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, 2014
So long, Auckland!
36° 08.9’ S x 174° 59.9’ E
Partly Cloudy, Warm, Nice and Windy
Mains’l, Mainstays’l, Fisherman, Forestays’l, Jib, Jib Tops’l
Heading 354° at 7.4kts.
After much anticipation, today we finally set sail from Auckland! The day started early, with an 0500 wake up to get going by 0600. Once we motored away from the dock, it was all hands on deck to raise a few sails and make use of this perfect sailing weather. The crew wasn’t kidding when they said the learning curve on board was steep. With all of our practice in port and doing it for real this morning, most everyone has gotten the hang of setting and striking sails. Now we just have to remember which one is which! After all the rain yesterday, everyone enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air for a change before heading below for breakfast. A couple of students are feeling the effects of the first day at sea, but most of us are adjusting well to the constant motion of the ocean.
During my watch today (0700-1300), we deployed the carousel and the neuston net. The carousel couldn’t be lowered too deep because we’re still fairly close to shore, but it was good practice for our daily deployments. It looked like we collected a lot of gelatinous plankton in the net, which will be fun to analyze later on. During watch, Roshni spotted four or five common dolphins off our bowsprit. They were playing alongside us for a while before swimming away. I couldn’t believe how close they got to the side of the ship. The dolphins weren’t the only ones to be interested in our vessel; while writing this post, I was called up to see a whale pass by!
This afternoon we practiced gybing, which I think is incredibly cool. It involves turning the boat so the wind crosses the stern, the sails flap for a second, and then the wind fills the other side of the sails with a strong gust. It’s one way we change course, and is also used when we need to stop for a science deployment. Currently, we’re sailing full speed ahead having just set three more sails (probably close to the most sails we’ll have set at one time). Since we’re finally settling into our routine, I’m appreciating a little more free time to spend above deck reading, playing guitar, and watching the islands of the Hauraki Gulf pass by. I could get used to this shipboard life!