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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

March 01, 2017

Practically All Salps

Ben Claytor, A Watch, Bucknell University

The Global Ocean

Race to second place

Ship's Log

Current Position
39°32.288’S x 178°48.424’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
155° & 4.5 knots sailing

Wind 8 knots NNE, 10% cloud cover, waves 1-2 feet (i.e. it’s nice out)

Souls on Board

When I signed up for my blog post day I picked a day in the middle of the trip between Russell and Wellington because it was the longest haul and it would have been the longest since anyone at home would have heard from me. What I did not account for were the lack of original topics in the middle of a cruise with minimal wind. Fortunately for me today was our deck practical! This was meant to be an hour or so long assessment to make sure we had been paying attention and studying the ship, all its inner workings, and most significantly safety features and general sailing knowledge.

The deck practical took the place of class today, so when the triangle was rung for class at 1415 we headed up to the quarterdeck where class is usually held, unsure of what a deck practical actually was or would entail. Our captain, Elliott Rappaport, began class by leading us in a comical exercise routine before starting a watch relay race to find all the different lines on the boat, that I regret to admit my own watch (A watch) did not win and B watch came out on top (one can only assume there was some collusion). After this, the real practical exam began and we settled into different parts of the deck to take our exam regarding safety procedures and general sailing knowledge.

The rest of the day has been a general day at sea so far. The high-pressure system that has been sitting to the east of New Zealand has finally begun to push off the coast and with it brought us some wind. This is a welcome change as we have been running the main engine about 20 hours a day to stick to our schedule due to wind conditions, so even a few knots under wind power feels good.

I would however be remiss if I did not mention lab on dawn watch this morning. During dawn watch lab is generally just busy work, processing nets and picking up the unaccomplished tasks by previous watches. However, during lab dawn watch last night, myself, Sophie V. and Lydia W. had the opportunity to process a neuston tow done by C watch. This was great because it was something to do during the hours of 0100 to 0700. We have begun the ritual of leaving the next watch a haiku as a fun description of what our watch entailed and Madeline had left us the haiku:

What’s in that neuston?
Zooplankton? Phytoplankton?
Probably salps.

She could not have been more right. Over the next few hours we (mostly Sophie) removed over 1500 of the small gelatinous organisms from the neuston net tow. It was gross, smelled really bad, and I am still not sure how Sophie did not get sick. You will have to ask her what her response haiku was I don't think I am allowed to put it here.

- Ben

P.S.  Hi Mom, Dad, Em, Sam, and Liv, I miss you guys, sending my love

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s271  research  science  line chase • (1) Comments
Previous entry: The World Around Me    Next entry: Gelatinous Beasts


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 Ben Claytor on March 03, 2017

Sending love and your wind is sooo much less than what we experienced off of Tahiti . Are our names in the ships log? Or the trip description?
Wishing you strong winds.



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