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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.

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans


Feb

27

No Land in Sight

Eliza Thomas, B Watch, Carleton College
The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Sitting out on the bowsprit watching the sunset, looking back at this amazing place we get to call home for the next five weeks. How lucky are we?!

Ship's Log

Current position
36°01.7’S x 176°19.4’E

Speed
5.2 knots

Course
100°

Sail plan
Mains’l, Main Stays’l, Forestays’l, Jib

Weather
Sunny and blue skies all around

Souls on Board

Hello folks back home!

Today marks our first full day of the longest leg of our trip: 13 days until we reach Wellington. As I write this, I am sitting on top of the “dog house,” the room where we do all of our piloting and navigation. The ocean meets the sky in every direction, with no land separating the two shades of blue.

This morning (12:30am), Jenna woke me up for Dawn Watch. I groggily put my feet over the edge of my bunk, grabbed my harness, and headed up on deck. As I stepped outside, I saw a full sail and a sky sprinkled with stars, the full moon’s reflection dancing in the waves around us. I could hear the sound of the rudder, singing as it pierced through the water below. It sounds like a soft fog horn, a comforting hum that reminds me of home. Towards the end of our watch, I stood lookout and watched the sun rise just off the port bow, causing the sky to radiate a deep blood orange. Sea birds swooped inches over the waves, the tips of their feathers trailing in the water; all I could hear was the soft thumping of their wings against the wind.

Just as we were finishing up Dawn Watch, Sarah, our AMAZING steward, spotted a pod of ~70 dolphins. They swam closer to our boat, jumping in and out of the water until they reached the bow, where a few of them surfed in the wake and looked up at the heads of 15 delighted faces peering over the side. I swear, they were smiling at us. Talk about a way to start the morning, huh? I don’t think it’s possible to get much better than this.

When I’m not on watch, I often find myself sitting out on the bowsprit or tucked up next to a furled sail to watch the sunset over the blue horizon. I am constantly reminded of something my dad often tells me (Hi, Daddy!!), which is that it’s the only February 27th, 2016 I’m ever going to get, so I better soak it all up and find the joy and beauty in even the smallest, most routine parts of the day. I can confidently say that I’m doing just that; the days here are full of adventure, curiosity, and energizing work. The sun is bright, the wind is at our back, and I have some of the best shipmates I could ask for. We are so lucky to be where we are.

A special shout out to my dear familia, in particular, Grammy and Grandy: I see you, your curi-osity, and your love of the ocean in everything I do here. Tomorrow I will learn to climb up 116 feet into the rigging. It feels like just yesterday that I was climbing the mast on Portunous under your excited and watchful eyes.

With love,
Eliza

PS! As I was writing this, I saw a whale, five more dolphins, and some hammerhead sharks. I’m pinching myself.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s264  sailing  megafauna • (2) Comments

Comments

Leave a note for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Anh Tran on February 29, 2016

Such amazing adventure you all are experiencing! thanks for letting us follow along.  Here i thought “oh i won’t hear anything from this group till Wellington :D


#2. Posted by Polly Hoppin on February 29, 2016

Thank you Lizey for these beautiful details…and for letting your Mom know that you aren’t seasick!! What an amazing community you all are. Your families are GRATEFUL!! Much love.


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