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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 18, 2019

Sails Up, Engines Off!

Derek Fischer, University of Connecticut, Avery Point


Sailing with Little Barrier Island off our starboard side.

Ship's Log

Current Position
36 10.380’ S   174 56.037’ E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Heading 295; Speed 3 Knots      

Wind SSW, Beaufort Force: 3 Waves SSW, Wave Height: 3 ft, Cloud Coverage 8/8

Souls on board

All aboard the Robert C. Seamans awoke at anchor in Huruhi Bay this morning after standing anchor watches one hour at a time throughout the night. Gulls swiftly made their way through the sky and called to remind us all on the ship of where we are (on the ocean)! Rain had landed itself on the teak deck to foreshadow what the day would have in store for us. Breakfast was held at 0830 which gave everybody a nice chance to get some extra sleep! I was able to wake up slightly before breakfast, allowing time to pour a coffee and do some journaling above deck. The sweet jingle of the triangle and holler of "breakfast all hands!" alarmed all that breakfast was ready to eat! I told myself that I was only going to have one serving, but at second glance I couldn't help but go for one more!

After our meal students and crew mustered into watch groups (A, B, and C) to conquer tasks below and above deck. Upon finishing our tasks, it was time to do what we have all been waiting for. set sail! C watch was on duty so they bore the responsibility of getting the Seamans under way. The port anchor was raised, and we began our voyage north with some power from the motor as well as our main stay sail. As we motor sailed our way the waves and wind got bigger and stronger which did not sit so well with all. Sea sickness is a real thing! I am thankful to say that I do not know what it was like to feel sea sick, but to those who do, hats off to them because as soon as they did what they needed to do, they were back to all hands on deck. I trust that over time everybody will adapt and not feel this way much longer.

As the day proceeded the wind had made a favorable change that allowed us to also raise the fore stay sail giving us the opportunity to shut the main engine off and be completely dependent on the wind to bring us where we wanted to go. At this point A watch (my watch) had relieved C watch and the rain was on and off in small showers. Hourly boat checks which require a thorough inspection both above and below deck kept us occupied throughout the day. Engine room checks may have felt intimidating at first but just a few days of being on board has led to confidence in knowing what to look for and check. We had class on the quarter deck at 1400 and our class work for the day was to raise the main sail! This was exciting and required most of the crew to achieve, but we did it! We are now sailing along making our way north with three sails set in the hands of B watch. As I sit warm and dry below deck in the library I hope that they are both warm and dry above until 0100. It is interesting and different living in a home that never rests, it's also an awesome feeling to completely trust the people on watch while others rest below deck and know that they will keep us safe.  Time for some rest in my bunk!

Until next time!

- Derek Fischer

Shout out to mom and pops! Give those dogs lots of loving for me! Same thing to Mara and Luke, give Sophie a frito!  I miss everybody back home, but life here isn't too bad so don't worry about me too much!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Climate & Society, • Topics: s289  study abroad • (8) Comments
Previous entry: Aloft    Next entry: UFOs and Dolphins


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 Kurt Fischer on November 18, 2019

Congratulations on getting under way! Sounds like everybody is getting into the routine and settling in. Wish you a bon voyage!

#2. Posted by Sue Moore Fischer on November 18, 2019

Sounds awesome Derek! So glad you are enjoying your time there!Take a lot pictures to show us when you get home. In case we don’t have another chance, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

We love you!! xoxo


#3. Posted by Auntie Carol on November 20, 2019

Derek. omgoodness. What a fun time and experience of a lifetime. Wishing you all the best. Can’t think of a better team member to have on board than you!

#4. Posted by Mara Whitmore on November 20, 2019

Congratulations to your first few days at sea!!  Wishing everyone safe sails, lots of lessons learned and less sea sickness! So proud of you Derek, enjoy everything this experience offers you.

Your sister xox

#5. Posted by Margie Fischer on November 25, 2019

Congrats Derek!  So happy to hear you’re at sea!  What an exceptional experience - an incredible journey!  So thankful to hear you have your sea legs!  We love you Derek!  Jessie, Sadie, Poppy and Margie

#6. Posted by Namma on November 27, 2019

Hi, Derek!

We are so happy we can follow you on your adventure.  What a great opportunity and we look forward to hearing all about it at Christmas.

We wish you A Happy Thanksgiving too even though it may be long past when you receive this. 

Lots of love from both of us

#7. Posted by Robin on November 28, 2019

Hi Derek!  Sending you Thanksgiving greetings! It sounds like you are on an amazing voyage. Can’t wait to hear all about it at Christmas.  Enjoy to the fullest!  God’s blessings, Aunt Robin

#8. Posted by Phyllis cartwright on December 09, 2019

Wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY,Derek!



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