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
April 23, 2018
Ramblings of a Student: JWO, Swim Call, and Research
Hundreds of miles from anywhere
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Mostly north at 6 knots
Forestays’l, mainstays’l, tops’l
Warm with occasional squalls
Hello, blog readers. Tonight is the night of what feels like our biggest deadline to date for our research projects. By 2300 tonight, we are to submit a complete set of all the figures, tables, and maps that we intend to use in the results section of our papers. While the datasets for our projects are not yet complete, the figures that we submit for this assignment will give us a pretty solid idea of what our final results section will look like. I think all the other students on board would agree with me when I say that it's been a stressful process, compiling and processing all of our data and putting it into comprehensible charts. But despite all the stress, it has been satisfying and exciting to watch the seeds of our labor, planted in the fertile soils of excel spreadsheets, come to glorious fruition in the form of semi-complete graphs.
As Natalie mentioned in our previous blog post, we finally got a chance to go swimming yesterday! After what seemed like a normal afternoon class, in which the Captain answered our numerous questions about the upcoming JWO Phase, we were surprised by the announcement that we would take advantage of the calm seas and warm weather with a swim call. We changed into our swimsuits, jumped off the port side of the boat, and relaxed in the ocean for about 20 minutes. Phoebe, whose birthday was yesterday, certainly has a unique story to tell when people ask her about her 21st birthday-swimming in the 5000-meter deep waters of the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre is certainly not in line with the debauchery typically associated with turning 21.
As I mentioned above, JWO Phase is almost upon us. Tomorrow morning, we will be transitioning from Shadow Phase into JWO Phase. The Junior Watch Officer will have to call the shots for each watch-when to jibe, when to wake/report to the Captain, when to pass the stays'ls or ease the sheets. He or she will not be able to ask the mate on duty for advice when making these decisions. Instead, JWOs must rely on themselves. Thankfully, we do have some resources to make this job easier. We can refer to the JWO Sheet Anchor (a binder that gives advice on what to do in various situations), or we can ask the other students on our watch for advice. We can also rest assured that the mate on duty will still be monitoring everything happening on deck, and that they will intervene if conditions arise that we are not equipped to handle on our own. Tomorrow, it begins.
As I did with my last blog post, I will end with a shout-out. To mom, dad, and George: I love and miss you, and I can't wait to tell you about everything that has happened. George, I hope your second semester of high school is treating you well. Knock 'em dead. Also, shout out to Helen and Ben. I have had to redirect my entomological enthusiasm towards marine biodiversity, but I promise that my passion for insects will return in full
force this summer. Mom, please send this blog post to Helen and Ben so they see it.
- Will Lounsbery-Scaife, B Watch, New York University