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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

April 06, 2017

Sailing East!

Jacquelyn Wu, B Watch, Bowdoin College

Ocean Exploration

Hauling the Mains'l Halyard in Foulies with Sophia and Ship Mates

Ship's Log

Noon Position
44° 33.8’S x 172° 07.9’W

Description of location
About the same place as yesterday as we drifted back the way we came while hove to

Ship Heading
065° PCS


Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change)
Fast moving clouds and a drop in temperature. Winds from NNW along with 7ft swells from NxW.

Souls on Board

We woke up to the sound of rattling and banging this morning, along with a change in how the boat tossed and turned us in our bunks, just a few moments before B watch (my watch) was to be woken up for Dawn Watch from 0100-0700.

I could hear the captain's loud voice, even though he was on the foredeck and I was far aft in the bunk area known as Sleepy Hollow. I quickly pulled on my layers and foulies, heading up to the Dog House to see what the commotion was about. As we huddled in our watch group along with some of the off-coming A watch, we were told that the Fore Stays'l had decided to rip in the mid 40 knot winds. With the rain pouring, wind howling, and boat rolling, we discussed a plan to keep our watch rotation going while staying safe.

Yet as soon as we had a new rotation going, with two of us on boat watch and the others on boat checks, lab hourlies, recording the weather, and the like, in what seemed like only an instant, the weather calmed. The wind blew at around 20 knots, the rain stopped, and the sky cleared. We all climbed on deck to find the stars twinkling and a beautiful moon-bow (think night rainbow!) arching across the Milky-Way. Our luck had changed!

Although the swells stayed rather large, with the water coming eye-level or above on the quarterdeck before we rolled over it, the rest of the morning remained pretty uneventful. We were even lucky enough to see the International Space Station orbit by us as the sun began to peep up over the horizon.

I ended watch feeling ready for breakfast and ready for bed, but also grateful to have experienced what I have so far. Although there are challenges, there are also countless priceless and pretty indescribable moments.

With a little help from my shipmates, I wrote the poem below to try and capture some of the ups and downs currently in our lives aboard the Seamans:

Whattsah Gurl TadOooo?  (To be read in a Scottish accent)

When her harness is wet
   And she doesn't know her lines yet
When the Taffrail line gets caught
   And the engine room is too hot
When she forgets she's on the ocean
   And she just wants a sea-sickness potion
When she can't stand up straight
   And she always seems to be running late
Then there are cookies for midnight snack
   And she learns how to gybe and tack
Then she gets to stand watch on the bow
   And a Neuston tow, she knows how
Then she gets a good night of sleep
   And she can close a door without a peep
Then she doesn't feel so scrappy
   And she actually feels kind of happy

- Jacquelyn

P.S. Love you Mom, Dad, Alex, and any friends who are following along!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  sailing  life at sea • (1) Comments


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 lynn reid on April 09, 2017

Jacquelyn, Great photo and it certainly gives a sense of the vastness of the ocean and the grayness of the sky.
Time on board before the sea calmed sounded pretty hectic. I am not sure I ever want to be eye level with swells coming over board!  Glad the day dawned clear and it would indeed have been magical to watch the stars and moon come out.I am sure you have located the Southern Cross my now.
I am going to have to look up what Neuston tow and a Taffrail line is.
Safe travels and good winds and look forward to the next blog and poem.
Lynn and Adrian



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