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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

November 26, 2016

Sailing for the Kermadecs!

Dylan Whitney, Assistant Engineer

Ocean Exploration

"The Ocean is a desert with its life underground and the perfect disguise above." -- Song lyrics by America. Although it seems barren above, the water column has revealed some beautiful planktonic nudibranch, a type of sea slug. Glaucus atlanticus

Ship's Log

Current Position
30° 25.32’S x 179° 56.52’ E

Ship’s heading


Sail Plan
Sailing under the four lowers. Kermadec islands when we get there.

Light air on this side of an advancing front

Souls on Board

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!

- Dylan

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s270  science  research • (2) 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 Susanne Merullo on November 28, 2016

Hi Christina and crew!

So happy to hear from you guys! Excited to hear you are getting close to the Kermadec Islands! We missed you at Thanksgiving C, especially your stuffed artichokes.  Keep up the great work, happy sailing!

Mom, Dad and Arianna

#2. Posted by Jessica on November 28, 2016

How wonderful to be able to see all these posts. I was wondering why we had no communication from you since the 21st. Your adventures seem wildly educational, introspective, collaborative and expansive. How amazing to guide yourself by stars, know that 3000 meter of water separates you from the bottom of a trench, observe “marine” wildlife while only seeing each other as creatures above water. Your adventurous spirits amaze me.

Thank you for taking the time to write and take photos that you share with us. I appreciate being a par t of your journey, as a distant voyeur, through your accounts.

Thank you to the SEA staff for dreaming up these trips, making them a reality and posting these logs.

I hope one day to meet all of you who are on this adventure together.  In the meantime, I am happy to get a glimpse of you through your writings and photos.

I love you loads Teal and am ever so grateful you are in this world.

Big hugs and love to all of you!!!



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