planned.
  • Sleep when possible, especially the first few weeks (or maybe even the entire trip, I’m not totally sure yet). Something about the amount of energy you spend in a day from sail handling, standing, and even sleeping makes you exhausted beyond belief. Along with the cycling watch times and sea-sickness, sleep is everything.
  • Learn your lines, sails, and how to handle them. When your mate yells commands in order to strike a sail because of a squall that’s snuck-up, it’s key to know where the lines you need are. Also, sailing can be dangerous! Knowing how to handle lines is pretty much the first thing we learned once we got on the boat.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’re inevitably going to mess up, and as long as no one gets hurt, it’s the best way you’re going to learn because you’ll never forget it.
  • Put your headlamp somewhere you don’t need a headlamp to find it.
  • Bring more underwear than you think you’ll need!
  • Take time to enjoy the sunrises, sunsets, and stars over the ocean. You never know if you’ll get another chance to be surrounded by the water for hundreds of miles again, and it’s pretty dang special.

Hopefully if you’re planning on going to sea, my list is helpful. I can safely say that there’s no good way to describe my experiences so far, but

I’ve learned more than I could have imagine and it’s certainly been an adventure.

Thanks to everyone who has been keep up – only a couple more weeks to go!

- Jacquelyn 

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: None • (0) Comments
Previous entry: On Shipmates and Happiness    Next entry: The Beginning of the End


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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