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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 25, 2014

S251 Weblog 25 February 2014

Zoe Walpuck, C Watch, Denison University

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Above: Students Nanuk, Aleja, and Brianna sweat the top’sl outhaul, while students in the back haul away on the tops’l sheet (from left to right: Elaine, Anna, Midori, Margaret, Engineer Jimmy) Below, right: Myself and Midori descend from aloft.

Ship's Log

Current Position
15° 54.5’S x 137° 32.5’‘W
Location
En route to Mangareva
Course and Speed
150° at 6.9 knots
Sail Plan
Sailing under the four lowers (Mains’l, Mainstays’l, Forestays’l, Jib), the Jib Tops’l, Tops’l and Fisherman
Weather
Hot yet lovely. Slight breeze from E x N

Prior to beginning this trip, I often got the questions, “How big is the ship? And HOW many people will be living on it?” Naturally, many people were curious what living in such a small community and living space on the Seamans would be like. I too was somewhat challenged by the notion, fearful of how difficult it would be to be living so close to so many people for forty-four days. To my surprise, the community of the Seamans is extremely livable, many thanks to a few spots onboard that provide me with the opportunity to temporarily isolate myself (isolate being a relative term), and just think.

A typical deck watch consists of a rotation of three or four jobs: helmsman, weather observer, boat checker, and at nighttime, lookout. During the day, the helmsman also serves as the lookout. However, during the night, the lookout assumes a position at the bow of the ship where it becomes their responsibility to be aware of and search for land, marine debris, approaching squalls, and vessel traffic. The lookout serves a very important role in the safety of the ship, for they prevent possible collisions and allisions, factors that we today learned make up over 50% of emergencies on ships. Despite remaining attentive to all of the above threats, the lookout has become my favorite place to think and reflect, covered in a perfect blanket of constellations, and isolated from the busy atmosphere of the quarterdeck. Passersby may hear noises coming from the bow, as the lookout often sings songs, talks to themselves, or in my case, I hum Christmas carols. Some nights, I get bored with my thoughts, while on other nights, I find myself overwhelmed by thoughts about home, life on board the ship, or our last port stop.

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Another place of reflection onboard the Seaman’s became available to my watch and myself today, as we became certified to go aloft. Going aloft entails wearing a rather intense harness, and climbing the shrouds that support the masts. Once aloft, opportunities abound to climb out on the yards, sit on the course platform, or for the most fearless sailors, to touch the top of the mast. Needless to say, the 360-degree panorama of pure ocean is quite spectacular, and could entertain anyone for hours. Like lookout, I anticipate that climbing aloft will serve as an excellent place and rare opportunity to escape the confines of living onboard a 134 foot vessel with 33 other people.

Hello to all my friends and family at home. See you guys soon! Sam, happy almost two and a half, miss you loads!

- Zoe

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