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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

July 01, 2021

Practicing Whale Watching


Tadhg showing us proper whale watching practices, A Mola-mola trying to make friends with a Shearwater.

Ship's Log

Lat: 31° 44.1’ N /  Lon: 119° 06.7’ W

305° psc

4.4 kt

Sail Plan
Mains’l, main stays’ls, forward stays’ls

Cloudy, complete stratus cloud coverage

NW Beaufort Force 2

Description of location
Heading NW into the California Current, South of the Channel Islands

Souls on board

After sailing south to near the U.S. - Mexico border, where a patrol helicopter monitoring unauthorized crossings gave us a fly by, we turned around to head back up North into the California Current before we ultimately head out West and towards the center of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Before yesterday I had never seen a whale in my entire life, but as of today I can confidently say that I have seen at least 20+ whales, most of which were finback whales which are the second largest animals in the world, and 1 whale tail! No breaches yet, but I’m sure that everyone on the boat has their fingers crossed.

I’ve already had so many first sighting on this trip, like my first mola-mola (Sunfish), some absolutely mind-blowing bioluminescence from thousands of pyrosomes, some sea lions, and my first whale sightings. The food onboard has actually been much better than I expected and I certainly wasn’t expecting fresh baked bagels (Thanks Cookie!). Even though we are only a handful of days into our trip, at this point I think it is safe to say that I don’t have a sleep schedule anymore and I’ll be getting up at 0100 today (1:00 am) today, or I guess tomorrow, for dawn watch, but our watches rotate so thankfully I only have to do that every three days. I am absolutely exhausted, but I can’t let that slow me down this early in our voyage. Gotta stay awake for all the cool stuff we have yet to see!

- Payton Schlewitt, University of North Carolina, Wilmington / B Watch

PS: Shout out to my homie Chris! Happy birthday dude, sorry I couldn’t be there for your 21st.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topics: s299  life at sea  megafauna  science  sailing  research • (3) 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 Jen on July 02, 2021

The sightings sound absolutely spectacular. Can’t wait to pictures! Glad to hear the chef is top notch, good food will definitely help make a tough journey a little easier. Love seeing the pics with these posts. Helps to ease a worried moms soul. Happy sailing ⛵

#2. Posted by Marnie Jackson on July 02, 2021

So great you are seeing whales. Do you have any photos?

#3. Posted by Bill McKay on July 05, 2021

Celebrate a bit less pollution in the Atlantic this 4 day weekend. Three days/nights of rain brought a serious damper to this year’s fireworks in every town along the coast. Every year, a huge # of colorful plastic, wood and paper explosives are shot out over the waters; one might ask, “Why does not mankind shoot them over fields and parking lots; then in the morning get out there and pick up the stuff?” Well, I bet it has the same thing to do with how easy it is to dispose of stuff in the Pacific. Man is just lazy. Anyway, there are a lot of sea creatures who today had good meals out here; not what might have happened. I love rain!!!



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