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

December 08, 2017

Land Ho!

Hannah-Marie Garcia, C Watch, Sewanee, University of the South

Ship's Log

Current Position
Waikokopu Bay

Course & Speed

Sail Plan
Anchored (no sails)

Sunny, warm, winds force 5-6

Souls on Board

This morning I got my wake up with the news that we were starting our Anchor Watch (1 hour rotations instead of a full 6 hours), and that the anchor was just now getting dropped. I stepped out onto the deck greeted by a clear sky full of stars, dark masses of land bordering our ship, and the sound of 3 shots (each shot is 90 feet) of chain being let out as our ship tethered to the sea floor. It is a bitter sweet mix of feelings seeing land again. It has been roughly three weeks since we have been in shallow enough water to even contemplate dropping our anchor. It is definitely going by fast, and everyone is trying to soak up as much experience and memories as we can.

As the anchor dropped, the small portion of C Watch (Kim, Tristan, and I) began our routine check on the chain tension, boat checks, and bearing with land marks to make sure we aren't drifting. However, a few last minute things needed completing in the lab from the final surface water sample we collected. So, I began my watch at 0115 in the lab, solo, and content with the night. I don't think I'll ever be that at peace with being up in the middle of the night pipetting HCL into sea water to measure the buffering capacity of the ocean against continuous additions of acid ever again. Part of the perks of Phase II and III is that we as students are given more trust and responsibility in completing tasks for our research and maintaining the ships navigation and sails. It was quite amazing to be alone in the lab for the first time, and feeling fully capable of completing a task. The good ship, the Robert C. Seamans, is as much an oceanographic research vessel as it is a training vessel for students aspiring to become sailors.

It is the dawn watch nights filled with stars and quite that can make you feel like part of something larger on this ship. Whether that's a bigger connection with the community you're watching over as they sleep through the night, the global struggle with climate change as we gather endless data on the mysterious world below, or the thrilling feeling associated with climbing the rigging to the top of the mast that just make you feel alive; I think I can speak for everyone here that these are moments that have challenged, thrilled, and truly helped us grow over the past three weeks.

So as much as I'm ready to step foot on land, run a ton to stretch these sea legs, and get my hands on some fresh fresh salad, I think I'm going to have a few sleep deprived nights ahead as I resist the small bunks we have begun to call home and try to soak up the next few sunsets, sunrises, and moments with the community here.

Looking forward to fair winds tomorrow,

P.S. Love you mom and dad, can't wait to tell you all about the adventures and share in some Christmas cheer. Looking forward to New Year's Max. All my friends abroad and elsewhere I'm always thinking of you. Sending love from across the sea.

Previous entry: High Tide, Low Tide, Rising Tide    Next entry: Mission SJS


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.