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 02, 2018

Skills, Useful and Otherwise

Glenn Billman and Cam Chertavian, B-Watch, Northeastern University and Bowdoin College


Cartoon B-Watch: as our steward said, "all talent, no ambition."

Ship's Log

Current Position
34° 56.66’S x 174° 46.43’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Course ordered: 170, 7.3 knots

Force 4 winds from SSW, 4ft seas from SExS, 1023 Barometer, 15.5°C

Souls on board

Greetings loved ones. Let's take a journey. I... know a place... where the grass is really greener. Oh oh!

Just kidding. That's the start of a Katy Perry song. And this is the S-282 blog post! Haha. It's Glenn and Cam, reporting live from the South Pacific. Not the Glenn and Cam you once knew and loved, the ones who have weathered six weeks and 2672 nautical miles at sea. We are saltier, dirtier, and happier for it.

Here on the Robert C. Seamans, apart from learning crucial life skills like leadership, teamwork, and effective communication, we have picked up some unadvertised, but wholly important abilities. As our trip comes to a close, we would love to tell you about the most valuable of these:

Industrial Can Opening
Any student worth their salt in the galley has spent some quality time with the industrial can opener. With the heft and shape of a deadly stone-age club, this girl can open cans left and right if you know how to use her correctly. Her pointed claw can be life-ending to a jug of artichoke hearts, but sadly, there is a steep learning curve for the students. After a full day under Christian's watchful eye, though, most of us can open any can, given 10 minutes and the work ethic of the up-and-coming Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke (someone send us the polling numbers we have no internet please help).

Sleeping Through Constant Motion
With more rock and roll than Chuck Berry, the Robert C. Seamans is a hotbed of seismic activity. Many of us didn't consider that a boat this size would often feel like a 5-year old driving a flight simulator, but it does. In order to survive your next watch, it is crucial to learn how to sleep well while getting pitched around in a force 8 gale. Some people starfish themselves, grasping the four corners of their bed and waking up with near non-existent dexterity. Others opt for the insulation method, surrounding themselves in a gentle cocoon of their six-week old laundry to prevent midnight concussions. Personally, we go for the tuck and roll: resign yourself to purple knees and brace against the thrashing of the night.

Getting A Watch Tan While Abandoning The Modern Clock
Yes. We do both have watch tans. It's horrible, and we plan on amputating at the wrist as soon as we get to New Zealand's universal health care. Aside from that, while you sheeple have been living by The Man's Time(tm) back home, the time of day means nothing to us sailors. Does your day start at midnight? 7 pm? Maybe. The ship calls, we answer. Time is now so irrelevant  that we completely missed September 30th, 2018 when we crossed the international dateline. Did anything important happen that day? Are we time travelers? If a date falls on the calendar and no one on the Seamans lived it, did it even happen? These are the questions that we ponder while clinging to the edges of our bunks at night.

Food Fighting Inanimate Objects
Underway mealtimes on the Robert C. Seamans are an event. Not only because we shovel in three servings of simple carbs in under 15 minutes, but because the tables, counters, and even God himself are throwing food at you. Big waves send the weighted tables swinging side to side, and when they reach their tipping point, all bets are off. Innocuous bowl of soup? Leg burn waiting to happen. Bottle of hot sauce? Grade three ballistic missile. That delicious bowl of frosting on the countertop? Your new favorite hat. Lookin' good, Haley Ferrer! Expect the unexpected, and then expect to slip three hours later when you realized you didn't clean properly.

Surviving an Hour With Your Own Thoughts
As a boatload of millennials, we don't know how to spend five minutes away from our better half, the iPhone X. Put us on lookout for an hour, alone and distraction free, and many of us can't handle the emotional stress of existing disconnected. After countless hours alone up there, we've thought every thought you could possibly think of thinking and now belt early 2000s pop hits to the open ocean. Perfect pitch, who?

Counting to 19
Our most difficult challenge as a group, and often the hardest part of every day. SEA Semester role call seems simple: each of the students are assigned a number 1-19, and we count off in sequential order at the beginning of class. However, certain, unnamed students come on deck, sit down, and manage to halt all cognitive function. The yellow one's the sun, right? they must think, while the rest of us wonder if number 13 has had another aneurism or is actually 30 nautical miles behind us this time, drifting away in the Pacific Gyre.

These skills make us both better and stronger than you. But that's okay! We are headed home soon, and are more than happy to teach you how to count to 19 too :-D

Love and light,

- Glenn Billman and Cam Chertavian, B-Watch, Northeastern University and Bowdoin College

Previous entry: The End is Nigh    Next entry: Sayonara Mama Seamans


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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