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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 18, 2014

S251 Weblog 18 February 2014

Charlotte Bloom, A watch, Union College

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Above: Impromptu concert on the starboard deck of Bobby C, featuring Patrick, Levi and our Marquesan friends Below, right: Our Marquesan friends playing massive drums at their outdoor classroom

Ship's Log

Current Position
09° 19.2’S x 139° 47.5’W
Course and Speed
6.5 knots, expected to arrive in Tahuata tonight
Sail Plan
Motor sailing under the mainstays’l
Weather
Sunny, with fluffy cumulus clouds above

What an amazing few days in Nuku Hiva! Yesterday, we invited twenty local high school students aboard the Robert C. Seamans for a day sail, and it was a blast! We headed out of Taiohae Bay and quickly set the tops’l, and the stays’ls. This was a first for all of us, as we had yet to see the tops’l set. When hauling on the lines, we need all the help that we can get, and the Marquesan guys were a huge help!

After our sails were set, the musical instruments were brought out. Never before have I seen so much talent all at once! These guys knew how to play the ukulele, guitar and bongo all very well. We even broke out some spoons when there were not enough instruments to go around! The more musically inclined of the SEA students would listen to their song for a little, and quickly make a complementary beat on the bongos. For the rest of the 3-hour day sail, we enjoyed authentic Nuku Hivan music.

When the students boarded the boat, there was definitely a noticeable language barrier. Many spoke some English, while most of us do not speak of lick of French (but those who do are pretty darn good at it). Once the two groups of students started playing instruments, the barriers seemed to fade rapidly. It was quite beautiful. After the sail, our friends departed the ship (but not without acquiring some Facebook names).

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We had a quick lunch, and then ran ashore to meet our new friends for an insider tour of their agriculture high school. All of the students we had aboard in the morning are students at a vocational school that specializes in agriculture. The tour was wonderful, as they proudly showed us their tapioca crops, their greenhouse with seedlings, and their pigs. These pigs were the biggest I have ever seen, and one was even 24 years old! As we approached their open-air classroom, students were playing massive drums that made your insides feel their beat. Four students lined up, and presented a magnificently executed Haka dance. Native to the Marquesas, these dances were used by their ancestors to appear threatening during times at war. We said goodbye to our friends, and headed off for more island exploration.

One of the most remarkable aspects of a SEA education is the cultural immersion that we experience each day we are on land. In one single day, we had the chance to talk to locals, meet and befriend students, and quiz government officials for facts that really interest us. Each day on land is packed with similar opportunities—for which all of us aboard are beyond grateful!

I miss you guys back in the states—I had the chance to post some things this morning, enjoy! Mom and Josh informed me of the snow—I’ll try to send some Southern Pacific air your way. Josh, Orion is upside down here, but is just as clear as it was from Wold.

- Charlotte

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