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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

December 01, 2016

Peanut Butter Provisions

R. Teal Witter, B Watch, Middlebury College

Ocean Exploration

Nate caught in the act.

Ship's Log

30° 01.9’ S x 177° 45.1’ W

Course / Speed
We are steering 155° per ship’s compass at a speed of 5 knots.

Sail Plan
We are sailing under the four lowers and fisherman

We have clear visibility and Beaufort Force 4 ESE winds.

Souls on Board

We go to sea in order to answer questions. What’s it like on the high seas? How many brilliant sunsets and crystal clear nights can we enjoy in six weeks? How stinky can thirty four people get? Is there a point when we stop noticing the smell? While my shipmates have already answered many of these questions for you, today I set out to answer two more rather specific ones.

First, how much peanut butter does the SSV Robert C. Seamans consume? Before I delve into the math, I will point out that we always exercise rigorous safety precautions while enjoying the most savory of buttery delights. We tighten the lid securely; we lick our spoons clean; and, we always wash our hands. We do this for the sake of those unfortunate souls physically unable to participate in our obsession (more for us!). To answer the original question, there are thirty three mouths capable of peanut butter tasting on board. Of those, seventeen raised their hands when asked if they have ever snacked, thought of snacking, or will snack on our precious peanut butter stash. Over a nine day period, those seventeen souls consumed one four kilogram bucket outside of mealtimes. These numbers indicate that each of the seventeen ate approximatey twenty six grams of peanut butter each day.

When interpreting this statistic, please note that the studied nine day period occurred towards the beginning of our voyage. Perhaps more people have since learned that really a spoonful of peanut butter, not sugar, helps the medicine go down? In turn, not all seventeen consumers were created equal. For example, Nate, our dear Chief Engineer, has been known to snag upwards of five heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter in one day. I, too, have dabbled on the deeper end of the peanut butter eating spectrum. My peers were astounded (read: impressed and enlightened) when I applied our favorite nutty goodness to everything from brownies to pizza crust. On average, though, each peanut butter snacker enjoys twenty six grams of peanut butter every day. Nonetheless, whether one cannot eat peanut butter at all or marvels at its flavor with every tastebud, Bob offers a home to each and every one of us.

Second, what happened today? As a result of our close quarters, sickness and songs pass from person to person in a matter of minutes. Today alone we have heard and, in turn, sung “Blue Christmas,” “Penguin Polka,” “It’s a Hard Knot Life” (adapted from the original “It’s a Hard Knock Life”), “Silly Things,” “Rudolf,” and “We Can’t Stop.” Along with musical numbers, the “Egg Dance” and the “Hip Gybe” have infected crewmembers from assistant scientists to lowly students. Nontheless, we soldier foreward. In between rounds of “Haul Away, Joe,” we picked our Secret Sailors! And, in of course equally exciting news, I successfully completed a two-person tack (read: complicated sailing maneuver).

Thank you for taking the time to read of our adventures! To my mom and peanut butter obsessed dad, I love you.

- Teal

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s270  life at sea • (2) 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 Jessica on December 01, 2016

I am smiling a big smile.  Laughing quietly to myself. Thank you for this post.  I have so much curiosity.  The biggest being - do you all get to enjoy the sunsets, sunrises and crystal clear nights? have you stopped noticing the smells? is time reaching an equilibrium? are you yet sick of peanut butter? have you had peanut butter with salsa and jam yet?  Will you be reporting on the peanut butter consumption distribution curve, and the standard deviation by the end of your time out at sea? has anybody been spared of sea sickness?

Passing sickness and songs leaves me with quite the image.  Is there a cacophony of gags, heaves and coughs intermixed with a harmony of singing??

Congratulations on your two-person tack and all your individual and collective accomplishments and discoveries.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you bloggers who give us a glimpse of life on “Bob”.  Thank you.

I love you Teal!  Melanie is looking forward to seeing you.  You both return to Denver on the 21st (I am not sure if it will be at the same time).  Cathy sends her love.  Alicia asked about you and asked for me to send links to your blogs. 

Hugs and love to all of you!!!

#2. Posted by Grandma Stella Cooperman on December 02, 2016

Dear Teal,
I’m so glad you are enjoying yourself!
I love you and miss you!
Grandma Stella



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