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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
October 25, 2018
Life among the Copepods
24ᵒ26.33’ S x 175ᵒ46.03’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
165ᵒ, 6.0 knots
Wind ESE Beaufort Force 5, 25ᵒC
My day started at 0100 with dawn watch. At first I thought dawn watch was the worst watch because who wants to be woken up in the middle of the night to work in the lab and on deck, right? Actually, it turned out to be one of my favorite times for watch because although we’re sleepy during the first hour or two, we get to see the sunrise and eat a delicious breakfast at the end. During lab, Olivia and I did a 100 count. This was my first time doing a 100 count, and I saw many cool zooplankton under the microscope and learned about the importance of these living things, especially copepods. Gabo, our assistant scientist, told us that there are 12,000 different types of copepods, and I was surprised to realize how amazing the world is and how little we truly know about it. The sunrise today was especially beautiful because while standing on the quarterdeck, we could see the bright orange and yellow sun rising to the east, and the full moon that was shining on the darkness a few hours ago resting in the sky to the west. We kept moving our heads back and forth to capture the beauty of the opposition of these celestial bodies, in the hope that our minds would remember what we can’t really put into words.
After a nap, we had a great lunch of jambalaya courtesy of Ryan and Christian. During class, we had our lab practical. This was an exam to test our lab knowledge and skills. We walked around the science deck and labs answering different questions, and it was pretty fun. A Watch had the afternoon to relax before our night watch. During night watch, I got to shadow Colin, the second mate, because soon we’ll become Junior Watch Officers. It is great to finally understand the workings of the Seamans and be able to take on a leadership role on deck. Besides making sure that routine tasks, such as boat checks, weather observations, and plots, were complete, Colin taught me how to use the maneuvering board to calculate true wind direction and speed. I’m looking forward to JWO phase, and us, students, sailing this beautiful ship all the way down to New Zealand.
Lots of love to all my friends and family, especially my niece Nicole. Miss you dearly!
- Debora Ortiz, A Watch, Knox College