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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 04, 2014

S251 Weblog 04 February 2014

Julia Twichell, C watch, 1st Asst. Scientist


Above: C Watch donning immersion suits during abandon ship drill (Cole, Rachael, Zoe, Mackenzie, Anna, Matt, Dominique and Midori) Below, right: To sea we go! (S251 Ships Company)

Ship's Log

Current Position
17° 02.3’S x 147° 54.8’W
En route to Fakarava
Course and Speed
060° / 7.1 knots
Sail Plan
Docked then underway for the first time!
Squally-intermittent soaking rain to a most beautiful sunrise

Since Mary last wrote, we have been busy with a range of activities in preparation for departure.  Last night, we were toured a beautiful sailing canoe called Faafaite and attended a lecture from their crew and captain which provided us with a view of the modern Tahitian relationship with the ocean.  Modern Tahitians must struggle to balance new technology and resources and world connections with maintaining a deep relationship with the ocean environment and ocean travel.  Faafaite represents reconciliation, reconnecting the people and the islands across the ocean expanse.  Interestingly enough, Faafaite has sailed a similar course as the Robert C. Seamans, and represents a similar challenge to reconnect youth with the waning art of ocean exploration.

We woke in the morning to pouring rain: the day of our departure to go to sea.  In Tahiti, though, this rain is incredibly refreshing, as we’d been sizzling on the docks since arrival.  The water was calling to us. We spent our morning hours discussing and training in emergency procedures: man overboard, fire/flooding, and abandon ship.  Students practiced donning immersion suits, which is illustrated in the included photo.  Students describe the process as steaming like lobsters in a rubbery shell.  We got underway in a downpour, and Rachel piloted us out of an incredibly skinny cut in the reef-her first time at the helm! 


Students set a few sails, but we fully expected to begin motoring to Fakarava, since the wind is never supposed to be in favor for a transit between the two islands. Yet Neptune, or perhaps the spirit of Faafaite, whipped up a fresh wind and here we are at 0600, 70 nautical miles out from Tahiti, sailing along beautifully under the mainsl, mainstaysl, forestaysl, and jib (the famous four lowers) to the most beautiful sunrise we could have imagined.

With the sunrise came a respite from seasickness (no more puking!) and Midori and Dominique have lived to tell the tale.

Fair Winds!
Julia Twichell

(Asst. Scientist) and C watch


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!



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