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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

December 04, 2014

Rub-a-Dub-Dub Tons of Seabirds in the Tub!

Breezy Grenier, A Watch, University of Rhode Island

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

A pipe fish caught during our midnight Neuston tow (photo courtesy Breezy).

Ship's Log

Current Position
45°07.9’S x 171°47.6’E

All four seasons today!

Sail Plan & Course/Speed
Course Ordered 050°, back into the Canterbury Bight

Starting with midnight ships time (since that’s when at least one watch starts their day), we had a very successful bat at science! It never ceases to amaze me how alive the ocean surface is when half the world is sleeping. Our Mid Watch science deployment typically consists of a Neuston tow and a surface station, collecting mysterious sea creatures that come up to feed at the surface waters at night. Tonight we caught pipe fish (see picture), flat fish larva, an ideal ctenophore specimen, a baby squid, as well as more jelly fish! We also caught a plentiful amount of zooplankton and other nekton. The organisms that we catch and study contribute to our biodiversity data, as well as multiple student projects that correlate species to bodies of water, determine the ocean’s health, and learn more about organism’s distribution.

Now getting to the four seasons of weather we experienced today. As the sun’s rays rose, reaching the ship, some of our shipmates woke up to a beautiful summer morning with calm glassy water. We were surrounded by tons of seabirds consisting of albatross, petrels, and gulls, all swimming around the ship happy as can be. It was warm enough to walk up on deck barefoot in a t-shirt. A few hours later, the winds started to pick up and summer quickly turned into spring as the rain began to fall. The rain didn’t last too long as it changed to snow for a while, just to remind us that it is winter back in the Northern Hemisphere. As the day came to an end, we entered fall, with the clouds starting to part and a cool wind at our backs. The sun painted a beautiful sunset before saying good night. Just another typical day out sailing in the South Pacific!

Oh yeah, we had a Nautical Science practical exam today, too. As much fun it is to live, work and do research aboard a beautiful tall ship, we occasionally have reminders that we are, in fact, still in school. The test consisted of us going thru the ship answering questions to demonstrate our knowledge on line handling, ships safety, proper log keeping, and navigation. With each seafaring day we get a little bit saltier, transitioning from students into mariners.

Thank you to everyone that has been following our journey, and sending love to my Mom, Dad, my fur balls and family and friends. I miss you all and wish you a wonderful holiday season and am looking forward to seeing everyone when I return in the New Year!

Best Wishes,

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s256  science • (1) Comments


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 Elizabeth Myrus on December 07, 2014

What do you do with the marine life that you catch and study on the ship?  Do the varying species and/or numbers of organisms have a connection to the colonization of Caribbean islands?
Also, what meteorological processes contribute to the drastic changes in weather throughout the day?



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