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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 21, 2014

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Emma Van Scoy, C Watch, Warren Wilson College


Sarah enjoying sunset on the quarterdeck with Kate at the helm.

Ship's Log

Current Position
6° 50.0’ N x 142° 08.0’ W

Course & Speed
320° PSC, 6.5 knots

Sail Plan
Motorsailing under the four lowers with a single-reefed main

Winds NNE Force 5, cloudy with an occasional squall

A few days after departing Nuku Hiva, we have started to settle back into the daily routine of life at sea. Or so it might appear. However, a closer look will reveal many signs that we’ve made our way into the final stretch of our time here on the ship.

The voices calling out “Hands to set the JT” and the faces carefully studying the radar now belong to the students of S252! As we make our way further into the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve also entered the third phase of standing watches. Between now and our arrival in Hilo, each of us will be given two opportunities to lead watches as Junior Watch/Lab Officers. This means we each take on significantly more responsibility for everything that needs to occur while we’re on watch, as the mates and scientists step back into a supporting role.

For most of the voyage we learned the ways of the ship by focusing on correctly completing one assigned task at a time. Now that we’re familiar with plotting our position, recording weather observations, and sail handling, the main challenge during JWO/JLO phase is taking a giant step back from all of those details in order to see the bigger picture. With the support of our shipmates we’re all learning how to delegate tasks and rotate people through positions on lookout and at the helm so that we’re able to accomplish everything expected of the watch. This can be challenging in an environment where expectations shift quickly due to changes in course, orders to set or strike sail, or the occasional bad weather we might encounter.

Navigating the boundaries that come when you’re required to give orders to your peers is not always an easy task, but so far I would say that we’re all managing to work together even better than before. Since we’re all rotating through the positions of leadership, we’re given an opportunity to reflect on past watches and anticipate what might be needed and how we can best support the current JWO/JLO.  On C Watch we had our first experience with these new roles last night during mid-watch (2300-0300), with Jackie as JWO and Nikesh as JLO leading a great first watch, complete with a successful science deployment!

Speaking of science, that’s another area of our lives where changes are starting to occur. We have been working hard over the past month to carry out hydrocast and net deployments twice per day and process all samples collected since we left Pape’ete. With our arrival in Hilo growing ever closer, we’re now taking time to look more closely at the data we’ve collected. A draft of our results was due Sunday, so quite a bit of time has gone toward making graphs and assessing trends in relation to our hypotheses as we begin to interpret our findings. Sonia and I have certainly been excited to see the trends emerging from our nutrient data, and it will be great fun on Friday to hear from all of the research groups as we have the opportunity in class to present our findings to the ship’s company!

Much love to family and friends back home, I can’t wait to see you all in just a couple of weeks!

Jake, happy birthday! I miss and love you! -Sonia

- Emma

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s252 • (0) Comments
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