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
April 02, 2015
The First Sun
44° 8.2’S x 176° 42.0’W
Course & Speed
188° at 4 Knots; Dipping south under the Chatham Islands and continuing East
All four lowers plus topsail and raffee
Beautiful, sunny, and clear
Today we were privy to the very first sunrise that April second would see. The International Dateline takes an easterly dip to avoid cutting the Chatham Islands off from mainland New Zealand time, putting it on the cutting edge of every new day. Anchored in Waitangi Bay this morning, the dawn watch’s numbers were nearly tripled as camera wielding sailors rushed the quarterdeck to bear witness to the first sun. I found a personal connection with this particular golden explosion of light. Of all the things Wi-Fi brought within finger's reach, the ability to reach out to loved ones on special days is absolutely the most important. Happy birthday Jessica! I told you I would find a way. As the sun that would eventually bring Jessie her 22nd birthday rose before me I sent a variety of messages with it, hoping they would be deposited as they passed over my friends and family back in the states.
We set sail again today, shortly after sun-up, and resumed our journey eastward. Abruptly, ocean life replaced anchor watch. Being underway brought about a variety of activities that had been put on pause for the previous two days. Water samples from various depths are brought on board to be analyzed, and nets are drawn from as deep as 500 meters (once we reach deeper waters), bringing strange and familiar creatures alike to satisfy our queries. We fell back into the irregular series of events that consists of a day at sea with practically no friction at all.
The mouth of Waitangi Bay took nearly all morning to escape, but as we turned east and prepared to shoot the gap between the main Chatham Island and Pitt Island, a collective mental image was taken of the last land we would see for the next 25 days or so. Ochre bluffs rose out of the ocean topped by vibrant green and dotted with small puffs of white cotton. Our time in the Chathams was brief but filled with incredible information and magnificent vistas. As we departed the safety of the bay, the gentle lapping was gradually replaced by deep ocean swells. The saloon tables likewise resumed their gyroscopic dance, and I steeled myself for the impending apprehension that I assumed would accompany the start of a four week voyage into the unknown; instead, I was greeted by a different emotion. With gusto in my veins, and a mid-morning snack of warm pumpkin bread in my stomach, there wasn’t a damn thing that could stand between me and my Tahitian hammock.
No matter how far the distance, we will cross it. No matter the obstacles, we will overcome them. No matter how vast the ocean may be, our community aboard the Seamans will occupy and bring light to it.
From the South Pacific,
Best wishes home,