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
October 18, 2016
18° 21.506’ S x 179° 30.347’ W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
260° PSC, 5.9 kts
Sailing on the fore and main stays’ls and the tops’l
SE Wind, F4, Very cloudy with intermittent rain.
Today began pretty early with a wakeup at 05:57 (three minutes early, and right now I’m really missing them). In order to make sure that we’re all learning the same things and keeping up with our work we have a series of checklists we need to complete individually by the time we get to Suva, Fiji: two for science and one for deck. And since we’re due to get into Suva possibly within the next 48 hours (since everything is subject to change: “Semper Gumby,” stay flexible, as one of my watch officers Rocky likes to remind us all). I am more than a bit behind in my usual procrastinating fashion. In an effort to try and get some stuff done this morning, I actually did half of my watch on deck and half in lab. By the time watch was over I had been on the helm, lookout, did a boat check and weather, deployed a secchi disk and Neuston tow in addition to running some samples to determine chlorophyll-a and pH.
Because of all the science, we got to continue practicing our sail handling skills a bunch! The first week I (and I think I speak for almost all of us) was very overwhelmed with learning our lines and what to actually do with the lines we had no idea where they were located. But today one of my fellow watch mates, Stu, actually took the lead and called the commands for setting the tops’l. We are no longer the greenhorns we started as: we set the tops’l in 5 minutes!!! Woah!!! Shout-out to C-watch for proving that we justifiably won the pin rail chase! It’s amazing to see just how much we’ve learned individually, and as a community.
Right after watch ended I had enough time to eat lunch before Stu and I decided it would me a lovely time to shave the sides of Marina’s head. After seeing Stu’s excitement after he made one straight line with the buzzers, the nervous laughter began making straight lines even harder. Anyways, it all turned out great- Marina loves the haircut and nothing displays friendship more than trusting them to cut your hair on a moving boat.
We actually had to squeeze in the little haircut before FIELD DAY! The day that we show Mama Seamans just how much we love and appreciate her by getting all the dirt we make off of her. It’s also great for us because it’s the only time we can listen to music and we get CANDY! After a successful field day Rocky attempted to give our half asleep watch a lesson about local apparent noon and how to calculate our latitude. Not only did he have to battle with our sleep deprivation, Sara Martin (chief mate) then came over the PA system to announce cetaceans, which in case you non-marine-bio folk don’t know means whales/dolphins/porpoises. So we all practically “ran” (actual running isn’t allowed) up to see them. I’ve slept through at least one whale siting on this trip before so needless to say I was super excited that she announced it. We identified at least four sperm whales! For a lot of people on the ship, Captain included, “The Pool is Open” day was the first time they had ever seen a sperm whale so it was super awesome that we’ve been getting to see so many! Also the whales today couldn’t have been more than 50m off the starboard side, the closest ones we’ve seen so far!
Honestly, I couldn’t be happier about everything on this adventure so far. From the crew, faculty, and students, to the people we’ve met at Port stops, to all the learning we’re doing on deck and in lab, and especially Bex’s cooking, I cannot wait to see what else happens!
P.S: Sorry friends and fam- I decided I’m not connecting to any internet until New Zealand so hopefully you are getting all the details you want out of the blog! I’m safe, happy, and healthy and will talk to y’all soon!
P.P.S: My thoughts and love are with everyone who was impacted by the hurricane in Haiti. I hope I can reach out soon and provide any help I can!