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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

July 13, 2018

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Sherie Yang, Villanova University


Coolest place onboard-the lab! From left to right: Nate, Lee, and Gabo in the only air-conditioned space on the ship.

Ship's Log

Ships position
6 degrees 12 minutes N x 165 degrees 45 minutes W

Speed & heading
3.1 knots, 200 degrees heading

Mostly sunny, calm

Souls on board

Hello One and All!

This is Sherie here, your fellow novice sailor from the Best of the watches: B watch! Crazy and colorful things continue progress on this ship-anything ranging from the education of drawing on grapefruits for celestial navigation (mine almost rolled off the deck), to the hype of fishing up an old boot. And as with any journey, there are the good, bad, and the ugly. One bad though necessary aspect of being on a ship is developing "sea legs", a balancing act I have yet to master. Even a week after setting sail, I stumble along to the rocking of the boat, providing a good source of entertainment for my lovely crewmates. Another adjustment I continue to make is to fit myself into a tiny bunk along with my suitcase and backpack.

However, the bright side is that I have created Bunk Tetris, one of my favorite games on this ship as I use my tactical skills to fit all of my items, and most importantly, myself into the bed. In fact, I am optimistic knowing that if I could sleep in close quarters on a swaying boat with 50 lbs. of luggage, then I could sleep just about anywhere. Moving on to the ugly, I will mention that being pooped on by birds is a constant possibility-just don't expect anyone to write home about it. On the other hand, much of the learning experience for me has been unprecedented and absolutely extraordinary.

One of the first things that comes to mind is being awake today at dawn, processing the organisms we caught the night before in order to count and calculate its biodiversity. We had just passed an area particularly abundant with life near the surface, giving us a good haul for us to observe. I began my time in the lab helping sort the organisms into jars of ethanol preservatives, seeing a wild variety of critters such as the myctophids with their amazing bioluminescence, and the gelatinous nektons, with their clear jelly-like complexion and funky wiggling.

After sorting most of the haul, we then took samples of the plankton to do 100 counts. It was a long and careful process to individually sort out 100 organisms in order to identify them and calculate its biodiversity. Nonetheless, it was such a captivating experience seeing the specks of plankton magnified under a microscope, and it has given me a chance to view in detail these overlooked creatures nearly unseen by the naked eye. The icing on the cake is that having completed our 100 counts, we ended our watch getting some fresh air on deck. It was a breathtaking view after many days of rain to see the stars fade into the sunrise, reminding me yet of a future with many more sights to see aboard this ship.

That is it for now, though this is far from the last of things, and thank you all for reading!

- Sherie Yang, Villanova University

Shout outs: To Mom, Dad, and Steve if you are reading this-I am very much alive and well! Things have been going great on this ship, and I, along with others, do much emphasize safety, so you can take comfort knowing I'm in good hands. I wish you all well, and I hope Pennsylvania does not continue to be swelteringly hot. To Joseph, I hope you're having a good summer! I really do thank you for always encouraging me to go out of my comfort zone applying to SEA Semester, and being proud of me as I prepare to go away for 2 months. I hope Unitas has gone well, and I can't wait to hear you tell all about it!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s281  polynesia. • (1) Comments


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 Ana María Romero on July 16, 2018

Hi, i’m So proud of everyone in the ship, God bless you all in all the ways ways you may need it.

Christ’s mom



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