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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 03, 2017

Sunscreen 101

Eileen O’Connor, A Watch, University of Vermont

The Global Ocean

Sunscreen Squad (and Cullen)

Ship's Log

Current Position
40° 57.1 S x 177° 26.3 E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
025° and 4 knots

Sunny with force 7 wind, seas 7 feet and clear visibility

Souls on Board

Today was a big day aboard the Bobby C. Just passed noon we officially have sailed over 1000 nautical miles since leaving port in Auckland!!!  Day 9 of our journey from Russell to Wellington and we are surrounded by the deep blue ocean on all sides with no land in sight.  We’ve settled into our many routines: watch (six hours on, twelve hours off), eating (six meals a day), showering (every two days), sleeping (whenever possible), reading (when you can’t sleep), journaling (a way of life at sea) and tea time (with a spoonful of peanut butter because we don’t eat often enough).  Perhaps the most important aspect of our daily routines is the art of putting on sunscreen.  Burn time in New Zealand is a mere four minutes and is far stronger than we’re used to.  In the past three weeks, I’ve worn more sunscreen than I have in the rest of my life combined.  There are few ins and outs of putting on sunscreen here on the ship.

If you’re putting sunscreen on on deck, there is quite the process you must navigate.  Step one is to find sunscreen.  You probably don’t want to use your own because four different people will ask to use it and proceed to drain half the bottle.  So you’re next best bet is to use the sunscreen in the doghouse.  Put a couple squirts on your hand and head up to deck to rub it in.  Once you’re on deck with sunscreen, everyone within 44 feet knows it and will need it from you.  This is when the dabbers appear.  Approximately six different people will ask you “Can I just have a dab of that?” For them, it’s not quite soon enough to reapply but they’ll feel better about themselves if they can just put a little on the bridge of their nose.  Now that you’re all sunscreened up, you’re ready for some deck time.  That is until an hour later and it’s time to reapply, which is potentially the most important part. 

If you are so unfortunate to get sunburned, there are many stages till healing. 

  1. Deny the fact you probably got sunburned.
  2. Accept the fact you’re sunburned.
  3. Have fifteen people tell you you’re sunburned all on separate occasions.
  4. Regret that you’re sunburned because your body is the temperature of a thousand suns.
  5. Have your mate make fun of you for being sunburned because your harness is rubbing your sunburn and it is unpleasant.
  6. Regret that you’re sunburned.
  7. Have everyone else on the boat tell you that you’re sunburned during dinner.
  8. Put aloe on your sunburn if you can find it (you probably won’t be able to since everyone else has used it all).
  9. Have everyone remind you that you’re sunburned the next day.
  10. Regret that you’re sunburned.
  11. Put sunscreen on.
  12. Have sixteen different people ask if you remembered to put on sunscreen this time.
  13. Regret that you’re sunburned until you no longer have a sunburn.
  14. Try not to get sunburned again.

So kids, follow my mom’s (and Nick’s) advice: always remember to wear your sunscreen.

W. your epidermis
Live laugh love sunscreen

- Eileen

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s271  life at sea • (1) Comments
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Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Jean O'Connor on March 03, 2017

I love your hat - I hope you can actually wear it without it blowing off into the ocean!  When Eileen was in high school in New Delhi, we had sunscreen at the front door, in the car, in my purse, in her backpack . . . Glad you are all having fun in the sun!
Love to you, Eileen’s Mom.  PS the brand new bottle of aloe is still in your room here!



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