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
May 24, 2016
Safety Training and Setting Sail
17° 9’ S x 149° 15’ W
17.5 nm N of Tahiti.
Motor-sailing on a starboard tack under the main staysail.
Weather / Winds
Winds SE, beaufort force 2, partly cloudy skies, warm and humid. Seas E x N 3-5’
Today we set sail from Papeete, Tahiti; a momentous occasion. The moment we have all been waiting for, planning for, dreaming of these past many months full of anticipation and preparation. We were escorted offshore by several species of seabirds, marking our first oceanographic observations of the cruise; and a truly stunning sunset alive with shifting colors.
This moment in time was built upon months of planning and preparation by the faculty and crew, and most recently, by a day full of training for the newest members of the crew – the eager, curious, and hard-working students of Pacific Reef Expedition. For those of you following our humble blog stay-tuned, you will have a chance to meet each of our adventurous students in the days and weeks to come. But for now, let me tell you of our busy day.
Days on the Robert C. Seamans begin early, 0600 wake ups for a 0620 breakfast of bacon, eggs, pompulmous (imagine sweet grapefruit), and muffins. A round of ‘chores’ to keep us looking ship-shape that includes sweeping and wiping below decks, clearing and cleaning breakfast dishes, and scrubbing the teak deck so we can leave all the dirt from shore behind. And then we launched into a round of training stations, which included:
- Start learning the names of all the lines on the ship and how to safely handle those lines under strain.
- How to safely operate the hydrowinch, a piece of machinery with 3000+m of ¼” cable to which we attach our scientific equipment in order to plumb the depths of the ocean for data!
- How to stand Watch on deck including helm commands, logbook and weather entries, etc.
By then it was time for snack! Thanks Lauren!
And the training continued - the essential Watch Quarter Station Bill. The document which outlines the individual and collective responsibilities of each crewmember during different emergency situations, including – Fire,
Man-Over-Board, and Abandon Ship. We talked through each situation, we walked through each as a drill and we talked again about all that we had learned. Only then did our esteemed captain deem us ready to set sail.
And here we are, just north of Tahiti, bound for the open ocean to begin our scientific mission in earnest - to understand the impacts of the ongoing El Nino event upon coral reef ecosystems across the Central Pacific Ocean.
Stay-tuned, our adventure is just getting started and there is much to explore and discover; so join us.
PS: To friends and family ashore, sweet dreams.