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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

November 29, 2016

Our World in Motion

Christina Merullo, C Watch, Boston College

Ship's Log

29°  33’S X 177° 48’W


4 knots

Sail Plan
Southeast to Napier

Southerly winds/ calm seas, and more sun

Souls on Board

Sailors have a heightened sense of awareness to the world around them.  If there is one thing I observed aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, it is that our maritime world is in fluid motion.  Winds veer and back, the celestial sphere scans the sky, the ship inhales and exhales with each swell, and the compass sways as we alter our heading from NW to SE.

It was not just two days ago when, quite frankly, moral was low. Tired from a long watch and sticky from the summer heat I sat in the main salon with a glazed expression unable to calculate my sun line.  Words like Azimuth and declination and zenith flowed in one ear and out the other.

Adding to the complexity was the fascitnating but confusing concept: we have crossed into the Western Hemisphere!  I was ready to wallow in defeat in my bunk when Captain Pamela announced, “SWIM CALL!”  20 minutes later I was swimming in the sapphire waters of the South Pacific.  Yes Ma, I swam with nothing but 2,049 meters of ocean between us and the ocean floor.  And although the water was cleared and safe. But not for the enormous salp that hungout with us at the time we entered, just minutes after the “pool” closed we saw several nudibranches- and Porpitas porpitas.  It was awesome.  And with this shift of moods came Raoul into our view, even if only for a short time. 

Today during watch, Captain Pamela and Ed taught me how to open a coconut with a butter knife; S-270 is skilled.  Our steward and today’s assistant steward, the brilliant Chris and Maeve made us no-alcohol Piña coladas (Treat Yo’self- am I right?). 

And the area of high pressure’s variable gentle breezes are forecast further fluidity in our world.  Tonight, we change watch officers and scientists.  C watch has bid adieu to our faithful leaders Rocky, and Ed and will be completing our apprentice phase under Rebecca and Janet.  With new watch officers, come new responsibilities.  During the next two weeks we are given more responsibility and become shadows to our mates and scientists. Our first test came today in the form of the Deck Practical.  We rounded the deck proving to our mates our knowledge to tie knots, fasten lines, gather weather information, and become smart effective sailors at sea (I believe they were impressed.)  Tomorrow we will do the same in the Lab Practical.

As Raoul Island fads into the darkness, as a new moon sits modest in the sky, as a new apprentice phase begins, S-270 welcomes more change and a chance to explore more of the unknown.  We won’t take things for granted, for we recognize the fluid motion of the world!

Love you Ma, Dad, Arianna, and Erica!
Also happy belated Thanksgiving to Julia’s family!

- Christina

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s270  life at sea  swim call  science • (5) Comments
Previous entry: Experience is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power    Next entry: Sky views


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 Erica Merullo on November 29, 2016


We have all been waiting for you to write this post!!  It seems like you are having an awesome time and thats what I love to hear. I miss you all the time.

I can’t believe you swam in open water like that!! That is insane!!! I am sure that all those rough waves tearing us apart in Nantucket prepared you for the open ocean (well maybe not lol).

I was with Uncle Robert in London last weekend and I took him to Wicked! I think he really liked it. He knew every song before the play even started because we always sing the major Wicked hits at the house LOL. Uncle Robert sends his love!

Update on Instagram: I have reached my peak likes of 361 likes on Instagram so life is good rn. Can’t wait for the instagram of us reuniting. That’s going to be a huge break through on the gram.

You’re awesome and I can’t wait to hear all about it!!! Keep on sailing and climbing those ropes!! Love you so much. Womb buddies 4 life!!

<3<3<3 Love always Erica

#2. Posted by Arianna Merullo on November 29, 2016

Hey C! Good post, glad to see you are treatin yo’self out there. Maybe we should add homeade pina cooladas to our menu on Christmas Eve?! Keep killing it out there, you’re doing an amazing job.


#3. Posted by Angela Avellani-Oddi on November 30, 2016

Hi Christina!!!!  Nice read!!!  Wow - I still can’t believe you are traveling in the South Pacific Ocean,  I saw Disney’s newest movie Moana with the girls recently and as soon as Susanne told me you were on the ship I could see you learning all this nautical stuff and hoisting sails.  What a great life lesson and opportunity!!!  Be safe and hopefully you are keeping a journal.  Love you!!!  Frank, Angela, D & F!!!

#4. Posted by Jean C Findlay on December 02, 2016

Swimming in the open ocean!  Where the nearest land is a mile beneath you.  Incredible!  Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I can’t help but compare it to swimming in our Puget Sound harbor where the temperature is about 9 C and the accompanying wildlife is usually a host of moon jellyfish.  Our nudibranchs can only be found on eel grass at very low tides.  What a truly wonderful and unique experience you all are having.

Can’t wait to hear more about what you see in the skies and on the ocean—and about your shipboard life.

Note to Kaia: stopped by Plum Farm today and got a delicata squash to bake for dinner tonight.

Love, Grandma Jean

#5. Posted by Susanne Merullo on December 05, 2016

Hi Christina,

Nice blog!  Loved the coconut part!  With each entry, we get a better understanding of your life at sea.  Can’t wait to hear about your amazing journey!

Wishing everyone on board happy sailing!  Enjoy and See you soon!

Love Mom and Dad

P.S.  Loving the notes!!!



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