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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

July 16, 2018

My home away from home

Lucas Asher, University of Chicago


Above: The galley (kitchen) and main saloon (dining room); below: my home away from home for the rest of the trip: my bunk

Ship's Log

2o5’ N, 168o49’ W (as of 0800 this morning)

Current Heading and Speed
190, ~6 knots

Sail Plan
Deep reefed mainsail, main and fore staysails, jib, & topsail.

Hot (29o C) but with a nice breeze from the SSE, sunny.

Souls on board

We continue to draw nearer and nearer to the equator-news that Sadie mentioned yesterday and will probably continue to be repeated until we actually cross (estimated to be sometime on Tuesday). We aboard are all preparing our "rituals" for the crossing: in some sailing traditions you shave your head when you cross the equator and in others a musical "offering to Neptune" is  given by those who have not sailed across the equator before (the students and not a small number of the staff!) We've been making pretty good time, but it is incredible what the difference between making 6 knots (~8 land miles per hour) and making the slower, 2 knots speed required for our science deployments.

By now, you've heard a lot about what life at sea is like; from the science to the activities to the sail handling. What you haven't heard as much about is what life is like belowdeck. You may think that "going below" would be cooler-the sun isn't blasting you, you're safe from sunburn, and all of the work is happening over your head. On deck, however, has the beauty of a breeze, while belowdeck can feel a bit stifling. We fortunately all have
fans in our bunks to keep us cool(ish) at night, but the heat below makes on deck truly the preferred place to hang out when you aren't sleeping or eating.

Speaking of sleeping, I think we've all found a new preferred way to wake up in the morning. To avoid alarms going off at all hours of the night and day, as one watch is getting up to take the deck and another is comfortably in the middle of their time to sleep, twenty minutes before each meal / an hour before you are due on watch, the current watch sends someone to gently awaken you by calling your name. These gentle wakeups are accompanied by a reminder of what time it is, when the next thing you should be doing is (the next meal or the start of your watch), and usually a weather report. Way better than an alarm clock. (Now. to my friends at college reading this. who wants to come wake me up before class every morning next year?)

I was on dawn watch this morning, so my eyes are starting to glaze over as I type this; I'm going to go collapse into my bunk until gently awoken for class.

Until next time!

- Lucas Asher, University of Chicago

Mom & Dad: I miss you both so much! I can't wait to see you (& grandma) when I get back! Please, please, please bring me a clean set of clothes (this goes for anyone reading this who is meeting one of us upon our return-trust me, you'll want us wearing clothes that have been more than washed out on deck as much as we want to be wearing them). I can't wait to spend more than a few consecutive days at home this summer. Mom, I'm keeping a list of sailing things to tell you for your book, so be ready! Lila: Enjoy Disney! Sk8 gr8! Good luck! See you in December (hopefully)! You're a full adult now with like a job and everything! Ahhhh!!! To all my friends from school: I can't wait to get back to Chicago to see you all! I miss you all and the summer feels too long already. And to Eugene: thanks again for the spyglass. I'm still working on getting the perfect photo op for it, but it's going to see some good use once we're actually in the Phoenix Islands and there is anything besides empty ocean in view.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s281  pipa  life at sea • (1) 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 Mom on July 20, 2018

We can’t wait to see you and hear all about it!
Did you cut your hair or sing?



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