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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 26, 2018

Phase II

Sophia Stouse, B watch, Smith College

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Going aloft at Raoul Island.

Ship's Log

Current Position
30° 26.13’ S; 178° 13.01’ W

Course & Speed
180°, 3 knots

Sail Plan
Four lowers: jib, fore stays’l, main stays’l, and mains’l

Weather
Wind out of the Southwest, force 2. Seas out of the WSW, wave height 2 ft. Sunny and hazy, 22° C

Souls on board

Today was beautiful and sunny as we sailed away from Raoul Island towards McCauley Island. This morning B watch had “mini class,” which consisted of myself, the four other students in my watch, and Rich (our history professor) sitting on the deck reading aloud from a story by Herman Melville. The protagonist, a young sailor going to sea for the first time, recounts “I felt very dreamy… I did not exactly know where I was, everything was so strange and new.” I think a lot of us could relate to this guy, especially from the earlier days of our voyage on the Robert C Seamans, which did feel like a surreal dream. Just like Melville’s character, we have been thrown into a unique world unlike anything on land. Life at sea is beautiful and wonderful, but also taking a lot of adjustment. At first it seemed impossible to learn everything we need to know about sailing, lab procedures, and general life on the ship. Making mistakes has definitely been a crucial part of the learning process.

Today was a very important day for students aboard the Seamans because it marks the end of phase I, and the beginning of phase II. During phase I, we were mostly focused on learning and following instructions as best we could. Phase II means that we now get take more ownership and begin to take on leadership roles. Now that we have had a couple of weeks to adjust to the ship’s schedule, we will start managing our own time and ensuring that the tasks our watch is responsible for are completed. Although our watch officers, Captain, and teachers are always around to answer questions, we
must now use each other as resources as well. Even though we may not always feel like it, we have learned so much in the past two weeks. Back in Auckland, I could not have told you how to gybe (turn) the ship or how to find the pH of seawater using a spectrophotometer. Now these are daily tasks that I get to be an active part of.

Although the beginning of phase II feels a bit overwhelming, it also gives us a lot of freedom. Now that we have the basics down, there will be more opportunity to focus our time on other interests. For example, I love going aloft, and had the amazing opportunity to climb the foremast while we were sailing past Raoul Island yesterday. I am looking forward to learning more about celestial navigation, as we plot a running fix using the stars on our way back to mainland New Zealand (I’ll tell you what that means as soon as I find out). As phase II commences, the possibilities before us continue to
expand; as Melville’s character puts it, we have “an eternal breeze astern and an endless sea before!”

- Sophia Stouse, B watch, Smith College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s283  study abroad  life at sea • (4) Comments
Previous entry: Land Ho!    Next entry: Sun, Storm, and Snack

Reactions

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 Aemie Sigler on November 28, 2018

We really enjoy reading everyone’s posts, and especially liked seeing Mia’s picture the other day!  Congratulations on beginning phase two! Love you Mia. Everyone is looking forward to hearing about your awesome adventure!


#2. Posted by Mama Stouse on November 28, 2018

I have had the BEST time reading all of these blog posts… especially this one!  As not only a mom of one of your classmates but also as an alum (W-108), your posts have brought back amazing memories that I didn’t know I still had.  I’ve laughed and been moved to tears by your eloquent documentations of your life at sea, and I have been reminded about what an incredibly formative experience it was for me (and will be for you, I hope). I am so happy for you all that you will have this incredible adventure to take with you into your lives and so appreciative that you have let me relive my SEA experience just a bit through your posts.  Thanks!!
-Sophia’s Mom

p.s. Please tell Sophia that Logan was first to see her blog post.  He’s keeping tabs on his big sister!
p.s.s. Also please tell her that her dad and I went to a movie and waited until it started to eat our popcorn in her honor.
p.s.s.s.  Last thing -  also tell her that she successfully reconnected me with Leah, my songwriting friend from SEA.


#3. Posted by Reid on December 05, 2018

Great to see that SEA is going so well and providing such wonderful experiences on which you will continually draw. Photos from aloft are welcome (if possible and allowed). I am imagining all of the kite flying possibilities!!

We’ll look forward to hearing about your experience upon your return to Smith. Have fun. Learn lots. Stay safe.


#4. Posted by Consuella Spots on December 07, 2018

Enjoyed reading Sophia Stouse post!!!Sophia’s Connie


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