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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

March 29, 2015

Stars and Glowing Seas

Sophie Fern, Visiting Scholar, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Ship's Log

Current Position
43° 45.3’S x 179° 13.7’W

Course & Speed
075° and about 6 knots, heading East

Sail Plan
Four Lowers

Weather
“Chatham Islands, Rain,” also known as rainy and overcast.

Souls on Board

I've been wanting to sail with SEA ever since I lived next door to their headquarters in Woods Hole when I was a Masters student in the US.  I was delighted to get an email through from work back in December, asking for volunteers to join the ship and especially delighted to be able to go back to the Chatham Islands.  This time next week, I'll be back at home in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the Pacific Ocean will seem like a dream.

We're heading for a pretty special part of New Zealand, one which most Kiwis have not seen, so the boat and the crew are in for a treat.  The Chathams are home to about 20% of New Zealand's endangered species, have about 600 inhabitants, and are in a time zone all its own of 45 minutes earlier than the rest of NZ.

But we're not there yet!  There are still a few more nights under the southern stars to go before we sight the land.  It was lovely to stand with A Watch a few nights back, pointing the Southern Cross out to each other and someone saying that they had never seen the stars this clear. We're a long way from street lights.  The sea has also been bioluminescent, which makes the tow nets look like giant jellyfish streaming next to the ship.  Once
we've emptied the nets out into their buckets, we wash them down to get all the creatures out of the net.  When the hose hits the net, the creatures glow, just for a few moments. The ships decks are kept dark, so we can really see the stars above and the bioluminescent sea below.  It is quite the sight.

It has been such a privilege to join the ship, even for such a short time, getting to know the students (these guys are tough, funny, smart and take care of each other fantastically), and learning just a tiny bit about sailing from the amazing and ever patient crew.   

Thanks everyone, and may the rest of your trip be as fabulous as this first leg.
Sophie

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s258 • (0) Comments
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