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 31, 2015
The Chatham Islands: Land of Rainbows, Sheep, and Abalone
43° 48.7’S x 176 42.3’W
Course & Speed
Anchored at Port Hutt
All furled; Returning to Waitangi Harbor in the morning
Sunshine, rain, rainbow, cloudy skies
Sleeping on still water never felt so good. So good in fact, that I did not hear my shipmate Ari wake me up for dock watch at 0300. Even though watch was only an hour, I tried my best to keep myself awake with boat checks and weather observations. Let’s just say it was not the easiest of mornings. After breakfast, B Watch prepared to start a dawn cleanup of the ship. I had my gloves on ready to tackle the head (a.k.a the bathroom) when Captain called us up on deck. Unexpectedly, Mama Seamans was to be kicked off the wharf by a larger ship that needed to dock. With alacrity, my shipmates and I got our hands on the lines and pushed the boat back into choppy waters of the South Pacific. We sailed to the other side of the island with sing-a-longs to Sam’s ukulele and a rainbow guiding the way.
Our short journey didn’t seem so bad when we arrived at Port Hutt. Waiting for us was a white sandy beach filled with abalone shells and clear blue skies. We were walking on land, yet I still felt as if the ground below me was swaying. After spending a snowy six weeks in Falmouth, MA you can imagine how excited we were to be walking on a beach. As we collected shells, frolicked in the sand, and of course, took many pictures, an abrupt rain shower caught us off guard. Running back to our bags, we sat in the rain eating our lunches, patiently waiting for our chauffeurs to pick us up. Despite the weather, we were all smiles.
A short time later, Deb and Kelsey arrived in very stylish Hotel Chathams vans. We hopped in and started a bumpy van ride on the left side of the road. While the scenery was stunning, I could not believe the amount of sheep on the island. Sheep on mountains, in the grass and on the beach! There were more sheep on the island than people. Our first stop was a walk through a scenic wetland where we also took a quick nap in the sunshine. We continued to a beach known for historic shark teeth. While no teeth were found, we picked up some more abalone shells and interesting rocks the geologists among us could not help but analyze. It was a day well spent on the beautiful Chatham Islands, a place not many people ever get the chance to visit. At 1800 we made our way back to our anchored ship and enjoyed the most delicious fish chowder I have ever had. Tonight we prepare for anchor watch and retreat to our bunks where another night of still waters sway us to sleep.
My time at SEA Semester is more than I ever imagined it could be. Every day is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow both as a sailor and as a scientist. I am having the time of my life and I cannot wait to see what these next weeks have in store. A big shout-out to my Mom, Dad and Rex, whom I think about every day. Hello, to my friends back home and at school. I cannot wait to share all my stories with you when I get home.