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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 27, 2014

S251 Weblog 27 February 2014

Lauren Barber, A Watch, University of Connecticut

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Above: Members of A Watch in the wet lab (Left to Right: Nanuk, Charlotte, Brianna, and Assistant Scientist Kelsey) Below, right: C Watch deploying the Carousel (Left to Right: Chief Scientist Jan, Anna, Assistant Scientist Julia, and Matt)

Ship's Log

Current Position
19° 54.7’ S x 135° 50.765’ W
Course and Speed
145°, 7.5 knots
Sail Plan
Motor sailing under the mainstays’l and forestays’l
Weather
Winds out of the E, Beaufort Force 3

Ahoy and greetings from the South Pacific!
During our long transit to our next port stop, Mangareva, we have begun the shadowing phase of our trip, where students shadow the mate of their watch and learn how to lead sail handling maneuvers, organize tasks that need to be completed on watch, and get a glimpse into the jobs and duties of the mates that work here at SEA. I had the privilege of being the on-deck shadow (or as some of us like to call it, the “mini-mate”), earlier this week. Within the six hours that I shadowed Sarah, our chief mate, I learned a multitude of skills that I will not soon forget. It is imperative to be alert, and thinking ahead every minute of your watch. This way, you are ready to set or strike sails quickly, tackle time sensitive jobs, and organize all of the hourly tasks such as boat checks, weather checks, plotting positions, and relieving watch members on the helm and on lookout.

This is only a glimpse of the work that needs to be done during one watch at SEA. Everything is equally important to the workings of the ship. Each task ensures that the ship, as well as its 34 crew members, is safe while they are snoozing in their bunks and doing other things down below during their time off. 

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When we are on watch, we are either on deck or in the science lab. I will admit that initially I was not excited to work in the lab. I once had an interest in the marine sciences, but it had fizzled out after my first year of college. After becoming more comfortable with the equipment by spending more time in the lab, and by being able to observe and understand the places that we have been sailing through, my interest has begun to resurface! The times that I am stationed in the lab are no longer dreaded or feared! I actually immensely enjoy taking water samples, such as pH, chlorophyll-a, and nutrients. Deployments of various pieces of equipment are done during the different watches, at different times of the day. The rosette carousel collects water samples from pre-programmed depths, and we use the samples to test for nitrates, phosphates and pH; the neuston net collects zooplankton from the surface; and the meter net, which is also used to collect zooplankton, collects from below the mixed layer of water just under the surface, at around 150-200 meters. Until SEA, I had never had the chance to conduct scientific research on location and be able to use it to analyze the environment around me! It is an incredible experience, and due to the wonderful scientists and assistant scientists that I have the opportunity to work with every day, I am finding that I am actually enjoying my time in the lab! I am excited to carry out the science that we are doing here at SEA, and may actually find myself doing more oceanographic science upon my return back to school!

Sending love to my family and friends back home! I miss you all tons, and I can’t wait to share my incredible experiences with you when I get home!

Heather and Miranda- Hope your last semester is going well! Enjoy it and don’t stress too much! See you soon!

- Lauren

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