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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

December 05, 2014

It’s a Swell day for Science

Kelsey Lane, 2nd Assistant Scientist & SEA Semester Alumna

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Left: Nina W, Kristen M and Kelsey Lane drawing water samples from the carousel. Right: Julia Twichell, Nick M, and Kristen M retrieving the carousel following a deployment.

Ship's Log

Current Position
44 19.5’S x 173 17.0’E

Gusty winds out of the SW, BF 5, laying down from this morning. Swell out of the SW, 7-10’.

Sail Plan & Course/Speed
Stays’ls and Storm Trys’l.

It’s a swell day for science today on the Robert C. Seamans...just like any other day, except today the conditions have provided us a good southwest swell to keep us on our toes.  We had some strong winds this morning and it’s been gradually lying down, but the science deployment this morning was definitely sporty! The hydrocast rocked and rolled a bit in the swell. Our plankton net kept trying to surf in the waves. Dusky dolphins even came out to surf around the net and a seal pup was incongruously porpoising alongside, too.

One of our coolest pieces of scientific equipment is our carousel. Every day, we deploy our carousel on the hydrowinch, sending it down a few hundred meters or more to gather information about the water column. The carousel contains a lot of instruments that provide continuous data on temperature, salinity, oxygen, light and various other interesting environmental factors. The twelve Niskin bottles on the carousel are programmed to close at specific depths allow us to collect the water at various depths and do even more analysis from there. The actual deployment, called a hydrocast, is pretty involved and requires a lot of planning and coordination between deck
and lab. The students are quickly learning how to take over and ‘call’ the deployment and sail handing to get us on station.  They’re mastering the routine and assuming leadership in lab, as well as on deck. It’s impressive how much they learn in such a short amount of time!

Our Secret Santa Christmas celebration continues, and today I got my gift. It was a lovely ball cap from the Pequot Museum (so I do have a suspicion who gave it to me, as only one of our crew works for the Pequot Museum.) but we’ll wait for the big reveal at the end.  Meanwhile, everyone’s crafting and planning away on the gifts coming up.  It’s fun to celebrate the holiday of giving every day.

All my best to y’all at home! Hope it’s not too cold; does it make you feel better if I tell you we got snowed on yesterday? So much for the quest for eternal summer!

Fair winds,

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s256  science • (4) Comments


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 Paul F Ross on December 06, 2014

It’s great to get reports on (a) the four seasons compressed into one day at sea, (b) going downwind under square sails, (c) how New Zealand is like Nebraska, (d) fellow traveler sea life and their antics, (e) the data you gather on behalf of science, (f) the most interesting of scientific equipment, and (g) what it’s like to take an examination at sea.  How well did the group do on the bowline test?  Too bad we won’t be greeting you in Dunedin.  Warm greetings to all from Kate Hruby’s Granddad and Grandmom in Bellevue WA.

#2. Posted by Sally Dalpe on December 06, 2014

Hope everyone is well and the weather is cooperating! Tree is up but not your ornaments…I think Marcus was afraid to hang them! Cold rain here today and no white stuff yet! Enjoy the last stretch of this wonderful journey and we will see you soon! Love Mom, Dad,Marcus and Diggy! PS Papa is following the blogs and getting anxious for your return

#3. Posted by Doris Lenz on December 06, 2014

Hi Rebecca, wir hoffen, es geht euch allen gut. Wir wünschen Dir einen schönen Nikolaustag mit vollen Stiefeln und een fijne Sinterklaas. Ganz liebe Grüße Mama und Papa

#4. Posted by Kelly Lane on December 06, 2014

Kelsey, so nice to hear from you! usually we scour the blogs for any mention or sight of you. It’s a SWELL day to hear your voice on the page!

I want to leave a shout-out for all the SEA student parents who might be worried about their children presently voyaging with SEA, or considering a SEA semester. My daughter, Kelsey, has been sailing for about 3 years now, most of it with SEA. I am continually impressed with the organization’s commitment to operate the safest, best prepared, most scientifically relevant SSV’s (Sailing School Vessels) in the world.  I would trust my daughter to no less!




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