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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

April 28, 2016

Sail Handling & Poetry

Amanda Jacobsen, C-Watch, Connecticut College

Ocean Exploration

Ship's Log

Noon Position
25° 15.8’ S x 149°07.0’ W

Ship Speed
7 knots


Taffrail Log
2832.3 nm

SExS, Force 6

S, 8ft

Barometric Pressure

Sail Plan
Sailing under the: Top’sl, Course, and Mainstay’sl

Souls on Board

We are two days into our Junior Watch Officer/ Junior Lab Officer (JWO/JLO) phase today. A mixture of nervous and excited feelings have been circulating as we prepare to take control of the daily operations of the ship and the lab. It’s been really exciting to see myself and my classmates step into this role and see how we all support each other and work together to figure things out.

Today during our afternoon watch, Gabe was the JWO for C-Watch, and I really wish I had a picture of his face smiling like crazy as he ran around running the ship and figuring out what we needed to do to gybe around to get back on course after the morning science station. My watch today was extra busy with sail handling and excitement since we finally were able to set a new sail we’ve yet to see during this trip, the course. The course is a huge square sail on our foremast that I’ve been pestering our captain about seeing for days now. It was finally the right time, and with the winds off our stern we struck our main’sl, forestay’s, and jib and set the course all in the first two or so hours of our watch.

After setting the course and striking the jib we were given the challenge of furling the jib in under 3 minutes. Three of us stepped out onto the headrig, wrestled the sail away from the wind, and began to fold and tuck the sail in as quickly as we could. We made it with just a second to spare.

I’m always amazed at how many cool new things we get to see and do our here in the middle of the pacific. Within the past 48 hours I’ve seen the brightest and most amazing shooting star I’ve ever seen, had the con (control of the ship) for a watch period, watched shipmates emerge from bed in their underwear to help set the main (and then repeat the chant Polynesia as holy ninja), set an entirely new sail, and watched the International Space Station flying through space. As I keep saying, I’m stowing away on the ship and never leaving. And now I’ll leave you with a poem, based on true events, by Sara Ebb:

Once there was a sail to be set
By a boat that would then tow a net
So sung out was the call
“all idle hands haul”
Bringing strength so that Cap wouldn’t fret

As the hands all went up above
Simon left his bunk with a shove
He went up in his boxers
Left shirt and pants in his locker,
half naked in starlight just cause

He joined shipmates and crew
Who knew what to do
They hauled on the line
Quickly in time
Up the mast that pretty sail flew

To a chant on the line they hauled
“Polynesia” a voice afterly called,
But his shipmates misheard
They screwed up the words
“holy ninja, holy ninja!” they squalled

- Amanda

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s265  sailing  life at sea • (1) Comments
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Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Jane Thrasher on May 01, 2016

So excited for you Amanda!  Sounds like an amazing adventure for you and your shipmates!



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