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
November 24, 2018
Miscellaneous watch experiences
29˚ 59.29’ S, 179˚ 39.75’ E
Course & Speed
Course 000, Speed 2.2 knots
Sailing under the four lower sails. Jib, Fore stay s’l, Main stay s’l, and Main Sail
Wind out of the W, Force 3, Seas also out of the West, 1 foot in height, 21.5˚C
I am writing this blog post right after dawn watch from 0100-0700. As many of my shipmates have already written, our lives are basically just eat, sleep, stand watch. Yesterday one of our professors told us that pretty soon we will get into a rhythm and we should find time to fit in school work when we are feeling good. At this point that seems unfathomable but I am hopeful that I will rise to the occasion. The weather was pretty crazy the last three days with swells 12 cats* (feet) high and very high wind. I spent many hours at the helm during this time and that taught me quickly how to control the ship under a weather helm. This involved a lot shifting my weight from left to right as the swells rolled through. At one point, as one ripped under the hull, I did a very dramatic sideways lunge to the left and when I turned to the starboard side to see the wave that caused this, I audibly said, “O.M.G; that’s hilarious”.
Watch this morning was far less challenging and the weather was much calmer. At 5 am we had story time with our history professor, Rich. The story was passed down as a family heirloom by a sailor on the Charles W. Morgan, a whale ship out of New Bedford which sailed from 1841-1914, and later published. We saw this ship while we were in Mystic Seaport our first week of the shore component. In the story, the author was aloft, looking for whales, when he saw three figures in the water. He claimed that the figures ranged in size from 130 feet (smallest) to 300 feet (largest)! Some people, who have heard this story, think that this could have been a giant squid; but the largest giant squid on record is 40 feet in length. Now we have something else to scan the sea for while on lookout.
Yesterday, when morale was pretty unanimously low, Rich came into the library with some exciting news! He said that the Charles W. Morgan passed the Commodore Morris while sailing through the Kermadec islands! We all responded with a unified mind blown motion and were excited to see three worlds collide; The Morris, Morgan, and Seamans all sailing in the same waters. This semester we transcribed the captain’s logbook from the Commodore Morris and our class has become pretty invested in its particular voyage from 1849-1853. These little pieces of history really help keep things in perspective, and I hope we see a whale soon!
*A watch uses cats as a unit of measurement to estimate the wave height, 1 cat being 1 foot high. It helps us visualize how many cats can fit in a wave and it’s very official.
- Lindsay Fox, A-Watch, Sewanee: The University of the South
P.S. Hi Family! I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving and I’m glad you got to be together. During afternoon watch on Thursday, I was trying to remember all the words to Alice’s Restaurant while on lookout haha. I am doing much better and am not as seasick as before (knock on wood). Yay! Miss you and love you all!