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
February 22, 2015
Phase Two: Shadowing
37° 39.943’S, 179° 35.024’E
A couple days ago began phase two of our three-phase process aboard the ship. Phase one was an instructional phase where everyone got the hang of things here on the ship. Phase two is where one person in each watch shadows our watch officer, either the assistant scientist in the lab, or the mate on deck. Then phase three is when we assume the role of a junior watch officer or a junior lab officer and we are in charge of the watch.
Today, during my six-hour afternoon watch I got the opportunity to shadow my watch officer on deck. When we came on watch, Chief Mate Will asked me to assign people to different things for the start of our watch, which in comparison to what I needed to do later was an easy task. During the afternoon we had a slight increase in wind for the first half of our watch and things progressed as usual. I continued to keep track of the time to make sure the helmsperson (the person steering the ship) was relieved on time, as well as getting hourly boat checks, plotting our positions and weather observations. About an hour and a half into watch, Will let me know that our captain, Elliot, wanted us to double gybe to get some practice handling sails and mastering the maneuver itself. For those of you who don’t know, gybing is a way of turning the ship so the wind will be blowing from the other side of the vessel. It is sort of an intricate process with a number of steps since we have to adjust all the sails so they will work with the new wind direction. I needed to brief my watch on what was happening and give out commands. At first glance, it was a little intimidating. However, with the help of my shipmates, we completed our double gybe without any issues.
Though it was not the first time our watch had worked together to gybe, it was a new perspective that I got in telling everyone what needed to be done and when. We have had some awesome experiences so far and I look forward to more time with my watch and getting things done.