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 31, 2018
Report from C Watch
North of the Bank Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand; 43 30.92’S, 172 53.66’E
Ship’s Heading & Speed
3.4 knots, 070 degrees
Stays’ls and Tops’l
Southern wind with some precipitation, breezy throughout day
Waking up this morning it had the promise of a good day, there were chocolate chip pancakes at breakfast and it was Chaco's weather (i.e. WARM!). As a ship's company, we were primed and ready to bid a fond farewell to Lyttelton port this morning and head across the South Pacific.
C Watch was scheduled for duty from 1-7 this afternoon, our first underway watch. One part of watch duties is to look for birds and other animals every hour. C Watch was doing its first round of bird watches when we experienced firsthand a reality of New Zealand weather: the wind direction suddenly changed from north to south and the wind turned drastically from a light breeze to considerably strong. As the wind picked up, we "hove-to" (stopped ourselves with our sails) for a few hours to allow everyone to get acclimated to the ship's motion. We were officially off the coast of New Zealand and under sail!
All afternoon, C Watch learned firsthand what it is like to haul on the lines. After a couple of weeks of hauling, sweating and tailing, I'm sure we will compare how callused our hands are. First, we have to master the simple things like which lines go to which sail, and how to properly coil and hang a line. Today I learned how hard it can be to haul on a line when the sail has wind in it (hint: it is hard), and how much having an extra couple of bodies can help.
I could not tell this story without giving the biggest of shout-outs to C Watch. Watches are basically your team aboard the ship - you work, eat and sleep with your watch group every day. Throughout our time on duty this afternoon, we were positive, even when we learned that our 6-hour shift became a 7-hour shift as the ship's clocks were moved to a new time zone. Hector's dolphins certainly helped enliven our spirits, but truly it was us working as a team to stay strong that really sent the watch. So - way to s(C)end it C Watch!
- Sarah Smith-Tripp, C Watch, Wellesley College