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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 28, 2014

S251 Weblog 28 February 2014

Dan Stone, B-Watch, 2nd Mate, C-204 Alum, Middlebury College Alum

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Reward following the first big squall a few days ago, where students also impressed with their skills handling sail in preparation for the wind and rain.

Ship's Log

Current Position
21° 53.7’S x 135° 7.5’W
Course and Speed
160°
Sail Plan
Main Staysl, Course, Topsl
Weather
Unsettled

Here we are, a month into our trip, the calendar about to switch over to March, and the SSV Robert C. Seamans about to arrive at our next port stop of Mangareva.  I have been trying to get aboard for SPICE ever since my last visit to Polynesia on an Oceans and Climate trip over two years ago. This trip has been very different from that one, and most of the trips I’ve done, as there are many more port stops.  One of the big differences end up being the number of days at sea, and thus, the amount of time I, and the rest of the crew, have to teach students all of the skills needed for life on the open ocean.  Many of the blogs have referenced the skills of setting and striking sails, the weather observations, the leadership of running a watch, how to deploy science equipment, how to interpret data, the organization skills, and, everyones favorite, the intense amount of cleaning.  OK, maybe thats not everyones favorite    In light of the shortened amount of time we have sailing between these beautiful places, students have learned an incredible amount.

In the past 6 days since Fatu Hiva, I have seen students beginning to run the deck, leading their peers with less and less help from their mates. Likewise students have become much more self-guided in lab.  The latter was highlighted today with a lab practical.  This little test, while graded and causing some level of stress, is very different from typical exam; there are no questions about anything they havent done.  This practical is designed to show off the vast amount of skills students have learned in their day to day activities while standing watch.  From showing how to set- up the equipment for deployments, to how to properly log data, how to store samples, and more, the students impressed all. 

As much as I, and all, are looking forward to exploring a new place (and it is new for everyone aboard), after today, I cant help but look forward to returning to sea and seeing the students take their deck practical and impress even more how much they’ve learned so quickly.  Its definitely been a different balance with the shifting from an in port schedule to and at sea schedule so often.  But the variety has been amazing, and I’ve been especially energized by knowing that, like me, many started this voyage excited primarily by the exotic islands (which have not disappointed) but have clearly enjoyed, and dived into, life out at sea as well.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Dan

PS Allison, hope class is going well and cant wait to talk soon.  Much love and say hi to everyone in Santa Cruz for me!  And Happy Birthday Jacquie!  Love to the fam.

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