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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

March 02, 2018

On being a sponge

Emma Garschagen, A Watch, Kenyon College


Adam very seriously playing the porpoise song on deck, while B watch hauls on the mainstays'l sheet in the background.

Ship's Log

Current Position
41 56.2 ‘S x 176 18.0 ‘E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Head reaching to deploy a meter net, steering 160 degrees true at 2 knots

Full cloud cover tonight, with winds NExE at force 5 and swells from NNE, 4 feet. 19.5 degrees Celsius and a nearly full moon!

Souls on board

The past two weeks have thrown a lot of new information at S277, from sail handling to lab protocols to maneuvering through the engine room without collisions while the ship rolls up and down 10 foot swells - just like drinking out of a fire hose (@Summer's blog post). As my dad always reminds me when I go somewhere new, I have been trying to 'be a sponge' and soak up everything I can aboard the Bobby C.

Today began at 0600 for A watch with personal wakeups from our friends in C watch (hi, Ginny!). After a pancake breakfast by Sabrina and Duncan, we reported on deck to relieve B watch from their 0100-0700 dawn watch. As they stumbled down below to breakfast and then their bunks, we got to work setting the tops'l (the square sail in the middle of the foremast). By 0730 we were sweating under our layers donned for the windy, cloudy morning. Some of our watch went to the lab to set up equipment, some went to clean up breakfast, a few stayed on deck at the helm and at lookout, but I went below to the engine room.

The engine room is a familiar place to most of us on board. Us students pass through every hour, taking down numbers from gauges and checking the bilge. Despite how much time we spend crawling through the cramped maze down there, the machinery that we bump our heads and knees on is mostly mysterious. Luckily, we all have the chance to spend a watch with our dedicated engineers: Mike and Merlin. This morning we ran pumps and checked oil levels and talked about all the systems we were looking at. Merlin and I went up above and climbed into the rescue boat that we stow on deck to run the outboard motor for its weekly test. I loved learning about all the cool systems that make our ship run. Hopefully tomorrow morning, at 3am on dawn watch, I'll have a better idea about why all the numbers we write down are important.

Sometimes the best way to take on a crazy new experience like this one is to just soak it all up as often as you can. My spongiest moments thus far are memories I'll hold for a long time - like listening to Adam make up songs about porpoises on the doghouse roof and standing at the front of the headrig looking aft at our ship-home riding the waves. Thanks, dad.

- Emma Garschagen, A Watch, Kenyon College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s277  study abroad  life at sea • (3) Comments
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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 Amy Young on March 02, 2018

Our home here in Alexandria feels like a small ship on a large sea today as wind whips in gusts up to 70 m.p.h. Schools closed in the region. Fortunately, we have some sun. Points north are experiencing the bomb cyclone again with flooding, snow, rain and wind. Love reading of all of your adventures. Special hello to Eliza!

#2. Posted by Melissa Stafford on March 05, 2018

Welcome ashore, Summer!  I know you must be having an amazing time, and I’m so happy for you.  Can’t wait to hear all about it!  It’s starting to feel like spring in Colorado (70 degrees last Saturday), just as you all are heading south into the cooler weather.  Hope to hear from you while you’re on land.  Dad and I love you and miss you like crazy!  Mayreau and Ringo say “hello”!

#3. Posted by V Kay Stafford on March 05, 2018

Miss you too, Summer, and waiting eagerly for the next post from your crew! It’s a treat to follow along and imagine you there. Wishing you good sailing for the more southerly aspect of your journey, and tolerable temperatures. Love you!



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