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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

March 06, 2014

S251 Weblog 06 March 2014

Jill Ackermann, B Watch, Union College


Shoshana aloft at the end of the yard, enjoying the view

Ship's Log

Current Position
22° 48.7’’S x 135° 56.2’‘W
Course and Speed
300° 5 knots
Sail Plan
Motoring under the four lowers
Mostly cloudy, hot and humid

After waking up to a radio update “ready in the chain locker” right outside my bed, I am certain that falling back to sleep is no longer an option and the rest of the focs’’le is about to be woken up by the loud hauling away of the anchor.  About 20 minutes later, the familiar bob of the ship reassures all those below the deck that we are indeed leaving Mangareva and setting sail towards Hao. While our past few days in Mangareva have been fairly rainy, Mother Nature has decided to grace us with beautiful sunny weather for our departure.  Too bad we can’t stay just one more day!

Getting into the swing of sailing again after long port stops is always a slight challenge. After spending days hiking, exploring beaches, and other landlubbing activities, I can’’t help but fear that I’‘ve forgotten where the lines are, how to respond to line handling commands, or even do something as small as plot a dead reckoning position. This feeling quickly faded as we spent the beginning of our watch reviewing lines and basic sail theory, reassuring myself that maybe I haven’t forgotten everything we’’ve learned up to this point.  This is especially important as we enter the third phase of our nautical science class and one student per watch becomes a Junior Watch Officer.  As a JWO, the student manages the deck and makes sure all tasks are being done, taking almost all responsibility for the wellbeing of the ship.  While the mate is still supervising and can always lend a helping hand, they are no longer able to answer questions.  This somewhat daunting new role will certainly be challenging, but fun and rewarding nonetheless.

Today was also a particularly special day for my shipmate Shoshana Moriarty (B Watch) and me, as we had our first venture aloft without a mate! As we climbed up the shroud and sat on the platform we got to see Mangareva quickly fading into the horizon, as well as watch our fellow shipmates set the JT. Since just sitting on the platform was not thrilling enough, we decided to go out on the yard and enjoy the view directly above the ocean. The view of both the boat and ocean is overwhelmingly beautiful, making the terrifying journey out to the end of the yard 100% worth it. As the amount of sailing days are rapidly decreasing I have promised myself to take advantage of every opportunity to go aloft and get the best seat in the house. 

Sending my love to my family and friends, miss you all! Congrats on Citizen of the Year, Mom!

Jill Ackermann


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