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 28, 2018
Sun, Storm, and Snack
32° 14.032’ S, 177° 50.581’ W; 1036 total nautical miles traveled
Course & Speed
160 deg - 7.2 knots
Fore stays’l, main stays’l, storm trys’l
Very windy with a Beaufort scale force 6 (25 knots), partly cloudy but sunny
The weather over the past few days has been either one of two extremes: sunny or stormy. Two days ago was the first time in a while where there was hardly a cloud in the sky and the sun was in full view most of the day. I learned first-hand how powerful the New Zealand sun is, because after being outside for watch and class, sunscreen can only help so much.
Thankfully there is a plentiful and easily accessible supply of aloe onboard for sunburns that we all eventually get to some degree. The next extreme was experienced primarily last night and early this morning. No less than three low pressure systems is the area created really high winds and seas, enough so that the captain decided it was best to heave to (stay put) for the night and most of this morning. The storm trys'l was set yesterday evening to help us weather the wind storm (with bursts of rain every now and then) with its smaller size and thicker canvas to help balance the boat during heavy weather.
Dawn watch this morning was mostly uneventful because we were hove to. Some surface water analysis in the lab, the lookout posted aft and hourly boat checks were all that could be done that resembled our normal routine. Since it was really windy, layers were needed to keep warm, and since there was a bit of rain on the watch previous, some of us donned our foulies. The clouds that were visible quickly moved out of view so that the night sky was visible with all the stars of the Southern Hemisphere on full display with a bright, waning gibbous moon. B-watch learned what and where the celestial G is in the night sky by our assistant scientist Farley. Ceili, our watch officer, taught us the names of some of the stars and identified Venus as it rose towards the end of our watch. Olivia L. taught us how to use a sextant in preparation for a star fix closer to the sunrise.
Sleep was the most anticipated part of the end of dawn watch. After eating breakfast of French toast and berry compote, we slept away the morning. In the afternoon, there was class where we learned about tectonic plates from Kerry and more on the history of Raoul Island, other islands nearby and the area in general in relation to the Polynesian navigators,
Maori, whalers, and European settlers. To mark our 1000th nautical mile sailed, Sabrina (our excellent Steward) made chocolate donut holes. It was tradition of whalers to make donuts after the 1000th barrel of oil was filled. Though we are not whaling, we did celebrate the number 1000 in our own, much more delicious way, because everyone kept cycling back to nab just one more treat.
- Kate Spencer, B-Watch, Syracuse University
P.S. I'd just like to say hi to my family! Life aboard is so much fun, and I am so happy I'm here. Miss you lots and I'll see you in time for the holidays.