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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 14, 2014

S251 Weblog 14 February 2014

Shoshana Moriarty, B Watch, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Assistant steward for the day, Jill shows off her Valentine snack.  Fellow students Zoe, Matt, and Midori await their turn to decorate their own heart-shaped cookie.  Its a windy day, and frosting blows all over the deck!  Time for a deck wash!

Ship's Log

Current Position
10° 06’ 38.40” S x 141° 41’ 57.60” W
Location
On our way to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas-arriving tomorrow!
Course and Speed
055 at 8 knots
Sail Plan
Motor sailing under the mainstaysl
Weather
Breezy 28C , a few squally clouds among the sunny blue skies

It may not feel like February here in the tropics, but students and crew awoke this morning eager to celebrate Valentines Day the Bobby C way. Earlier in the week we randomly chose Valentines-Secret Santa style-to make cards, poems, or gifts for. With the help of the craft drawer in the main salon where we eat meals, students and crew made everything from funny poems and sweet letters to a handmade bracelet. In such close quarters, it was hard to keep a secret, but everyone had fun discovering personalized valentines in their bunks this afternoon.

The Valentines Day theme continued in the galley, where our fabulous steward, Sayzie, and her student assistant for the day, Jill, have been churning out delicious holiday dishes all day-pink cranberry cream of wheat for breakfast, red tomato soup with fresh bread for lunch, and heart-shaped sugar cookies to decorate for afternoon snack. B watch missed Jill this morning because she was busy with her assistant steward duties, but if she keeps up the quality work in the galley, we may send her there for the rest of the trip!

To address some of the more common questions asked about my semester: the food is fantastic, we eat a ton, and its not all out of cans. Every day, dawn watch (which spans 0300-0700) wakes Sayzie around 0330 so that she can begin preparing the days meals. Its often a great mix of favorites and standards from home, like tacos, pasta, and salad, but spiced up with locally sourced ingredients. Dinner recently was steak frites with creamy Tahitian vanilla sauce-probably one of my favorite meals, if I could even choose. I’ve become a big fan of rambutans (a spiky fruit similar to lichee nuts-they’re delicious), and we have eaten breadfruit, taro, fei (like bananas, but cooked), and many other local fruits. We’ve also become spoiled with out-of-this-world mangos and huge avocados. Last week we bought a whole mahi mahi from a fisherman on Fakarava and used almost every part-even the head in soup!

Although the storage space appears small, we havent had the same meal twice as there is food hidden everywhere around the main salon (in cabinets and under the benches where we eat) and in a large food storage hold, called dry stores. We also have a walk-in freezer and reefer (refrigerator) packed with goods as well.  Before each meal the assistant steward rings a triangle throughout the ship and announces which watches have their meals-two seatings for each meal allow for oncoming and offgoing watches time to turn over the deck seamlessly. Im always so excited and hungry for meals Ive turned into one of Pavlovs dogs when the bell rings!

With three meals, three snacks, and unlimited saltines and Nutella every day, we never go hungry, important when we need our strength to haul the main sheet and balance on the bowsprit. I never expected the food to be such a highlight on a boat, but its truly been amazing. Well stock up on more local food in the Marquesas and until then, thank you Sayzie and all our student assistant stewards!

Gotta go! Off to enjoy pizza Friday!

Love to Mom, Dad, Jonathan, OMalley, and all my friends. Miss you guys!

- Shoshana

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