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 27, 2016
Junior Watch Officer Begins
26 50.1’ S x 148 36.6’ W
Sailing under the Stay’sls and Top’sl 497nm South of Tahiti.
We are now edging near French Polynesia. Having entered the Sub-Tropics, the crew has been enjoying the first day of hot humid air. Alpha Watch took the deck this morning with negligible winds, and near glassy seas. Around us danced motley grey clouds teasing us with promise of winds, only to envelope the ship in a uniform misty rain. By mid-morning these misting clouds had burned off to reveal a clear blue sky and bright hot sun. Everyone on deck liberally applied sunscreen to their fair skins that have recently been so used to cooler latitudes.
In this vast, open, Southern Ocean it is rare to pass another ship. Nearing the French Polynesian islands we knew it was a matter of time until we crossed paths with another seafaring vessel. Just has we were finishing with our science station, having started the main engine to being our Neuston net tow, the RADAR showed a solid green target crossing our course.
With a closest point of approach (CPA) of 1.5nm, the Spirit of Sydney, came into sight. She was a mid-sized container ship, heading South West. As she was a large cargo ship, steaming at 17.4kts, we thought it wise to adjust our course and give her a wide berth. What an odd sight it is, to see a passer-by, after having just spent so much time with nothing to break the horizon other than sea birds and squall lines. We can only guess as to where she's going or whence she came, but its likely she's carrying goods between Australia and Tahiti or other larger islands in this area. Now all eyes are sharp on the horizon for ships, shoals and land.
Today is the first day of Phase 3, Jr. Watch Officer, when the student-deckhands take the con and lead the watch. This is an incredible opportunity for them to leave their comfort zone and take on all the responsibilities and pressures of commanding the ship. Not only do they run the clockwork of the goings on of the Seamans, they are in charge of ship and sail handling. They have learned much since departing New Zealand, but now it all comes together. To run the ship, to maintain its program, and sail her safety onward to Polynesia, and to walk away, knowing that they have the ability to be solid, reliable, and capable. This is Sail Training.
We are SEA Semester.