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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

February 18, 2019

Present and In Awe

Nichole Padovano, C Watch, Boston University


Dolphins at play.

Ship's Log

Current Position
35° 06.68’ S, 174°26.90’ E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Due North through the ship’s magnetic compass (000), 4.9kt

Partly cloudy with a mix of cumulus and altocumulus clouds. Bright sunshine, light breeze heading east, northeast all afternoon. Cool evening.

Souls on board

Day four of sailing, and we’re already accustomed to life at sea! It took a few days for a couple of us to gain our sea legs, myself included. Some waves are bigger than others, and I definitely could feel the bigger waves. But now, the gentle rocking, the unbalanced moments, and everything else the Pacific has to offer us, can now be fully embraced. Usually I spend my mornings and evenings with my watch group either on deck or in lab, but today I was assigned to the galley. The stewards are the heart and stomach of a vessel, so I was very excited to work with them!

Yesterday evening, Natalie and Sophie pulled me aside to help determine what meals we should make. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. We settled on waffles, falafel, and jerk chicken, respectively. For a snack, I tried my hand at my Grandpa’s famous Orange Dreamsicle cookies. I didn’t have the recipe on hand, so I made one up. It wasn’t as good as his, but pretty close. Once a meal was finished prepping, it was my job to alert the correct watches it was time to eat. Really, this meant I rang a triangle throughout sleeping quarters below deck and then again on deck to get everyone’s attention. Today, because we made great time to Russell, we sailed around Mahinepua Island in Whangaroa (Fun-gah-ROW-ah) Bay, just north of Russell. This sightseeing adventure took all afternoon, and everyone was excited to take action! Every couple of hours, when I walked on deck, the island would be in a different position, exposing more beautiful scenery. Imagine rocky cliffs in several shades of green, contrasting with crystal blue waves gently lapping at the shore. Absolutely beautiful. Every day, New Zealand becomes even more breathtaking, and I’m just lucky enough to live in it.

Working the galley was a nice change in my routine. I love deck watches though, especially when I can steer the helm or stand lookout at the bow. Saturday evening, while on lookout, I spotted a pod of dolphins jumping through the water to catch fish! We counted at least 18 duskies splashing around the Seamans. Earlier that day too, Jack spotted a family of dolphins playing in the waves our boat made! I can’t describe how magical it felt to stand tall at bow, watching over a dozen dolphins swimming below us. I knew before that moment, but I’ll reiterate it now: this is where I belong. I’m learning and growing in the most positive direction and I’m seeing the most beautiful and natural sights one could imagine at sea. SEA Semester is definitely one of the best decisions of my life. 

To my family and friends, I miss you all, and I hope you are doing well. Happy (late) birthday Giovanni! I cannot believe you’re actually 18 now. Henry, I hope you have an awesome performance this week. I’ve had Young/Lovely stuck in my head for five days now. And mom, I hope you have an excellent performance as well. I’m so proud of you. I love you all, take care!

-Nichole Padovano, C Watch, Boston University

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s284  new zealand  study abroad • (5) 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 Heidi Padovano on February 18, 2019


I am grinning from ear to ear!!!  I’m watching your vessel move throughout the day, trying to picture what you might be doing at any point in time.  What is the reason behind times it moves fast and times it moves slow, or when it changes direction, or makes a loop?  I wonder which portions of what I have watched on a computer screen have actually been you at the wheel?  What are you seeing as you travel up the coast?  I absolutely love the glimpses into your lives that you and your shipmates are sharing… there is so much to wonder about that every little peek into your new life is like a picture book to pour over.  I watched you circle the island this morning, and wondered what that was for… I love that you talked about it in your post… I saw you do that!  The little blue ship on my screen actually is you, sailing among dolphins, looking at stars I cannot see, and sharing Grampa’s Orange Dreamsicals around the world.

I have never doubted for a moment, since you first brought up the idea of a semester abroad that involved you sailing a masted ship in the Pacific Ocean, that this program was made specifically for you!  I am so glad you held out for New Zealand and that it has already been the experience you anticipated it would be. Dolphins, whales, gorgeous scenery, and an experience that most people will never be able to say they have had.  You go girl!!

PS. How has Burt been handling the motion of the ocean?
PPS. Sloppy kisses and ear nibbles from Missy!


#2. Posted by Caleb Rosen on February 19, 2019

We are enjoying following along by post and picture! Loved seeing the dusky dolphin photo today. We can only imagine how gorgeous it is. Fun for you to see a whole new perspective on NZ.
It’s a great contrast to the snowy scenes of our NE college trip with ellie.
The Holber’s and the Ahrens are all asking about you.

#3. Posted by Ann Christianson on February 19, 2019

Thank you for the update, Nichole! The “mommy & daddy” email thread has been so active as we share our obsession of refreshing your SEA page every few minutes, hoping for a new blog post. You are our hero! (We have also been following you on Enjoy your first port stop and thanks again.
-Ann C. (Katey’s mommy)

#4. Posted by Paul Hayward on February 20, 2019

It is great to hear you are so pleased with everything - your shipmates, your adventure, your choices.  I’m pleased that you tried the Orange Dreamsicle Cookies, even without the recipe.  Here it is in case you or others want to make some more.  I found it on the web at

2-1/2 cups   all purpose flour
3/4 tsp   baking soda
1/2 tsp   salt
1 cup   butter, softened
1/2 cup   sugar
1/2 cup   firmly packed brown sugar
1 large   egg
1 tsp   vanilla extract
1/2 tsp   orange extract
2 Tbsp   orange zest
2 cups   white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla, and orange extract until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and white chocolate chips.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges.  Do not overcook!  Cookies will be plump.  Cool for several minutes on cookies sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.  Makes about 60 cookies.

Grampa Hayward

#5. Posted by The Washingtons including ETHAN!! on March 09, 2019

We are celebrating Sydney’s 9th birthday and are listening to Pirates of the Caribbean music!!  You are now, the Dread Pirate Nichole. hi its Sydney or Squidney love you hope you have a great time!!don’t stay for ever i want to see you more but right now your a pirate arr matey!!!



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