Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

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 21, 2017

Science Rules !!

Kaylee Pierson, C Watch, Sewanee University

The Global Ocean

The science has begun! Rudy pensively monitors our morning Neuston net deployment.

Ship's Log

Current Position
34° 18’ 7” S x 175° 51’ 6” E

Course & Speed
course ordered 060, course steered 045 at 4.9 knots

Sail Plan
Sailing away from the North Island to Raoul along the Kermedec Ridge

Sunny with the occasional appearance of clouds, multiple ozone hole sunburns

Souls on Board

Good morning land dwellers!

The residents of Robert C. Seamans have lots to report as we start to fall into the rhythm of life at sea and are beginning to find our sea legs. It was looking pretty rocky for a while as the leeward side (lower side of the boat) seemed to be constantly crowded with seasick-plagued sailors, the “fish feeding club”. Our Oceans and Global Change professor, Kerry, comforted us by saying we were “feeding the microbial loop”. Ginger themed snacks and constant reminders to stay hydrated are commonly topics these days.

Along with everyone adjusting into a routine, science onboard has also started to pick up, and student’s ocean health projects are beginning to take form as we collect data in mass amounts. One of the cool things about being aboard the Seamans is that science is happening 24/7, and everyone is getting the chance to partake in cool research being done whether it is micro plastics or zooplankton. I had the privilege of being on the first night watch to deploy the Neuston net during lab. The net’s mesh size is extremely small allowing us to dictate what we catch on the surface of the ocean, whether it be copepods or myctophids (small lantern fish). At around 2230 last night, when the only light around was the moon and stars, the Neuston net was tossed along the side of the ship to trail for 30 minutes, scooping up organisms inhabiting the sea surface. An immediate glow of bioluminescence being caught in the net caused a wave of excitement on deck; it really did look magical, mirroring a starry night, only underwater! Once 30 minutes were up we found everything from jellies to larval fish: a successful Neuston net deployment.

Once the sun came out and everyone was awake, we had class discussing things we found notable during our visit in the Bay of Islands a few days ago. Students mentioned their thoughts on the traditional Maori dance we witnessed, and I even threw in my personal anecdote on the older man Kim and I interviewed for our plastics research project, who made it his mission to lecture us on how Americans were the worst (an uncomfortable yet eye-opening experience to say the least…). It’s always nice to stay updated on what’s going on in everyone’s lives since we all are on such different sleep schedules dictated by watch hours.

I know that everyone on shore (many of you home for the holidays already) must be worried sick thinking about us out here on the South Pacific, saying to yourselves “how will they make it without Thanksgiving turkey and pie?!” Well don’t you fret, today Thanksgiving preparations began with a tally on favorite pie flavors (I choose apple, but I’ll always be partial to my mom’s legendary pumpkin pie) and sign ups for who’s cooking what. I can only imagine the days coming to be joyful and busy as we celebrate what are thankful for out here on the Seamans.

Until next time faithful readers,

PS: Shout out to the Pierson family (including Ry who probably doesn’t even know I’m gone) I love you and miss our Thanksgiving family traditions, especially the one where mom always makes us our own personal pie, we don’t have that luxury on board unfortunately.


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 Susan Hormuth on November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to all souls on board the Robert C Seamans. Enjoy your pies and dinner.  We’re thinking of you.

#2. Posted by Kimberly Pierson on November 24, 2017

Loved reading your post sweet pea! Made me laugh out loud and cry all at the same time. Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving out at sea. Wow are you going to have stories to tell and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Could not be more proud of you. We are so enjoying this blog and love keeping up on all that your group is doing. Hope all are feeling better by now. Love, hugs and lots of kisses. Mommy



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.