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
November 26, 2016
Sailing for the Kermadecs!
30° 25.32’S x 179° 56.52’ E
Sailing under the four lowers. Kermadec islands when we get there.
Light air on this side of an advancing front
It has been almost one week since we departed our anchorage in Russell and we are approaching the Kermadec Islands. Although the water column is packed with living organisms (biomass) the Pacific Ocean we've been sailing through is quite barren above the waterline. We regularly go almost a full day without seeing even a seabird soaring by. The water temperature has been on the rise as we've sailed north into the sub-tropical waters; increasing from a chilly 15.7° C to 21.5° C. Warmer water temperatures have revealed some spectacular sights such as a fin whale, shearwaters diving on bait being pushed to the surface by tuna fish and the occasional flying fish taking flight from a nearby swell. One of our sailing interns even witnessed a coconut drift by the starboard bow while on lookout, a sure sign of land and that a tropical volcanic island chain is nearly in our sights!
This morning we are hove-to on a science station, made possible by the capable hands of our students, collecting data as we enter the sub tropics. Sail handling and science stations are the way of life here on the Robert C. Seamans and the progression of skills and knowledge the students have acquired is impressive.
Everyone is getting excited to see the islands as we sail by, but what about the ocean bottom? Soon we will sail over and collect data from the deepest area of the South Pacific Ocean, the Kermadec Trench! How cool is that?! In some areas of this rarely sampled stretch of ocean, the trench can reach depths over 10,000 meters!! Hurry, someone get James Cameron on the phone, we need that deep diving ROV!
Not only have the students shown great improvements above deck but down in engineering world everyone has recently been assigned ship board systems to research and present to class. The students have shown great enthusiasm in the engine room and are excited to have the opportunity to research the ships systems more intimately. I can't wait for their presentations!
Hope all is well back home and that my friends and family had a terrific Thanksgiving!