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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

June 04, 2016

Pollywog Watch

Kylie Bold, Eckerd College

Pacific Reef Expedition

Neuston tow! Who isn't excited for bright blue things?

Ship's Log

1° 52.0’ S x 154° 44.0’W


Weather/Wind/Sail Plan
Four lowers, JT and Fisherman, winds E x S force 4, clear skies

Souls on Board

Ahoy from the realm of King Neptune! Today for Field Day we were visited by His Majesty's messengers who so kindly informed us that dirty ships were not permitted to cross the equator, and with our arrival to this magical line quickly approaching we shipmates got down to work making the Bobby C. spotless.  Every last inch was scrubbed clean, top to bottom. We should be set to obtain King Neptune's permission to cross the equator now that the ship is sparkling. Among the crew, we are taking bets as to when and at what longitude we will cross the line. I don't know when or where that will happen, but I can't wait for it to get here! All of us are looking forward to joining the ranks of the shellbacks, those who have crossed the equator by sea.  Who knows what we will have in store for us?

Today C Watch had their aloft training and can now go up into the rigging whenever they have permission and free time. It was amazing to climb up the shrouds and ratlines to reach the yards and stare out over the water and to the deck below. One feels so high and so free from up there. The seas were calm today so the platform hardly rolled, which put Siobhan and Maya at ease, while Kat and Sam climbed out onto the yard itself. I myself was content chilling on the platform, watching my shipmates hard at work below and enjoying the approaching sunset.

On the science side of things, as we approach the equator, we have sailed into the South Equatorial Current and are on the lookout for the infamous Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). With this change has brought upwelling, providing more nutrients. We have been seeing higher phytoplankton and zooplankton counts, as well as increased bioluminescence (IT GLOWS BLUE!!!!!). Some organisms of interest are the gelatinous 'Portuguese Man-o-War', 'By-the-Wind Sailors', and salps (basically gelatinous goo), along with loads of shrimp and blue copepods. We've also been seeing a lot more flying fish and numerous species of birds. The other day we had a brown booby as a visitor on our ship for the night. A red tailed tropic bird was spotted today as well.

As we progress as shipmates into Phase II and our duties increase, it's nice to look back and see how far we have come. We've learned about safety aboard the ship and what to do in all emergency situations; we've learned how to run all of the science equipment, and how to manage and process all of our oceanographic surface stations, night stations, and morning stations; we've learned how to safely go aloft; we've started our research projects. We have grown as individuals and have come together as watches and as a crew.

As always: ship, shipmates, and self.


Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Pacific Reef Expedition, • Topics: s267  science  life at sea • (1) Comments


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 Pam on June 08, 2016

Many of the blogs have mentioned cleaning. Hopefully you will all bring home those skills. 

Tell Alex I cleaned his room after he left so he’s off of the hook - for now



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